The Premier League is back! But will it be a tale of two halves this season?
So after a busy festive period of Premier League fixtures and an FA Cup round, complete with two scorpion kick goals, the traditional Arsenal implosion and a John Terry red card to boot, the Premier League gets back underway this weekend with everyone on a level playing field having played 19 games. Chelsea sit comfortably at the top of the tree, still 5 points clear even in defeat to Spurs last week.
Who would have thought it too after their distinctly wobbly start under Antonio Conte at the beginning of the season? But alas, of the last 6 teams to be top at Christmas, 5 have gone on to hoist the trophy in May. Liverpool being the only anomaly in 13-14 after “the slip” from monsieur Gerrard, and a timely Dwight Gale hat-trick sealed the title for Manchester City, for all of you wanting the answer to a surefire future pub quiz question.
The obvious mouthwatering tie of the weekend is Manchester United vs Liverpool on Sunday afternoon. United will be looking to continue their 9 game winning run in all competitions which stretches back to the 4th December. The streak has seen them safely into the Europa League knockout rounds, the FA Cup 4th round and to 6th in the league table.
United beat a tame Hull 2-0 in their last outing in their EFL Cup Semi Final first leg, Liverpool on the other hand went down 0-1 to Southampton in the other Semi Final and could only scrape a 2-2 draw with Sunderland in their last league outing. United are the form team, but no doubt Liverpool will be eager to keep pace with Chelsea, who could be 8 points clear by the time the two sides kick-off on Sunday.
Speaking of Chelsea, the best of Saturday’s action could arguably come from the King Power stadium where Champions Leicester take on current leaders Chelsea. The tables have somewhat turned since last season, when Leicester were top and Chelsea found themselves in the bottom half still mourning the departure of Jose Mourinho. The Foxes lie in 15th this term after a hot and cold start to the season, and will be looking to jumpstart their season with a home win against a Chelsea side who will be looking to consolidate 1st place themselves.
Time to talk about the Chatter league, the piece la resistance of Fantasy Football leagues worldwide. Much like Chelsea, our league leader Stuart Eynon of Telefonica has weathered the Christmas fixture pile up and is still sitting pretty atop the table. That said however, what looked like a one horse race at the start of the season now looks like your favorite pair of jeans post Christmas, a bit tight! Less than 100 points now separate the top 6 in the league, so it’s anyone’s game.
Sky Betting & Gaming’s Matt Hughan is hot on Stuart’s tail in 2nd and was looking forward to the challenge when we spoke this week “Managing the team has been a great tactical battle all season. I’ll be pulling out all the stops to catch Stuart and I tell you what, I would love it if I beat him, LOVE IT!”.