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Evaluating Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United, Man City and Liverpool’s Premier League Title Chances

premier league trophy Evaluating Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United, Man City and Liverpools Premier League Title Chances

Manchester United has been ripped by critics in the past week as being in a free-fall. But looking at the coming fixtures and anticipating the potential trouble ahead for the sides ahead of the Red Devils in the table, it is not unreasonable to believe David Moyes side can still mount a serious title challenge.

Realistically only three sides can win the title this season; Arsenal, the current league leaders, Chelsea, under Jose Mourinho and Manchester United, who were just two points short of having won seven successive league titles.

Wayne Rooney’s over performances and goal scoring form are the best since he first pouted about a transfer in the fall of 2013. Robin Van Persie hasn’t hit form yet, but he’s a proven match and title winner in English football.  Danny Welbeck’s reintegration in the side following an injury layoff only makes United more dangerous going forward.

United’s backline has been playing with more ease of late and despite Moyes shuffling of the deck fixture after fixture, the title winning pedigree of Vidic, Evra, and Ferdinand in particular can be counted on for the Red Devils going forward.

The next four fixtures for the Red Devils are all winnable: at Aston Villa, West Ham, at Hull City, and at Norwich. Assuming United get full points from those four fixtures, they would enter the New Year and a date with Spurs at Old Trafford with 7-9 points off the top, which could be Chelsea or Arsenal by that point.

Now let’s look at the weaknesses of the other two realistic title contenders; Arsenal have been playing well but questions remain about the Gunners depth, particularly up front, about the sides leadership with Arsene Wenger relying on a younger core and on the ability to sustain a title run during the bitter cold of winter. From my vantage point, the Gunners remain the title favorites but questions are likely to be asked of this side before the New Year.

Chelsea sport the deepest squad in English football and its most colorful and attention-grabbing manager. They also have benefitted from several breaks already this season such as a non-penalty call vs Aston Villa, a Ramires dive that was rewarded with a penalty in the dying moments of game vs West Brom that Chelsea trailed, and the now infamous Joe Hart mistake against Manchester City. But for some reason, Chelsea have never looked comfortable this season, even while getting results. This could mean one of two things, either the Blues with a new manager are going through a tough transition, or the side could collapse at any moment, as the recent defensive frailties have made some fear.

With Chelsea, it is really difficult to see which way things will go. On one hand, it could be argued the Blues have gotten the difficult transition to Jose’s way out of their system and now could run rough-shot over the league or perhaps the difficulties (including those games listed above where Chelsea were fortunate to get results) we’ve seen indicate a side that is not title winning quality.

Liverpool are not yet seasoned in a title scrap like this and while the start to the season has been about as good as possible for them, they cannot be seen as true title contenders. Still, Brendan Rodgers has done wonders with this side and they should be pleased with a top 4 finish. Manchester City has dropped far too many points away from home to sides battling relegation to be taken seriously as a contender for honors. Defensive errors have plagued Manuel Pellegrini’s club all season.  With the most difficult fixtures still come for the Blues, finishing in the top 3 is probably the best they can manage.

From where I sit, many in the British Press are writing Manchester United off because it sells newspapers and generates clicks. But the reality is while David Moyes’ side has left it all to do, the group of players on this particular team has proven they can confront adversity and prevail time and again. Few if any other group of players currently in English football can make the same claim. Arsenal remain the favorites and Chelsea the second favorites, but after that United have to be considered legitimate title chasers thanks to history, pedigree and the remaining match-winning quality within the squad.

This entry was posted in Arsenal, Chelsea, Leagues: EPL, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

15 Responses to Evaluating Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United, Man City and Liverpool’s Premier League Title Chances

  1. Paul says:

    City can definitely still win it and United have no chance. Other than that, great article :)

  2. Wych says:

    I think this is another classic example of Kartik selling his beloved City short.
    For my money, they’re the most impressive team when operating in 5th gear.

  3. Dan says:

    Kartik we are a joke and City is a much better side than your giving them credit for. We have lost 3 games at home 2 of which were to mediocre sides. We have no chance at the title and are battling for a Top 4 spot. Didn’t we lose 4-1 to City?

  4. Wah! Mou, pull up ur socks. We need 2 win evryting, dea iz no need of fear, it’s 2 early 2 surrender, i had u say dat we r not champion’s league favourite, why n how iz it true Mou,

  5. Matt T. says:

    Only the teams in 1st, 3rd, and 9th place can realistically win? You might want to rethink that.

  6. abdirahman says:

    joke.united can come back and retain the tittle.forget about to mention word “tittle” for united even their top four status are under threat.for arsenal let’s see where they are after city&chelsea matches if they win those two massive games they will be there come may.but the contenders are two to claim the tittle its city and chlsea.

  7. bennett311 says:

    And yet, no mention of Everton. Who have only lost once this season (at Man City), play 6 of their next 7 league games against bottom half teams, and have no Europe distractions.

    • yespage says:

      Everton have been having a very quiet season so far, despite having only one loss. Martinez has shown he belongs. But in order to win a title, you can’t have so many draws. Everton, however, could be fighting for a spot in Europe.

    • Ken says:

      No Euro football could indeed keep Everton in the race. The only problem might be when suspensions and injuries kick in.
      Don’t count on wins against the bottom clubs.In this league anything is possible.

  8. Martin J. says:

    Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea are the most likely to win the title this season. I expect all three to end up in the top 4.

    All the other clubs have a mathematical chance but will be fighting it out for a Champions League spot.

    United haven’t shown anything so far that makes anyone believe they are capable of winning the title. They will need to go on a winning run to bolster their chances of finishing in the top 4. The next few matches are going to be very important and they are all winnable.

    Spurs have a very talented squad but have yet to gel. If they go on a good run they will fancy their chances of finishing in the top 4.

    Liverpool are currently in 2nd but have a very tough next few matches. Away to Spurs, home to Cardiff, away to City and away to Chelsea. They have been very poor against the top sides, except against United, and that may be their undoing. You need to pick up points against your rivals or at least share the points if you want to finish in the top 4. Liverpool can be world beaters one minute and then they can struggle the next. This is the club that can end up anywhere, top 4 or 8th.

    Everton have been the most impressive club this season with the fewest losses, one, but too many draws. They have shown that they are capable of beating or drawing against the top sides. If they can reduce their draws into wins they have a very good chance of upsetting the odds and ending in the top 4.

    Lots to play for and who knows which clubs will improve in the transfer window which opens in three weeks.

  9. Steve says:

    Didn’t City beat United 4-1????

  10. Dean Stell says:

    I’m a United fan and I really don’t see how they can win the title. Even if they immediately “fixed” everything that is wrong with their team and started playing like they did the last two years, I think they’re too far back to win. Plus, they’ve given no indication that they’re capable of being anything good. The season is ~40% over and at some point, the table doesn’t lie.

    United is in the middle of the table because they’re playing like a mid-table side.

  11. Frank says:

    The way this season has been going it is very difficult to predict what is going to happen. Who would have predicted that Arsenal would be this consistent and be 5 points in the lead? Or that City would struggle away from home even against lesser opposition? Or that Everton would be this good? Very few. That’s why it is still possible for any team within 10 points to mount a challenge at the title.

    United do have a chance but their performances so far have been very average. There are problems with the squad they have. They could change things in the transfer window but it won’t be easy.

    Everton look very good and, barring serious injuries, will get better. They are a good shout for a top 4 or at least a top 6 this season.

    Spurs have the players but so far they have failed to impress. They don’t need any new faces just the present squad to up their game. They have the squad to win the title, especially this season, but need to improve quickly to have a shot.

    Liverpool are too up and down and while they are doing better than last season they are still a season or two away from really challenging. They’ve had a relatively easy early schedule but their next few games will tell us more about where they are.

    Chelsea are always going to be near the top with Mourinho in charge and while they are in transition have every chance to win the title, especially this season.

    Manchester City have the squad but their awful away record won’t win them the title. It could change so we’ll have to wait and see how they do in their upcoming away fixtures.

    Arsenal are in the driver’s seat and a decent lead to protect. If they buy another good striker then I think the title is theirs to win. With Wacott and Podolski coming back from injury their forward line will always score goals.

  12. Adam Heap says:

    Unbelievable that yet AGAIN Kartik totally disregards Manchester City, the team he apparently ‘supports’. K, you do realise we won’t accuse you of bias if you happen to show even a SHRED of support for them?

    Agree with the first comment. United are already out of the title race, while City are still easily in it. By my calculations, City are undefeated in their last three away matches: a win against West Brom (and a convincing one at that, despite the 3-2 scoreline), a draw against a strong Southampton side and a win at Bayern Munich with a B team against their A team.

    I laughed my head off having watched the City/Bayern game and then listened to Kartik’s total contempt for City, assuming he wouldn’t watch it because we’d lose by a 5+ goal margin, and can’t wait to hear you eat your words come the end of the season when City are far closer to the top spot than United will be.

  13. Gary says:

    Liverpool are ging to drop the furthest in the next few games and by January may be well of the pace. They play Spurs this weekend and have lost five in a row at WHL. Then theyhave Cardiff which is a winnable game but with Liverpool you never know. If they score early the usualy win. Otherwise, they struggle. Then they play Manchester City away and City haven’t dropped a point at home yet. Then they play Chelsea away who haven’t lost a home game under Mourinho.

    United have 5 winnable games and then a home fixture against Spurs. If they go on a winning run and get their mojo back they should beat Spurs and that will put them right back in the title hunt.

    Arsenal’s next tw fixtures are huge. City and Chelsea. Even a point aginst City would be great since City haven’t dropped a point at home yet and being rivals it would keep the distance between te clubs intact. Chelsea at home is a must-win for Arsenal if they want to win the title.

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