We’re almost 1/3 of the way through the 2019-20 Premier League season. Twelve matches is an ample sample size. Declarative statements can be made. So with that in mind: this is not Manchester City’s year. Leicester and Chelsea may be the real title challengers to Liverpool.
After 12 games, they’re closer to newly promoted Sheffield United than to the table toppers at Anfield.
And that is no besmirchment on Sheffield United, who have been super impressive!
While City manager Pep Guardiola may want to blame the refs and VAR for his team’s 3-1 loss today, Liverpool were the better side.
Just a *touch* of sarcasm. pic.twitter.com/ky0K5wY08x
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) November 10, 2019
And they have been all year.
Should we be talking about Leicester or Chelsea as contenders?
Manchester City assembled a powerhouse squad for just over €1B. At their best, they play truly glorious football. Their manager is a genius. Their depth is absurd.
Before the season, there was a lot of talk about how City’s second team would finish third in the Premier League. If that was still the case…then they’d be ahead of the first team.
- After 12 games, City are 9 back of Liverpool.
- Yes, City are closer in the table to Sheffield United (8 points) than to Liverpool (9 points).
- Liverpool just took 16 out of 18 possible points after the other Big 7 clubs (City, Leicester, Chelsea, Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal). City have only played 2 of those 6 to date…and have only taken 1 out of a possible 6 points.
- At current rate, City would finish about 30 points behind Liverpool.
According to oddsmakers, City have a significantly better chance of winning the Premier League than the two teams ahead of them: Leicester & Chelsea. City still may do that. Liverpool could suffer a couple of key injuries or horrendous run of form. City may still win the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League as well. Given how much it seems to matter to them, City will likely win the Carabao Cup too.
The reality is, both Leicester and Chelsea have been better in England this season. They’ve definitely been better recently.
Leicester played Liverpool much closer at Anfield than City. After Fabinho’s sick goal in the 6th minute, Liverpool never seemed in real danger. However, the Reds had to claw their way to a last minute victory vs Leicester. The Foxes are for real. They’re ahead of their 2015-16 title pace. They should be getting more credit.
As seen above, Chelsea is in better recent form than any other EPL squad. Given their youth, they still might have some ups and downs. However, their talent is undeniable and Frank Lampard is proving up to the task.
City’s road isn’t getting easier. In fact, City’s next 8 matches before the calendar flips are against:
- Chelsea (11/23)
- Newcastle (11/30)
- Burnley (12/03)
- Manchester United (12/07)
- Arsenal (12/15)
- Leicester (12/21)
- Wolves (12/27)
- Sheffield United (12/29)
Five of those teams are in better current form than City.
So yes, maybe it’s time to shift focus to Leicester (+3300 to win Premier League, and no UCL) and Chelsea (+2500). By the turn of the calendar, Manchester City may be too far gone to be considered a real Premier League contender.
Where to bet the Premier League in the US
In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.