A theme that is starting to appear this season is that teams from the lower half of the table are getting good results against the top teams.
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes believes that this is partly because both teams no longer have the fear of travelling away to big teams like Chelsea and Manchester United. This aspect has also been contributed by the demise of top clubs like Liverpool and United in recent seasons. Manchester City, on the other hand, have grown much stronger. Home teams have been struggling with time in this campaign. This fact was reiterated by the home losses suffered by Chelsea and Liverpool just before the international break.
Chelsea suffered a 2-1 defeat against local rivals Crystal Palace whereas Liverpool were thumped 3-0 by West Ham, who had not won at Anfield in more than 40 years prior to this astonishing result. Hughes will be hoping that this kind of results will inspire his team when they travel to the Emirates stadium this weekend to take on Arsenal. The gunners have been a mixed bag so far this campaign. Arsene Wenger has come in for criticism due to the lack of transfer activity and they have managed only two wins. Both have been extremely narrow victories and Arsenal are there for the taking.
“There’s a strength in the Premier League that gives confidence to everybody.Maybe in the past teams would fear going to the Emirates or Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge. I know when I was a Man United player a lot of teams would turn up and you knew almost immediately they didn’t believe they could win games there. I don’t think that’s the case any more.Most teams go with the intention of asking questions of the top teams and seeing how far it takes you,” said Hughes.