Every year the season kicks off and we watch the games played counter creep up. There are surprise results (West Ham in the Top 4) and there are the normal state of affairs (Chelsea and Manchester City at the top) and the truly bizarre (Newcastle move relegation to Europe with a few wins on the bounce) and finally there is the slow formation of the table into something that starts to make sense. Teams are drifting into position and trends are beginning to set. Away form, home form, lack of goalscoring, defensive frailties, all have taken off their masks to reveal themselves.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is the weekly feeling that this is the week that Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool will turn things around and the week that Southampton will continue to stay high up the table.
Even without having a World Cup in Qatar during the winter this year things are going to be thrown up and mixed up.
Take Southampton, as an example, they have 11 games in 42 days and it starts this week with Manchester City, Arsenal, and Manchester United (unfortunately, I still consider them a decent team). They are playing 11.29.2014 and 12.03.2014 which is quick turnaround but nothing like the Crystal Palace and Chelsea on 12.26.2014 and 12.28.2014. This period clearly favors the larger squads and is one of the reasons that being in the bottom 3 now doesn’t bode well. It also favors teams that don’t get mixed in other events – Liverpool have s similar schedule with the Milk Cup (which I recommend they try and win) and Champions League games thrown in as well.
Seems that the team that will benefit will be Manchester United, and oh how I hate that.