Clubs have played only three matches each in the 2017-18 Premier League, so it’s still far too early to attempt to draw any conclusions.
But given that we won’t see more league play until September 9th, it’s not a bad time to stop and look at how things have started in the EPL. Here we’re going to look at a few common preseason predictions and see how they’re panning out so far.
Manchester City As Champions
This was the popular prediction, not only in the betting odds but among sports pundits as well. While Manchester United had some picks, and some saw Chelsea hoisting the trophy, Man City was by and large projected as the class of the 2017-18 EPL.
Again, it’s far, far too early to make any sort of sweeping judgment; Man City may well end up winning the league this year, and certainly has the talent to do so.
But it might be fair to at least say it’ll be closer than the high volume of Man City predictions made it seem it might be.
This is looking to be a very competitive league at the top, with Man Utd., Liverpool, and Man City off to similarly strong starts. Chelsea will be in the mix, and Arsenal can’t possibly be as bad as it’s looked. Man City may still be a logical long-term favourite, but not a clear-cut one.
Tottenham As A Contender
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who predicted the Spurs would win the Premier League this season, but plenty of people tabbed them for top-five contention and a possible Champions League berth.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 27, 2017
Thus far, Tottenham has not looked up to snuff however. An early loss to Chelsea is forgivable, but the recent draw with Burnley is a little deflating in a league in which early momentum can matter quite a bit.
Harry Kane For The Golden Boot
We’re only about four months removed from Tottenham’s Harry Kane winning the Golden Boot, and plenty expect him to do the same this season.
Indeed, depending on where you might look for betting odds, you may have seen him as the outright favourite to do so, though Romelu Lukaku was also a popular pick among the oddsmakers.
Thus far, however, Kane has been held scoreless in three matches, meaning he has some ground to make up if he’s to match the predictions. Lukaku, incidentally, has played very well for Man Utd., and leads the league along with Liverpool’s own Sadio Mané with three goals to this point.
Dele Alli For Young Player Of The Year
There are a lot of exciting young talents in the league right now, but as one preseason overview summed it up, Dele Alli would be the frontrunner for the award in the eyes of many. So far this is looking like the most accurate major preseason prediction.
— Dele (@dele_official) August 13, 2017
He’s scored twice in three matches for the Spurs and its largely picking up Kane’s slack in the early going. Marcus Rashford has impressed for in-form Man Utd. As well, but Alli looks to still be the favourite for this award.
Arsene Wenger For The Sack
He signed an extension last spring, but Wenger seems to be perpetually at the top of discussions about EPL managers who could get the sack.
It’s not because Arsenal hasn’t been a solid upper half Premier League team for the bulk of his tenure, but rather because they’re supposed to be better than that, and have arguably had the talent to be. If the Gunners don’t right the ship quickly, this could finally be the season the prediction comes true.
This could all look quite different in another month or two. But for now this is about where we stand on some major, common predictions.