Then Hull went and got worked over by Tottenham, more on them later, making my top table prediction a foolhardy one. Fear not Hull-ites, only 2 of your next 12 games are against top 6 teams (from last year of course). That's partly why I predicted you'd get off to a hot start, but hey, I'm just a crazy asshole anyway right! (sigh. so bitter...)
What we knew;
- Michael Owens does in fact, suck. Moreover, United's woes in front of goal is no fluke. Their goal totals in the Premiership over the last three championship years are in decline - 83, 80, and 68 last year. This is with Cristiano, of course, and he's kind of a goal-scorer. This year they're on pace for 19! Arsenal, on the other hand, is on pace for 190. This analysis makes it clear that United will struggle this year and Arsenal will break every record imagineable. Annnnnnd... done.
- TLOCA is a bit pessimistic when it comes to Arsenal. I'll come down off the ledge if we get three from a starving Portsmouth team this weekend and I'll buy you a drink if we beat United in 2 weeks. Until then, I'm enjoying the breeze up here.
- Chelsea is really annoying. FFLampard hasn't even gotten going yet.
- Adebayor loves money.
What we didn't know
- That Arsenal's Denilson and Song have been doing work in the offseason. I would have thrown Bendtner in there as well but he played as himself against Celtic. Arsenal's successes this year have come without key contributors; Arshavin has been solid but stymied in the final third and the same goes for Van Persie. Fabregas has clearly stepped up to the challenge but he tends to get off to hot starts. The EPL has and always will be about depth and the final half of the season so let's not crown Arsenal yet.
- Tottenham looks very crisp. They've created 50 scoring chances in two games and look unfortunately fluid in attack mode. Aaron Lennon looks like he's made a jump and so does Jermaine Defoe. I don't like this one bit.
- That Birmingham and Burnley would look so frisky. Birmingham surprised me with their poise and build-up against United in their 1 nil loss and Burnley did the unthinkable just a few days ago. The confounder here is that they both looked good against United so we'll have to wait a few more games to absolve them of relegation talks.
- There have been 16 games played thus far and none of them have ended in a draw. Last year, 26.3% of matches ended a draw. That's kind of weird**, no?
Arsenal vs. Portsmouth - No points in two games and the schedule doesn't get easier for the Mouth. They have Citeh, Bolton, Aston Villa, Everton, Wolves, Tottenham coming up - all losable games. Ouch.
Birmingham vs. Stoke - The friskies collide to see who will be crowned most frisky.
Citeh vs. Wolves - The more we all see Manchester City, the better.
Wigan vs. ManUtd - a must-win this early in the season? More on this in a future post.
Liverpool vs Aston Villa (monday) - my guess is we'll leave with no further answers about either team but thoroughly entertained.
**In fact, the probability of 16 games all ending with a win/loss result is .0076, or, under 1 in a 100 chance. 1 in 128 to be exact.