Manchester City effectively clinches Premier League title in December

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

By Andrew Ryan
BETCRIS Soccer betting Premier League Manchester City

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It's so hard to say that the English Premier League is over, but...

It's over.

Manchester City pulled 11 points clear of Manchester United and 14 clear of Chelsea on Sunday with a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford, and with that win, Pep Guardiola cemented his status as the top boss in England.

Go ahead and try finding flaws in the Citizens. You aren't going to find many. This is a team that has outscored its first 16 foes this season by an aggregate score of 48-11. It's on a pace for a goal differential of around +80 this season, a mark that shouldn't exist in what is supposed to be one of the most competitive top-flight leagues in the entire world.

Then again, it isn't so much that Manchester City is a perfect team as much as the teams at the top of the table with it being seriously flawed.

Manchester United and Chelsea have had major problems at the front this year. Liverpool can't seem to keep its own net clear thanks to a three-man defense that feels like it's only approximately three new defenders away from being stout. Arsenal's coaching is awful with Arsene Wenger and Tottenham's dream from last season has come to a halt with the club having to play all of its home matches away from White Hart Lane as it's being reconstructed.

We suppose that bad things could happen to the Citizens at some point, but a team that has given up exactly two points in its first 16 games is no lock to give up 11 the rest of the way let alone give up the 11 and have Man U be perfect. If nothing else, the Red Devils still have to travel to the Etihad, and the likelihood of getting three points in that match is virtually nil.

The better drama for the rest of this season is going to be in the chase for the top-4 and the race to 40 points to avoid relegation to Championship.

We already mentioned all of the flaws for the teams sitting between second and sixth this year in the Premier League, but there isn't another team that is challenging the big boys. Burnley sits seventh on the table with 23 points, and it isn't closing a gap of five to Arsenal and Tottenham even if it keeps up at this outstanding pace the rest of the season. Leicester City, Watford and Everton round out the top-10, and no one is accusing these teams of being Champions League material.

Thus, the fight, whether we like it or not, will be down to Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham in that order. Chelsea feels like the most tenuous of the top four teams at the moment, especially after losing to lowly West Ham in Match Day 16. The Blues are on the verge of dismissing Antonio Conte just months after he finished delivering the best season in Premier League history.

Tottenham feels like the team with the most to gain with Hugo Lloris starting to get back into better form and Harry Kane due for an explosion.

Crystal Palace has started to show a bit of a pulse at the bottom of the EPL table. The Eagles now have 11 points and are just two outside of safety. Still, it's a giant mess right now between bad teams at the bottom. Anyone from Southampton (currently 11th) and Crystal Palace could still easily drop, and outside of CP, there isn't such a thing as a team that is odds-on to go down at the moment.

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