With the Premier well underway and heading into the customary September international break, a number of key talking points have already got us scratching our heads about preseason predictions.
Betting sites often set their odds early and we want to take a look at whether what they had ahead of the big kick off is still set in stone after three games played.
Arsenal are already out of Europe
The Gunners sit rock bottom of the league after three matches played, no goals scored, nine goals conceded and not a point chalked on the board. Mikael Arteta’s side are one of three sides alongside Norwich and Wolves who have to earn a single point so far.
It sticks out as Arsenal’s most unsuccessful start to a season for 67 years, but whether a managerial switch is set to take place any time soon, it’s looking like even a Europa League spot could be out of Arsenal’s reach.
They have now dropped to ninth in the pecking order behind local rivals Tottenham as well as Everton and West Ham in predictions for European places.
Spurs look set for a serious season
Arsenal weren’t the only side in north London looking – seemingly – to be in turmoil heading into this season. Wantaway striker Harry Kane has been tamed and will not be leaving, at least for this summer.
The England ace set to social media to declare his loyalty to the club, but Spurs have managed to register a perfect record largely without Kane’s input. Stalwart Heung Min-Son and the recent return of Dele Alli have helped Spurs to three consecutive 1-0 wins and they now sit pretty on top of the table.
Their hopes for next season in the Champions League are looking considerably healthier.
Moyes’s side hammers home intent
Shying away from his retractors, David Moyes has been a man reborn after fighting tooth and nail to get his side back into Europe. The West Ham faithful will have to fight on two fronts this season, such is the risk and reward of European football.
A drop off in form following the summer break has been the hallmark of middling sides who struggle for consistency, but that’s certainly not the case with this Scot’s side.
Impressive back to back games netting four goals have ferried the Hammers to second in the table. There’s no doubt they’ll drop points along the way but if they can keep their main producers well oiled they could be looking at another top six finish.
They remain one of the favourites for the Europa League and no wonder why, but will it derail their domestic ambitions?
Ronaldo raises the stakes
He’s yet to kick a ball, nor has he even set foot on English soil and the Portuguese has already been one of the main talking points of this Premier League season. One of Manchester United’s prodigal sons has now returned home and the five time Champions League winner is bound to have an impact.
The detractors and naysayers could well have their way when it comes to the question of whether Cristiano Ronaldo will be able to deliver a highly anticipated Premier League title to Old Trafford. However there’s no doubt it adds serious firepower to United’s ranks.
The odds have shifted in United’s favour since signing Ronaldo, despite lacklustre performances that cooled the kettle on their blistering opener against Leeds. The Portuguese could well make the difference, and he usually does.
Anfield stalemate breathes life into title race
There were plenty of talking points in what was arguably the first big hitter of the Premier League season. The battle of the shell suit-clad German managers complete with club caps was just one of the similarities to draw between two of England’s main title contenders.
A contentious affair it was, but ultimately the match ended up all square. It is a difficult task for many observers to separate the two sides, and an even harder one to call who is more likely to lift the trophy come the end of the season.