The Premier League is wide open

Premier league trophy
This premier league season is shaping up to be one of the most interesting seasons of the last decade. This weekend further confirmed that it is going be quite a race at both the top and the bottom. The perennial top four all have some doubts about them, while Spurs, Man City, and Villa look increasingly legit. In short, there is very little between top eight sides (if you include Everton) this year and if one of the top four go through a spell like Arsenal did last year, they could quite easily see themselves out of the champions league.

Liverpool’s loss to Sunderland highlighted the thin nature of pool’s squad – yes the balloon goal was huge, but pool did not look good at all. While Liverpool have been prone to slow starts in the past, the fragility of Torres and Gerrard and the lack of suitable replacements give plenty of reasons for Liverpool fans to be concerned. There title hopes are by no means finished, but right now they are challenging Arsenal for the team that is most likely to fall out of the top four.

Spurs hang on against Pompey. After going up 2-0, Spurs decided to implode. They gave up a goal to former Spur Kevin Prince Boateng and Defoe shortly after got sent off for stupidly stomping on a Portsmouth player. But this game once again demonstrated that this is a much different Spurs team then those of previous years that had a knack for squandering leads and conceding weak late goals. Spurs stayed solid and earned three points, putting them third in the league. The problem at Spurs has never been getting points off top sides, but at beating the bottom feeders.

Villa’s two goals against Chelsea did come on set pieces, but they have clearly shown that last year wasn’t a fluke and further highlighted the depth of the league this year. I don’t think Villa can really challenge for the top 4, but top 6 is certainly not out of the question. For Chelsea, every point is crucial right now. With the transfer ban and the African nations cup – they will lose Essien, Mikel, Drogba, and Kalou – they are likely to have a tough time come the new year.

Man United win, but continue to look a little shaky. Arsenal are proving doubters wrong and Van Persie is looking more and more like one of the top strikers in the world. But like Liverpool, they are an injury or two away from looking pretty thin. Man City pulled out a draw with 10 men at Wigan, nothing to sneeze at, and are showing to be a more solid all around side than many expected.

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