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 Barclays Premier League at half time

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Posh
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PostSubject: Barclays Premier League at half time   2011-12-21, 18:48

What we know so far including Robin van Persie’s hot and Steve Kean’s not.



Manchester United or Manchester City should win the league. Arsenal,
Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool are fighting it out for second and
third. Blackburn Rovers will almost definitely go down. QPR, Swansea
City and Norwich City could all survive. And everything else we know (or
think we know) about the 2011-12 season.





As the Barclays Premier League
approaches the half-way mark and enters the fast and furious festive
season fixture pile-up, things are getting more serious and more tense
for football fans. With Premier League clubs each playing four times
between now and 2 January, a lot can change fast. But the season’s now
old enough to draw some reasonable conclusions and makes some informed
forecasts. Here’s The Periscope Post’s invaluable guide to what’s happened
and what we should to expect from the rest of the season.

Trophy staying in Manchester (but possibly crossing town).
It looks like a two-horse race between the two Manchester clubs,
Manchester United and Manchester City. City currently has the edge
on bitter rivals United. After 16 games, the Citizens have a whopping
41 points and have only lost once (away at Chelsea).
The Red Devils have amassed 39 points from the same number of games.

If it comes down to goal difference, City have the edge; their current
haul of plus 35 bests United’s 23. That said, only fools ever write
United off at Christmas. Sir Alex Ferguson’s charges usually improve in
the second half of the season and their 2-0 win away at Queen’s Park Rangers
was ominous for City. They won at a canter with key players Wayne
Rooney and Rio Ferdinand looking back to their very best. Watch out Prem!

Six into four. One of Manchesters United and City
look most likely to win the Premiership but it is not just top spot that
counts. A top four finish delivers a hugely lucrative UEFA Champion’s League
spot and the competition for the top four is fiercer than ever. That’s
because there are six sides all with realistic ambitions to finish in
the top four and they’re all purring at present. Liverpool lie in sixth
but are far from out of it given how tight it is at the top.
They are rejuvenated under Kop legend Kenny Dalglish and have beaten both
Chelsea and Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal had a nightmarish start to the season but have
shown remarkable bouncebackability. Spearheaded by captain fantastic
Robin van Persie’s remarkable 15 goals, they have roared back into
contention. Fourth-placed Chelsea have also experienced a blip or two
but the team finally seems to be adapting to manager Andre Villas-Boas’
tactical style and, in England international Daniel Sturridge, they have
one of the Premiership finest youngsters.

In third place lies Tottenham Hotspur. Under the guidance of Harry Redknapp –
widely regarded as England’s finest current manager –
Spurs have outstripped even the most optimistic expectations.
Whether they can maintain the momentum in the
second half of the season remains to be seen but with the likes of
Rafael van der Vaart, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale in their ranks they
have a good chance of a top four finish (and an outside chance of a
title challenge).
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the deeb
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PostSubject: Re: Barclays Premier League at half time   2011-12-21, 19:22

Good post this, Posh

particularly liked this bit
@Posh wrote:
their current
haul of plus 35 bests United’s 23.

I guess that's similar to saying they're the winningest team



I reckon City will win the title, with United 2nd. Reckon only one of Chelsea and Arsenal to finish in the top 4, and also one of Spurs and Liverpool for the other place.

Blackburn should go down. I fancy Wolves to go with them, plus one of the relegated clubs. I know they look fairly safe, but that's happened to so many teams in the past, where they end up in freefall in the 2nd half of the season as teams around them are far more defensive than they were in the first half.



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