PREMIER LEAGUE UPDATE – BIG SIX ON TOP

Watford v Manchester City - Premier League

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has led his side to the top of the Premier League Table

PREMIER LEAGUE UPDATE – BIG SIX ON TOP

England Premier League: EPL Big six are top on table after Man United, Man City, Arsenal win

Last Saturday's Premier League fixtures featured another win for both Manchester City and Manchester United. After 10 fixtures the Premier League's six giant clubs are all on top in a fierce battle for the league silverware. Liverpool kept a clean sheet in their victory over Huddersfield, The Gunners won their 10th home game moving into fifth place.

Premier League holders Chelsea edged past Bournemouth in their battle to retain their title, as Eden Hazard scored the only goal of a match Chelsea completely dominated and thoroughly deserved to win. Hazard’s strike allows Chelsea to reclaim fourth place on the EPL Table. Bournemouth remain a point and three goals below the relegation line in 19th place. Next week, Jose Mourinho’s United side pay a return visit to Stamford Bridge in a not to be missed match.

“I always see the right attitude from my players, every day and every moment,” said Chelsea manager Antionio Conte. “Cahill is on the bench as part of rotation. We have to play in the Champions League. When I can do rotation, I will do it.”

Before the game, Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe talked about winning.

““Winning is the only thing that truly gives confidence, so we’re buoyed by the week we’ve had and hopefully we can finish it off,” said Howe. “You have to prepare for every game in this league separately, so we do have to tweak things for specific teams and specific games, and hopefully we’ll have got it right. We’ll see if Defoe can complete 90 minutes; he’s trained well but how long he plays will be dictated by his performance.”

Squads

Bournemouth

Begovic, Francis, S Cook, Ake, A Smith, L Cook, Surman, Daniels, Stanislas, Afobe, Defoe. Subs: Boruc, Gosling, Pugh, Arter, Wilson, Mousset, Ibe.

Chelsea

Courtois, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger, Zappacosta, Fabregas, Bakayoko, Alonso, Pedro, Morata, Hazard. Subs: Caballero, Drinkwater, Willian, Batshuayi, Cahill, Christensen, Ampadu.

Tottenham Hotspurs suffered a surprise defeat.

Defensive midfielder Darren Fletcher scored the goal of the weekend sending home a volley direct from a corner. It was the only goal of the match as Stoke beat Watford 1-0.

Star England goalie Joe Hart ended up without a win on Saturday despite his efforts at West Ham. Hart made several fine saves including an impressive one-handed stop that denied James Tomkins in the second half as West Ham drew 2-2 at Swansea.  Twenty-eight-yer-old Michail Antonio tossed a lethargic cross in the 97th minute from the touchline. The cross was easily claimed, and then Crystal Palace went up the other end and scored the equalizer – costing West Ham 3 points. Hart called him "unprofessional" in public. Meanwhile Martial was Man of the Match for Manchester United as their Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho's bold substitution led to the 1-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur in an otherwise dull match. Most fans did not agree with Mourinho's decision to withdraw Marcus Rashford to send in Anthony Martial on Saturday with scattered boos and grumbling heard around Old Trafford. But Anthony Martial’s fresh legs won the match leaving Eric Dier floundering. United’s No. 1 goalkeeper David de Gea launched the ball, Romelu Lukaku nodded into a "position of maximum opportunity", and Martial tucked it away proving Mourinho right.

Error of the MatchWeek goes to Everton’s Jonjoe Kenny who mistimed a clearance so badly that it went over his head and into his own goal against the Foxes. Final score, Leicester City 2-0 Everton in a comfortable win with goals from Jamie Vardy 18 and Demarai Gray 29 at King Power Stadium.

Everton boss for the match David Unsworth was interviewed before the game.

“A whole deal of positivity. We want to be positive, we want to play on the front foot. I want to play with width, to create numerous chances and to produce the kind of football the Everton fans want,” said Unsworth about his strategy. “The message to the players is, play on the front foot and have a right go. We’re here to win football matches. Play with freedom, try to stick together, and try to create the chances that we need to score goals. Is it a big day for me personally? I think when you’re Everton manager it’s always a big day. Our Everton fans, they demand that. We do it for them and we hope to produce a winning game for them.”

After the loss, interim manager of the struggling Everton side, Unsworth had his post-match chat.

“Second half, much better. The positivity and the way we wanted to play, on the front foot, was there for all to see. First half we didn’t start. Formations, tactics can go out the window if your players don’t play on the front foot. Our performance was certainly a lot better second half,” said Unsworth. “At half-time I wanted an extra man in midfield. You have to tinker with your formations, and it gave the full-backs some extra space to go into. For whatever reason first half it didn’t work. You’ve got to be reactive, and you’ve got to show the players that you’re on the front foot as well. We had a couple of half-chances, but nowhere near – first half – the performance level that I would expect. We’ve just picked a team, the last two games. Fresh eyes, and what we felt was the best team to win a game of football. Today, first half unacceptable but we’ve reacted and second half we’ve dominated without getting the reward. I’ll pick teams that’ll win a game of football, it doesn’t matter about the reputation and the value of the player.”

Jamie Vardy talked about his new boss, Claude Puel.

“The gaffer’s come in this week and to be fair to him he said for this game he didn’t want to change too much, just a few tactical tweaks, and it’s paid off today,” reported Vardy. “We’ll be in this week looking forward to next week’s game and we’ll see if he brings in a few more changes.”

Demarai Gray, the Man of the Match also was interviewed about his goal.

“I’ve had to wait a long time for my opportunities but it’s a new start,” responded Gray. “We’ve had momentum off the back of the last two games and we’ve brought it into today’s game. The second is 100% my goal. 100%. I’ll take it, and take the three points. The boys know once we score the first goal we’re going to be fine from there. Second half they put pressure on us which was to be expected but we’ve seen it out.”

Squads

Leicester City

Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez, Ndidi, Iborra, Chilwell, Gray, Vardy. Subs: Iheanacho, King, Albrighton, Hamer, Dragovic, Slimani, Okazaki.

Everton

Pickford, Kenny, Jagielka, Williams, Baines, Mirallas, Davies, Gueye, Lennon, Rooney, Calvert-Lewin. Subs: Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Holgate, Lookman, Robles, Niasse, Beningime.
Referee: Andre Marriner.

Arsenal continue to look good and are among the top contenders for the Premier League trophy this season. The Gunner’s have only lost once since the Anfield Incident, played well in their Europa League group, and have fought back from a goal down to win on three occasions in six days. Arsenal may only be 6 points off Manchester City next week if they can defeat Manchester City.

Manager Slaven Bilic’s job is on the line going into West Ham’s next match. If Bilic wants to save his job, he needs a win badly. In the second half of their last game against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium, West Ham fought hard to win in an admirable showing after making nine changes to his squad. Bilic should reward the players who did the job for him against Tottenham in the Carabao Cup by givng them a spot on the squad he selects to play against Liverpool at Olympic Stadium London.

Roy Hodgson is helped by Crystal Palace’s 4-1 defeat by Bristol City in midweek as Palace went out of the Carabao Cup. Hodson’s last place side need as many clear weeks as possible to prepare for Premier League games to stay up. Palace did not deserve to lose in their 1-0 defeat at Newcastle, because they were the better team. In the upcoming London Derby against Crystal Palace they need to play with the same energy and determination that they did when they beat Chelsea 2-1.

Manchester City v SSC Napoli - UEFA Champions League

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has led his side to the top of the Premier League Table

ENGLAND PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE

As of October 30, 2017, Manchester City are sitting on top of the England Premier League Table with 28 points – Manchester United is in second with 23 points, Tottenham Hotspur is in third with 20 points, Chelsea is in fourth with 19 points tied with Arsenal. Liverpool is in sixth with 16 points. At the bottom of the EPL Table are West Ham with 9 points, Swansea City and Everton with 8 points, and Bournemouth with 7 points, and Crystal Palace at rock bottom with 4 points. Watch the battles at the top and bottom of the England Premier League Table in upcoming matches! Buy Premier League tickets for Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, West Ham, Swans, Everton, Cournemouth, and Crystal Palace at LiveFootballTickets.com!

Premier League Top Goalscorers

Harry Kane. Tottenham Hotspur

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Raheem Sterling. Manchester City

Leroy Sané Manchester City

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Gabriel Jesus. Manchester City

Jamie Vardy. Leicester City

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has led his side to the top of the Premier League Table

Pep Guardiola

Spanish manager Pep Guardiola's side Man City side are sitting atop the English Premier League, 5 points above their cross-town arch rivals, Manchester United, after scoring 35 goals in 10 games and dropping only two points to date. Manchester City finished 3rd in Guardiola's first season at his new EPL titan club. In Pep’s second season, City spent in excess of £200m on new players in the summer transfer window. And this season, Pep is focused on getting the best out of the new and old footballers on his team.

Summer arrivals include goalkeeper Ederson and full-backs Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy. Key Manchester City summer signings are: £43m - Bernardo Silva (Monaco), £26.5m - Danilo (Real Madrid), £35m - Ederson (Benfica), £52m - Benjamin Mendy (Monaco), and £45m - Kyle Walker (Tottenham).

"The talent on show and even the talent on the bench at times is frightening for most teams," said Shay Given who has documented his two seasons at Etihad Stadium in his new autobiography Any Given Saturday. "The team Guardiola has built now is really exciting to watch. He's been there a season and was in a sense feeling his way around the Premier League in his first campaign, strengthening again in the summer. It's all good having that talent, but it's getting the best out of the players and how they play, and Guardiola has got the balance absolutely spot on at the minute."

Prior to his hiring by Manchester City, Guardiola's honors at titan Spanish La Liga Barcelona included two Champions Leagues titles and three Spanish La Liga trophies, before winning three German Bundesliga titles in a row with Bayern Munich. Of interest, to date Manchester City have scored more goals than any other Guardiola side at this stage of a league season.

"Pep Guardiola has brought his brand of football to Man City now and people are likening it to the Barcelona of old," continued Given. "That was some team they had then, so if they are likened to that then they are doing something right. Even neutral fans must love watching Man City play and how they attack teams, their movement and they can score goals from all over the pitch - they are great to watch at the minute. The brand of football they are playing is very special and it excites people - not just the Man City fans, but people all around the world who love the Premier League."

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Carabao Cup Fourth Round

Claudio Brava, Man City goalie and Kun Aguero, Man City superstar striker

Manchester City were in first place in the Premier League at this time last season and Guardiola's club are amazingly 5 points better off this time around. They finished 3rd in 2016-17 and Given has warned that a strong start does not guarantee success. City conceded more than a goal a game during last year's campaign, but have kept six clean sheets in their opening 10 Premier League fixtures this season.

"Hopefully Pep Guardiola will be trying to keep their feet on the ground, and keep their heads balanced," added fourty-one-year-old former Newcastle and Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Given. "Last year, they were still very good going forward but they were conceding too many goals," said Given. “Ederson has looked very comfortable. Guardiola's goalkeepers playing with their feet is well documented, but he is super confident with the ball, he never panics and his decision-making and his starting position is very positive. He has a belief in himself with the ball at his feet. He doesn't panic when people are closing him down, the defenders around him are always making angles and the midfielders are dropping in to try and receive it off him. They have got that signing right this year.

Manchester United is currently owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group who are reportedly worth £450 billion. The wealthy club has since purchased world class superstar football players. Manchester City’s fierce rivals are their cross-town neighbors Manchester United. Man City won the FA Cup for the fifth time in their history in 2011. In the 2011-2012 season, Manchester City won their first England Premier League title in 44 years. Man City have finished their EPL seasons in a top of the table spot for the last four campaigns to earn a place in the prestigious European UEFA Champions League tournaments. In 2014 Manchester City won the Premier League silverware once again. Last season Man City finished 3rd on the Premier League table with 78 points, 15 less than champions Chelsea.

Next, Pep Guardiola’s exciting Manchester City side will battle Italian Serie A side Napoli in the prestigious Champions League tournament on Wednesday before hosting Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday.

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Carabao Cup Fourth Round

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola with City's top goalscorer Sergio "Kun" Aguer

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Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Carabao Cup Fourth Round

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola with top goalscorer Sergio Aguero