Seven matches in and the Premier League has reached its first checkpoint.
It may already be the second international break of the campaign, but we can now evaluate how all 20 sides have performed in the first couple of months of the new season over the next two weeks.
With the table taking shape, it’s the perfect time for everyone to re-evaluate their pre-season predictions.
Article continues below
That’s exactly what Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has done.
Nicholas predicted the Premier League’s top-four ahead of this campaign but, after each team has played seven matches, he’s changed his mind slightly.
Nicholas’ original prediction:
1. Manchester City
3. Manchester United
But, after Jose Mourinho’s side sit sixth in the league after losses to Watford and Manchester City and a draw at home against Stoke, Nicholas has had had second thoughts.
Nicholas’ latest prediction:
1. Manchester City
The pundit has also revealed exactly why he has changed his mind after watching the opening few months of the season.
Nicholas on Manchester City
On Man City: “Man City still look really strong, despite the slip-up against Spurs, although I do think Pep may have concerns about some of his players now.
“Aleksandar Kolarov is not a centre-half and he may even have worries about him playing at left-back too.
“He is great on the ball, but looks weak defensively. Gael Clichy is the same, and I don't know his preference between Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta.
“John Stones has been on the bench a few times too so it seems to be a confusing picture at the back. Still, despite all that, they're top of the Premier League!”
Nicholas on Arsenal
On Arsenal: “Arsenal stay second because they have looked good in recent weeks, securing a massive win at home to Chelsea and following that with a narrow victory over Burnley.
“Sometimes when you're not playing well, you just need to grind out a result and that's what Arsenal did at Turf Moor. You could see the smiles on the Arsenal players' faces at the end because you knew they thought it was a big three points.”
Nicholas on Liverpool
On Liverpool: “As for Liverpool, we all enjoyed Jurgen Klopp on Monday Night Football, but his team is prone to mood swings defensively.
“For me, they are not strong enough to win the title, but I'm tipping them to make the top four with no European football.”
Nicholas on Spurs
On Spurs: “I’ve changed my mind on Spurs, who do look like a top-four side. Reassessing the situation now, I would probably go Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs in fourth.
“Mauricio Pochettino's side have crashed the idea Man City were marching to the title. Every system is vulnerable and Tottenham showed you can still play on the front foot against Guardiola's team.”
Nicholas on Manchester United
So, what about Manchester United? Nicholas predicted they would come third before the start of the season and now they don’t even feature in his top-four.
“After that, I am dropping Man United to fifth having originally put them third. Jose Mourinho is stuck because he has spent a fortune on big-money buys, and the big-money buys, especially Paul Pogba, are still trying to adapt.”
The best of the rest
And what about last season’s champions Leicester or Antonio Conte’s Chelsea? Well, Nicholas can’t really see a top-four challenge from either of them.
“Chelsea and Leicester City have been poor in comparison to the other clubs and I think a top-half finish will represent a good season for Claudio Ranieri's side,” he said.
“I expect Chelsea to get stronger but they have issues there and have badly missed John Terry in recent games. I would peg them about seventh, fighting with teams like Southampton.”