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Is There a Top 6 in the Premier League Anymore?

Does a top 6 still exist?
Liverpool's James Milner (left) celebrates scoring a penalty during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

The top six of the Premier League has comprised Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur for the past three seasons and while the gap is more prominent now, the dominance goes back to City’s financial prowess. But this season, there could be a chance that the gap between the Big Six could become bigger and disappear altogether. While it’s hard to imagine which two clubs will miss out on a Champions League spot, the conclusion to 2018/19 gave suggestions as to who might tumble. If you’re a betting man, here are today’s tips for football, this can sometimes give us a clear indication of where each team will finish at the end of the season.

Manchester City and Liverpool are expected to stay ahead of the rest, but how do the other clubs fare and do they have a realistic chance of breaking the order at the top of the league? Eden Hazard contributed to half of Chelsea’s league goals in his final season with the club yet talks surrounding Lampard and transfer bans have overlooked this fact. With much of their attack reliant on the star, they may well struggle to get through this season with as much success. The club has a lot of exciting young prospects who, given the opportunity, could well give fans an exciting season ahead but will they reverse Chelsea’s decline? 

Problems at Old Trafford have placed a huge question mark over the club’s application and ability to perform. It seems as though the desired players no longer see Manchester United as a dream destination. Arsenal, on the other hand, are the favourites to finish sixth thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, if they simply tighten up their finishing. However, they’re dealing with a poor defence and limited funds to fix it, as well as a loss of Aaron Ramsey’s much-needed drive. 

With any or all of the Big Six at risk of tumbling, there are several clubs who seem ready to exploit the opportunity. Wolves finished seventh without even giving it their maximum potential and there’s a strong belief that they have more to give. If that’s true, they could very well pose a threat to the top six. Similarly, Leicester are dark horses that have a few issues to fix but if they can solve those issues, which include holding onto loanee Youri Tielemans, then they are a threat that the Big Six really need to look out for. 

The most likely scenario is that all of the teams will threaten in bursts but sustaining these results is hard work and a relentless task. Any club taking on the challenge needs to ensure they don’t let a single opportunity slip past. Previous years have shown that it’s possible for teams outside the Big Six to wind up as champions but breaking this hegemony will require a lot of factors to be ticked off, not just some. It seems that several other teams are up for the challenge of testing the resolve of the bigger clubs, but only time will tell if they’re successful in breaking up the monopoly.

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