Saturday, July 21, 2018

There are too many teams with too many transfers to go over them all in one sitting, so today we will focus on the top.

The Winners

Chelsea

As the reigning champs of the BPL, as well as being one of the long-withstanding “Big Four”, Chelsea will of course be a favorite to many to take home the title again. Even with their multiple off season moves, including loaning Kurt Zouma to Stoke City and picking up midfielder Danny Drinkwater, the biggest transfer news around Stamford Bridge involves Alvaro Morata. The 25-year-old Spanish striker comes in from Real Madrid for a whopping £70 million, which may seem a bit excessive, but he has proven himself to be a talented player and, with all the discontent surrounding Diego Costas’ status as a Blue, he may find himself in a bigger role than anticipated. Chelsea has not been off to the quickest start possible, currently sitting in 6th, but at only 3 games played there is still plenty of time for them to find their form.

Liverpool

Another of the “Big Four”, Liverpool always looks to be in contention for a title. They have had their struggles over the past 2-3 seasons, but under the management of Jurgen Klopp they have shown that they can come together to be quite an intimidating force. The biggest transfer news around Anfield this summer has been in regards to the team’s star midfielder Philippe Coutinho. The transfer window has ended with Coutinho still a member of the Reds, but the drama has not ceased, with the Catalan press talking about how Coutinho will refuse to play as a sign of disappointment in his not being traded. There is very little substance behind these remarks, but certainly something to keep an eye on. With the pick up of Mohamed Salah from Roma the team is not short of offensive weapons, and after their opening 3-3 bout against Watford, the main issue for the Reds this year seems like it will be in their defense. Liverpool have started their season out hot winning 2 games and drawing 1, and currently sit in 2nd place, with young defender Trent Alexander-Arnold showing stepping up in a currently shaky defense.

Tottenham

A team that has seen nothing but improvement in the past few seasons, it would not be surprising at all if the Spurs walked away with the trophy this year. Finishing in 2nd place last year and 3rd the year before that, the players and fans of this club must be hungry for a first place finish. While they have had a fairly quiet offseason, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” may ring true for this group. Since their current manager Mauricio Pochettino arrived at the club in May of 2014 the team has proven themselves to be a formidable force, however have yet to achieve any real success in the European and English tournaments. However, with star striker Harry Kane leading the way, scoring 20 goals in each of his last 3 seasons with the Spurs, they are not a team to be counted out. Currently in 9th place the team has not gotten off to the start they wanted, but will surely look to increase their position in the coming games.

Manchester United

This group closes out with “Big Four” member Man U. While they are no longer the dominant force in the league that they used to be, Man U is a proud team with a storied tradition of excellent players and managers. The latter of which being the main reason they are still considered a top contender. With Wayne Rooney finally returning to his Everton roots there was quite a hole in the striker position. That is until manager José Mourinho brought in Romelu Lukaku back into his fold. The 24 year old Belgian has made quite a name for himself as a powerful striker, and with fellow young talent Paul Pogba given a chance to live up to the expectations around him, this could be their year. Not to mention that superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is currently out with an injury, is officially a Man U player again and will be joining the roster as an active player right around the Christmas season. That, along with the fact that José Mourinho is one of the greatest coaches of all time, is definitely enough to place them in contention. Currently in 1st place, Man U have started off magnificently, winning all 3 of their games and not even conceding a goal so far. One can expect to see them continue this excellent performance, especially once Zlatan has returned to action.

 

Runner Ups

Arsenal

This team has had its’ share of commotion and discontent the past few seasons. If it weren’t for the fact that there always seems to be some sort of distracting drama going on at this club they would easily be a top contender. They have been in the top 4 for the past 21 years, and have consistently had a frighteningly talented line up. Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil and new addition Alexandre Lacazette are just a few of the reasons Arsenal stands to have the best roster in the BPL. One can only hope that they are able to put aside any differences and issues between the management and the fans so that they can achieve the European and domestic success which has been denied them too many times in recent years. Not exactly off to an ideal start, Arsenal sit in 16th place. Even though Liverpool are a top contender, their 4-0 defeat over Arsenal brings to question if this Arsenal team will be able to pull themselves together and finally achieve domestic success.

Leicester City

This team took the league by storm during the 2015-2016 season. Not only did they not have to worry about relegation, as many people had already given up on them staying in the Premier League, they were able to storm past all the big clubs, all the neigh-sayers, and actually win their first Premier League title. While the following season was not as successful, it established the Leicester are a team that plans to be in the Premiership for a long time. The team had no true superstar, not to downplay the roles of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez. Instead were able to find their success through excellent teamwork, an undying spirit, and the craftiness of their manager Claudio Ranieri. While they will not find it as easy to storm through everyone like they did in their epic 2015-2016 season, any team who underestimates Leicester City will be sorely disappointed with the result. Leicester have also not had a desired start, sitting just one place above Arsenal in 15th, and while they may not be the strongest of contenders, they still have a chance to remind everyone what made them the force that they were 2 years ago.

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