There will be an unprecedented mid-season break in the Premier League to accommodate the 2022 World Cup and judging by the strength of Manchester City’s (3/10 Premier League outright) start, it appears they might be top by some margin when the major tournament in Qatar rolls around.
Although Arsenal currently top the Premier League table after six wins from seven, City have been extremely impressive so far and the addition of striker Erling Haaland appears to have boosted further what was already an incredible team.
The Norwegian has adapted to life in England seamlessly and is already well into double figures in all competitions – a frightening prospect for any team if he manages to continue.
City are unbeaten in seven matches and have scored 23 times already – any team that averages three per game over a long period is sure to be a title winner.
The battle for second is where the table might be the most interesting heading into the World Cup with the north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham (Arsenal 21/20, draw 5/2, Tottenham 23/10 – Match Betting) on Saturday potentially a crucial contest.
Both sides (Arsenal 4/9, Tottenham 4/9 – Top 4 Finish) have had strong starts to the season with Mikel Arteta’s Gunners desperate to get back into the Champions League.
Spurs under Antonio Conte are looking very strong this season and he has brilliant options to supplement Harry Kane up front with Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevksi, and Richarlison all proving strong components of the team.
Graham Potter drew his first match as Chelsea boss against RB Salzburg in the Champions League and at the minute, it is still unknown how well he will do at Stamford Bridge. A few wins to kick-start his Blues’ career will be gratefully received.
Then there are Liverpool and Manchester United. Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have had a poor start to the season, winning only two from six with big concerns over the fitness of many key players.
Klopp will be hoping that none of his players who go to Qatar come back with any problems, in a season which is already looking similar to that of 2020-21 when they were defending champions.
Manchester United have been improving under Erik Ten Hag but there are still questions that will need to be answered in the coming weeks – namely, how long will Cristiano Ronaldo be on the periphery and whether Ten Hag’s playing style will continue to work.
At the wrong end of the table, Leicester are in desperate need of wins to avoid entering the World Cup marooned at the bottom.
Brendan Rodgers’ side have lost six in a row and their next match is against 19th place Nottingham Forest (Leicester 8/11, draw 11/4, Nottingham Forest 16/5 – Match Betting) – whoever loses will be seriously fearing relegation.
Forest (Notts Forest 4/7, Leicester 13/8 – Relegation) signed 22 new players during the summer and it was always likely to be a difficult task to integrate them seamlessly. Where they end up before the World Cup will probably determine how smart a strategy it was.