The start of the 2017-18 Premier League season has been exhilarating, with some excellent games played out so far between the best teams in English football.
As ever, the race to win the title looks set to be hotly contested, with a handful of clubs have realistic ambitions of becoming champions next May.
Manchester United look ominously back to their best, Chelsea showed their quality by beating Tottenham and Manchester City exude quality throughout – as such this trio have the shortest odds with casinosinuk.co.uk when betting on the eventual title winner.
But, two games in, which teams look unlikely to put forward a challenge?
It may be a new season but it looks to be the same old Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, with the Gunners starting the campaign in underwhelming form.
A 4-3 win over Leicester City required a miraculous comeback to save the blushes after some distinctly ordinary defending – especially from set pieces.
This was followed by a 1-0 defeat at Stoke City, with the same old questions of a lack of leadership, aggression and mental fortitude being asked in the aftermath.
With Alexis Sanchez on the sidelines and his future distinctly unclear as the transfer window draws to a close, Arsenal will need to make major changes if they are to be considered as a challenger this season.
Their opponents this weekend are Liverpool, who themselves will have had title ambitions before the season started.
There is no doubting that on their day the Reds are as devastating an attacking unit as any in English football, while in Jurgen Klopp the Anfield outfit have a revolutionary and tactical astute manager.
On the other side of the coin, Liverpool’s issues from last season have already come back to haunt them and look set to be an obstacle to achieving their ultimate objective.
The Reds’ defending in a 3-3 draw against Watford in their opener was nothing short of shambolic, with the zonal marking system they use at corners wreaking havoc in the visitors’ penalty box at Vicarage Road.
Simon Mignolet has failed to convince the Kop of his merits as a trustworthy goalkeeper, while Liverpool lack the strength in depth to challenge on four fronts.
There is also already an apparent over-reliance on Sadio Mane, which the Senegalese winger’s absence last season to compete in the African Cup of Nations coinciding with a downturn in results.
As continued speculation mounts over Philippe Coutinho’s future amid interest from Barcelona, a disjointed Liverpool look a far cry from the ruthless and mechanic United or the sublime City.
Given these factors, despite the new season only being two games in, the smart money will be on neither Arsenal or Liverpool posing a Premier League title threat in 2017-18.