Going into tonight’s game against London rivals, Tottenham, Chelsea have a 5 point advantage over second placed Liverpool along with this game in hand. After winning 13 straight games and looking to equal the league record of 14 (which is set by another London rival Arsenal), Chelsea are favoured by everyone to go and lift the title again after a disastrous year last year defending it. But in my unpopular opinion, I predict they will fail to lift the title, just like they will fail to beat rivals Tottenham tonight. Chelsea have had it all their way so far just like Leicester did last year, but with pivotal right wing-back Moses leaving them for the African Cup of Nations, Oscar leaving for a super wage boost and a tough run of fixtures to come, how will they react to losing their winning streak? If challengers can maintain pressure on the leaders then I think they will eventually crumble when teams figure out how to handle the 5-2-2-1 formation that Antonio Conte has masterfully developed. I still believe that Chelsea are not the best team in the league in terms of quality, and it only takes one Diego Costa red card, or one calamitous David Luiz mistake to break the unreal chemistry they have developed in the opening half of the season. However, in Chelsea’s favour, the rest of the targets have European football to also worry about (apart from Liverpool) which could play a factor depending on how far they go. So let’s assess the remainder of the targets… Firstly, Liverpool, they are undoubtedly the scariest attack to face. Despite their problems at the back, the attacking fire power they have when Phillipe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane are playing is too much for most teams to handle, they are the only team to win at Stamford Bridge this season which says a lot about them, even though this was before Conte’s magnificent tactical switch. With the injuries and loss of Sadio Mane, I believe that Liverpool will drop off of the title hunt eventually but still make top 4 and prepare for the next season, if Klopp is allowed to spend then I could see them winning the Premier League at least once over the next few years. In third place sit Manchester City, when all of their players are fit, they are the best side in the league in terms of quality and that is a fact. But so far, with the injuries and suspensions, Pep’s golden season has been spoiled with players also looking fatigued and disinterested with his overcomplicated tactics. I certainly would not write Manchester City and Pep Guardiola off though, with the quality that is on display, they most definitely have the pieces to put together a title run. In fourth place sit Arsenal, the biggest chokers of the game. Yet again, Arsenal will fail to make a realistic title run, just like they did last year when they were in the lead around February after defeating eventual champions Leicester. This is becoming embarrassing for Arsenal and frustration grows among the fans, especially knowing that star players Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are refusing to sign new contracts. Maybe it is time for Wenger to move on, so that a younger manager can come in and take a brilliant set of players to a realistic title run, Wenger has been an amazing manager, but the Arsenal supporters are losing trust in him every season after failing to contend for the Premier League and Champions League. Moving on, Tottenham now with a fully fit squad could make a real shout, but I don’t think they are ready quite yet, with the addition of a superstar this summer I think that they will have a better chance next season as their young side continuously gets better under mastermind Mauricio Pochettino. The last contender is Manchester United, after finally finding their feet under Jose Mourinho, they have put an unbeaten run of 13 games together and look a formidable force. The problem with this is that they at 10 points off the lead and will struggle to keep up with the top of the league as games go on, they will need to keep up their form if they want to keep their noses within a chance of the title.
So after assessing all realistic contenders, who do you think will win the Premier League? Currently, I am unsure on who I think will be the eventual champions but in all honesty I do see the favourites Chelsea slipping up, starting tonight against Tottenham.