The Barclay’s Premier League returns this weekend after a host of Champions League matches played throughout the week. The results clocked in for four of the big English clubs left critics wondering which club has what it takes to finish the season in first place.
Previous table-toppers Manchester City slumped to a 1-0 defeat by Juventus. City were overtaken by surprise leaders Leicester City after their 3-0 victory over Newcastle United last weekend. This weekend, City will travel to meet Southampton, which according to previous records, the game should be a walk in the park for Manuel Pellegrini’s men. If they played well, that is.
Manchester United were held to a goalless draw by PSV Eindhoven. Wayne Rooney felt they lacked the drive for a decisive win. This weekend, they go head-to-head with current league leaders Leicester City, who have been in the best form ever, thanks to leading goalscorer Jamie Vardy. Vardy is not only the league’s leading goalscorer, but he is also one goal away from overtaking former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy’s total goals record. Last weekend, Vardy equalised van Nistelrooy’s record. Now if he scores against United, he will overtake the Dutchman’s record.
Chelsea, however, went on a 4-0 rampage against Maccabi Tel Aviv. The Blues will look to bounce back with a victory over Spurs at White Hart Lane. Spurs have recently been on-form, and they will want to end the season with a top-four finish. Jose Mourinho will be praying hard that his team will finally find their footing and start scoring once again. Critics believe that the Blues will rise again.
Arsenal rocked the stadium with a cool 3-0 finish over Dinamo Zagreb, and will once again try to prove to their fans that they can play well, especially after their horrific defeat 2-1 to West Brom last weekend. This time, they will have to try harder for an away win to Norwich on Monday. Manager Arsene Wenger is looking to bolster the squad with targets sighted on Alexandre Pato and Lars Bender when the transfer window opens. I wonder if they are any good for the team.
Liverpool (and Spurs) are the other two clubs who are not playing in the Champions League, but are in the Europa League. While Spurs hope to inflict yet another defeat to Chelsea, Liverpool will travel to Swansea City to close in on the top four. Jurgen Klopp has done well to hold Manchester City with a 4-1 victory last weekend. Can they do it again?
Consistency is key here, and not just for Liverpool. Arsenal lacked the consistency to go the distance. The top clubs this season seem to have lost the consistency to move up. City were happily languishing in top spot when the season began, now they have fallen down the pecking order to second place. Arsenal should have been leading the pack, yet they too have fallen down to fourth place. The biggest shock is Chelsea, who are in 15th place right now. They have not lost so badly since 1970.
Let’s hope for a more positive result for Arsenal this weekend. We want to see more goals, and goals by the Gunners, obviously. More news at the Barclay’s Premier League official website.