Premier League Dark Horses 2022

As the English Premier League hits the halfway point of the schedule, the action hasn’t changed people’s opinion on who the champion will be. Despite trailing Arsenal in the standings by five points, defending league champion Manchester City is still a -167 favorite.

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The Cityzens’ creeped closer to the Gunners for first place, but still have a long way to go to catch up. Arsenal has had a good run of play, winning four of its past five matches and grabbing a tie in the other game. But what other teams can challenge for a title and the spots in the UEFA Champions League

Here’s a look at which teams could be potential darkhorses.

Newcastle has defense to keep teams off balance

The Magpies (+4000) could be a real threat to win the league had they finished a few more games. Newcastle is tied for a Premier League-high eight draws with Brentford. Overall, the Magpies have 35 points and are nine behind Arsenal for first place.

Where Newcastle United stands out is with the analytics. The Magpies are fourth in the EPL in xGA (expected goals allowed) only allowing 19.25 this season. Newcastle’s offense has also exceled in xG (expected goals for).

Miquel Almiron , who is from Paraguay, leads Newcastle with nine goals. British forward Callum Wilson has also scored six times. The Magpies will be locked into a battle with Tottenham and Manchester United for the final spots in the Champions League. Newcastle is -110 to finish in the top four.

Ronaldo-less Manchester United is steady

Starting on shaky legs got the Red Devils behind the ball. However, Manchester United has won four of its past five matches and now have as many points as Newcastle. What is unfortunate for the Red Devils is that they have taken some real beatings this season.

Manchester United has only scored 27 goals in 17 matches and has a goal differential of seven. While the Red Devils have the third-best odds to win the EPL, they will need to find their touch in the final third if they want to seriously qualify. Manchester United is sixth in the league in xG, having generated 29.41 expected goals.

English standout Marcus Rashford leads the team with seven goals. The Red Devils are -175 to finish in the top four and +2500 to win the league.

Tottenham can’t get started until halftime

The Hotspurs would be the best team in the EPL if every game started in the 46th minutes. Tottenham can’t get out of its own way recently, giving away several points due to slow starts. While Spurs were able to recover in a few instances, they ended up losing a few matches were a lethargic start led to a goal from their opponents.

Tottenham is in fifth place in the league with 33 points. The Spurs have scored 37 goals and are as offensively capable as any other team, but can’t seem to get things figured out on defense. Harry Kane has pocketed 15 goals for Tottenham.

The Spurs are +225 to finish in the top four.

What to make of Arensal

The Gunners aren’t a darkhorse. While Arsenal is still +175 to win the league despite leading the table, the Gunners will have to prove they can handle being the hunted team during the backhalf of the Premier League schedule.  Arsenal has four players who have score five or more goals.

Martinelli, a Brazilian with seven goals and two assists, has helped lead the Gunners attack. However, Arsenal will have to replace Brazalian strikers Garbiel Jesus in the lineup. Jesus suffered an injury at the World Cup and will have to try to find another person to help create in the attack.

Arsenal hasn’t won the Premier League since the 2003-04 season and it will be interesting to see if they can hold onto their crown this season.