The English Premier League is generally considered to be the best football league in the world. It has it all: pace, technicality, skill and some of the best teams and players the globe has to offer. While most EPL seasons are phenomenal, this season could prove to be the most exciting—or excruciating—season yet, depending on the team you support.
The season is only nine matches in, but the title race couldn’t be any closer. Manchester City is currently atop the table in first place, followed by Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. To make matters even tighter, all five are separated by, at most, a single point—a feat that has never occurred before at this point in any EPL season.
Behind world-class manager Pep Guardiola, Manchester City started off the EPL campaign strong, winning six games straight. In their last three games, however, Manchester has looked flat. During these three league games they’ve suffered a 2-0 loss to Spurs and have had consecutive 1-1 draws to Everton and Southampton.
City is still favored by most to win the league, and if Guardiola can get the production back from prolific goal-scorer and striker Sergio Agüero, league-leading assister and attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and midfielder Raheem Sterling, the Citizens could easily win their second title in three years.
Arsenal had aimed to go on top of the table, but failed to do so with a draw to newly- promoted Middlesbrough on Saturday Oct. 22. Arséne Wenger is entering his 20th season as the Gunners manager and is aiming for his fourth EPL title.
The Gunners started off slow, suffering a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool on opening weekend, followed up with a draw to last year’s EPL champions, Leicester City. Since then, however, the Gunners have been on a tear, winning six and drawing one. If the Gunners want to win their first EPL title in over a decade, they will need to play flawlessly behind the likes of attacking midfielder Mesut Özil, forward Alexis Sánchez and their new signing, midfielder Granit Xhaka.
Then we have Liverpool. The once English giant has never won an EPL title; the last time they even won a league title was in 1990. Since German Jürgen Klopp took over last season as manager, though, the Reds have been phenomenal.
The Reds have scored more goals than any other EPL side at this time. Their star-studded offense—which includes attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho, midfielder Roberto Firmino, striker Daniel Sturridge and winger Sadio Mané—is a treat to watch. The question is whether or not they can keep this up all season and finally lift the title that has evaded their grasp for so long.
After a disappointing season last year—where they finished in 10th place—Chelsea looks to win their fifth EPL title. Manager Antonio Conte’s team started off the season strong with three wins, but have since suffered defeats to Arsenal and Liverpool.
Since then, they have revitalized, however, winning three straight matches, including the 4-0 dismantling of Manchester United on Sunday Oct. 23. With the change to a 3-4-3 formation and attacking midfielder Eden Hazard playing like his usual self, Chelsea could claim number five come May.
Although they find themselves in fifth place, the Spurs are still the EPL’s only undefeated team. Centre-back Mauricio Pochettino’s side has played well so far, defeating City and drawing against Liverpool. While they have drawn their last two games, the Spurs will soon get back their defending scoring champion, forward Harry Kane and defensive rock Toby Alderweireld.