Premier League Season So Far - Who Have Been the Winners and Losers?

In this early EPL recap, we’re taking a look at the winners and losers of the Premier League’s first seven matchdays.

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Premier League Winners and Losers

The Premier League season so far, in some ways, has made total sense. After all, six of the table’s top eight spots are occupied by the league’s traditional “top six.” However, that would be a bit disingenuous as no one would have foreseen Arsenal deservedly sitting atop the table at this point. And some might have contemplated the Premier League season so far and penciled Manchester United into fifth, but probably not with positive vibes swirling around the seemingly perpetually beleaguered club.

At the other end of the spectrum, the 2022-23 season has been significantly less friendly to Chelsea, Liverpool, and Leicester City. With club football adjourning for an international break, we thought this was an excellent chance for an EPL recap and take a moment to assess the winners and losers of the Premier League season so far.

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Premier League Table

Rank

Squad

MP

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts

xG

xGA

xGD

xGD/90

1

Arsenal

7

6

0

1

17

7

10

18

12.8

5.4

7.3

1.05

2

Manchester City

7

5

2

0

23

6

17

17

15.7

3.4

12.2

1.75

3

Tottenham

7

5

2

0

18

7

11

17

11.7

7.1

4.6

0.65

4

Brighton

6

4

1

1

11

5

6

13

10.2

7.1

3.1

0.52

5

Manchester Utd

6

4

0

2

8

8

0

12

8.1

8.4

-0.3

-0.04

6

Fulham

7

3

2

2

12

11

1

11

8.7

12

-3.3

-0.47

7

Chelsea

6

3

1

2

8

9

-1

10

7.6

6.9

0.7

0.11

8

Liverpool

6

2

3

1

15

6

9

9

12.2

6.7

5.5

0.92

9

Brentford

7

2

3

2

15

12

3

9

10.7

8.7

2

0.29

10

Newcastle Utd

7

1

5

1

8

7

1

8

11.4

8.2

3.2

0.46

11

Leeds United

6

2

2

2

10

10

0

8

9.4

8.3

1.2

0.2

12

Bournemouth

7

2

2

3

6

19

-13

8

3.3

12.2

-8.9

-1.27

13

Everton

7

1

4

2

5

6

-1

7

7.7

11.5

-3.8

-0.55

14

Southampton

7

2

1

4

7

11

-4

7

6.1

7.6

-1.5

-0.21

15

Aston Villa

7

2

1

4

6

10

-4

7

5.3

10

-4.7

-0.67

16

Crystal Palace

6

1

3

2

7

9

-2

6

7.8

10.4

-2.6

-0.43

17

Wolves

7

1

3

3

3

7

-4

6

6.2

8.3

-2.1

-0.3

18

West Ham

7

1

1

5

3

9

-6

4

6.3

7.7

-1.4

-0.21

19

Nottingham Forest

7

1

1

5

6

17

-11

4

6.9

14.5

-7.6

-1.09

20

Leicester City

7

0

1

6

10

22

-12

1

7.2

10.8

-3.7

-0.52

Premier League Season So Far - The Winners

Arsenal

Before the season, an offer of 18 points and seven goals allowed in seven games, with the top spot in the league table, would have sparked a feeding frenzy amongst Arsenal fans. That Arsenal is still only third-favorites to win the Premier League at FanDuel (+1100, behind Man City at -320 and Liverpool at a seemingly aggressive +800) and fourth at Caesars (+1000, behind City at -335, Liverpool at +800 and Tottenham at +900) is a reflection of the Gunners’ upcoming schedule and the ground they’ve still got to make up in the eyes of the public to become legitimate contenders.

That said, deservedly sitting atop the table with the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli, and Aaron Ramsdale all playing some excellent football is something to be proud of, especially given the current iteration of Man City. Bouncing back from a 3-1 September 4 loss to Manchester United with a dominant 3-0 win over Brentford suggests that the result at Old Trafford was just a temporary blip. 

Mikel Arteta’s team has a pair of massive showdowns on the other side of this international break - a North London Derby against Spurs, with a visit from Liverpool just eight days later. Upping the degree of difficulty is that, in between, Arsenal has a Europa League group stage contest against Norwegian side FK Bodø/Glimt. On the bright side, all those are at the Emirates, which should give Arsenal a shot at keeping the good times rolling. 

It’s hard to see Arsenal hold on to this slim lead over a 30-plus game race against Manchester City. This team is playing quality football and looking reliable. Thus, they are a safe bet to be top-four at the season’s end. Backing them isn’t cheap (-225 at Caesars) but represents solid value.

Manchester City

On the one hand, four dropped points from seven Premier League games for a team that features, among many others, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, and Rodri could be seen as a disappointment in an EPL recap. Some consolation is to endure such a “disastrous” start and still sit a lone point off the top of the table as a better than three-to-one favorite at all the major books to win the league.

Where serious winning comes in is up front, where one of the most touted acquisitions in recent Premier League history, Erling Haaland, hasn’t so much “acclimated quickly to the league” or even “hit the ground running” but, with 11 goals in seven Premier League games and another three in two Champions League outings, has stormed the soccer world, and has the look of an all-time great. So, for a team that already featured that comical lineup of stars above, to add not just another star but potentially this generation guy qualifies as a win.

That Man City will overtake Arsenal to claim a fourth Premier League title in five years is being taken as something of a given. Understandably so. City’s depth and quality are unrivaled and warrant prohibitive favorite treatment (-320 at FanDuel, -335 at Caesars). However, the ultimate value of this campaign for City will be determined in the Champions League. 

So far, so good. In a UCL group with Dortmund, FC Copenhagen, and Sevilla, City has won two of two, scoring six goals and conceding just one. They are the clear favorites to win the competition, at +200 (both FanDuel and Caesars), with no other team (PSG) with odds shorter than +500. With the addition of Haaland and the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Liverpool being teams in transition, and PSG with a new manager, we can’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be City’s year.

Brighton & Hove Albion

For a decidedly not-top-six club to sit fourth in the table nearly a fifth of the way through the season, with a game in hand on the top three, after not only losing its top two players (Marc Cucurella and Yves Bissouma) to league rivals but also their leading goalscorer in Neal Maupay, is a massive achievement. 

Whether the Seagulls can keep this up now the manager who oversaw their rise, Graham Potter, has departed to try and repair things at Chelsea is an important question. However, there's no taking away from what Brighton has already delivered.

Though the Seagulls are unlikely to maintain top-five status for the remainder of the season, with the quality of Pascal Gross, Alexis Mac Allister, and Leandro Trossard, they’re equally unlikely to slide any further than the comfort of midtable. What the team looks like in doing that is perhaps the most challenging call in this exercise, especially post the January transfer window.

Manchester United

The devastation at the hands of Brentford, and the subsequent despair ahead of Liverpool's annual visit to Old Trafford, feels like ancient history in the way of an EPL recap now. The massive showing in that August 22 showdown with Liverpool, combined with United’s subsequent elimination of the errors that marred their start to the season, has immeasurably improved the vibes around this team. The Red Devils have since logged a pair of (admittedly less than dominant) 1-0 victories over Southampton and bottom-of-the-table Leicester and impressively gone toe-to-toe with top-of-the-table Arsenal at home and come away 3-1 winners.

Man United now sits fifth in the table, a point behind Brighton, with a game in hand on the top three. That they are looking at a Manchester derby at the Etihad on the other side of the International break will certainly temper some of the optimism. However, given the emergence of Lisandro Martinez as a top-tier defender and the team’s generally much-improved form at that end of the pitch, United can at least hope to put in another encouraging performance.

Whatever happens in the derby, we'll have to wait for a while to see how it affects the Red Devils. After that trip to the Etihad, Man United are off to Cyprus for a Europa League group stage match against Omonia, with the return fixture coming a week later. We'll get an accurate measure of where United are at as a team when, between October 16 and 22, they face top four rivals Newcastle, Tottenham, and Chelsea. A stretch like this could really dent United’s top-four hopes, which currently sit at +150 at Caesars.

Premier League Season So Far - The Losers

Liverpool

For most teams, a +9 goal difference through six games, even with an unspectacular yield of nine points, wouldn't qualify as “catastrophic” in an EPL recap of the season so far. Then again, most teams are not Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

For the past half-decade, Liverpool has been the closest thing England’s had to an equal to Man City domestically, with a League Cup, an FA Cup, and a long-awaited Premier League title in 2020, plus a pair of second-place finishes. They’ve been City’s superior in Europe, with three Champions League Final appearances and a victory in 2019. Of course, it’s tough for clubs without City-like resources to keep a run like this going. 

Heading into the season, it was fair to assume that with the departure of Sadio Mané to Bayern Munich, Roberto Firmino’s role shrinking, and Mohamed Salah, now 30 years of age, potentially seeing the end of his prime come into view, Klopp’s side was entering into a transitional period. However, with the additions in recent years of Diogo Jota and Luis Díaz, and Darwin Núñez joining in the close season, plus the continued excellence of Salah, van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold, Henderson, Fabinho, and Alisson… you get the picture, where Liverpool find themselves is a little surprising.

It's worth noting that this team has been beset by injuries, particularly in the midfield, and has been scrambling to plug holes since the season began. Some might cite in an EPL recap that after a brutal two-points-from-three matches start to the season that concluded with a deceptively decisive 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford to then-engulfed-in-flames Man United, Liverpool has seemingly found some footing, with seven points and a +10 goal difference in their last three matches. But a quick peek under the hood reveals the potentially troubling fact that the entirety of Liverpool’s lofty goal difference came in a single, unholy 9-0 beating of Bournemouth, leaving the results for the rest of the season at six points from five games, with six goals scored and six conceded.

That said, this doesn’t have the look of a team in crisis. Now eighth in the table, eight points behind Man City, and with a nine-point gap to Arsenal (admittedly with a game in hand on each), a title challenge looks unlikely (although not if you blindly believe the bookmakers). It’s reasonable to expect a healthy version of this side, with some quality time under its belt, to climb the table. Don’t be shocked if that climb doesn't happen immediately after this international break, though.  After hosting Brighton, Liverpool will face both Champions League group fixtures against Rangers, with a trip to Arsenal sandwiched in between and a visit from Manchester City looming on the other side. Liverpool are a confident top-four pick at Caesars, with -350 odds, though.

Leicester

Although Leicester’s 2021-22 domestic campaign wasn’t inspiring (eighth-place, on 52 points, with a goal difference of +3, equidistant from Crystal Palace in twelfth and West Ham in seventh), there was little to suggest impending disaster. In fact, after falling out of the Europa League, the Foxes put together a run to the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League, where they lost by an aggregate 2-1 score to eventual champions Roma. 

There was nothing to suggest the utter disaster awaiting this side in the Premier League in 2022-23. Yet what a disaster it’s been. To recap, through seven EPL games, Leicester is rooted to the bottom of the table, with a lone point, 22 goals allowed, with just ten goals scored. Only one team is within six of their horrific -12 goal difference, 19th-placed Nottingham Forest (at -11), who are three points clear of Leicester.

There’s almost sure to be some sort of uptick in form, given the experience and quality in the squad. At this point, though, there’s precious little to suggest a miraculous reversal that saves Brendan Rodgers’ job and secures the Foxes’ Premier League future (+175 to be relegated at both FanDuel and Caesars).

Chelsea

The disappointment in Chelsea's early form is plain to the eye. Just ten points from six matches played, seventh in the Premier League table, behind all but one of their fellow presumptive “top six,” and little to suggest that the side is primed for an immediate turnaround. To recap, in their last four EPL games, the Blues have only two victories, both at home, by 2-1 score lines over 18th-placed West Ham and disastrous bottom-of-the-table Leicester. These games were sandwiched between a 2-1 away defeat to Southampton (2-1) and preceded by a 3-0 hammering at Leeds.

Given that rough start, it was no surprise that manager Thomas Tuchel was shown the door by the club’s new American owners, who’ve already spent over $310 million on eight new players. Who says success can be bought? Although don’t say that to Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers who has expressed frustration at a lack of funds and implied it is the cause of their own frustrations.

It will be fascinating to see what new manager Graham Potter, just hired from Brighton, gets out of the squad. He is a master of working on a budget and getting the most out of players he inherits. If he can coax a level of play anywhere near these player’s potential, as he did from his group at Brighton (of which Cucurella was a member), bright days will be ahead for Chelsea in the form of a top-four finish (currently +120 at Caesars). 

Best Premier League Strikers

It’s no surprise that Erling Haaland tops this list. Only 8 weeks into this season and the commentary around the Norwegian already has him as a contender to break the record for most goals in a season (Currently held by Mohammed Salah who scored 32 goals back in the 2017-2018 season. With 11 goals currently, he is thriving in a Manchester City team who have adapted to his strengths. His speed and strength can be seen causing trouble to the most experienced defenders as their creative talents can find moments of magic picking him out just in front of goal. He is currently overperforming his expected goal figures (7.4 xG), but if anyone can break this model, it’s this man. 

Our honorable mention has to go to Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has always seemed to miss the mark in previous seasons. Having smashed the Championship goal record last year, his newfound fitness has allowed him to compete with some of the best in the world. Scoring 6 goals of the campaign so far place him on par with Harry Kane. It’s only when we consider he’s scored goals against Liverpool (2), Brentford, Arsenal, Brighton, and Tottenham that we really can understand the step up he’s taken this season. 

Best Premier League Defenders

Defensively, there haven’t been as many stars in the limelight, partly down to the fact strikers are causing a lot of trouble this year with the majority of teams opting for a clear number 9. Picking defenders from the top teams also seems a slight cop-out, the reality is it’s a whole team's responsibility to defend and teams like Manchester City and Arsenal dominate in all areas of the pitch. 

We go to the bottom of the table for our first pick, Nico Williams of Nottingham Forest may be a surprise for some, however, the ex-Liverpool loanee has made a huge impact. No player has made more tackles in the defensive 3rd (17) and has blocked the fourth-highest number of shots in the league (19). Averaging 1.99 shots per 90, he’s also in the top 1% of full-backs, if he can find the back of the net more often, he will certainly be one to watch. 

Last season, the Leeds defense was nothing short of woeful. Whilst an inexperienced squad and intensity were to blame, Jesse Marsch has transformed the team at both ends of the field. 23-year-old Pascal Struijk has played a huge part in this, making more tackles on progressive dribblers than any other player in the league (14). He’s unlikely to be finding goals often throughout the season, however, the consistency will be welcomed in the Leeds squad as they attempt to build on the disastrous previous season. 

Conclusion

We head into the International break with it all still to play for. Who has surprised you the most so far? If you're looking for more soccer content, be sure to read our guide: How To Bet on Soccer, and visit our odds comparison tool to compare the latest odds. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who are the Premier League’s best players so far? 

Man City’s Erling Haaland (top goalscorer), Kevin De Bruyne (most assists, with six), Rodri (most passes, with 647), and Ederson (most clean sheets, with four) are considered the best players statistically in the Premier League season so far.

However, Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus (fifth top goal scorer and joint third in assists), Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic (second top goalscorer), and Brentford’s Ivan Toney (third highest goal scorer) have all exceeded expectations and are top performers too.

Which team has the most clean sheets in the Premier League so far? 

Man City has four clean sheets from seven games in the Premier League season so far, ahead of Arsenal, Brighton, Newcastle, and Wolves, who all have three.

Who is the top goalscorer in the Premier League?

Erling Haaland is the Premier League’s top goalscorer, scoring 11 of Man City’s 17 goals in just seven games of the Premier League season so far. Harry Kane (Tottenham) and Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) are joint second with six goals each.

 

Written by Emile Avanessian.

Emile is a one-time banker turned sports writer from the United States, now living in Barcelona, Spain. He has primarily written on the NBA and NFL for over 10 years but is also highly knowledgeable about the EPL, college basketball, and football.  

He also writes for Squawka, and his work has been published in The Los Angeles Times, Yahoo Sports, SI.com, and on ESPN.