Is the Premier League Title Race Already Over at the Beginning of November?
The 2017/18 Premier League season may only be 11 games old, but it’s hard to see how the early pacesetters, Manchester City, can be caught even at this early stage. Pep Guardiola’s side went into the November international break off the back of a 3-1 success against Arsenal with an eight-point cushion over their nearest rivals. Will anyone be able to catch the runaway leaders?
At the beginning of the campaign, Manchester City were positioned at the top of the betting to triumph in the top flight with champions Chelsea hot on their heels to chalk up back-to-back successes and the Citizens have so far proved more than worthy favourites. That pre-season price has shortened significantly over the first two months of the season in the online football betting on UK licensed betting website Guts, who are now pricing Pep’s side at 7/50 to finish top of the pile. Strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are also priced prominently positioned in the top goalscorer market with the latter netting seven times already this campaign, whilst the effervescent Aguero has eight in as many games.
City are playing some scintillating football and have blown sides away at times. Stoke were hit for seven at the Etihad back on October 14 as the leaders showed their ruthlessness, whilst their two-legged success over free-scoring Napoli in the UEFA Champions League laid down a true marker of their credentials this season.
It is perhaps a little too early to be handing Pep’s men the silverware, however there appear to be few sides who are consistent enough to catch them. Even with an eight point cushion, Manchester City can afford to lose one or two matches and still find themselves above the chasing pack. Only Everton have taken anything off them so far this campaign and their haul of 52 goals across the first 17 games in all competitions is a record and unlikely to be surpassed anytime soon.
Rivals Manchester United currently sit second in the Premier League and with Jose Mourinho in the dugout, many expected them to mount a challenge. The first Manchester derby of the season takes place in December and that could be City’s sternest Premier League test to date. The Red Devils haven’t been helped by midfielder Paul Pogba’s injury whilst the goals have dried up for £75million signing Romelu Lukaku, although he has been backed to rediscover his goalscoring touch by teammate Juan Mata.
Chelsea have played in fits and starts with Antonio Conte’s men beating Manchester United and Spurs but dropping points against Burnley and Crystal Palace. Arsenal are too far off the pace, whilst Spurs could lay down a challenge, but their early-season home form has gifted Manchester City a head start.
City have a number of hugely talented players and they have the financial clout to dip back into the market in January should they require reinforcements. Their spending power is part of the reason why they are such a short price for the title but it’s hard to see anyone being consistent enough to track them down. In previous seasons, the title race has been wide open until at least February but this year could be a hugely one-sided affair and City are only going to get stronger. Their rivals will be hoping that a prolonged Champions League campaign may cause them to take their eye off the ball but with a number of fringe players such as Ilkay Gundogan, Yaya Toure and Bernardo Silva desperate for games, it seems unlikely.
City are the real deal and they already look worthy Premier League champions. The title race isn’t decided in November but it’s hard to see them slipping up from this position and judging by their recent performances, they are showing no signs of slowing down.