Which team is most likely to get the worst of it?
With the European football championship fast approaching, we’ve been able to provide a handy guide to all the key questions that will be asked in the opening games of the new season.
With a full squad of players to choose from, and a new set of players and managers, this article will focus on the big-name clubs in the top three divisions.
To get you on the right track, here’s what we’ve picked out.
What does a ‘top four’ team look like?
It’s been a little over a year since the last major domestic cup, and the new year has been a bit of a blur.
With the season’s first fixture, Manchester City, a crucial one, set to be played in front of a huge crowd, the spotlight has been turned on the English top-four.
But where has the league stood so far?
Below, we have listed the top four teams in the Premier League so far.
We’ve also put together a handy graphic summarising their positions in the table, so you can easily compare where each team sits in the standings.
As we know, the big question is how the top two sides will perform in the coming fixtures.
That’s the main reason for putting together our guide, and in this article we’ve chosen to focus on teams that are likely to be a lot more difficult for the bottom two to beat.
This season, both of these teams are on the same level of form, and have proven they can challenge for titles, especially with a new manager in Pep Guardiola.
However, they both have the potential to do it on their own.
Both are currently in the Europa League quarter-finals, but with their recent form both teams have a shot of finishing above the drop zone.
As such, the gap between the two could be quite large.
It could be as much as 10 points, or as low as three points.
This is something both of them will have to do to stay up and get their sides in the knockout stages.
The big difference between the sides will be in the style of play they employ.
The Premier League’s top teams have been known to be highly structured, with a clear and logical structure to their game.
This means the bigger clubs will have a greater opportunity to dictate the tempo of the game.
With this in mind, they will be more likely to impose their will on the game, with little regard for the opposition, making it a more competitive contest.
In contrast, City, with their aggressive, high-pressing style, will play to their strengths, and will be looking to exploit their opponents weaknesses.
This will mean more time on the ball and less time on City’s shoulders, giving the Spaniards a greater chance of getting results.
This, in turn, means a more direct style of football will be preferred by both sides.
This will be particularly important as the season moves on, as Pep Guardiola’s team will need to work out how to deal with both of their rivals in the Champions League group stages.
Both sides are playing with great pace and skill, so it will be vital for them to find a way to get on the front foot against each other, and that will have consequences for the teams’ performance.
This could see City’s pace and speed, which are very different to that of City’s rivals, able to get in behind City, and then create chances for themselves.
City will be better equipped to exploit this than their rivals, who will need time to adjust to the pace of Guardiola’s teams.
In turn, City will have more opportunities to exploit City’s defensive weaknesses, as they are often more direct in their play.
City have a great track record of keeping clean sheets in recent years, and this could be the key factor in City’s success in the league.
In fact, last season they were one of only two teams to keep a clean sheet in every single league game, and they also won their opening game against Chelsea, with Diego Costa making the crucial save in the 2-1 win.
This form has seen them maintain their form throughout the campaign, and Pep’s side will hope they can repeat that success at Wembley.
In terms of tactics, Guardiola’s side have looked very effective this season, with Manuel Pellegrini’s side boasting one of the best defensive records in the division, and also having the league’s best defensive record overall.
This defensive dominance was highlighted by their impressive defensive record against Everton, as well as their dominance in midfield.
They also have one of England’s best attacking records in terms of goals scored, with five of the top six teams scoring at least once.
City’s attacking flair has also been key to their success this season.
The arrival of Diego Costa has seen Manuel Pelissier’s side become the second-highest scoring side in the competition, with the Argentine scoring five goals.
The Spaniards are also second in the race for the title with five more goals than City, although the Italian side are just a point behind them in