EPL’s halfway point excites Staples Students

By Thomas Nealon ’17

The 2016-2017 English Premier League is about to approach the halfway point of its season, and once again England’s most prestigious league has continued. After 21 weeks of action packed soccer, Chelsea currently sits at the top of the premier league table with 52 points, just seven points ahead of second place teams Tottenham and Liverpool.

After a slower start to the season, Chelsea has bounced back with a current nine game win streak, highlighted by a 3-0 win over Manchester City and a 5-0 win over Everton. First year manager Antonio Conte has the Lions looking sharp, as the attacking combination of Diego Costa and Eden Hazard has proven to be deadly once again, with a league best 24 goals between them.

Sebastian Wick ’17 is very excited by Chelsea’s hot streak. “I have always been a Chelsea fan since I was little,” Wick said, “So it’s nice to see the team back on top after the disastrous title defence we had last year.”

Although Chelsea has bounced back to its winning habits, it’s Liverpool’s attack that has captured people’s attention. Under Jurgen Klopp’s command, the Reds have netted a league high 49 goals. Even with critical injuries to key starters Philippe Coutinho and Joel Matip, Liverpool is still getting quality results, such as a 1-0 over Manchester City, and 1-1 tie with Manchester United.

“I was sad to see Coutinho get injured, he was playing so well” said Zak Ahmad ’17. “Hopefully now that we are healthy we can start to get back to our early season form.” Since Coutinho suffered a  right ankle injury, departure of Brendan Rodgers in 2015, Liverpool has won four games, lost two, and tied three.

Although Chelsea and Liverpool continue to impress, it’s the struggles from Manchester City that are more astonishing. After a very strong start from Pep Guardiola’s squad, Manchester City has fallen back to fifth place in the league. The Citizens have lost two out of their past four games, including a 4-0 whopping loss to Everton.

“It’s very unusual to see [Manchester City] hit a rough patch like this,” Jack Sharkey ’18 said, “Hopefully the other teams in the league can capitalize on it because I am pretty sure they will bounce back pretty soon.”

Defending league champion Leicester City has continued to struggle as well. It’s evident that the loss of star midfielder N’Golo Kante, as well as the injury to forward Jamie Vardy,  has been detrimental to the Foxes,  as the team has dropped to a 5-6-10 record, and currently sits in 15th in the premier league table.

The other teams struggling to get results are Hull City, Swansea and Sunderland, who as of now sit below the regulation line for the 10th week in a row.

“Overall I just can’t wait for the rest of the season,” Sharkey said. “The English Premier league is always exciting, and since there are so many teams in contention for the top spot, I think we are destined to see some excellent soccer, and an exciting finish to the season.”