Premier league round up
As we enter into the Christmas period, the premier league has thrown up some very interesting sporting events for us since the kick-off of the 2012-13 season. There are still a handful of games before we hit the end of December, but, normally, around this stage, the bottom three clubs are those that go down. This year could see that idea challenged. With the bottom three clubs being QPR, Reading and Southampton and eight points between bottom place QPR and seventeenth placed Aston Villa, the safe zone; it’s still all to play for. Up at the top, things are very much the same as last year with Man City and Man U breaking away from the rest. The big shock is West Brom holding a strong fourth place. Steve Clarke, manager of West Brom has shown he knows what he’s doing, but, will they be able to keep this good form going once we pass the New Year mark?
Southampton have been playing really good football in their first season back in the premier league in seven years, however, their attacking play has left them weak at the back, making conceded goals their main weakness, having the third lowest goal difference at minus ten. Recent form, losing one out of five games puts them in a much stronger position than any of those in the relegation zone or just above it, and I would expect to see them carry this form onto the new year, climbing the table quickly. They will, however, struggle when they come up against the power houses of the top four unless they are able to bolster their defence in the January transfer window.
Reading have shown bits and bobs of class, however, the consistency hasn’t been there landing them in the rut they find themselves in. McDermott, Manager of Reading has said he is the man for the job, but with one win in the last five, he has pressure on him to produce and pull them out of the drop zone. Their goal difference isn’t too bad, coming in at minus seven; they just appear to be struggling to score resulting in marginal defeats. They have enough about them to jostle mid table, they just need to hit consistency in performances.
The biggest disappointment of the season is Liverpool. Despite adopting Brendan Rodgers and his possession tactics, they have claimed just sixteen points from fourteen games and recorded a lousy three wins. What swings in their favour is, they have only lost four games, but, the draws they have come against opponents you would expect to see Liverpool walk over. Expect to see major movement in the team in the coming weeks as Brendan Rodgers attempts to find the winning formula.
Moving to the top of the table, just a point separates Man U and Man City, with both having strong performances after a sluggish start to the season. Man U have recorded more wins, however, do have more losses to their name, and it could be that Man City’s amount of draws play into their favour if Man U keep dropping points.
This table is still very much in limbo, with no one fixed in position and a lot of rejigging left to do. I don’t expect to see this year’s table tied up until March and even then, the margins will be tight with room for minor changes to come about.