Even though London is in the grip of lockdown, there are still plenty of ways to entertain yourself this winter. You could try your hand at a new skill, like learning a foreign language. You could read the Heart Bingo review to familiarise yourself with that hugely popular game and attempt to strike it lucky online. Or you could follow the intriguing tussle unfolding in the Premier League.
With six teams from the capital competing in the top flight this season, there are plenty of London-based derbies to look forward to this year. But while it’s normally the usual suspects – Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal – that you would expect to be leading the pack, the 20/21 campaign has a different feel about it.
Spurs are already top of the pops, level on points with Liverpool, taking the number one spot by way of goal difference. The Gunners, on the other hand, are wallowing under their new manager, Mikel Arteta. Plus, teams you typically wouldn’t see in the top half and European places are representing the Big Smoke, as well. But, out of all of them, which club will get the bragging rights over their neighbours?
At the moment, it’s hard to look past Tottenham. As well as having one of the best strike partnerships in England, the current squad is strong and led by a man who has a reputation for being a serial winner. Mourinho might have had a bad couple of seasons, but you write him off at your peril.
Plus, even though Spurs have a few tricky games left over the festive period, they’ve come through ties against Chelsea and Arsenal with very favourable results. If Son and Kane stay fit, and Daniel Levy dips into the January transfer window, they should be title contenders, at least according to Sky Sports’ Peter Crouch.
While all the attention has focused on the north side of the capital, Frank Lampard’s men have been quietly going about their business. They’ve been doing it well, too, considering they are third and two points off the leaders.
What bodes well for Chelsea is that the squad seems to be gelling, especially with Christian Pulisic coming back to fitness and Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz hitting the ground running this season in the absence of key figures from last term. Thiago Silva has shored up the backline, too, but the team’s inexperience could be the deciding factor.
The Gunners were full of promise at the beginning of the campaign, but now it appears to be the same old story. Currently lying in 15th, 11 points off their North London rivals, Mikel Arteta doesn’t seem to be having the impact most thought he might.
He should get time, although this Express article reports he may get the sack imminently. Meanwhile, Aubameyang will likely start scoring again at some point – but it may not be enough to finish ahead of Chelsea and Spurs, even with 27 games to go.
West Ham United
For a big club, West Ham have underperformed in recent years, particularly when trying to stave off relegation. Thankfully for their supporters, the start to the 20-21 season has been really positive, and the EastEnders are 7th and have the potential to qualify for Europe, even if it is the Europa League. Still, it will be an excellent year if they can manage it because, at the moment, they might be the third-highest London team in the Prem.
Unfortunately, going by the criteria on this list, Fulham might have better luck tearing up their hymn sheet and starting afresh this season. Yes, recent results aren’t too bad, and they’re out of the relegation places for now. However, like the last time they made it to the promised land of the Premiership, they are shaky at the back and have already conceded 21 goals this season.
Crystal Palace are also performing well under Roy Hodgson. However, as usual, it seems to depend on the main man, Wilfried Zaha. If he stays, Roy’s boys should finish mid-table, well above the relegation zone.
Who will be the top-performing London team in 20/21? It’s difficult to look past Spurs as they have the world-class players and manager combination to challenge Liverpool and Man City. Still, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Chelsea there and thereabouts after the start that Lampard has made at Stamford Bridge.