Only seven rounds of matches have so far been played in the English Premier League (EPL), but local football experts have already made up their minds on which team will win the league title come May 2018.
Chelsea are the reigning champions, but are in fourth place with 13 points, six points behind the two Manchester clubs who are both on 19 points. City are on top of the log courtesy of their superior goal difference of 20 compared to United’s 19.
The Windhoek Observer managed to get views from some of the country’s well-known football experts on who will win the league and many regard the two Manchester Clubs as the front favourites.
Ironically, many of the football experts that we interviewed are Liverpool fans.
Mathew Haikali, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Premier League (NPL), and a Liverpool fan, feels that Manchester City have the best squad to win the league. He also believes that his team, currently seventh on the league table, will once again finish in the top four.
Former Brave Warriors coach, Rusten Mogane, also tips Manchester City to win the title.
“I have been a big fan of Liverpool since the 1980s when they used to win the league and European titles. I started liking them because of John Barnes since he was one of the few black players that I admired.
“Even when I was a coach I used to do research on Liverpool on the way they play, however, I think Manchester City will win because they score lots of goals, but do not underestimate Manchester United,” Mogane said.
Queen Manga, a former Brave Gladiators player and current NPL and first division referee, believes City have an advantage over United.
“I know it is still early, but United will only win the league if City messes up. Liverpool will either finish in third or fourth place.”
Another Liverpool fan, Cassius Moetie, was of the opinion that his team will win the league.
“Liverpool will win the league because it is still early to say that one of the Manchester clubs will win. We play the best football in the league that is why every team wants to beat Liverpool. There are no small teams in the league as all teams are at the same level,” Moetie said.
Julien Garises, a former Brave Gladiators national team manager and a Tottenham Hotspur football fan, feels that Manchester United will win the league.
“Although I do not like United, I feel they will win the league,” Garises said.
United, the most successful club in the EPL with 20 league titles, have not won the league since 2013 when their former coach, Sir Alex Ferguson, retired after nearly 27 years in charge.
Namibia Football Association (NFA) president and ex-Liverpool fan, Frans Mbidi, tips Chelsea for the title once again. “I used to follow Liverpool years back, but now I am not as much into European football as I want the African game also to reach that level.
“Manchester City needs to be tested against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal. You can see that United have been struggling a bit without midfielder Paul Pogba (currently out injured) and this was highlighted against Southampton (when united won 1-0 on 23 September).
“I will not write off Chelsea because you will be surprised if Chelsea beat the Manchester clubs. I think Chelsea have a better chance,” Mbidi said.