Four teams have won their first three Premier League matches and three of those are live on television this week. The clash between the home team in Watford and Tottenham could decide the league leaders if Liverpool drop points at Leicester in the early Saturday live game. Manchester City look home bankers against Newcastle and Arsenal should win on the road against Cardiff.
It is rare to have so many teams with maximum points after three sets of fixtures. Indeed seven teams are unbeaten and West Ham are the only team who have not picked up a point. Even at this early stage the season looks like being more competitive. Manchester City won the title by 19 points in 2017/18 and had the league won by Christmas. Liverpool and Chelsea are in good shape to give the champions a run for their money and Tottenham also look like potential contenders.
Liverpool have never won the Premier League and have not been champions of England since 1989/90. They have had the odd window of opportunity over the last 25 years but not got across the line. This squad looks like the strongest they have assembled in the Premier League era and they could be top dogs in England again. Liverpool were the biggest spenders in the summer but making up such a huge gap with Manchester City could be beyond them this season.
Without fear of contradiction Leicester City will not win the Premier League again in the modern era of vastly wealthy clubs. However, if they beat Liverpool at home they could be in the top four, depending on other results. The halcyon days of winning the league and playing in the Champions League are in the past but Leicester can establish themselves in the second band of clubs. They are a level below the major city superpowers but good enough to avoid relegation. They can prove that point with a home draw against Liverpool this weekend.
Watford have picked up maximum points from three matches and are currently in a Champions League qualifying position. The fixture list has been kind and the home match against Tottenham is the first meeting with a side with the resources to finish in the top eight. You can only beat the teams put in front of you but the bubble should burst against Spurs. There were no notable arrivals at Watford during the summer and staying in the league is their main objective so the fans must enjoy their heady position because it won’t last long.
As much as the Manchester United defence was leaky Tottenham were impressive in winning 3-0 at Old Trafford in Monday Night Football. The post match talk was all about Jose Mourinho’s future but maybe there should have been more focus on the other manager and what he is achieving. Mauricio Pochettino could succeed Mourinho at United but for now he can lead Tottenham to another win on the road, against Watford. Three points could take the club to the top of the table.
There are two ways of looking at Manchester City’s draw at Wolves. On the one hand you could say the champions were average or you could identify that Wolves are a decent outfit at this level. The latter is nearer the mark and City can get back to winning ways with a high-scoring win at home against Newcastle. The Geordies have not won a match yet this season and Rafa Benitez is unhappy with Mike Ashley. The owner spent £90 million on the House of Frazer but has not given Benitez funds to make Newcastle fit for purpose. City could expose their limitations.
Cardiff were everybody’s tip for an immediate drop back into the Championship and they look an average outfit for the top division. Arsenal will require time to adapt to the new manager and this could be a slow process. However, they can win their second fixture in succession after two defeats but there will be much tougher assignments in the future because Cardiff look destined for a swift return to the second tier. Liverpool or Manchester City will win the league.