Soccer expert Chris Lierly outlines who is ahead in
England’s highest level of competition, and why.
Table After Matchday 4
Current Fowrm: WWWW
Liverpool was the only team to exit matchday three with a perfect record after thrashing Arsenal 3-1 at Anfield. Though the European Champions made little to no changes during the summer transfer window, they will see more of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who returns after recovering from a year long knee injury suffered in 2018. Goalkeeper Alisson suffered a calf injury in the Red’s Premier League opener, and manager Jurgen Klopp has yet to nail down a possible return date.
MANCHESTER CITY F.C.
Current Form: WDWW
The reigning Premier League champions enter this season as likely favorites to win the title again, and their inability to progress deep in the Champion’s League does not seem to worry manager Pep Guardiola. The Citizens made improvements to their defence over the summer when they bought Rodri and Joao Cancelo, and they managed to keep all of the major pieces to their attacking front. All of this means that it seems really unlikely that they finish anywhere lower than at the top of the table come May.
Current Form: WWLD
Arsenal saw quite a few changes over the summer as Aaron Ramsey, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck all left for other squads. However, they more than made up for those departures in the form of multiple acquisitions, of which Nicolas Pepe is the most notable. Pepe, formally of LOSC Lille, was one of the most hotly fought over players this summer, but ultimately landed in North London and broke Arsenal’s transfer record in the process. Combined with the attacking prowess already present at Arsenal in the form of Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang and Alexandre Lacazette, this trio could terrorize defences across the league.
MANCHESTER UNITED F.C.
Current Form: WDLD
Manchester United made one of the biggest summer moves in all of soccer when they bought Leicester and English National Team center back Harry Maguire. That purchase broke the record for most money spent acquiring a defender that was set by Liverpool a few years back with Virigil Van Djik. However, Romelu Lukaku departed for Inter Milan and Alexis Sanchez was not far behind him when he was loaned to the Italian club. The Red Devils season will no doubt face the scrutiny of every pundit as they were not able to sell a vocally unhappy Paul Pogba to one of the other giant clubs he requested.
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Current Form: WDLD
Tottenham ended last year’s Champions League competition better than anyone could have imagined. By making it into the final, Spurs made it farther than more likely contenders such as Manchester City, Barcelona or Ajax in a year where they made only one addition to their team the summer before.
That purchase was Lucas Moura, and how involved the right-winger is in this year’s squad could have a direct effect on how well they perform in both major competitions this year.
The London club lost Kieran Trippier to an eager Atletico Madrid, but by adding a few younger players like Tanguy Ndombele and Giovanni Lo Celso to their lineup Tottenham enter another year where they could be primed to surprise the world.
Current Form: LDWD
Chelsea is the only big six club to change managers since last season, but changing manager’s every two years has been the club’s usual pattern during Roman Abromavich’s time as owner. The team also saw some major changes at the player level over the offseason. Real Madrid bought Eden Hazard, David Luiz left for a small fee to Arsenal and maybe most excitingly for American soccer fans, the club bought American star Christian Pulisic from German club Borussia Dortmund. That transfer cost the club $73 million, but the selling of older players and an attempt to change the face of the Blues might be the first steps in a longer strategy to remake the team for player turned manager Frank Lampard.
Man City: 10pts
Leicester City: 8pts
Crystal Palace: 7pts
West Ham: 7pts
Man United: 5pts
Tottenham Hotspur: 5pts
Sheffield United: 5pts
Aston Villa: 3pts
Norwich City: 3pts