After the Premier League title race took another twist in matchweek 24, it’s anyone’s guess who will walk away with the winners medals come the end of the season. Arsenal needed some late drama to come from behind to beat Aston Villa before Manchester City dropped points at Nottingham Forest, while Manchester United kept up the pressure with a 3-0 home win over Leicester City.
The Premier League odds are proving increasingly difficult to predict, but that makes the prospect of the title run-in all the more exciting. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few reasons why this year’s title race is shaping up to be one of the best ever.
Arsenal’s surprise charge
Let’s face it, no one could have predicted Arsenal would me making a charge for the title this season. Having squandered a place in the top four at the tail end of the last campaign, the aim for Mikel Arteta’s side was simply to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in six seasons.
However, a strong start to the season built momentum, and Arsenal have been sensational ever since. A recent blip in results demonstrated that there is a long way to go if Arsenal are to be crowned Premier League champions this season, but you have to admire the way they have ascended to another level in 2022-23, and they have every chance of securing a first Premier League title since 2004.
The main doubts lie in Arsenal’s inexperience in this kind of situation, and you wonder if that will ultimately count in favour of Manchester City, who have won four of the last five Premier League titles.
After last season’s sensational title-winning campaign, it’s perhaps understandable that Manchester City haven’t quite been able to hit the same heights this time around. Their campaign has been plagued by inconsistency, the latest example being the 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest just three days after they beat Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates.
It’s clear that, despite his sensational scoring form, City are having to adapt to having Erling Haaland in their team. Having not had a central target man up front for many years, it takes some tactical flexibility to accommodate him.
The worry for Arsenal fans is that City will eventually click into top gear and put together a long run of victories. But there have been some signs of cracks in City’s once flawless surface, and the ongoing investigations into alleged financial wrongdoing is hanging over the club like a cloud. If there was ever a time to get the better of them, it’s now.
Manchester United’s revival
The supporting characters in this season’s title race are Manchester United, who have been quietly going about their business since the World Cup break under Erik ten Hag and could yet disrupt the title race. Ten Hag has done brilliantly to steer the side out of their early-season slump and make United one of the toughest teams in the league to beat.
At the time of writing, Manchester United are just three points behind second-place Manchester City, and with plenty of games remaining, who’s to say the 20-time champions couldn’t yet muscle in on the title race?