So that’s it, we’ve had our first week of Premier League football since lockdown began, and it’s been unusual to say the least. The players are playing competitive club football in June for the first time, there’s water breaks, no crowds and an eerie atmosphere. There’s nothing ‘normal’ about this ‘new normal’, but we’ve got to learn to adapt and enjoy televised football for the first time since March.
That said, there’s a few talking points from the previous week’s fixtures and we’ve highlighted some of them in this article.
Lack of Fitness, Form and Noticeable Mistakes
It’s not been a great week for David Luiz, who made several unforced errors in the Gunner’s first game against Man City. He was eventually sent off after a 2nd reckless challenge, and faced harsh criticism from commentators and fans alike.
Arsenal went on to lose 3-0 to the champions, and has left many wondering what’s next for David Luiz. Consequently, he was benched for their following game against Brighton, which they also went on to lose.
Match fitness was a real problem, with a large number of pulled muscles, cramps and injuries. One of the most noticeable out-of-form performances was that of Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby, having never looked a threat, the match finished 0-0 and was by far the most uninspiring of the week.
Sign of Things to Come
One of the most impressive performances of the first week came from Manchester United, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Spurs. Despite the scoreline, fans were left in awe of the creativity between Fernandes and Pogba, which is just a taste of things to come.
The race for European spots is still on and it’s very tight between a number of teams. There are just 12 points separating 3rd and 10th place, with it all to play for. The current teams in the mix for European qualification, and their positions at the time of this post, are:
- Leicester (3rd, 54 points)
- Chelsea (4th, 51 points)
- Man United (5th, 46 points)
- Wolves (6th, 46 points)
- Sheffield United (7th, 44 points)
- Tottenham (8th, 42 points)
- Crystal Palace (9th, 42 points)
- Arsenal (10th, 40 points)
Both Norwich and Bournemouth lost their opening games, further cementing their chances of relegation. For Norwich especially, it looks like a long way back with just 21 points at the foot of the table. Many are asking questions about what this means for Pukki, the team’s top goalscorer, albeit they have dried up in recent games.
Delay in the Inevitable Liverpool Title Win
The lackluster draw against Everton and Man City’s win against Arsenal means that Liverpool have to wait just a little longer to claim their Premier League title. The reds are sitting pretty at the top of the table, 20 points clear of City in 2nd.
If Liverpool win against Crystal Palace on Wednesday, and City drop points against Chelsea on Thursday, the leaders will be crowned champions, but with so many moving parts, it’s still mathematically possible for them to lose at this point, albeit extremely unlikely.
This Week’s Fixtures and Offers
The games are coming in thick and fast, with Premier League football on every night this week. Highlights include Liverpool and Crystal Palace, Wolves and Everton, and Chelsea v Man City, as each of these have a direct influence on the title race and European qualification.
If you’re looking for some value, Unibet have a great free bet offer on a number of the Premier League matches over the next few days. Simply place a £10 pre-match bet within 24 hours of kick off and you will receive a £1 free bet builder bet when it’s settled. You can claim this up to 8 times over the next few weeks, so if you’re planning to have a Premier League bet, be sure to do it with Unibet.