The year 2020 has been anything but normal, so it should be no surprise that the top of the Premier League table is not filled with the usual suspects. It is only six matches into the 38 game slate, so there is still plenty of time for things to change.
However, looking at some of the clubs currently atop the Premier League table could cause one to do a double-take. With so few matches played, the standings are tight, with only four points separating fourth from fourteenth. There are a few surprises up and down the table in the early going.
Top of Premier League Table Led By Unfamiliar Names
Defending champions Liverpool are currently in second place on goal difference. While they’ve played well, they have not looked nearly as dominant as they did while cruising to the title a season ago. They are also reeling from multiple injuries in their backline.
Tottenham Hotspur have squandered late leads in two home matches that ended in draws, as they currently sit fifth. Spurs are scoring at a rampant pace, but have issues in defence. The other clubs in the big six are all struggling to find their footing in the early season. Those struggles have left the door open for some less likely clubs to be sitting in the upper levels of the Premier League table. Get to know those squads, how they got off to a hot start, and how sustainable their success might be.
Sitting at the Summit
Everton made some big moves in the summer transfer window. Through the season’s first two months, those moves are paying off. James Rodriguez was brought in to be a creative force, and he has delivered so far. Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan were added in the midfield to as well. The new signings have all played their part in Everton’s fast start.
The biggest factor may be the continuing improvement of striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin in front of goal. The 23-year-old has seven goals in the first six matches. After winning the first four contests, the Toffees have just one point over the last two, so they need to rebound at the weekend.
From Relegation to Revival in the Premier League Table
It took until the final day of the restart for Aston Villa to avoid relegation this past summer. Their position just a point behind the leaders, with a game in hand, is easily the most surprising when looking at the Premier League table. Villa thrashed Liverpool 7-2 a few weeks ago, sending the message that they can be a force when they hit top form.
Jack Grealish has been excellent thus far, but unlike last season he doesn’t have to carry the load alone. Ross Barkley’s arrival has added quality and confidence to the midfield. He and Grealish are forming a dangerous connection. Emiliano Martinez has looked solid so far in goal, as the newly signed keeper has three clean sheets in five appearances.
Try and Try Again
Leicester City were cruising to a top-four finish for most of last season. They struggled during the restart and were passed by both Chelsea and Manchester United. Now they have taken aim at the same goal, and are off to a quality start. Jamie Vardy is once again the main man in attack, with six goals thus far. No other player has scored more than once.
Leicester need the likes of Harvey Barnes and James Maddison to chip in so the 33-year-old striker isn’t carrying the scoring burden on his own. How this team manages the stress of Europa League football on Thursday while trying to challenge at the top of the Premier League table all season will be key to their top-four chances.
While Aston Villa’s hot start may be the most surprising storyline, the return of Leeds United is by far the best. Their promotion ended a 16-year absence from the top flight of English football, and they have returned with flair. Leeds made a statement of intent during a thrilling but disappointing 4-3 loss to the defending champions.
This club did not return to the Premier League just to play it safe. Their aggressive and attacking style has been truly entertaining. Its been refreshing to see a promoted club not afraid to challenge their opponents. Patrick Bamford has been excellent, leading the line with six goals in six appearances. Mateusz Klich and Jack Harrison have also been in good form in the midfield, sparking this team’s free-flowing style. Defensively they have some issues, but they have also shown some improvement conceding only twice in the last four matches.
Premier League Table – Who’s in the Early Hunt
Wolverhampton Wanderers, Crystal Palace, and Southampton are all tied with Leeds at 10 points, and make up the rest of the top half. Those three are all led by their respective talisman Raul Jimenez, Wilfried Zaha, and Danny Ings. The goals those three provide will determine how high up the Premier League table their clubs can remain.
The standings are tight, and it is still very early in the campaign. However, it is a refreshing sight to see a variety of clubs playing well to start the season. This league continues to get deeper and more competitive. There are no weeks off in the top flight this season, and as we’ve seen across the globe, anything can happen in this wild year of 2020.