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First Chelsea, now Man City: Why the Premier League favourites have fallen apart this season

We are only seven games into the 2015-16 Premier League season, and already the two title favourites—Chelsea and Manchester City—have demonstrated remarkable fragility.

Having won the title in imperious fashion last season, Jose Mourinho’s side have been brought crashing down to earth already this term.

They have lost three and drawn two of their opening seven matches, winning only two, and appear unable to solved their defensive crisis.

Having fallen to defeats to Manchester City, Crystal Palace and Everton, and having shipped 2-2 in an opening-weekend draw to Swansea City, it appeared as though the Blues got their season back on track with back-to-back victories over Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Arsenal.

However, the Pensioners demonstrated their failings again against Newcastle United this weekend, falling 2-0 behind and only saving a point after rallying and finding the net with late goals from Ramires (79th minute) and Willian (86th minute).

Willian

Willian effort saved Blues’ blushes

After this weekend’s games, Chelsea sit down in 15th, having accumulated exactly half the amount of points of league leaders Manchester United.

United’s rivals Manchester City appeared set to take Chelsea’s mantle as English champions following a perfect start to the campaign.

As well as crushing Mourinho’s troops in gameweek two, the Citizens won all of their five opening fixtures and appeared destined for the title.

However, their weaknesses were explored by Juventus before being exposed by West Ham United in a surprise 2-1 loss at the Etihad Stadium in gameweek six.

Manuel Pellegrini

Where is it going wrong for Pellegrini’s outfit?

Manuel Pellegrini’s side looked to put that defeat behind them when they travelled to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, but they were left stunned as the Lilywhites secured a remarkable 4-1 victory.

While City—and particularly Sergio Aguero—appeared toothless in that match, the real concern for Pellegrini ought to come in defence, where the Citizens were particularly hapless—not too dissimilar to Chelsea’s struggles in recent weeks.

Injuries have exposed the limitations in City’s squad, with Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Wilfred Bony, Kelechi Iheanacho, Joe Hart, Gael Clichy, and Pablo Zabaleta all struggling with fitness issues to varying degrees, and Yaya Toure removed during the match with hamstring trouble [all via Bleacher Report].

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Having lost their last two matches—as many as Norwich City—the Sky Blues have fallen from top spot and have had their mortality exposed for all to see.

With both Chelsea and City demonstrating their weaknesses in recent weeks, it would appear that there are no outright clear favourites for the Premier League title.

Could Manchester United or Arsenal, or even outsiders such as Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, upset the apple cart and secure an unlikely EPL triumph this term?

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