Premier League Podcast: Looking at the winners and losers of the 2019/20 season so far

We look at the Premier League winners & losers so far this season
We look at the Premier League winners & losers so far this season

Eight rounds of matches of the 2019-20 Premier League season have been completed heading into this international break.

Liverpool now hold a commanding position in the title race with results at the weekend moving them eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City.

Jurgen Klopp, who celebrates four years in charge at Anfield this week, has seen his side backed into odds-on favouritism to secure the club's first ever Premier League trophy, with the Reds now 4/6 and City drifting out to 11/8.

Manchester United's struggles go on with the honeymoon period firmly over for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. They are sitting in 12th, having made their worst start to a league campaign in 30 years.

Here, we take a look at some of the winners and losers of the campaign so far.

Winners

Liverpool

James Milner celebrates his goal against Leicester
James Milner celebrates his goal against Leicester

After finishing as runners-up behind Manchester City in May despite losing just one league game all season, Jurgen Klopp's Reds are yet to drop a point this term and currently sit eight points clear at the top.

While they have taken their run of top-flight wins, stretching back to March, to 17 games, their cause has been boosted by second-placed City suffering shock losses to Norwich and Wolves.

There remains, of course, plenty of football to get through yet as Liverpool look to finally get their hands on the Premier League trophy, but they could hardly have wished for a better start to their title bid.

Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers: Leicester boss, pictured on his return to Anfield
Brendan Rodgers: Leicester boss, pictured on his return to Anfield

There was disappointment for Rodgers on Saturday as his return to his old club Liverpool saw his Leicester side beaten 2-1, but overall it has been a very positive opening to 2019-20 for the Northern Irishman and his team.

Rodgers oversaw an eye-catching revival in the Foxes' form last season following his appointment as their boss in February, and - after a summer in which they lost the services of Harry Maguire with the England defender's move to Manchester United - the impressive work has continued.

Ninth at the end of last term, Leicester have been spoken about as possible top-six finishers this time around and presently lie fourth with 14 points.

The Foxes could go one better, with Rodgers' men now 5/2 for a top-four finish which would see the return of Champions League football to the King Power Stadium.

Tammy Abraham

Tammy Abraham: Chelsea ace celebrates his goal against Lille - his first in the Champions League
Tammy Abraham: Chelsea ace celebrates his goal against Lille - his first in the Champions League

Having spent time on loan at Bristol City, Swansea and Aston Villa over the past three seasons, Abraham has been handed a chance to shine for Chelsea in 2019-20 and has certainly made a mark so far.

The 22-year-old forward leads the Premier League scoring charts, alongside City's Sergio Aguero, after netting eight goals and his form has been rewarded with a recall to the senior England squad, which he was last a part of in 2017.

Abraham and fellow Chelsea academy graduates Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori - also called up by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate - have all been key men for Frank Lampard's fifth-placed Blues, who were unable to sign players over the summer due to a transfer embargo.


Listen - Premier League Podcast

The Sporting Life football team of Tom Carnduff, Paul Higham and George Pitts discuss their picks of the season so far.

The trio select their player of the campaign, alongside the best team, biggest surprise and biggest disappointment.

Click here to listen to the full episode via Soundcloud, with the podcast also available on iTunes and Spotify.


Losers

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is struggling at Manchester United

There was a pretty stark contrast last season between Manchester United's results when Solskjaer was caretaker manager - 10 wins in 13 league games - and after his appointment as permanent boss in March - two in eight - and the struggle has continued this term.

Things began well with a 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea, but there has been only one further league victory since and three defeats.

United, on nine points, have made their worst start to a league campaign in 30 years and with his side 12th in the table following Sunday's 1-0 loss at Newcastle, just two points above the relegation zone, the pressure on the Norwegian looks to be mounting.

The form is a huge concern and United are now just 9/2 to finish in the bottom-half of the Premier League table this season.

Marco Silva

Maro Silva: Everton boss unhappy with his side's form away from Goodison Park
Maro Silva: Everton boss is the favourite in the sack race

Everton boss Silva is another manager under considerable scrutiny after his side's losing streak in the league extended to a fourth match with Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Burnley - the Toffees' worst run in the division since 2014-15.

Rather than looking like contenders for a place in the top six, the club are now in 18th spot and boos could be heard from the visiting fans at Turf Moor at the weekend as Silva walked off after the final whistle.

Silva finds himself as the 5/4 favourite with Sky Bet to be the next Premier League manager to leave their position.

Watford

Javi Gracia: The Spaniard's Watford side are still searching for their first Premier League win of the season
Javi Gracia was the first Premier League manager to be sacked this season

The first managerial change in the league since the start of the season happened at Watford, who sacked Javi Gracia in September after losing three and drawing the other one of their opening four matches and brought back old boss Quique Sanchez Flores.

A subsequent 2-2 draw with Arsenal was followed by a humiliating 8-0 reverse at Manchester City and a 2-0 defeat at Wolves, before Saturday's 0-0 draw with Sheffield United.

Bottom of the table, four points adrift of safety, the Hornets are hoping Sanchez Flores can add to the commendable work he did in his first stint charge in 2015-16, when they finished 13th.


Odds correct at 1100 BST (08/10/19)

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