With the Premier League ‘big six’ taking a fair old battering from fans of all colours following the failed ‘European Super League’ suggestion, this year’s battle at the upper reaches of the English top flight table is quite intriguing.
Even though there have only been seven rounds of fixtures so far in 2021/22, an educated guess would say that the title will again either end up at the Etihad Stadium, Anfield, or Stamford Bridge and using Your Bonus Code to have a flutter on those three sides ultimately taking the prize would be a pretty safe bet.
However, granted we are at a very early stage of the year, Everton, Brighton and Hove Albion and Brentford are all tied on points with City and above accepted top six sides Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, so for braver fans, the odds are certainly more favourable there, even if you feel they are currently punching well above their weight – the question is, can they keep doing so.
Could 2021/22 see a similar sort of shake up to the league’s presumed finishing spots much in the way a remarkable Leicester City side swapped a relegation battle to storm to the title back in 2015/16?
They aren’t the only outside contenders at this early stage though.
West Ham United are enjoying a European adventure this year after their exploits last season and they are also only five points off top placed Chelsea, and although Aston Villa’s ambitious owners will want to see further improvement, they aren’t really spending to bridge the gap quickly – having pulled a transfer window profit over the summer following the sale of Academy talisman Jack Grealish for a whopping £100 million – but they are up there. As are Arsenal and Spurs.
The major disappointment so far in terms of ‘expectations’ would be Leicester’s own poor form, but there’s a lot of football still to be played in the year, so you wouldn’t rule them out of a top six battle come May.
There’s also another side to factor in now as well following this week’s developments. Newcastle United’s take over by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has raised plenty of eyebrows, particularly as journalists crunched a few Financial Fair Play numbers and came to the conclusion that Steve Bruce (more likely a new appointment) could have up to £190 million available in January before FFP becomes a question.
Newcastle have started the year incredibly poorly and sit in the relegation zone without a win, but but if they can close that gap ahead of January, with that kind of money to spend, their own fortunes could dramatically change in the second half of the season.
It could all lead to a very interesting and unexpected final few months.
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