Football

Against all odds, Riyad Mahrez and Leicester City have emerged top-four challengers this season.

Sheer unpredictability is what makes the Premier League football's greatest league

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Characterised by a distinctive blend of physicality and pace since its inception in 1992, the Premier League has often been described by many as the best domestic club competition in the world.

In recent years, the comparative failure of its representatives in European competitions appeared to damage the league's reputation. The likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have been widely acknowledged for producing a superior quality of football.

However, while the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea are not quite the force they were at the turn of the decade, the English league itself has gone from strength to strength.

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This season, in particular, has been arguably the best yet. While Barcelona and the two Madrid clubs streak clear in Spain, and Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich dominate in France and Germany respectively, the Premier League title race cannot be predicted so easily.

This season, the traditional top four have been faltering. Arsenal were thumped 4-0 at Southampton, United went on a month-long winless streak and Chelsea are floundering in 14th. This lack of a dominance makes for an enthralling title race.

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Real recently swept aside comparative minnows Rayo Vallecano 10-2 in La Liga. Such one-sided affairs have rarely occurred in the Premier League this year and, indeed, a financially inferior side in Leicester City is mounting a serious challenge for a top-four spot.

The Foxes narrowly avoided relegation last season and after a managerial change and a modest summer spend found themselves top of the table at Christmas, playing an exciting brand of football.

Newcastle United v Leicester City - Premier League

Alongside Leicester’s success, other lesser sides have performed beyond expectation. Under Alan Pardew, Crystal Palace have shot up to seventh, while Odion Ighalo and Watford have taken the Premier League by storm over the festive period.

England's top-flight is continuously changing and this evolution is shown most clearly at Stoke City. When first promoted to the Premier League in 2008 they were regarded long-ball specialists, who resorted to bullying teams into submission.

The Potters now boast a front three oozing with quality in Marko Arnautovic, Xherdan Shaqiri and Bojan Krkic. This dynamic trio have lead their side to home victories over United, Manchester City and Chelsea to date.

Stoke City v Manchester City - Premier League

A spread of international quality throughout the league is unique and what sets the Premier League apart from all others.

The flair of West Ham’s playmaker Dimitri Payet lights up the Boleyn Ground on a weekly basis, Everton’s Romelu Lukaku leads the line for the world’s top-ranked international side and Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez looks capable of slotting into any team on the planet.

Norwich City v Everton - Premier League

Players of this ability are not found in mid-table teams elsewhere in Europe. There are now so many match-winners spread across the division’s 20 teams that anyone can beat anyone on any given day.

While the quality of last season’s top seven may not be good enough to achieve European glory this time round, for its unpredictability and overall entertainment, the Premier League is most definitely the best league in the world.

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Topics:
Liverpool
Arsenal
Premier League
Football

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