Premier League’s great divide: where have all the mid-table clubs gone?

The English top-flight likes to call itself the most competitive league in the world but this season a greater chasm than ever has opened after the big six

They used to call it mid?table obscurity but that term is almost obsolete in the Premier League these days. Watford, in 10th place, are only five points away from the relegation zone, anxiously looking over their shoulder and at risk of getting caught up in a survival battle that threatens to reel in more clubs than even before.

Maybe that will serve as a marketing line for the TV companies in the months to come, especially as the title race is about as interesting as a cabinet reshuffle. Life lower down is rather less predictable or, to put it another way, competitive for all the wrong reasons. Eight clubs have failed to pick up more than a point per game (only three were in that position at the end of last season and they were all relegated) and every team in the bottom half has a double?digit negative goal difference already.

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