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Premier League title race: What we know after 10 games

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Premier League title race: What we know after 10 games

 

It is often seen as one of the key staging posts of the season. For some, 10 games into the campaign was – and perhaps still is – the first point at which they really start paying attention to the table. So, with every Premier League team now having played that amount of matches, what can we read into a title race that continues to feel highly intriguing?

 

European champions Chelsea currently sit three points clear – on 25 from a possible 30 – at the top of the table.

 

Liverpool are second on 22. Title-holders Manchester City third on 20. Fourth-placed West Ham United share that total but have a weaker goal difference.

 

Then there is Manchester United in fifth and Arsenal in sixth – both on 17 points and also separated by goal difference.

 

Seventh-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers and eighth-placed Brighton and Hove Albion each have 16 points.

 

Tottenham Hotspur – now under the stewardship of Antonio Conte following Nuno Espírito Santo’s sacking on Monday – sit ninth on 15, with Everton 10th on 14.

 

Mid-August, when the 2021/22 season kicked off, already feels quite a long time ago.

 

Back then, the consensus among many was that we could be in for a four-team title race, with there being a feeling that each of Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United had a decent shot.

 

Looking at the table now, some may say that it does indeed look like a four-team race – only with West Ham substituted in for Manchester United.

 

Given the relatively early stage and narrow gap, though, that does still feel a somewhat premature judgement to make. The Hammers have undeniably made a superb start to the season, nonetheless – especially considering their Europa League commitments.

 

The fact they host Liverpool this weekend is made all the more intriguing by their respective positions – and looks set to represent a telling test of both sides’ credentials.

 

Somewhat logically, given the pre-season predictions and Man United’s relatively poor start, plenty now feel that the title is likely to be won by one of three teams – Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester City.

 

Their credentials appear to be the ones most worthy of digging into at present. That’s not to say that won’t change, of course.

 

They are the last three clubs to win the Premier League – Chelsea in 2016/17, Liverpool in 2019/20 and Manchester City in 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2020/21 – and have each won other major honours in recent times. There’s plenty of pedigree there.

 

Managers Thomas Tuchel, Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola also continue to represent three of the game’s most respected bosses.

 

Tuchel’s Blues are, then, the side in poll position at present. A position they strengthened on Saturday when they won 3-0 at Newcastle United, while the Reds drew 2-2 at Anfield against Brighton and City suffered a 2-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace.

 

That they are currently without forwards Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner makes their status as leaders additionally impressive.

 

They came away from Liverpool with an impressive 1-1 draw in late August after Reece James’ red card saw them play the entire second-half with 10 men – a result that was widely seen as a sign of their collective solidity.

 

They have also gone to Arsenal and Spurs and earned authoritative 2-0 and 3-0 wins respectively.

 

Winning at newly-promoted Brentford – who have already taken points off Liverpool and beaten the Gunners – with a much-changed side and after enduring a late siege by the hosts, also represented a notable marker for many.

 

The biggest question mark against their credentials arguably comes from the day they hosted City.

 

They lost 1-0 to Guardiola’s champions in the lunchtime kick-off on September 25. It remains their single League defeat of the campaign so far, but it was more how they lost.

 

With Chelsea playing the 3-5-2 they had switched to the previous week in the second half of their win at Spurs, they were fundamentally outplayed by a City side who largely pressed and played them into submission.

 

It feels like it could represent an anomaly. This was a very un-Tuchel like display. His Chelsea beat City three times in the latter weeks of last season across three competitions, after all, and the Blues have won each of their four league matches since.

 

Just how much better the Sky Blues were on that particular day remains a talking point, though.

 

It looked, in fairness, like City might do similar to Liverpool at Anfield eight days later when they dominated opening 45.

 

A rip-roaring second period saw the two sides then go toe-to-toe, however, and play out an enthralling 2-2 draw.

 

That City were able to take four of a possible six points from their trips to the two sides that may well prove their primary title rivals feels an endorsement of their hopes.

 

They have lost two matches aside though – on the opening day at Spurs and most recently at home to Palace – as well as being held to a 0-0 home draw against Southampton in September.

 

Chelsea are outdoing them on the consistency front at the moment.

 

Liverpool, impressively, remain the only unbeaten side in the division and are, in fact, on a 24-game unbeaten run in all competitions at time of writing.

 

That, in itself, is a habit that will prove an immense help if maintained. But, still, they have had some similar issues. They’ll likely need to increase the proportion of those unbeaten games that are wins, rather than draws.

 

Their record stands at six wins and four draws so far. That, and being tough to beat, is certainly something to build on.

 

There is a perception, though, that they need to consistently rediscover their ability to grind out results when not at their best – something they were so good at in 2018/19 and 2019/20, when they registered 97 and 99 points respectively.

 

Alongside the two draws with Chelsea and Manchester City – which didn’t represent immense surprises but were two matches they will still likely have felt they could, and perhaps should, have won – they have also been held in two other fixtures.

 

A thrilling 3-3 at Brentford, on the same day City beat Chelsea, and in Saturday’s entertaining 2-2 with Brighton – where the Seagulls staged an admirable fightback from two down.

 

Both were matches that left plenty to be desired on the game-management front – another skill they honed so effectively in ‘18/19 and ‘19/20. They gave away the lead three times in West London and were in a position of considerable strength on Saturday.

 

Significant credit should go to Thomas Frank and Graham Potter’s sides for how they acquitted themselves, however – they were committed and clever in their respective approaches.

 

That game-management, though – as already touched on – is, at least, a skill that the Reds know they have applied effectively in the past.

 

They will be keen to find it soon in order to maximise the attributes that saw them achieve that stunning 5-0 success at Old Trafford, which came eight days after a victory by the same scoreline at Watford.

 

There remains a fascinating mix of attributes amongst the current top three. And, excitingly, there is a sense that each of them could yet have further gears to go through.

 

Outside of those top places, both North London clubs look particularly worth keeping an eye on over the coming weeks.

 

They may not be in a position to be title contenders this season, but Arsenal are building an increasingly efficient-looking structure under Mikel Arteta.

 

Antonio Conte, meanwhile, will doubtless want to have the kind of impact at Spurs as he was able to at both Chelsea – which led to that ‘16/17 Premier League win – and Inter Milan, who he guided to last season’s Serie A title.

 

The 2021/22 title race continues to look thoroughly intriguing.

 

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Doctor Who: David Tennant and Catherine Tate to return

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David Tennant and Catherine Tate are to return to Doctor Who, the BBC has confirmed.

The pair are currently filming for the sci-fi show’s 60th anniversary, which it will celebrate in 2023.

Tennant played the 10th Doctor on the time travel drama from 2005-2010, while Tate played companion Donna Noble. Tennant and Tate’s involvement means they will be reunited with returning Doctor Who head writer Russell T Davies.

Davies, who was in charge of Doctor Who when it was successfully revived in 2005, left at the same time as Tennant. Their last episode together was broadcast in 2010.

Tennant has briefly returned before, joining then-Doctor Matt Smith for the programme’s 50th anniversary in 2013.

Davies has teased fans, saying: “Maybe this is a missing story. Or a parallel world. Or a dream, or a trick, or a flashback. The only thing I can confirm is that it’s going to be spectacular, as two of our greatest stars reunite for the battle of a lifetime.”

Tennant and Tate’s 2008 series of Doctor Who is the most successful that the show has had since its revival in 2005, with an average audience of more than eight million viewers per episode.

Are you excited to see their return?

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Eurovision 2022: How Sam Ryder Turned Things Around For the UK

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Sam Ryder has said the “stigma” about the UK’s Eurovision performance has finally been “destroyed” after he brought home our best result in 24 years.

The singer led the UK to second place during Saturday night’s Song Contest in Turin, Italy, with his song ‘Space Man’.

It was the the highest the UK has placed since 1998, when Imaani’s ‘Where Are You?’ finished just behind Israel’s Dana International, who won with her song Diva.

In the years since, Britain has suffered a number of embarrassment moments, receiving the dreaded “nul points” in 2003 with Jemini’s ‘Cry Baby’ and in 2021 with James Newman’s ‘Embers’.

However, the public overwhelmingly backed Ukraine, who won the competition with 631 points on the leaderboard, with the UK securing 466 points.

Winning the 2022 Eurovision trophy is a hugely emotional and symbolic victory for Ukraine in the contest’s 66th year as the conflict continues.

The nation’s president Volodymyr Zelensky responded: “Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe.

“We will do our best to one day host the participants and guests of Eurovision in Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful, rebuilt.”

The results had many fans in sheer disbelief on social media, while prime minister Boris Johnson said he was “incredibly proud” of Sam and how “he brilliantly represented the UK”.

You’re the winner in our eyes Sam, well done!

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Eurovision 2022: Sam Ryder Odds Rocket Ahead of Eurovision Final

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The UK’s Eurovision 2022 entry Sam Ryder has closed in on Ukraine in the winner odds after his performance in the jury semi final.

The TikTok star blew away the audience who flocked to the Pala Olimpico arena in Turin, Italy to see the second jury semi final. The reaction to Sam’s act and his amazing performance have now got plenty of fans and experts predicting he is going to push Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra all the way on Saturday night.

Last week , Sam was sitting in fourth place in the Eurovision odds with his song ‘Space Man’ but, after his second rehearsal in Turin received a rave reaction from press over in Italy and fans and he was given a huge advantage by being drawn in the second half of the Eurovision final, he soared up to second.

The Ukraine currently have a 59% chance of winning and the UK 11%. Sweden and Italy then currently stand as third and fourth favourites at 9% and 6% respectively. Our odds have improved even more so since too as the UK have been announced to perform fourth from last, number 22, which has been the winning performance slot two years in a row.

On May 3 2022 it became exactly 25 years to the day since the UK’s last triumph in Eurovision, when Katrina & the Waves topped the leaderboard in Ireland with their anthemic track Love Shine A Light. Since then, there’s been little to shout about. The UK has always been on the wrong side of the leaderboard, with us consistently finishing at or near the bottom. And last year proved a particularly bitter pill to swallow when James Newman came last on zero points, having received nothing from either the juries or televote.

Check out Sam’s song here:

Who do you think will win?

Watch Eurovision Song Contest 2022 – Grand Final this Saturday (May 14) at 8pm GMT on BBC1.

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