With 20 games played in the English Premier League, we are starting to see the real contenders for the title this season. And as the English have a way of putting it, there seems to be a two horse race developing.

Arsenal is in the lead with 42 points and is two points ahead of the surprise package this season, Leicester City. Manchester City is in third place but are just a point behind Leicester. Then there is the rest in the form of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Crystal Palace and so on.

With all due respect to high flying Leicester, surely the two teams now emerging for a challenge are Arsenal and Manchester City. Arsenal hasn’t won the league since 2004, and if they were to do so it would be some genuine victory for English football. Here is a club led by Arsene Wenger in charge of the club since 1996, who spent just $17 million this summer — which is unheard of for a Premier League team chasing the title. Furthermore the money was spent on one player — goalkeeper Petr Cech.

For Manchester City, it was business as usual in the summer where they totaled up millions of dollars in purchases in the hope of winning the league title for a third time in five seasons. City looks like being Arsenal’s greatest challenge despite their poor away form.

So what has happened to the other heavyweights of the league? The biggest shock has been the meltdown of Chelsea, and it shows no signs of getting better under new coach Guus Hiddink, despite some amicable draws along the way and a win against Crystal Palace on Sunday. Manchester United are still reeling it seems from Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 and remain a shadow of the attacking swashbuckling team under the great Scotsman.

Jurgen Klopp is having an incredibly inconsistent time at Liverpool, and the bad news for the German is that the owners have a tendency to sell their best players. Just ask sacked manager Brendan Rodgers who had to make do without Luis Suarez and then Raheem Sterling before he was given his marching orders.

So Arsenal will be the most content after twenty games. They are top of the pile and will feel that Leicester’s inexperience will catch up with them (The Foxes have slipped up in recent weeks, gaining just 2 points from their past nine). With the failings of so many clubs who have won the league in the past decade, they will see only Manchester City as the obstacle.

For Arsenal they must fully concentrate on the league title up until they meet Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League in six weeks time. Even the FA Cup, which they are chasing for a third straight year, should be dismissed if Wenger feels that he cannot balance the two with the squad that he has.

City must improve away from home. They have won 15 points from a maximum thirty on the road which places them with just the 8th best away record in the league. Perhaps more damning is their recent away form, which includes just one win in the past five.

What looks certain is that as usual in the Premier League, we will be treated to quite a few twists and turns before May and quite certainly a few surprises in between. Stick around for the ride.