Just four games into the new Premier League season, we’re no nearer knowing who will lift the title by the time the 2012-13 season draws to a close in May. However, the games that have taken place so far hint at how much (or little) progress each team will make in the coming weeks and months. Defending champions Manchester City have had a mixed start, while Manchester United have done ok to begin with, demolishing Wigan 4-0 in their most recent match.
Although there’s no knowing what will happen for the next 34 rounds of games, it seems likely that the two Manchester Clubs, not to mention European Champions Chelsea and their new-look midfield and Arsenal will be duking it out for the title, but what else could happen this season? There’s the battle for European places and the inevitable dogfight to avoid relegation, which may involve some surprising names such as Aston Villa and Sunderland as well as the newly-promoted trio of Southampton, Reading and West Ham.
Other contenders include strike partner Wayne Rooney, although he has struggled with injuries and is behind the Dutchman in the pecking order, Man City’s Argentine star Sergio Aguero and Newcastle’s PapissCisse, who was amazing since moving from SC Freiburg in January. However, some surprise names could challenge van Persie, Aguero et al. They include Sunderland’s Steven Fletcher, who has scored three goals since moving from relegated Wolves, Demba Ba from Newcastle, who has made a solid start this season and the unpredictable DimitarBerbatov, who left Man Utd for Fulham.
As for the sack race, it’s too early to say, although Tottenham’s Andre Villas Boas has struggled early on, showing that he hasn’t quite moved on from his disappointing spell in charge of Chelsea. Other than the Portuguese, it’s hard to pick anyone else under threat, but if they don’t start to pick up points soon, QPR’s big-spending Mark Hughes could also be up for the chop.