Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Premier League: 2012/13 season review so far

As we approach the buys Christmas period of games, we look and review at the past few months in the Barclay's Premier League.

picture: dailymail.co.uk
Having claimed the title so dramatically last May, Roberto Mancini's Manchester City went into the season looking to defend it. Since August, City have only lost the once in the league to rivals Man United to end their long undefeated run at home. The defeat did not come as much of as a surprise as City's current defensive situation has not been anywhere as secure as last year. Mancini's summer signings included Matija Nastasic, Jack Rodwell and Maicon whereas Alex Ferguson brought in the class of Robin Van Persie from Arsenal. The difference in quality of signings between the clubs has told over the early months of the season which currently sees United sit six points clear of their city rivals.

Every year we see a surprise team who upset the odds and this year was no different with West Brom. New boss Steve Clarke got off to the perfect start as he faced his old side Liverpool on the opening day of the season. A 3-0 home win then saw the Baggies take points of Spurs, Chelsea and Everton to sit in the top four. The loan signing of Roman Lukaku from Chelsea has proved an excellent acquisition as he and strike partner Shane Long have seen the pair score 12 goals between them. Inconsistency in the last few games though has seem them since drop down to seventh.

At the bottom of the table, newly promoted Reading have been lurking in the bottom three since August which has seen them only win once all season. Their poor form currently sees The Royals sit bottom of the league with only nine points, six from safety. Brian McDermott's side have struggled to keep clean sheets, particularly at home which has seen them leak 36 goals so far. Alongside Reading are QPR who under new manager Harry Redknapp have started to look more of a team than under former manager Mark Hughes. Rangers had gone 16 games without a win, the longest in Premier League history, until recently when they recorded a 2-1 win at home to Fulham.

picture: football365.com
Hughes was the second manager to lose his job in the current season, after the surprising sacking of Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo. Di Matteo only spent six months at Stamford Bridge having won the Champions League and FA Cup as caretaker manager last year. Poor results and performances saw him laid off and Rafa Benitez brought in as an interim manager until the end of the season.

The Christmas period will be critical for some clubs in how their seasons will take shape. In particular at the bottom, Reading and QPR will need to pick up some consistent form if they are to avoid the elusive drop at the end of the season. The race for the title will once again go close and alongside the two Manchester clubs, Chelsea are still within a shout of challenging. The top four places are again too close to tell currently and a number of clubs will fancy their chances of making the Champions League places.

Final Table Predictions:
1: Man United
2: Man City
3: Chelsea
4: Arsenal
5: Tottenham Hotspur
6: Liverpool
7: Everton
8: West Brom
9: Stoke City
10: West Ham Utd
11: Newcastle United
12: Fulham
13: Swansea
14: Norwich City
15: Sunderland
16: Aston Villa
17: Southampton
18: Wigan Athletic
19: QPR
20: Reading

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