As we’re drawing close to the halfway point of the season, the 2021-22 Premier League title contention has already unfolded, with two teams leading the race towards the title. The 30th edition of the Premier League currently has Manchester City and Chelsea battling for the top of the table, with Liverpool and West Ham right in their heels. City are the defending champions, having lifted their fifth Premier League title during the previous season.
This season finally saw the return of full capacity crowds, after restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom led the 2020-21 season to be held with limited or no attendance. The 2021-22 Premier League started on August 13 and is scheduled to end on May 22, 2022. This year’s edition also marks Brentford’s first season in the Premier League, as the team returned to England’s top flight after a seventy-four year absence.
Certainly, the biggest story in the league right now is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure from Manchester United after a three-year tenure. Despite his status as club legend, Solskjaer failed to get a grip on a squad packed with talent, and a string of poor performances in the last month – which included humiliating defeats against bitter rivals Liverpool and Manchester City – made him leave the role by mutual consent. Michael Carrick has taken charge temporarily, while the team seeks an interim manager.
With 12 Premier League games in the books, sportsbooks on betoclock.com have Manchester City – who are also the favorites to win the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League – as the overwhelming favorites to win the 2021-22 Premier League, at -140 odds. With a significant drop off in odds, Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea are the second-favorites at +250 odds, followed by Liverpool – who have been in terrific form recently – at +500 odds.
After dominating the Premier League last year, Manchester City entered this season as the favorites to reclaim their title. With the few signings made in the offseason, which included a £100 million deal for Jack Grealish that made him the most expensive English player ever, Pep Guardiola was able to improve an already talented squad to push even harder for the Premier League and UEFA Champions League titles.
When asked about City’s most serious challengers for the Premier League title race this season, Guardiola said, “Liverpool are our biggest opponents. It took Jurgen Klopp time to settle the team, but with the players they have, Liverpool have now been there for six years. Liverpool attack in a different way. My admiration for Liverpool and Jurgen knows – it’s not necessary to tell you.”
Thomas Tuchel arrived in January and quickly transformed the way Chelsea were playing under Frank Lampard, in a campaign that culminated with a fourth place in the Premier League, the FA Cup final, and the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League title over Manchester City. After his first offseason with the club, Tuchel managed to develop the team chemistry even further, as the team currently places second in the Premier League table.
“It’s a very nice match for the 50th one,” said Thomas Tuchel after completing his 50th match in charge of Chelsea. “It’s a pleasure to be at the club every single day and to be a part of this team. They have a fantastic attitude, determined and hungry, so we want to keep this energy and atmosphere in the group. The challenges are coming and it’s good because it keeps us going.”
With amazing performances by Mohamed Salah, who has been dubbed the best player in the world right now, and a string of good results in the past few weeks – which included a blowout 5-0 win over bitter rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford – Liverpool have been terrific this season. Despite the sluggish performances against Brighton and West Ham, when Jurgen Klopp was criticized for promoting too many changes to the line-up, the Reds certainly have what it takes to claim their second Premier League title in three years.
“We have to line up a team who has a chance to win a football game,” said Jurgen Klopp when asked about his recent line-up changes. “We cannot play football games with this line-up, then next a game line-up which has no chance to win a game, then bring them back again. Players need rhythm, all these kinds of things.”