06 January 2010

The most competitive Premier League yet

Some of the very first entries of this blog in 2003 were about football of the association kind (soccer to the yanks.) I have occasionally written about the sport on the blog but have not for a long time. Probably because I don't have any photos to go along with an entry.
Nonetheless, in the English Premier League we've got some fine competition this year. The usual suspects are at or near the top (ManU, Chelsea, Arsenal) but the league is not a one horse race.  A few other teams are poised to challenge the likes of the previous notably Aston Villa, Manchester City, Tottenham and yes, even Liverpool may be in the thick of the battle to top the table. 10 points separate 5th position City (and Aston Villa at 6th) from top Chelsea. ManU are 2 points off but Arsenal are 4 points off having only played 19 games thus far compared to the 20 the others have played. That's the numbers.
Although Chelsea will be without their top scorer Didier Drogba for almost a month, I doubt they will dip in form. However, they are beatable. So I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few draws in the next few weeks.
ManU will have many players returning from injury in the next weeks and so I suspect they will keep pace and may even surpass Chelsea. That is if they don't drop points to a hot Birmingham squad. Arsenal are a bit of a mystery since they have played fairly well without top mid-fielder Cesc Fabregas. Whether they gain any ground will depend on how well Fabregas returns to form. Tottenham are on a hot streak right now but the absence of Aaron Lennon in the midfield may make them vulernable but opposition isn't all that strong. Man City are having a revival of sorts since sacking their manager an installing a guy name Mancini. They actually are winning instead of drawing. If Mancini can keep City consistent and manage the big names they certainly have the depth for the title. Liverpool are probably due to improve but certainly need some players if they hope to even reach the European spots. Torres and Gerard have returned but are not in super form yet.
As for Aston Villa, getting some more scoring power up front may give them a boost. Villa has already beaten Chelsea and ManU this season.
Thankfully this season ESPN has carried some Premier League Matches. I watched Aston Villa defeat Chelsea and then caught most of Fulham's defeat of Hull. There isn't a whole lot of soccer on television stateside. There's an occasional MLS or US national team match on broadcast. Fox Sports has or had a whole channel that covered soccer. I think it may have dissolved. ESPN recently picked up some Premier League matches and I think will also show FA cup next season. 
Hopefully I have enlightened you a bit otherwise you can just read someone elses blog today.

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