The Premier League ‘Big 6’ is like that private club that you always dream of getting into, but you know deep down that the chances are you’ll never make it. The so-called Big 6; Manchester City, Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd, tend to dominate the top places in the division as well as the footballing headlines.
However, this year the dominance of the Big 6 looks like it could seriously come under threat and this weekend may highlight the very real possibility that things could be different this time around. That’s because the two clubs who look most likely to drop out of the top six, Man Utd, and Chelsea, face difficult tests against two of the clubs that are pushing to replace them in that top six.
Finishing in the top six, is the equivalent of sports scholarships for the top teams. The money you guarantee by ensuring European football is huge, and it lays the groundwork for success in the future. With the rewards being so big for breaking into the top six, there are plenty of teams that want to steal a spot.
Things have been far from easy at United since Sir Alex Ferguson retired and vacated the managerial post. United have, for the most part, managed to cling onto a top six finish though it’s starting to look like that might be difficult this year.
With one win, one loss, and two draws to open the season, United have looked far from invincible under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Saturday sees the Red Devils welcome 2015/16 Premier League Champions, Leicester to Old Trafford and it could be an early indicator of which team is more likely to sneak a top six finish.
Leicester have started the season in fine form, with two wins and two draws from their opening four matches. They will be confident that they can go to Old Trafford and get a result, but if they’re serious about a top six finish, it’s a game they should be aspiring to win.
Whichever team takes the spoils in this game is going to take a lot of confidence that they can gain that crucial top six spot and the European football that goes along with it. Of course, United’s ultimate goals are much bigger than just a place in the top six, but confidence has to come from somewhere and a win over Leicester might just spark something for them.
Chelsea are another giant of the English game, but just like United, they look like they might struggle to take their place in the top six this year. Club legend Frank Lampard has returned to Stamford Bridge to take up the managerial position, but he faces a difficult task in the face of a transfer ban.
Chelsea have had a difficult start to the season, but optimism still remains as they look to build-in some young prospects and work their way up the table. A trip to Wolves is no easy challenge though and it will be a real test of their ability to maintain a top six place.
Wolves have had a slow start to the season, but they know how to take points off the top teams and will be confident they can do the same to Chelsea.
The Pressure’s on
It might only be game week five in the Premier League, but the pressure is always on the big teams to get results. This weekend United and Chelsea face difficult battles to prove to us that they can finish in the top six again this season.
Will they show Leicester and Wolves that they’re not willing to go out without a fight?