The Premier League is well and truly back and, after just two weeks, we’ve seen upsets aplenty. From Burnley’s opening day defeat of the reigning champions to Huddersfield Town and West Bromwich Albion being two of only three perfect teams thus far.
Despite the surprises, the opening weeks have revealed plenty about how the top teams are set-up and how far they’re expected to go this season. With Everton very much knocking on the door, there may even be an elite group of seven teams competing for the top four, but two clubs in-particular look set to lead the charge.
United and City pulled ahead early
After a strong summer of signings, Manchester United and Manchester City came into the season as the top two teams to win the Premier League by the bookies. City were favoured by a long way at the end of last season, with bookmakers anticipating a big summer of spending and a more Guardiola-esque squad to be formed. That came to fruition but Manchester United signed three major players to boost their team, which has pulled them very close to their neighbours in the odds.
After United won their first two games very convincingly, they have come within touching distance of their rivals in the betting odds, which has been aided by City’s rocky start. It will all come down to the consistency of the Red Devils and how they recover from adversity, or how quickly the Citizens can forge a winning formula that can overcome all Premier League foes. So, as of right now, either would make a good use of a free bet to win the league from the SkyBet betting page. SkyBet has a weekly Super 6 tournament that provides regular betting opportunities too.
While the Manchester clubs lead in the odds and opinions of many pundits, they aren’t without their problems. So, what are their weaknesses, and how to do they compare to the other title rivals?
Without a perfect contender
Manchester United’s glaring issue is their defence. Left-back looks a shambles, and the centre-back situation could do with a touch of class. However, Nemanja Matic in midfield, as well as Jose Mourinho’s defensive tactics, seems to have helped to keep those problems under wraps. If Romelu Lukaku goes down injured, however, United will need a star-studded back-up to compensate – which they may get in Zlatan Ibrahimovic quite soon.
In the blue half of Manchester, City did well to patch some of the holes in their defence but, while they did improve on the woeful goalkeeping of Claudio Bravo, Ederson doesn’t look to be the assured presence that the team needs. But, hopefully, he grows into the role quickly to become a top-class goalie.
Liverpool’s defence and goalkeeping tandem is possibly the worst of the top-six or even the top-seven for that matter and, unfortunately, it doesn’t look to be improved with their primary transfer target as Southampton have further confirmed that Virgil van Dijk is staying. The three London clubs, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur are in need of reinforcements if they wish to compete in the Premier League and Europe as all three lack strong depth in various areas of the pitch.
All teams have their needs and they will all succumb to unexpected results down the line but so far Manchester United have impressed the most. It’s too early to call, but the battle of the Manchesters looks to be key in the title race.