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Premier League shaping up for competitive year

Before it even kicked off, this Premier League season was talked of as potentially being one of the most exciting and unpredictable campaigns in years.

So far it has certainly lived up to that billing, albeit with only seven games played.

Arsenal and Liverpool occupy the top two spots in the table with 16 points apiece. Both it would appear seem set for a strong season. Liverpool, without the distraction of European football, will be desperately chasing a Champions League spot. And could this finally be the year that Arsenal win that elusive trophy?

Chelsea back in the hands of the self-anointed “special one” Jose Mourinho, and the ever improving Southampton, occupy the other top 4 slots. Both clubs have reasons to be feeling confident moving into the rest of the season.

Manchester City, Tottenham and Everton lie in 5th, 6th and 7th respectively. All three had very impressive transfer windows, yet as City’s away day blues and Tottenham’s capitulation to West Ham at home shows, a seemingly successful transfer window does not mean an automatically successful season.

Nonetheless the three clubs remain well placed, and all three,  especially City, should be in the running for European places and major honours at the end of the season.

Hull City, Manchester United and Aston Villa rest in the remaining top ten positions. Hull have started well and appear to be well equipped for survival, whilst Aston Villa’s talented young squad are currently at least fulfilling expectations.

Meanwhile David Moyes’ reign at Manchester United has got off to a stuttering start. Although no one in their right mind is writing off the Red Devils just yet.

The top end of the bottom half of the table sees Newcastle United in 11th, West Bromwich Albion in 12th, West Ham United in 13th and Cardiff City in 14th. Newcastle have 10 points and the others have 8. In this unpredictable league season ironically enough all four clubs are roughly positioned in the table where you would expect them to be.

Swansea City, Stoke City and Fulham lie in the uncomfortable three positions of 15th, 16th and 17th just above the relegation zone. Such a position in the league is to be expected of Fulham and Stoke given the respective quality of their squads, but Swansea’s slow start is interesting and is something which has not been fully noted in the footballing world yet. Perhaps their European exploits in the Europa League are to blame.

Norwich City, Crystal Palace and Sunderland are left to sit in the dreaded three relegation places. Norwich however have 7 points, and are well positioned to escape the relegation zone at any point in the near future. One win could see them leap into the top half of the table. Crystal Palace and Sunderland, however, are adrift with 3 and 1 points respectively, and are already languishing at the bottom of the table.

It may well take a brave man to bet on Crystal Palace and Sunderland’s  survival, and it could be a long, arduous season for them both, but if we have learnt anything from this brief beginning to the Premier League, it is that this could be the season where the unexpected happens.

About Chris Stylianou

redboychris@gmail.com'

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