Face it, we are all having football withdrawals from WC2018, and as a legal drug dealer, I can GUARANTEE you that the best way to curb withdrawal is to get a regular supply of whatever was causing it in the first place! Enter EPL 2018/2019!!
Pretenders: Teams that are competing for the title by virtue of being in the Premier League
Challengers: Teams that are genuinely competing for the title but will likely not win
Contenders: Teams that are competing for the title and may win based on how the chips fall
Favorites: Teams that have the edge to win the title; the ones to put money on
Arsenal. Last season, Arsenal lost eleven away games. Eleven! It was their worst finish in twenty years. It seemed like there was nothing left to do but to get rid of the Professor and replace half the squad. In fact, the only reason they are included in this list is because of their history, otherwise, this is the last team to put any money on. With the new coach, they have officially entered that dreaded rebuilding phase that usually takes three to five years to either work or fail. Welcome to the life, Arsenal! One more piece of business left: Lock in Ramsey. That man has ten years with the team under his belt and is the engine of that squad. The scoringest midfielder in Arsenal history has no business being in a contract war with the club. Spend that money!! Everything else is left to be seen.
Chelsea. Two seasons ago, Chelsea won the league. Last season, they finished fifth. The main difference? They played more matches. Add the grueling Europa league to their schedule this year, and it doesn’t get better. Few coaches can join a team and inspire Favorite status, but Sarri doesn’t look like he’s one of those coaches. He’s already realistically preparing the fans to expect some time for the team to rebuild after Conte’s departure. And to top it all, they have gone and lost the second best goalie in the league. Frankly, ‘Challenger’ may be too kind a status for them.
Tottenham. The past two seasons, Tottenham have looked like they were ready to cause damage, and then they somehow fall short. This year will not be better. They have failed to strengthen their squad yet again, and no amount of cohesiveness from keeping the core of their players for the last four years together will help them. Of course, Harry Kane will do Harry Kane things. It just will not be enough. As usual.
Manchester United. The rumors surrounding the squad are deafening. To hear everyone tell it, Pogba and Martial are halfway out, and Mourinho is not getting the support he needs for the players he wants. Ultimately, their style of football won’t surprise anyone, and history tells us that they won’t finish this season with their coach. The woes for Manchester United will likely continue. None of that Solid Second stuff from last year.
Liverpool. Two seasons ago, Liverpool had the famed Robin Hood syndrome. Last year, they were streaky, but played the most sensational attacking football when they were ‘on.’ The only thing that keeps them in the Contender, and not in the Favorites column, is their tendency to bottle leads and choke on the biggest of stages. Mohamed Salah will also be in his sophomore season, and you always want to give a player two seasons to make sure a spectacular first season is not a fluke.
Manchester City. After almost having an unbeaten season and shattering all sorts of records, you are probably wondering why Man City is not the clear Favorite. The answer is Liverpool. Not because they will beat Manchester City to win the title, but because they beat City three out of four games last season. They’ve essentially shown the blueprint for handling City. If any team dares attack and disrupt their flow, points can be taken away from them. There is a chance that City could be dethroned in 2018-19.
Favorites? There ARE no FAVORITES!
The Best of The Pretenders
West Ham. They struggled last season, but they’re getting a class coach in Manuel Pellegrini. He can definitely do one or two things with the players on his squad (especially with some of the Arsenal DNA joining his squad)
How would YOU rank the Top 6 teams?
by EeJay Enekwa