With 10 match days remaining in the English Premier League season, Arsenal, guided by stellar young players Bukayo Saka and Martin Ødegaard, leads the Premier League, the top flight of English soccer, by eight points over last year’s winners Manchester City.
This year marks a resurgence for the North London side. One of the most prestigious clubs in the history of English football, the Gunners have not claimed the Premier League title since the 2003-04 season and have not even finished in the top four since the 2015-16 season, thereby qualifying for the Champions League, the preeminent European soccer competition.
This club rejuvenation has been shepherded by Spanish manager Mikel Arteta, formerly an assistant for Pep Guardiola at title rivals Manchester City until midway through the 2019-20 season when he was hired by Arsenal to take over for languishing manager Unai Emery.
Chelsea, another prestigious side, has experienced the inverse of Arsenal’s success and is currently 10th out of the 20 teams in the Premier League. Considering the expectations, it is a nightmare of a season for the West London club.
After subpar results early in the season, brash new owner Todd Boehly fired manager Thomas Tuchel, who led Chelsea just two years prior to an improbable Champions League title. To replace him, Boehly hired Graham Potter, who the year previous led Brighton and Hove Albion, a team typically on the verge of relegation, to their highest finish ever in the top flight of English soccer.
While at first, results for Potter seemed to be going in the right direction, after a loss to bottom-of-the-league Southampton in February, the boiling point of a long string of substandard results, fans of the club began to call for his resignation. Results have improved slightly, and Potter has not been fired yet, but Chelsea remains on the verge of their worst finish in 28 years.
Meanwhile, Manchester City and Liverpool, who combined for the past five Premier League titles, have had very different paths this season, but considering expectations, both are undoubtedly disappointed with their performances at this point in the season.
Manchester City, led by Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and Norwegian striker Erling Haaland, who is on pace to break the all-time single-season goal record in his first season for the club, is currently second in the league, eight points behind Arsenal. While second place may not be a disappointment to almost all clubs around the world, Manchester City has won four of the last five Premier League championships and therefore was a massive favorite to win it again this year.
Liverpool, on the other hand, has had a disappointing season by any stretch of the imagination. After finishing in the top three for the past four seasons and winning the championship in 2018-19, the Reds are currently in sixth, 8 points back of third place Manchester United.
An improbable 7-0 win against Manchester United two weeks ago at Anfield looked to be a turning point in Liverpool’s season. However, the subsequent week, the club fell to 19th place Bournemouth 1-0, killing any momentum they had just gained. With only 10 games remaining in the season, it is going to be an uphill climb to secure a spot in the top four, guaranteeing them a spot in the Champions League.
Some other clubs worth mentioning, including Newcastle United, who were recently purchased by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, have a chance to finish in the top four for the first time since the 2003-04 season. Additionally, Brentford, currently eighth, is almost guaranteed to secure the club’s highest finish ever in the Premier League, which was formerly 13th.
However, at the top, Arsenal is the odds-on favorite to win, at 13/8, while Manchester City is the only other club that has a chance, at 11/8. Manchester United, at 200/1, and Liverpool, at 1000/1, fill out the top four.