The fifth Premier League math week haven’t brought a lot of surprises and didn’t change the league table a lot. Bournemouth, Wolverhampton and West Ham progressed, while Everton, Huddersfield, Newcastle and Burnley have worsened their positions.
Tottenham probably need to improve the way the defend in their own box. Both Liverpool’s goals came from areas deep in the Spurs penalty area. Although that Michel Vorm isn’t a bad goalkeeper, he is a very good shot-stopper for example, Spurs have missed Hugo Lloris.
Liverpool have become a team who is capable of winning matches even when they don’t play at their best. This is the difference between today’s Reds formation and every other Liverpool team in the post Rafael Benitez era. Some might say that the Brendan Rogers led Red were up there with the best. However, the Liverpool formation from season 2013/14 have had and exceptional striking duo in the likes Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge and also Steven Gerard in the midfield.
Chelsea are title contender. Mateo Kovacic will help the Blues finish as high in the table as possible. The new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has proved that the Blues have problems last season because they played too defensive football in a league that any team must attack to win. It looks like that Sarri has brought to Stamford Bridge an exceptional midfielder. In the like of Jorginho, Chelsea have probably got the best defensive midfielder in the league.
Cardiff City have showed their teeth at Stamford Bridge and it although that everyone writes them off, they have a chance to survive in the Premier League.
Manchester City are still the most likely champion, despite that it looks like that it is the Liverpool’s time to win the Premier League. Pep Guardiola’s side will not be any worse than last year. All they have to do is to avoid making mistakes against the so-called lesser teams.
Fulham are here to stay. They haven’t gone into deep defence against Manchester City and deserve admiration for that. However, Slavisa Jokanovic must improve Fulham’s defence.
Arsenal are on the right track and Unai Emery is the man to manage the Gunners. Aaron Ramsey isn’t the key man for their midfield, however. I believe that Emery should limit his game time as Ramsey is in the last year of his contract and he is probably preparing to move on and leave Emirates. Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can play together, but one of them needs to sacrifice himself and to play on the side. It looks like that Emery considers Aubameyang as more versatile attacking player and this means that he will play more on the flank. Arsenal must keep improving their defensive performance.
Newcastle haven’t enjoyed a good start of the season, but it was the same last campaign. I believe that the Rafa Benitez side is too good to get relegated, but unfortunately for the Magpies fans they could not finish in the top half of the table.
Bournemouth are improving even further and grow as a team. Ryan Fraser looks to be in a top form and if Bournemouth are consistent and a bit lucky, they might do what Burnley did last season.
Leicester City will be a stable team this season and they might even try to win any domestic cup. They are very good offensively, but Claude Puel needs to improve their defence. Wes Morgan have arrived late for few tackles and it is probably a good idea the Foxes to buy one more central defender in January.
Huddersfield Town haven’t played bad against Crystal Palace, but they didn’t score. The good performances don’t keep a team in the Premier League. If they could Sam Allardyce would have never managed in the top flight. So, Huddersfield must start scoring and winning games.
Crystal Palace are a good team and they would probably finish in the top 10. Roy Hodgson obviously does a good job when he is in charge of any mid-table clubs. He has enough experience and when he has a quality players in his team, as it is with Crystal Palace, he can be successful. Palace are lucky to have Wilfred Zaha in their squad and it looks like they will get the best of him.
Watford‘s Troy Deeney is a player who deserves special attention. The Hornets have been very aggressive during the second half against Manchester United and Jose Mourinho’s men were lucky to win by 1:2. I still think that Watford aren’t a top 10 team, however.
Manchester United‘s win at Vicarage Road wasn’t a surprise. At the same time United haven’t had more than one shot on target in the second half against Watford and it was David de Gea who saved them and helped them win the game. United’s defence isn’t good enough and I think that this is the main reason that they would not win anything this season. However, they are still a top team. I expect them to improve their performance, to keep winning and who knows, at some point they might be back the battle of the top.
West Ham showed character at Goodison Park and proved that the club’s hierarchy did not make a mistake when they brought Manuel Pellegrini to the London Stadium. The Hammers played well against a good Everton side and saved the team’s perspective under Manuel Pellegrini.
Everton need Richarlison back in the staring eleven. They also need the other top players they have, to step up and deliver on the pitch. If the club wants to improve under Marco Silva, they either need to buy more talent of to get nothing less but the best of their current players. I don’t see them finishing in the top 6, but they might get the 7th position and try to win any of the cups. There is a long road to bring Everton back in the top 4. Marco Silva is probably the right manager, but the club owners need to give him time.
Wolverhampton are doing what I have expected them to do – to show that they aren’t in the Premier League just to stay, but to make a difference and to show that they are capable of playing an exciting football. It is only the beginning of a long journey for the Nuno Espirito Santo led team as Wolves need to establish themselves among the Premier League top 10 clubs, in the first place.
Burnley are a team that deserves a lot of respect. They are tough and with the resource that the club has, what Shawn Dyche’s men have achieved last season was equivalent of club like a Everton to win the league. I’m afraid Burnley will struggle a little bit this season and Dyche’s main objective is to get to the 40 points as soon as possible. Anything else would be a bonus for The Clarets.
Southampton are improving under Mark Hughes and it would not be a surprise if they finish in the middle of the table or even in its top side at the end of the season. The Saints have been strong in the first half and could have scored more goals. Danny Ings is going back to his best and he might prove to be a real bargain for the Mark Hughes side. He could have scored in 21st minute from a very close distance in the box, but wasn’t in the best position to find the net. It was Ings who have virtually won the game for The Saints when he has earned a penalty for them in the 63rd minute, in a second half which was the better one for Brighton and Hove Albion. Mohamed Elyounoussi missed another chance in the 27th minute and it looks like he will prove to be another good addition to the Southampton’s attack. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s opener in the 35th minute for the Saints would probably compete for one of the goals of the month. Southampton was very unlucky to be penalized after a James Ward-Prowse’s reckless challenge in the box, Brighton have been given a penalty.
Brighton look like a club that has already settled in the Premier League. They have managed to get back into the game after loosing by 0:2 at St. Mary’s stadium, which isn’t something that many other teams could achieve. They were trailing 2:0 in the 67th minute when the Shane Duffy header made it 2:1. The Seagulls have lost too many balls during the game and this is something the Chris Houghton has to improve in their game. Anthony Knockaert is one of the Brington’s players who has a great dribbling skills and if he plays regularly this season, he might become one of the popular names in he Premier League.