As the Premier League resumes this weekend following a two-week worldwide break, followers will not be in need of debating factors after the opening salvos of the marketing campaign. You might argue that it is all going with the shape guide, as title favorites Manchester City lead the early standings with promoted Burnley and Luton Town each pointless and filling the underside two positions within the league desk.
But who thought Spurs would race into second place whereas moneybags Newcastle United — who completed fourth final season — could be languishing in 14th place?
Yet a lot can change between now and subsequent May. So what are the burning questions forward of the weekend restart?
Can any membership dethrone Manchester City?
Probably not. City have gained the primary 4 video games of the season, with Erling Haaland the league’s prime scorer with six objectives. Frighteningly, they’ve but to hit their finest kind. Indeed, they wanted a late Rodri objective to beat promoted Sheffield United.
It is feasible the lack of Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gündogan’s objectives from final season — who left Manchester for Saudi Pro League membership Al-Ahli and LaLiga’s Barcelona respectively — and the damage to Kevin De Bruyne would possibly catch them up, however Pep Guardiola’s workforce nonetheless look a minimize above some other aspect within the league. Full of confidence, a visit to West Ham is a big check on Saturday, however one you’d count on City to move.
Is the Liverpool revival actual?
It’s too early to say, however conserving Mohamed Salah (188 objectives in 309 video games) away from his suitors in Saudi Arabia reinforces their problem after an unbeaten begin to the marketing campaign. The wonderful win at Newcastle, once they got here from one objective all the way down to win with two late Darwin Núñez objectives, spoke of a spirit and resilience that had maybe gone lacking for some time. And Liverpool’s clean-sheet, 3-0 win over a harmful Aston Villa made one thing of an announcement.
Questions stay over defensive lapses, however to date Liverpool live with that downside and nonetheless prevailing. With a new-look midfield (Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo) and loads of firepower, supervisor Jurgen Klopp might really feel he has a workforce able to cashing in on any slips from Manchester City.
Can Tottenham proceed to be the shock workforce of the season?
For Spurs, it has been a spectacular begin with 10 factors out of a potential 12, and it appears new supervisor Ange Postecoglou is already a cult determine amongst Tottenham followers, who’d grown so uninterested in watching the turgid soccer served up underneath Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte.
Even with out the goal-scoring machine that’s Harry Kane, who left for Bayern Munich this summer season, they’ve rattled in a league-leading 11 objectives. James Maddison is offering the artistic spark and Son Heung-min’s hat-trick at Burnley may be the springboard for a return to higher instances for the South Korea worldwide.
However, Tottenham want to exchange Kane correctly in January to maintain their problem for long-overdue silverware. While that course of performs out, they’re a workforce value watching, and it is going to be fascinating to see whether or not their new adventurous method — affectionately referred to as “Ange Ball” — can move harder assessments forward.
Can Arsenal be title contenders once more?
The Gunners go to Everton on Sunday on the again of that dramatic late win over Manchester United. Mikel Arteta’s workforce are solely two factors off the tempo and are aching to atone for his or her fade-out final season, once they let an eight-point lead slip within the ultimate weeks. But therein lies a danger: At instances, Arsenal have regarded virtually too fired-up, taking part in at such a excessive depth that you simply marvel if they’re going to burn out at enterprise finish of the season.
There are different questions, too: Will Arteta, who has change into one thing of a tinkerer together with his lineups, suppose himself out of the title? And is Kai Havertz the workforce’s weak hyperlink? Bottom line: Arsenal will want a bit more than they’ve proven to date to remain the tempo on the prime.
Dawson: Man United will again Ten Hag’s choice on Sancho
Rob Dawson explains the scenario between Jadon Sancho and Erik ten Hag following their public fallout.
What is fallacious with Manchester United?
Quite loads. For some cause, they’ve began the season wanting undercooked and passive, whereas the problems surrounding Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho and Antony have solely added to the unsettled vibe at Old Trafford. A house recreation with a assured Brighton on Saturday is hardly the type of fixture they want proper now, however successful it would assist supervisor Erik ten Hag kick-start the workforce’s season.
Defensive midfielder Sofyan Amrabat, on mortgage from Serie A membership Fiorentina, will deliver a lot wanted solidity and power to the midfield offering his again damage clears up rapidly. United began final season badly and recovered to complete within the prime 4, however it is going to be tougher this time on the proof to date.
Has the Newcastle bubble burst?
No. But they’ve momentarily misplaced their method after a 5-1 win over Villa on the opening day, shedding three in a row. The freakish defeat to Liverpool in a recreation they’d been dominating has clearly dented their confidence. A house recreation with Brentford on Saturday can be no simple rehabilitation mission.
Adding to the intrigue: Newcastle journey to AC Milan on Tuesday for his or her first Champions League marketing campaign for the reason that 2003-04 season. A win away might revive their spirits throughout.
Are Chelsea going to return good?
There are more comings and goings at Stamford Bridge nowadays than at Heathrow Airport. Somewhere amid all of the participant transfers, new supervisor Mauricio Pochettino is making an attempt to construct a workforce and a sample of play that may deliver again the great instances. In cameos, there have been some promising indicators, however the 0-1 residence defeat by Nottingham Forest was a reminder that Chelsea are a workforce in transition.
Most of all, they should get their captain Reece James match once more. With him on one flank and Ben Chilwell on the opposite, they’ve the premise of attacking workforce. It would possibly take till the New Year till all of the transferring elements gel.
How concerning the relegation scrap?
There are a number of groups struggling within the first month to make the relegation image look extraordinarily crowded. Burnley, so dominant in successful the Championship final season to earn promotion, have began with three losses at residence. Manager Vincent Kompany might must tweak their daring method as a result of they appear too fragile within the prime flight.
Luton are additionally pointless from three matches and wish one thing from Saturday’s journey to Fulham. The different promoted workforce, Sheffield United, look a bit higher geared up to compete now that they’ve signed striker Cameron Archer and creator Gustavo Hamer.
Wolves’ lack of ability to attain is more likely to hold them in worry of the drop, whereas relegation-threatened Everton would possibly enhance with Beto and Arnaut Danjuma giving them more attacking chunk. Plus, Everton have Jack Harrison and Dwight McNeil ready so as to add further thrust from the wings.