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The 2017/18 season of the English Premier League has started off with all of England’s 20 top-flight clubs aiming to achieve their goals.
No side will be getting carried away by their points tally after 4 games into the season. Many coaches and staff personnel would now be having an idea as to who could possibly be do well from here and who would crumble under pressure.
While successes and failures will have a role to play in the journey of a professional team, many loyalists/experts like to bet on the odds of a particular club’s success.
Given the history of English football, there are now more teams than ever, competing for a place in the top four, along with increasingly challenging prospects of predicting which sides actually grab hold of those lucrative UEFA Champions League spots, year after year.
In the modern era of European football, where it is all about spending huge sums of money in acquiring fresher talents, managers sought to strengthen their squads in a wholesome manner. They know that having a strong starting XI alone isn’t always going to get them the desired results. Deep squads with quality reserve players have become a must in the priority list of the owners who leverage the market with their multi-million dollar demands.
Of all the teams expected to compete for a place in the top four, who is the most-equipped for the battle? Lets find out.
Leading at the top of the table after a really shoddy display of under-achievements last year, the advent of new signings and deeper squad strength has made Mourinho firmly resolute in guiding the club to the summit of English football and possibly European success too.
Red Devils have signed the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic, who have found their rhythm at Old Trafford and look settled now. Victor Linedlof was signed too, to increase their defensive strength. Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial have had an upsurge in form and they look more like themselves at their explosive best.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic wearing the number 10 jersey is a formidable prospect anywhere in the world and Marcus Rashford has a blistering scoring rate, and his average is better than most clubs’ goals combined. While their defence looks strong, having yet to concede a goal this season, Manchester United have quite easily the best attack in the Premier League going ahead. Why? Because they have scored 12 goals in 4 games already!
A squad rich in depth, the Blues boast of last season’s Premier League title under Conte. Chelsea’s title-winning chances and future cannot be overlooked at this very moment in spite of the issues that has hit them in spurts. Diego Costa‘s future has been an unnecessary distraction over the summer. However, club-record signing Alvaro Morata, who penned a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge, is more than capable of filling Costa’s boots.
Also, with the valuable addition of Danny Drinkwater in central midfield, Chelsea’s attack has strengthened, as Drinkwater’s partnership with former Leicester mate N’Golo Kante is exquisite, given that it won the Foxes their exclusive league title. With Willian, Pedro, Fabregas and the unstoppable Eden Hazard in the mix, Chelsea’s attack looks mouth-watering. Moreover, Michy Batshuayi is a quality back-up option for the Blues. With these players at the helm, Antonio Conte’s side looks up and ready to attack even the fiercest of teams in the league.
Arguably, one of the strongest squads in Europe, Pep Guardiola played with all of his wisdom this summer. Not being able to land Alexis Sanchez has hardly bothered Guardiola as he utilised Manchester City’s owner’s purse in acquiring a new goalkeeper, two full backs and an attacking midfielder. With the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and David Silva constantly picking the pockets of the opponents’ backline to set up a frequent flow of chances, Manchester City were at their clinical best in their 5-0 rout over Liverpool last Saturday.
City’s £43million man from Monaco, playmaker Bernardo Silva has consolidated Guardiola’s ranks and has taken the side’s attacking options to the next level. The conservative signing of Danilo has restored the balance in the team and Mendy/Walker add as crucial full-backs. Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva inflict some serious damage to the opposition when in sublime touch. Adding style and movement to their play is Fernandinho, who has made his mark this season so far.
Despite being second in the table behind city rivals Man United on goal difference, Pep Guardiola is in a situation quite like last season, where he won’t have it easy. But he will have to deliver silverware this season to save his job.
Easily, Manchester City’s attack is one of the best in the league right now.