Assessing the Premier League title contenders

We’re now well into the Premier League season and, apart from Chelsea, the cream is starting to rise to the top of the table.

Sports Betting Dime has Manchester City as the favourite to take out the title at the moment with odds of 9/2, just ahead of Arsenal.

 

Both sides have had mixed fortunes lately, both domestically and in Europe, allowing Manchester United to take top spot.

Reigning Champions Chelsea, meanwhile, have been far from convincing and can’t afford to lose too much ground.

Here’s a look at how the big guns are shaping up.

Manchester United

Louis van Gaal’s team leapfrogged rivals Manchester City thanks to a convincing 3-0 win over an admittedly very poor Sunderland.

New big money signing Anthony Martial continues to impress in the attacking third, while having David De Gea back between the posts for this season at the very least is a big boost to the defence.

However, it’s not all good news for United fans with skipper Wayne Rooney still struggling for form. There have been calls for him to be dropped from the starting eleven, and Van Gaal has plenty of creative options at his disposal, including Martial, Juan Mata, Memphis Depay, Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera.

Manchester City

After a blistering start, Manchester City came unstuck with a surprise defeat at home to West Ham United, before finding themselves on the receiving end of a 4-1 drubbing against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Line.

Injuries have hit Manuel Pellegrini hard as David Silva, Yaya Youre, Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala, Gael Clichy, Wilfried Bony, Joe Hart and Samir Nasri are amongst those to have spent time on the sideline.

On a more positive note, a comeback win over Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Wednesday night should give them a much needed confidence boost and, with Sergio Aguero leading the line, they are always going to be a goal threat.

 

Arsenal

Is it finally time for Arsene Wenger to hand the reins over to somebody else? Plenty of Arsenal fans certainly think so.

The Gunners occupy fourth spot after seven games ahead of this weekend’s big clash with Manchester United at The Emirates Stadium, an encounter that will strongly test their character.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech was the only major offseason acquisition and Wenger may regret not strengthening further as the campaign goes on.

Chelsea

Make no mistake about it, Chelsea’s title defence has been an absolute disaster so far, with Jose Mourinho’s side claiming just eight points from a possible 21.

A solid win over ten-man Arsenal might have been a turning point but that game was followed by an underwhelming showing at St. James’ Park as they salvaged a point in a 2-2 draw with Newcastle United.

Their defensive frailties have been exposed on a number of occasions, including midweek in the 2-1 Champions League loss to Mourinho’s former side FC Porto.

Best of the rest

Slavan Bilic’s West Ham United are something of a surprise package at the moment, occupying third place thanks to some big away wins over Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. However, until they become consistent at home, it’s hard to imagine them lasting the pace.

Everton and Tottenham Hotspur are always there or thereabouts, and currently occupy five and sixth respectively. The Toffees rallied from two goals down against West Bromwich Albion in their most recent outing to claim a 3-2 victory, and Spurs are one of the most entertaining sides to watch when firing on all cylinders.

Liverpool fans continue to be frustrated by their team’s rollercoaster ride, though they are only five points off top spot and two outside the top four so, with 31 games still to go, there is plenty to play for.

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