Premier League football takes a temporary pause as the international break takes centre stage.
It has been only four games into the Premier League and it feels like we have a little bit of insight to how the season will turn out.
It’s been a start to the season that had seen many teams impress as well as disappoint but our main focus will be on last season’s top six.
We take a look at the would-be challengers for the title and how they have started the new season.
Current Position: 2nd
The champions have begun their quest for three in a row as they mean to go on.
They have once again been at their relentless best so far this season, sweeping aside all before them. Even in their draw against Tottenham, they were dominant throughout and unfortunate not to get maximum points from that match.
Among the top six so far, the Citizens have scored the most goals with 14 and have an in-form Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne who top the goals and assists charts with 6 goals and 5 assists respectively.
The Belgian looks like he wants to make up for lost time this season after missing so much of the last one and so far his form has been scary.
Raheem Sterling did not score last game but already he has scored 5 times. David Silva’s 4 assists already this season and we are out here wondering why exactly the Spaniard wants to leave us.
Defensively, they have kept 2 clean sheets and are the only side among the big six to keep more than one clean sheet heading into the international break.
The injury sustained by Aymeric Laporte will be a big blow as it looked like a bad one that could rule the Frenchman out for several months if he’s unlucky.
He is arguably the second-best defender in the league behind Virgil Van Dijk and with there being minimal cover in that position, City may struggle defensively although that remains to be seen with John Stones scheduled to be fully fit after the international break.
Manchester City will be hoping to build on such an amazing start to their title defence and continue their winning ways when they travel to Norwich in two weeks time.
Current position: 1st
The second horse Liverpool are league leaders on a record-breaking winning streak that stretches all the way back to last season.
They have scored 12 goals this season and have conceded only 3, level with second-placed City in that regard.
The front three of Salah, Mane and Firmino have been responsible for 7 of their goals with Salah as the top scorer. Trent Alexander-Arnold along with Mohammed Salah and Roberto Firmino leads the team’s assist charts with 2 assists each.
Last match there was a misunderstanding on the pitch regarding Mane an Salah and the fans will hope it was not as serious as it looked on Sunday.
Last season ended with the disappointment of them finishing one point behind Manchester City.
Now, they would have learned their lesson and will want to continue on their ruthless form if they are to take the title away from the blue half of Manchester.
Current Position: 11th
Not exactly the start new Chelsea Boss Frank Lampard would have hoped for this season.
They have failed to keep a clean sheet so far this season, shipping in 9 goals(4 of those coming against Manchester United) and scoring only 6.
5 points from 4 games mean they also sit in the bottom half of the table at 11th place.
Going forward, their football has been good in general and great in flashes but their defending still casts a cloud of doubt regarding how they can successfully achieve their goals this season.
The emergence of Mason Mount and recent goal-scoring form of Tammy Abraham serves as the positive in Chelsea’s season.
Chelsea’s main task at the moment will be how to keep their intensity throughout the full 90 minutes as they have struggled to do so especially against the better teams they played against this season.
They had both Manchester United and Leicester City on the ropes early on but they couldn’t keep up the intensity for the full game and came away with one point in those two games.
It’s obvious that Lampard wants to play a high-intensity style of play but his team needs to find the balance during games and shore up things defensively.
Antonio Rudiger’s return from injury after the international break will be very welcome as he is the best defender on the team and will surely bring some stability to the already faltering backline that lacks confidence.
Current Position: 9th
It’s been an uncharacteristic start from Tottenham this season.
A team that is built on togetherness and team spirit was suddenly labelled ‘unsettled’ by the manager.
The most stable defensive team in recent years has not kept a clean sheet this season.
One of the best offences of recent memory has struggled to break down defences.
If anything the past four games had taught us, it was that Christian Eriksen’s durability over the years is a blessing in disguise for Spurs because they were uninspiring when he was not on the pitch.
The difference in quality between when Eriksen plays and when he does not is so glaring and at the same time bothersome given that he might be on his out of the Club very soon.
Their encouraging performance against Arsenal along with the return to form of Son Heung-Min and recovery of Dele Alli from injury potentially means a renaissance by the team after the international break.
Current position 5th
Maybe 5th position at this stage means something.
The Gunners’ results at the start of this season will not come as a shock to all.
Defensively, they were tipped to struggle which they have done so far. They have only kept a clean sheet in their first four games, conceding 6 goals in the process.
Offensively, they have scored 6 goals and have played a lot of good stuff in the process. The team in genre
League Position: 8th
Rounding up the top six sides is Manchester United. The Red Devils’ start to the season could be seen as ineffective as well as unfortunate.
They won 4-0 against Chelsea on matchday one and fans went into meltdown. It resulted not be the case for United.
That win followed a draw against Wolves, a home loss against Crystal Palace and another draw away to Southampton.
Their performances in those draws left a lot to be desired by the team.
When attacking, they did not carve out enough clear cut chances and when defending, they looked solid most times but also seemed to have a mistake in them.
United could have also felt that their start to the season would have been much different if they had a little bit of luck.
Missed penalties against Wolves and Crystal palace cost them at least four points but at the end of the day, you got to tuck your chances away which they did not and now face the consequences.
On the positive side, new signings Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire have come in and made an impact defensively. Asides Liverpool and Manchester City, they have succeeded the fewest goals among the rest of the top six (4).
Daniel James has also been a star turn in the team. 3 goals from 4 games so far this season has seen the young Welshman impress early on for his new Club. If he continues in this vein, he might become an inspired signing by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
After the international break, they play a tough Leicester outfit who are good at playing away from home. It will definitely be United’s toughest test thus far in a game where victory will be paramount.
Last season’s top 6 clubs have gone into the international break with different things to address be it offensively or defensively.
For some, one or the other needs to be addressed, for others it is a matter of keeping the momentum and making progress.
This season might be another two-horse race for the title with Liverpool and City leading everyone else.
The rest of the big six needs to at least make them feel uncomfortable in the title race as well as make sure the battle for the top four spots remains between them in order to maintain that gulf in class between them and the rest of the League.