While Major League Soccer has only just begun in the United States, across the Atlantic, in the United Kingdom, one of the greatest soccer leagues in the world is in its final stretch. I am of course referring to the Premier League.
The Premier League, for those who do not know, is the top league for soccer in the United Kingdom, or more specifically England. It is this league where some of the best players in the world compete for the chance to lift the league trophy at the end of the season.
Now the thing about the Premier League is that each match is extremely important, and that is because, unlike many sports and leagues in America, the Premier League has no playoffs. Whichever team has the most points at the end of the season wins, and in case of a tie there are several tiebreakers just in case.
Now if you do not understand what I mean by points, that is fine because the most popular sports in the United States do not have a system like it. For most soccer leagues, including MLS, a point system determines where teams are ranked.
In the case of the Premier League teams are awarded three points for winning a match, one point for a draw and are not given any points for losing a match.
This system ensures that every single match carries some weight to it because even if your favorite club starts slow they still have a chance in the back half of a season. That being said, you do not want them to start out too slow, or else they may face regulation.
That is another interesting part of the Premier League compared to most sports in the United States. The bottom three teams in the Premier League are relegated to a lower league, called the Champions League, while the top two from the Champions move up along with the winner of a tournament between third through sixth in that same league.
To put it in American terms, specifically football, it would be like relegating the Chicago Bears, Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals to the USFL and then bringing up the New Orleans Breakers, Philadelphia Stars and the New Jersey Generals.
With all that out of the way, let us actually get to talking about the Premier League going into the final matches of the season, with less than 10 to go.
Arsenal is the current leader of the league and is just running away with the competition right now. They are on a seven game win streak right now, just beating Leeds 4–1. They top the league with 72 points with a great offensive attack and an exceptional defense which leads the league in clean sheets, or most games where the opponent is held to zero.
Now to find the best offense in the league, one only needs to look at the club currently in second with Manchester City, not to be confused with Manchester United in third. Manchester City sits second with 64 points but with the most goals in the league at 71.
Manchester City boasts an incredible roster of players with forward Erling Haaland leading the league in goals at 28 and midfielder Kevin De Bruyne leading the league in assists at 13.
The Premier League at this stage is essentially coming down to Arsenal and Manchester City, with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur waiting in third and fourth and hoping for either of them to make a mistake.
There is also Newcastle United and Brighton that are in the running at fifth and sixth respectively. They have a chance at taking the top spot, but the road there is far more difficult than those above them.
The real interesting stuff though is happening at the bottom as the bottom teams are all neck and neck, with any of them at risk of being relegated by season’s end.
The current three teams at the bottom are Southampton in 20th, West Ham United in 19th, and Leicester City in 18th. All three teams are within a point of each other and have a chance to climb back with the last few matches.
Southampton though might be in the most trouble as they have not seen a win in a month and have the worst goal differential in the league at -23. Though they still have chances to get out of relegation.
Most notably Leeds United and Everton are barely hanging on above the dreaded relegation, each having 26 points so far in the season.
This all combines to make these last few months of Premier League soccer a thrill to watch.