English Premier League: Worth the Watch

by The Cowl Editor on November 12, 2020

Professional Sports

By Leo Hainline ’22

Sports Staff

With the conclusion of the NBA, NHL, and MLB seasons, American football may seem like the only sport to watch on TV these days. However, this is the perfect time to tune into the English Premier League (EPL). Watching the EPL is the perfect way to start a Saturday or Sunday morning, and this season looks to be one of the most intriguing ones yet.

The defending champions, Liverpool F.C., sit at the top of the table, but unlike last year, the Reds will not be completely invincible. Liverpool has already looked vulnerable at times and endured a shocking 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa F.C., a team that narrowly escaped relegation from the Premier League last season. Star centerback Virgil van Dijk suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the Merseyside Derby on Oct. 17, and midfielder Fabinho is out with a hamstring problem until late November. However, new signing Diogo Jota has helped carry the Reds since manager Jurgen Klopp inserted him into the starting lineup. The 23-year-old Portuguese striker has scored seven goals in six games for the club.

Liverpool’s inter-city rivals Everton F.C. have also gotten off to a hot start, winning their first four matches. Manager Carlo Ancelotti, who took over the squad halfway through last season, has brought out the best in players such as Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison. The summer signing of former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodriguez has also helped to elevate the team to the next level. Everton appears to be a threat in the EPL, and if they continue their strong play, a Champions League appearance is certainly a possibility.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah holds off Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte in a 1-1 draw this past weekend.
Photo courtesy of Associated Press

Tottenham Hotspur F.C. has also looked dangerous this season. Currently sitting around the top of the table, the Spurs could easily be league-leaders had they not conceded last-minute goals against Newcastle United F.C. and West Ham United F.C. Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son have been the most impactful duo in the league. Kane leads the league in assists with eight, which is four more than any other player. He also has scored six goals, while Son has scored eight. The return of Gareth Bale to North London has also brought a new sense of excitement to the team, as manager Jose Mourinho now has plenty of attacking options to dissect any defense.

Manchester has been host to two of the biggest disappointments in the EPL. Manchester City F.C. sits in the middle of the table and has underperformed against teams they were expected to beat. However, Manchester United F.C. has been the real disaster. The Red Devils are closer to the relegation zone than the top of the table and have suffered embarrassing losses, including a 6-1 home defeat to Tottenham. Their wild inconsistency has now put manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the hot seat.

Ultimately, there is a long way to go in the season, but the EPL is reaching a critical juncture where the top four are beginning to shape up. This is important as the top four qualify for Champions League football. Most clubs are still in contention to obtain the finish in the table that they desire. However, for clubs like Manchester United, that window is closing fast. Clubs like Liverpool and Tottenham aim to grab all three points week in and week out to separate themselves from the pack. Manchester City aims to assert themselves into the title race too, while Leicester City F.C. will also attempt to gain the points needed to qualify for Champions League football.

Indeed, this year is shaping up to be one of the most entertaining seasons yet for English football.