3 clubs punching above their weight in Premier League this season
We are exactly halfway through the 2019-20 Premier League season. Christmas is usually a good time to look at the teams and see where each team is going. Here we take a look at all the pleasant surprises.
Leicester City finished last season in 9th position,19 points off top four. Yet, this season they sit comfortably 2nd even after consecutive losses to Manchester City and Liverpool. Their net transfer spend over the last two years is just 36 million pounds in stark contrast to the 230 million pounds of 3rd place Manchester City. They have been very frugal in the market and their position in the league table is a testament to the ability of Brendan Rodgers. Wages spent per player per point is a good measure of value. On this metric Leicester rank best in the top 4 and 6th overall in the Premier League. Leicester’s 43K pounds per player per point is a far cry from City’s 87K pounds per player per point or Chelsea’s 74K. They have gone off the boil now during the last week of the year, but no one even expected them to be here.
Wolverhampton Wanderers are seriously underrated. The television pundits and media are too often speaking about the Liverpools and the Uniteds of the league and that helps Wolves go under the radar. They have been going about their business in a thrifty manner while we’ve all been fussing over the flashy teams. They have won both the games against defending champions City. Further, they have lost just 3 games this season, the least in the league after Liverpool, who remain unbeaten. Compare that with City’s 5 losses or Chelsea’s 7 losses and you get the picture. They’ve achieved all this by spending a stingy 39K pounds per player per point. In fact they rank second best on value based on the above metric. They look primed to improve on their 7th placed finish last season.
Forget newly promoted sides avoiding relegation, Sheffield United are here to show they can compete for the Champions League spots. From being the bookies favourite to get relegated, they are now just 3 points behind 4th placed Chelsea and have lost just once in the last 12 games. They have punched above their weight and then some. Manager Chris Wilder must credited for this and ought to be praised for his tactical acumen. When he took over as manager, Sheffield were in League One and had not played a Premier League match for about 10 years. The Blades have adopted a 3-5-2 to great effect this season.
Sheffield ranks best on pounds per player per point metric. They spend just 12.5K pounds per player per point, the second-best team being Wolves with 39K - the huge difference showing the magnitude of their achievement. But their mettle will be tested harder over the next 19 games as they attempt to qualify for Europe.Published 28 Dec 2019, 15:50 IST