Is writing an article two weeks into the season with season-long predictions bold? You might say that, but why not discuss some exciting and disappointing team starts? There are plenty of surprising results, both good and bad, that have occurred. A few blowouts, plenty of draws, and some upset wins happened in the first 20 matches. So what have we learned thus far?
Manchester City Will Win The League By A Fair Margin
We may only be two weeks into the season, but the sheer dominance that City has shown is enough for me to see them as clear title favorites and winners this season. Six points from the first two games are great, but the depth City possesses cannot be matched in world football. Six goals through two games, two clean sheets, and not many real chances from either West Ham or Bournemouth. Now neither of those teams are world beaters, but City was in control at all times. Think about the fact that their substitutions this week include Jack Grealish, John Stones, Bernardo Silva, and Julian Alvarez, all players that would start for almost every other team in England right now. If an injury or two occurs with Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, or Chelsea they will struggle to replace them. Manchester City is not in that predicament and that is why City will win the title with ease. The question is if they will finally perform in Europe.
Arsenal Are Top 4 Contenders
If you watched Arsenal against Leicester City or Crystal Palace you had to be impressed with what you saw. Now Palace missed their fair share of chances and Leicester potted a few of their own. In fact, Crystal Palace had 56% of the possession in that game and it was 50/50 possession with Leicester But the addition of Gabriel Jesus has been massive. You can tell right away that his addition has upped the quality in the final third of the pitch. Now the back four still is a bit of a concern for me, but Arsenal may simply outscore most teams. Factor in that Chelsea, Tottenham, and Liverpool have all dropped points early and this team is in a great spot. Expectations are high on Mikel Arteta to get into the Champions League. If he is unable to deliver now with all the progress the club has made in the transfer window perhaps he is not the man for the job.
Chelsea Need To Add A Striker Or Chance Creator
Three goals in two games might make people think I am crazy for this statement. Look at the quality of goals though. A fair, but still questionable, penalty shout versus Everton. Then a defender scoring off of a corner, and a wide-open defender goal as well. Now, this is not a hit the panic button on Chelsea type of criticism. The midfield and backline are still great to watch, but just signing Raheem Sterling up front was not enough. Unless Kai Havertz decides to find his inner non-EPL Lukaku, this team needs more on the attacking front. Thomas Tuchel needs to focus less on celebrating up and down the sideline and more on creating quality chances. The potential link of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would be huge in addressing those issues. If that does not happen until the January window though Chelsea will search for goals at times, despite dominating possession in almost every match they suit up for.
Man United Are Not A Top 6 Club
There is no way through two matches that you can tell me that United is even a Europa League side next season. Six goals were given up, just a lone, and very fortunate, goal to show for their efforts. The Erik Ten Haag era is not off to a flying start. Now par of it is on him , attempting to play his style without the personnel to do so. Part of it though is on the club for not doing enough in the transfer window to get said personnel for him. United fans who did not see this coming are naive (fellow United fan but non-believer here). Relying on an aging Cristiano Ronaldo to steal results and thinking Harry Maguire could find out how to control the play on the back end is foolish. Marcus Rashford still has no touch around the goal and Fred continues to play too far up the field in his role. United may be a 7th or 8th place side, but likely will remain bottom after the Liverpool game on Monday
Everton Will Fight For Relegation Once Again
If you watched Frank Lampard's side the first two matches then you are a better man than me. The Toffee's inability to create chances is difficult to watch for a club that was once considered a top half Premier League side. Relying on Demarai Gray, Anthony Gordon, and Dwight McNeil to score when they have just 21 combined goals in 316 Premier League Appearances is just sad. Dele Alli is a far cry from the youngster that starred alongside Harry Kane at Tottenham as well. Now Everton survived by four points last season but had a -23 goal differential. The only hope for Everton this season is if they are able to hang on for more draws than they did a year prior. They were 3rd worst in the league with 21 losses and just six draws. This may be Lampards last year at the club and if may not entirely be his fault given the personnel he is coaching.