In 2019 the Premier League has had an interesting year in review. Although largely dominated by Manchester City, Liverpool have shown that they are willing to go toe-to-toe with the Champions, and fight for their first league title in 29 years. What was the big 4, has progressed to the big 6, but 2019 marks a year where anyone can beat anyone.
1 – Liverpool
Looking at the 2019 Premier League calendar year table, the most obvious place to start is at the top. 2 teams have dominated this year. Liverpool, however, have been largely unstoppable. Klopp’s men achieved an incredible 31 wins, 5 draws and just ONE loss (against Manchester City in January).
This equates to an incredible average 2.65 points per game. Their goal difference of 60 is outshone only by free-scoring Manchester City, but is still 34 goals ahead of Leicester in 3rd with 26.
They pushed to the end of the 2019 campaign and went so close to becoming Champions. They were just pipped at the post by a largely unstoppable Man City though. Of course, outside the league, the Reds were dominant, picking up their sixth Champions league title in a tense final against Spurs.
Carrying on the good form into the second half of the year they managed to go unbeaten. They are sitting pretty at the top of the table and many are tipping them to go unbeaten for a whole season. We posted an article on Liverpool and their change from being an exciting but erratic team, to being mature title contenders.
2 – Man City
Despite being 10 points behindt, and being taken down to the last game of the season, Manchester City were able to lift the Premier League trophy in Vincent Kompany’s last season (with his rocket of a shot potentially saving the season).
We posted an article in March on the tactics deployed by City. This season, however, Guardiolas side have started to decline with 5 of their 6 losses coming in the 2019/20 campaign.
Still top of the 2019 Premier League goal difference charts, with 65, scoring is not an issue. But injuries to defensive talisman Aymeric Laporte, as well as frequent spells on the side for Benjamin Mendy, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi have meant the side have faltered in defence. New boy Rodri and defensive midfielder Fernandinho have often featured in the back line and this has caused many issues.
No more top 6?
Chelsea, Leicester (who have made a great start to the current campaign under Brendan Rodgers) and Manchester United follow on but with a huge 26, 28, and 30 point difference between 2nd City. This just highlights the dominance of the two and, despite good runs in form from each team, the consistency just cannot be matched.
Last season’s Premier League new boys Wolves have lit up the league. 6th in the 2019 table, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have gained qualification to the Europa League and, despite a difficult start to this season, are now replicating the form shown last year. With an average 1.52 points/game and a +5 goal difference, the side are comfortably here to stay. Wolves fan Musings From Molineux regularly posts articles on goings on and thoughts from the stands.
Crystal Palace follow next in 8th after a good year from Roy Hodgson’s men. A strong defence has been their forte and with an average of 1.5 points a game this has seemed to work! Finishing 12th last season and currently sat at 9th this season, Palace are a steady staple of the Premier League and a team that no one wants to play.
North London will be disappointed with their team’s showings. Tottenham have stumbled to 9th in 2019 after being frequent high flyers. It was clear to many that Mauricio Pocettino was losing his grip on the tight, well-drilled Tottenham team of previous years. Influential players like Dele Alli, who previously would be the star of the show, fell to the side.
With a +13 goal difference, goals haven’t been an issue. Harry Kane bagged 15 goals, Heung-Min Son got 10, and Dele Alli bagged 7 (although an incredible 6 have come this season, and 4 in 8 games under new manager Jose Mourinho). Spurs won’t be happy with this, and with the introduction of the Special One they will be hoping they can get back on track!
Travel just 4 miles through London and you come to the next team in the table, Arsenal. Another side with managerial troubles, the Gunners seemed to struggle under manager Unai Emery. Despite the poor showing and the issues troubling the dressing room, they managed to finish last season in 5th position. This gives them another crack at the Europa League, a trophy they were just pipped of by fellow Londoners Chelsea.
The new season started as badly as it could have and, after 18 months in charge, Unai Emery was relieved of his duties. With just one win in the season to his name, many believed the time was right to let him go. A brief spell at the helm from former player Freddie Ljungberg, and another former player was appointed in Mikel Arteta.
Tipped to be the heir to the Guardiola throne at Man City, the man who has won it all was unable, and seemingly unwilling, to keep hold of his right hand. An honour that doesn’t come much higher in the modern game.
New and Old Strugglers
Looking further down, of the sides that have played a full 37+ games, Watford and Brighton are the only teams that are averaging equal to or less than a point a game, a slightly worrying statistic for fans of the clubs. With both on -24 goal difference as well, the clubs have a battle to remain in the league. Watford have picked up recently with the appointment of Nigel Pearson and they are hoping this is a sign of things to come.
Six teams have spent half a season in the league, with Cardiff, Fulham and Huddersfield going down to the Championship to be replaced by Sheffield United, Aston Villa and Norwich. The new boys have had varying degrees of success, with Sheffield United racking up an amazing 1.45 points per game, putting them 8th in the league!
With 13 losses from 20, Norwich are having a difficult season and only Huddersfield (who got just 6 points in the 2nd half of last season) have a worse PPG.
Stat of the year so far has to be that Sheffield United have amassed just 5 points less than Brighton, but in 18 fewer games!
The 2019 Premier League has been a cracker! The standout team has to be Liverpool who have remained unbeaten for 11/12 months of the year! Finishing the year in probably the best position possible, they have endured the lows and felt the highs of football. City followed a close second, and the rest of the league were far behind. Three teams departed, replaced by three more. Goals were scored, conceded and (as of September) written off by VAR. One thing is for sure, 2020 is sure to be just as good.
What was your favourite moment of 2019?