The English Premier League season is seven games in for the majority of teams and there are not too many surprises as of yet. Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea are all at the top of the table and Reading and Norwich are two of the teams in the relegation zone. However, for several teams, beginning next weekend, their schedules will get more challenging and spectators will be treated to some delightful games to watch.
Let’s begin with Chelsea. Chelsea has had a spectacular start to the season winning six of their seven games and drawing only once. This puts them atop the Premier League table with 19 points, four points higher than their nearest competitor Manchester United. Chelsea has only given up four goals this season, which is the lowest of any team in the Premier League. Chelsea has never been known for a beautiful style of play. They defend well and grind out results. The additions of Mata and Hazard have provided the team with a little more flare but they are still no Brazil or Barcelona.
The end of October should provide some difficult challenges to the men in blue. They travel to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham on Oct. 20 and Manchester United travels to Stamford Bridge Oct. 28. Both of these games are intriguing and after this two game stretch, there may be a new Premier League leader. The Tottenham game gives former Chelsea coach Andres Villas-Boas a chance to get revenge by beating his former club.
After a shaky start to the season, Tottenham has rebounded nicely and have now won four games in a row in the Premier League. They beat Reading, Queens Park Rangers, Manchester United, and Aston Villa by a combined score of 10-4 and Villas-Boas is looking forward to the clash against the league leaders.
“It’s obviously going to be a difficult game but we are showing good levels of competence and we hope to profit from the fact that we play at home and profit from the fact that we play an unbeaten league leader to help our motivation to try to beat them,” Villas-Boas said in an article for ESPNFC.
As I mentioned above, Manchester United is the closest team to Chelsea. United are tied with City at 15 points each and four points behind Chelsea. Manchester United, even though they have gotten the results, has not looked too impressive to start the season. Their last game against Newcastle has been their most impressive performance of the season thus far. They will have to bring their top performance to Stamford Bridge Oct. 28 if they want to get closer to Chelsea and possibly take over as Premier League leader if Chelsea stumble to Tottenham.
Manchester United has another tough match the weekend after they face Chelsea. Arsenal travel to Old Trafford Nov. 3 to face the Red Devils. This is the first time Robin Van Persie will face his former team and it will be interesting to see how he performs.
Arsenal has played some beautiful soccer at times this season but currently sit in seventh place, seven points behind the league leaders. The good news for Gunners fans is the fact the team’s next two games are against teams who currently reside in the relegation zone: Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City. Those two games should be comfortable wins in preparation for Manchester United. Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers have combined to score only 11 goals while conceding a combined 33 goals in the first seven games. Those are not the types of stats those two teams will be wanting to see if they hope to remain in the Premier League.
Finally, we get to Manchester City. While Chelsea, Manchester United, and Arsenal are beating up on each other, Manchester City is looking forward to playing West Bromwich Albion, Swansea City, and West Ham United in the next three weeks of games. Even though West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United are currently in the top half of the table, I don’t think anyone can argue that these teams are nearly as good as Chelsea or Manchester United.
Teams in the Premier League are starting to hit form now that they are seven games into the season and the upcoming matchups are enticing for soccer fans. Once the top teams competing for the Premier League title begin playing each other, the games in the Premier League get even more exciting. The end of October and beginning of November provide soccer fans with great games featuring great teams. It should be exciting to watch and see how it all unfolds as well as who is at the top of the table after this gauntlet of games is over.
Written By: Eric Stoyanov, Contributing Writer, soccerprose.com
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