Which Teams Still Have a Shot at the Premier League Title?

Can Kompany regain his past form to help City win the title?
Can Kompany regain his past form to help City win the title? /

With the Premier League season about to restart after the horror that is International Break, now is a great time to stop and take stock of the title race. Unlike recent years, this season’s race for the top is still wide open. Last year’s champion, Chelsea, is in disarray and each of the top teams have looked exceedingly vulnerable at times. Without further delay, here are the clubs that still have a shot at the title and what they’ll need to raise the trophy. Order of mention is based solely on their current table position.

1. Manchester City– At times City look to be the dominant class of the EPL. At other times, they look like a club that should hope to avoid relegation. Nonetheless, they currently top the table and are the current favorites. To win the title, they need to sure up their defense in front of keeper Joe Hart. Vincent Kompany must rediscover his form of two years ago and Nicolas Otamendi must prove to be a reliable partner. Otherwise, City will have to rely on its prolific offense to outscore opponents. I don’t think they can pull that off throughout an entire season so their title run will come down to finding a consistent centre back pairing.

2. Arsenal– As a Spurs fan, it pains me to say this, but the Gunners may finally be able to reach the pinnacle this season. Alexis Sanchez has been amazing up top and Petr Cech, aside from his opening game nightmare, has solidified them at the back. Their title hopes will rest on finding a healthy midfield combination. Jack Wilshere has a knack for getting hurt at just the wrong time for Arsenal so Francis Coquelin  must find a high level of form to compensate. If Arsene Wenger can find a strong midfield to protect his exciting attack he may finally shut Piers Morgan up for good.

3. Manchester United– United has been able to stay near the top of the table without actually playing all that well. They’ve gotten good results despite quite a few roster problems. The midfield pairing of Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger seems repetitive and unathletic, Wayne Rooney might be England’s most criticzed star and Chris Smalling leads a largely anoymous backline. Louis Van Gaal must be a top notch manager because he’s been able to keep this very flawed side in the title race. The key for their title hopes will be adding the right players in January. If they can do that, along with playing Morgan Schneiderlin regularly in midfield, they might just pull it off.

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4. Tottenham– No, I didn’t forget about the likes of West Ham, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Everton. They just don’t have a chance at the title. On the other hand, Tottenham does have a puncher’s chance at ending their trophy drought. The collective ethic of the club under gaffer Mauricio Pochettino seems to be taking hold and the team is performing at a level that exceeds their individual quality. The biggest key for Spurs will be getting enough production from up top. Harry Kane is not in good form to start the year and the options behind him are unproven at best. If Kane could get on a run of form similar to last year then the sky is the limit for the original North London side.

5. Liverpool– While the optimism of Anfield fans over new boss Jurgen Klopp has reached insane levels, they are still in the title race. They must receive an immediate boost in form based on their charismatic manager and Daniel Sturridge must catch fire. If those two things happen, the magic of Anfield might be enough to reverse the horrible memories of Steven Gerrard’s slip. They are the biggest long shot on the list, but they still have an opportunity.

Another notable omission from this list is Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. They don’t appear on the list because I think they are already too far back to mount a serious title challenge. Their energy will be taxed enough trying to qualify again for Champions League without concerning themselves with silverware.

Think your club should be on the list? Believe my Tottenham bias motivated by Spurs inclusion? Let me know in the comments field below.