Yes you read that right and no, we are not back in time to 2015, but Leicester City is once again on top of the Premier League after the last international break before March 2021. It has been a thrilling season so far in the EPL and possibly the closest one to date – there’s only five points between the top and 9th place with every single game mattering more than usual. While Leicester’s performances are definitely the highlight of the season, there has already been plenty of other surprises as well, one only needs to take a gander at the league table.
Counting out the usual suspects in the top six, this time being Tottenham as a runner up to Leicester, Liverpool just behind in the third place and Chelsea at fifth, it is hard to imagine anyone predicting the other three teams manning the continental qualification spots. Leicester, as mentioned, leads the way with 18 points in eight games, leading the league in goals conceded together with Spurs and Wolves and having scored third most goals. But it is the next two teams that have made the jaws drop this season.
At fourth we have Southampton, only two points behind the Foxes on top. Soton has already forgotten how to lose as they’ve gone six games unbeaten with five wins and their last defeat dates back two months. Danny Ings has been on target 5 times and James Ward-Prowse has done a magnificent job as the midfield dynamo. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad has had some luck with their fixtures as they’ve mostly faced mediocre teams, but in all honestly, that’s what they were supposed to be as well.
The surprises are not done yet. Escaping the relegation last season by the skin of their teeth, Aston Villa were deemed to another season of relegation battle or at most mid table mediocrity. But Dean Smith’s warriors had none of that and took the league by storm from the beginning, prancing on top of the league for a while. After beating Liverpool 7-2 and Leicester 0-1, Villains fell to Leeds and Southampton in consecutive games and it looked as their 15 minutes of fame was done – until they went on to beat Arsenal 0-3 at Emirates. Villa’s schedule has been harsh and they’ve survived remarkably well and it is safe to say they don’t need to worry about the relegation this time around.
The English Premier League returns with a bang this weekend and the fixture list is congested until the end of the year. We sure hope it will continue to be a season of surprises and thrilling encounters as it has been so far.