FFL News 03/01/2016

Update: All scores have been updated for games played to 03/01/2016.

With the first set of games played in 2016 some questions have to be asked:

1. Is Leicester’s title challenge coming to a premature end? After consistently winning games they shouldn’t be, the wins (and goals from Vardy and Mahrez) are drying up. Hopefully for Leicester fans, and managers with Vardy, Mahrez et al it’s just a glitch.

2. Can Arsenal REALLY win the EPL this year? Despite a few hiccups recently, they look strong. With goals coming from all positions (stand up Koscielny) and a mean defence (hands up who doesn’t have Cech in goal) they are looking good. With Sanchez hopefully soon to return, they are a great bet.

3. Manchester United won a game and Rooney & Martial both scored – is this the start of a turnaround? Despite a really awful run of results, with yesterday’s win over Swansea, United are 5th in the table and only 2 points away from breaking in to the top four. Will they stick with LVG? It’s looking likely.

4. Is Liverpool’s 2nd mini revival over? After a couple of unconvincing 1-0 wins, they finally came unstuck at West Ham, losing 2-0. Talking of which…

5. Are West Ham back on track? Really pleasing to see that Dimitri Payet got 25 minutes as a sub yesterday. He was excellent earlier in the season before injury kept him out and I can see him creeping back in to many teams as he regains his fitness. West Ham are currently 6th in the league and only a point behind Man Utd. Definitely a team to keep an eye on.

6. What about Man City and Spurs? City are really inconsistent but still managed to grab a win out of thin air at Watford last night after being second best for 80 minutes. Spurs, sitting 4th in the table with a game in hand, are putting in some solid performances and can’t be written off for the title, let alone a top four finish. Let’s see how they fare against Everton today.

7. Is Chelsea’s awful season taking a turn for the better? The players certainly seem to be playing with more verve for Hiddink than the did Mourinho. Somehow, despite having world class players like Costa and Hazard, I can’t see them making a European spot this season.

8. Who’s going down? Villa look certainties for the drop whilst Newcastle seem to be playing a better game recently and Sunderland are bagging the odd result. Swansea are in the mix to go down, as are Bournemouth and Norwich although the latter two have been getting good results in recent weeks.

In the Sunday games, Everton and Spurs drew 1-1 – Lennon and Alli with the goals, and Chelsea beat Palace 3-0 away. The final question – is it safe to start picking Chelsea players again?

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