No telling what 2016 holds for EPL


Another setback for Liverpool as Sturridge injures his hamstring yet again.

What an interesting first half of the season it has been.

For Liverpool, it looks to be a season to remember as Jurgen Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers in October, to revive the team just in time for the busy Christmas period.

Liverpool has since had three memorable victories, including a stunning 4-1 win over favourites Manchester City.

That being said, there were two terribly regrettable losses to Crystal Palace and Newcastle in the EPL.

Critics lamented that it was not the dream start expected of Klopp but to be fair, he wasn’t given the dream team to begin with either.

Somewhere, Rodgers is sniggering and Liverpool fans are groaning in pain as news broke that Daniel Sturridge has picked up yet another hamstring injury and is expected to be out for at least three weeks.

Mamadou Sakho injured his knee just as his performance hit its peak last month and is said to be out for six to eight weeks but there are even worse injuries to Danny Ings and Joe Gomez.

There is hope with the return of Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho and Jon Flanagan, but the never-ending cycle of injuries has definitely been one of the biggest challenges for Klopp.

Coming from the 2-0 loss to Newcastle last weekend and a toothless show against Sion in the mid-week Europa clash, Liverpool are expected to bounce back in style against West Brom at Anfield this weekend.

Another game changer in the EPL is Chelsea’s poor form – the worst a defending champion has ever shown.

While they qualified for the Champions League knockout stage, it has definitely been a blue season for them where the EPL is concerned as they currently languish at 14th place with only 15 points from 15 matches.

This weekend, Chelsea will be playing Leicester City – the current table leaders, who are 17 points ahead of the Blues.

While Chelsea seems to have dropped too far behind to be a threat to the title contenders, Leicester has stepped up dramatically, shocking the big teams.

They owe it to the most talked about player in the league this year – Jamie Vardy – who has mesmerised with his record-breaking run of goals. He currently leads the league’s top scorer list with 14 goals. Not too far behind with 10 in the bag, is teammate Riyad Mahrez.

Definitely the most improved team this season, all eyes will be on Leicester to see if they can extend their lead going into 2016.

It is not going to be an easy ride with teams such as Arsenal and Manchester City lurking just around the corner with two and three-point differences, respectively.

Currently in fourth place, is Manchester United, who, along with boss Louis Van Gaal, have been under fire for their lacklustre performances despite their standing.

Dropping out of the Champions League in midweek after losing to Wolfsburg, they have drawn further criticism.

Sir Alex Ferguson added fuel to fire when he said recently that he fears Liverpool, under the wings of Klopp, will overtake the Red Devils.

Coming from the much hailed ex-manager of Liverpool’s greatest rivals, the pressure is on Van Gaal and under-performing captain Wayne Rooney to buck up and go back to their attacking ways.

With the title race as wide open as it has ever been, it is tough to predict what 2016 brings as teams step in the new year with full force to make an impact.

Till then, let’s enjoy the remaining weeks of football for the year. Happy Holidays!

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Sport , Central Region , band of brothers , epl

   

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