Rodgers joins Lampard in establishing new league order

          Chelsea and Leicester begin to set themselves apart in top 4 race

          2019/11/03 20:42
          By Connor Andrews

          With both sides notching impressive away wins this weekend, Chelsea and Leicester now sit six points ahead of their closest top four competition, but perhaps more impressively are just two points shy of Champions Manchester City.

          Outside of Leicester’s stunning league win in 2016, the Premier League’s top six has been set for quite some time, but now the race for the Champions League spots looks over before it even began.

          With matching records of seven wins, two draws and two defeats The Foxes and Blues are not only comprehensively throwing aside Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham, but keeping themselves on the outskirts of a potential title race.

          A picture that was becoming increasingly clear levelled up this weekend as Chelsea bagged a fifth consecutive league win, Leicester their fifth in six, and their three rivals all blundered against mid table opposition.

          While Brendan Rodgers statistics are slightly skewed by a 9-0 drubbing of Southampton by Leicester, the current top four are in a class of their own when it comes to goal scoring, all well clear of Tottenham’s 17, and Chelsea matching top of the table Liverpool’s 25.

          And defensively, only the impressive Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United can match Leicester’s misley record of just eight goals conceded, whilst Manchester United keep themselves in the picture.

          Leicester, despite receiving plaudits all round, are statistically the luckiest team in the league, their expected goals data showing they’ve scored nearly 13 more goals than historical data shows they should have, whilst Manchester United are the unluckiest of the top sides scoring five less goals than they should have.

          However Leicester’s data will be thrown out by their exceptional finishing during the 9-0, whilst Manchester United regularly missing penalties makes them appear far more unlucky than they actually are.

          And in terms of chance creation, United are once again in the mix, with Arsenal and Tottenham lagging behind on shots per game.

          Statistics aside Chelsea and Leicester possess two of the most young and exciting sides in Europe, with expressive forward lines backed up by strong midfields and unexpectedly solid whilst inexperienced defences.

          Put simply, both teams are the full package. Whilst Arsenal possess a Champions League level attack, their defence continues to blunder, and United’s defensive signings impressive starts have been outweighed by their profligate young forwards, meanwhile Spurs are struggling in every aspect.

          While some called Leicester interrupting the top six, few was suggesting they would be so close to Manchester City at this stage. Çaglar Söyüncü has replaced Harry Maguire seamlessly, while the signing of Ayoze Pérez has been another analytics success.

          ©Getty / Michael Regan

          And at Stamford Bridge, no one could have predicted quite how quickly Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount would become two of the best young players in European football, whilst Frank Lampard’s ability to get the most out of every squad player can only be admired.

          ©Getty / Catherine Ivill

          While there’s a long, long way to go, and both sides facing the sternest of tests with a busy winter schedule, this weekend appeared to be the moment where the Premier League’s new top four started to seriously create a gap and establish themselves.

          As United, Arsenal and Spurs find ways to stumble, Chelsea and Leicester just keep notching up wins. And with the two sides above them meeting at Anfield next weekend, things could quickly look even more eyebrow raising for Rodgers and Lampard.

          ©Getty / Michael Regan

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