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Originally Published on Kettle Mag: http://www.kettlemag.co.uk/article/race-no-one-wants-win-premier-league-top-4
Form is temporary, class is permanent. The old saying is something that we all seem to be expecting for this years Premeir League and the top 4. However, the history we are all used to just doesn't seem to be happening. Week after week, Leicester just keep on winning and week after week, the so-called "big four" keep on faltering.
So-called challengers who build up some steam, such as Liverpool and Tottenham, then go and let themselves down just when the opportunity arises. After week 15, Liverpool arrived with pundits tipping them for the league after two wins and a big victory in the cup. Liverpool fans were more cautious and realistic and lo and behold they lost to the team in the opposite direction, Newcastle. I have said it before, expect the unexpected. Chelsea lost, Liverpool lost, Man City lost, Tottenham and Man Utd couldn't win and now the top Four, which was so predictable in August, is leaving punters and pundits scratching their heads.
Thierry Henry has called on The 'big teams' to get their acts together and step up to the plate. No longer are they supposed to let this mediocre form keep going but instead they need to put their foot down. Chelsea losing to Bournemouth and Man Utd playing uninspiring football is just not right. The fact is that the rest of the league have caught up, the money spent in the premier league has meant that the gap is closing. Alongside this too is the fact that the quality seems to be lacking. The number of mistakes happening is becoming far too problematic for the big sides, another Skrtel own goal, woeful Man City defending and week after week of Mourinho moaning.
Injuries have not been helpful to anyone and it's for this reason why people don't expect Leicester to continue their form. The resources of the big teams should allow them to cover for this, but the reliance on the likes of Aguero, Sturridge and Costa has led to the demise of teams. Should Vardy or Mahrez get injured will Leciester be such a threat? It is the continued unreliability of the top teams which have promoted Leicester to the top. We are almost halfway the season through and no team has really laid claim to being guaranteed a top four slot. The competitive nature of the Premier League means that consecutive wins are not likely and has not allowed the class to shine through. It seems that the temporary form has now manifested itself into momentum for the likes of Leicester and Everton and a bad habit for Chelsea and Liverpool.
In spite of the unpredictable nature of the league, most people will have money on the top four being Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd in some order. Others expect either Liverpool or Tottenham to replace Chelsea and that is it. With such a close race, do you dare to put your money on the line?