As we approach the midway point of the English Premier League season, it appears to be Liverpool’s title to lose, as the Reds chase a long-awaited Premier League championship. However, we all know there is plenty of time left in the season and that anything can happen.
Just ask the 2013-14 Liverpool team that stumbled down the stretch and missed their chance to win the title. While Liverpool remains the heavy favorite, here are some intriguing dark horse candidates that could still make a run at the EPL championship in 2020 that you might want to put some money on using a Bet365 bonus code.
Just a few years after Leicester shocked the world by winning the Premier League title, the Foxes are at it again. Former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has Leicester second in the table behind the Reds.
As was the case a few seasons ago, Jamie Vardy has been a goal-scoring machine who might be in better form now than he was when the Foxes won the title.
Of course, Leicester City is far from a one-man team. The likes of Kasper Schmeichel, James Maddison, Youri Tielemans, Ayoze Pérez, Wilfred Ndidi, among others, make for a great supporting cast.
Perhaps more importantly, Leicester has the best defensive record in the Premier League this season, conceding just 11 goals in 17 league games behind Schmeichel, who was also the team’s goalkeeper when the Foxes won their sole league title.
Skeptics may think this is another fluke, but the Foxes are poised to stick around and remain ready to pounce if Liverpool slips up.
Pep Guardiola’s team hasn’t been able to maintain the elite form they’ve carried over the past two seasons, as Manchester City have had more than one or two disappointing results over the first half of the season. But there should be no doubting that City has the potential to get hot in the second half of the season and make this season’s title race as close as it was between them and Liverpool last spring.
Obviously, they’ll need the good fortune of Liverpool actually dropping some points. But with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, and Sergio Agüero returning from injury at some point, the Citizens have the talent to string together 10-plus wins in a row, slowly inching their way closer to Liverpool.
If you think about the way Guardiola’s club has played the last two seasons, it’s hard to believe they don’t have a run in them that can make the title race interesting and put some pressure on Liverpool to maintain its lead at the top of the table.
Two words: José Mourinho. Tottenham Hotspur have been a different team since he took over as manager, winning four of their five Premier League games, moving from mid-table to just outside the top-4.
Defensively, Spurs still needs to sort some things out, but Mourinho has started to unleash the team’s immense offensive potential. He’s gotten the best out of Dele Alli, which has allowed Tottenham to find a way forward with Christian Eriksen no longer part of the team’s core.
As long as the goals keep coming, the positive results should keep coming, which could enable Spurs to make a surprising run toward the top spot. Keep in mind that the North London club have remained on the cusp of the title race virtually every season for the last handful of years.
They’ve done so with largely the same squad they have right now. Then there’s the Mourinho factor. The Portuguese manager is accustomed to winning trophies and should continue to get the best out of a club that has the players to be a title contender.
At the moment, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team doesn’t feel like a threat, but they remain a viable dark horse in the title race. The Red Devils have had their fair share of disappointing results this season, but with wins over Tottenham and Manchester City in the span of a week earlier this month, it’s clear there’s still plenty of life left in United.
There’s still a lot of ground to make up, but if Manchester United play to their full potential, they’re capable of getting back in the title race.
With Marcus Rashford, United has the kind of goal scorer that can make up for problems in other areas, stealing points they might otherwise drop. United also has a goalie in David de Gea who can provide the team with a lift if he can put recent blunders behind him.
If the backline holds up and Rashford can get steady support from the likes of Anthony Martial and Daniel James, the Red Devils can’t be counted out just yet.
November and December have not been kind to the Blues, but they remain in decent shape and have plenty of time to get back on track. The transfer ban that was recently lifted off Frank Lampard’s team has forced Chelsea to rely on the club’s younger players, many of whom have made a positive impact.
The trio of Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount has already combined for 21 goals and is capable of doing serious damage.
Given their position in the table, the Blues are still within striking distance of first place if Liverpool were to take a stumble at some point. Lampard having never managed in the Premier League before this season makes him and Chelsea a wild card, especially with such a young team.
If the Blues can grow up quickly, they’re capable of making themselves a key figure in this season’s title race.