Can a London Club Contend for the Premier League Title?


chelsea tottenham

By Patrick Pierce

The new Premier League season kicks off this weekend, and for many pundits, it’s going to be another two-horse race between Manchester City and Liverpool. Although Manchester United will benefit from the arrival of Harry Maguire improving their weak back line, it’s more likely that one of London clubs have the best chance of stopping either Manchester City or Liverpool from claiming the Premier League title this season.

Chelsea were the last London club to win the Premier League, back in 2016-2017. Although they managed to finish a credible third in the table last season, it’s going to be tricky to predict where they will end up in 2019/20.

That’s because the off-season saw manager Maurizio Sarri leave to take the same role at Juventus. Whilst Sarri could get decent results, he just wasn’t very liked by the Stamford Bridge faithful. As a result, Chelsea fans were overjoyed to find that Frank Lampard would be becoming the new manager for the 2019/20 season.

Lampard was previously at Derby County, and whilst he lacks much in the way of experience, he is sure to energise a previously demoralised Chelsea team. However, he faces a very tough challenge in the fact that star player Eden Hazard has left to join Real Madrid, and the club are currently under transfer ban.

As a result, Lampard will have to turn to many of the club’s promising youngsters like Callum Hudson-Odoi in order to put in a decent title challenge this season.

The American star Christian Pulisic faces a tough task in trying to fill Hazard’s role in midfield, but with strikers like Olivier Giroud in barren form in front of goal, it’s Chelsea’s limited attack that could be their weak point this season.

Such a problem is the direct opposite of what’s been happening with Arsenal. This team have no shortage of quality attacking options in the deadly partnership of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Plus Unai Emery has also made a quality signing with Nicolas Pepe who proved to be in deadly form on the wing for Lille last season. Where this leaves the promising Nigerian forward Alex Iwobi is anybody’s guess, but many bookmakers in Nigeria are already predicting that the 23-year could be set for a move to Everton if the Merseyside club fail to get their hands on Crystal Palace’s star player, Wilfried Zaha.

However, it’s Arsenal’s defence that could be the problem in their 2019/20 campaign. The Gunners have just lost centre back Laurent Koscielny to Bordeaux whilst Carl Jenkinson has been snapped up by Nottingham Forest.

There are still rumours that Arsenal could land Kieran Tierney from Celtic, but it’s still questionable as to how Unai Emery’s defence are going to shape up for the new season.

Tottenham’s fans will be bracing themselves for another unpredictable season. The Spurs squad has plenty of quality players, but their lack of depth has often been their undoing.

Thankfully, after their new stadium has finally been completed, Tottenham have been able to make some decent purchases this summer.

Most notable is the arrival of the formidable midfielder, Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon. Plus there are rumours that Tottenham might even sign the Juventus forward Paulo Dybala, or even get Philippe Coutinho on a loan deal from Barcelona.

If Tottenham are to make any further purchases, then they will need to sort out the Christian Eriksen problem. The Danish player made it clear that he was ready to move on from Tottenham, but with clubs like Manchester United being unwilling to pay his transfer price, it seems as though Eriksen is in limbo.

Such issues will prove to be hugely frustrating for Mauricio Pochettino. The Tottenham manager has already made evident his displeasure with how little of a say he has in any transfer deals. But if Spurs manage to keep Eriksen on their books, they are probably the London club with the best chance of giving Liverpool and Manchester City a run for their money this season.

West Ham have also been busy on the transfer market. The club recently made their record signing with the arrival of Sebastien Haller from Crystal Palace. Whilst Manuel Pellegrini’s team should easily get a mid-table place, it would be too much of a stretch to see them gaining a Europa League spot.

Crystal Palace have already lost Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United, and with talk that their other star player, Wilfried Zaha, unhappy because he didn’t get his wish to leave, it seems that Roy Hodgson might have a relegation battle on his hands.

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