English Premier League Race Heating Up
We're now halfway thru the EPL season and things are really starting to heat up at the top of the table where we find six teams battling for the title of becoming the EPL champions for 2016-17 season.
After mid-week action on Wednesday night, all the top teams, except for Arsenal, managed to bag three points to keep pace with each other. The Gunners, however, wasted a golden chance to keep sole possession of second place by losing 2-1 to Everton.
Chelsea extend their first place lead to six points by narrowly defeating Sunderland, 1-0, on a goal by the Spaniard Cesc Fabregas. After a slow start, Chelsea have managed to find their form lately, with no signs of letting up. New Manager Antonio Conte has his men organized and motivated.
Liverpool's new Manager Jurgen Klopp has also managed to turn around the underachieving club with an attacking brand of football, mixed with discipline and spirit, not seen for a long time at the prestigious club. They are currently in second place, six points behind leaders Chelsea, after a convincing win against Middlesbrough.
Arsenal are now tied for second with Liverpool on 34 points, following their defeat against Everton. The Gunners had not lost an EPL match since opening day. The 14 match unbeaten streak came to an end Wednesday night, right after learning that they drew Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Tough week for Arsene Wenger's men, who need to stay healthy and consistent to remain in the title race...and not finish 4th.
After a strong start to the season, Manchester City have cooled off a bit lately, with mixed results in recent weeks. The Sky Blues are only one point behind second place Arsenal and Liverpool, after their 2-0 win over Watford. New manager Pep Guardiola has had the same effect on his player's morale as Conte and Klopp, bringing confidence and energy to a team that is trying to make the next step in Europe.
Meanwhile, The Spurs are still in the picture, after a largely successful campaign in the previous season. Tottenham smashed Hull 3-0 to keep pace with the big boys, but it will be a tall order for them to actually win the EPL. A top four finish and a place in next year's Champions League, is a more realistic target.
Finally, our old buddy Jose Mourinho with his billion dollar lineup are starting to find their form and creep up on the league leaders. Yes, they are 13 points behind top of the table Chelsea, but it is a long season. If they can keep this recent momentum, they could very well be a factor for the title race. Don't count Manchester United out just yet.
There is still a lot of football(soccer) to be played, especially over the holiday break, where there's always a heavy dose of matches. Injuries and transfers will also factor in to the equation, but the EPL title race is shaping in to a six team free for all.
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