As the New Year approaches this seasons title race is one of the most open in the history of the Premier League. No one is showing form that suggests they will run away with it and five teams will seriously still believe that could become Champions come the end of the season. Let’s take a look at the contenders.
Sir Alex Ferguson and his side currently lead the way and that will certainly make them favourites with the bookies and perhaps rightly so. United will enter 2011 undefeated and have yet to consistently produce the form that they are capable of. If Wayne Rooney can find his scoring boots in the New Year then the race for the title could be over before it begins. One thing that will concern the United manager and fans alike is their away form. With just one away win all season United have drawn far too many games on the road. With Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea all still to face away from Old Trafford United will need to pick up more points on the road if they are to regain the title.
Currently second in the table are United’s noisy neighbours Manchester City, who arguably have the best squad in the league with an array of internationals throughout the side. With the transfer window opening City also have funds at their disposal. They look to set to be spending again with a deal to bring Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko to Eastlands from Wolfsburg already close. The problem that Roberto Mancini faces is keeping the squad a happy one. Everyone will want to play in the run in and with so many top players some are bound to be unhappy. The depth and cover they have though is enough to deal with all but the biggest injury crisis and that could be key come May.
After an emphatic win against Chelsea confidence was high in North London but the Gunners did what they have continued to do in recent years and that is drop points against the lesser sides in the league. A 2-2 draw away at Wigan has certainly dampened the euphoria around the Emirates Stadium and raised the ongoing questions about their need for a leader in the side. As Wenger’s men proved against Chelsea they are capable of blowing anyone in the league away on their day but that day doesn’t seem to come round enough for them to win the Premier League. Defensive and goalkeeping concerns still need to be addressed too.
Chelsea have been on terrible run of form of late which they finally ended with a narrow win against Bolton last night and many pundits and fans have already begun to dismiss the Blues hopes of retaining the title. This is far too premature. Chelsea have been without John Terry and Frank Lampard for large parts of the season and that is the focal point of their team. With both of these players now back along with Drogba and Essien Chelsea are more than capable of stringing a significant run of results together. Like Manchester United they have a squad full of players who know how to deal with the pressure in the final stages of a title run in and that could prove vital. Talk of them missing out on the top four altogether is nonsense.
Harry Redknapp and his Spurs side have been a revelation this season playing some mouth-watering football. Tottenham now have a very strong squad that are capable of competing with anyone across Europe as there results in the Champions League have proven and there is no getting away from the fact that they are in the title race. One problem that could hurt them is there goal difference which is poor in comparison to the other contenders .Whether they are capable of staying in the race right down to the wire remains to be seen but I wouldn’t bet against them being there.
With the race as open as it is you could make a good claim for anyone of the above sides winning the league but I see the title going to either the red side of Manchester or staying at Stamford Bridge. Experience is key in at the back end of the seasons when surprise results always occur and these two teams have it in abundance. Where do you see the league ending up?