Liverpool and Sunderland among best picks in English league winners accumulator

The tables are taking shape, so that should make it easier to pick out the title winners for the top four English leagues, right?

Everyone loves a four-team accumulator predicting the winners of the top four divisions in English soccer, but the truth is that before the season is probably not the best time to do it.

Now, though, with almost a quarter of the season gone and the tables taking shape, it's a lot easier to assess where the titles will end up come May.

Planet Sport takes a look at all four divisions and selects our best bets for your divisional accumulator.

Premier League - Liverpool

Andy Robertson Curtis Jones Liverpool Sunderland Sep21

The Premier League title race always looked like it could be an absolute cracker this season, and the first seven games have done little to shake that view.

In Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United, there are four teams who could all realistically target the title and, and that has not been the case for some time.

While Man City remain the favourites, their failure to attract a top striker to replace Sergio Aguero definitely appears to have weakened them a little.

Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus are quality, but neither have proven themselves to be genuine matchwinners yet.

Neighbours Man Utd recruited superbly in the summer in adding Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo to the squad, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is starting to look like their problem.

A team can only ever soar as high as their manager's personal ceiling allows, and the Norwegian's ceiling looks well below that of a Premier League winner right now.

That leaves Chelsea and Liverpool, and both have exceptionally strong chances of regaining the title.

Chelsea's strength lies in their outstanding squad depth. The Londoners appear to be well-stocked in every area, with one key exception: central defence.

Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger all have quality, but it looks a cut below rivals.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have brilliant quality in all the key positions, but they lack the depth of the rest of the title contenders. If they get a fair wind, injury-wise, they look like the team to beat this season.

Championship - Bournemouth

Dominic Solanke Bournemouth Sep21

The Championship has a reputation for being a real 'anything can happen' kind of competition, but Bournemouth are making something of a mockery of that right now.

The Cherries were among the favourites before a ball was kicked and they have justified their short price by going 11 games unbeaten to start their campaign.

Bournemouth have won more matches than anyone else, lost fewer and conceded the fewest amount of goals in the division.

They probably don't score quite as many goals as they'd like, but they definitely look the most complete team in the Championship right now.

They have proven pedigree in the dugout too. Some eyebrows were raised in the summer when Scott Parker left Fulham to head to the south coast. However, that decision seems to have been vindicated and he looks well positioned to lead a second club to promotion from the Championship.

West Brom and Coventry are currently pushing them hard, and you'd expect the Baggies to remain Bournemouth's biggest rivals for the title.

They are three points off the pace but are the most entertaining team to watch. That commitment to attacking soccer may cost them key points along the way, though.

Coventry, on the other hand, look like they lack the strength in depth to maintain a challenge for automatic promotion, but don't rule them out of play-off contention.

League One - Sunderland

Carl Winchester Sunderland vs Bolton Sep21

It can be hard to get a snapshot of the situation in League One sometimes. International call-ups leave some teams playing on weekends when others postpone, and that has started to skewer the picture in the competition.

Plymouth are currently top, followed by Wycombe, although both have played at least a game more than the two teams we believe will scrap it out for the title: Wigan and Sunderland.

Both are clubs fresh from takeovers and both look completely revitalised as a result. The changes in the boardroom have also led to increased recruitment on the pitch.

Wigan actually poached Sunderland's captain, Max Power and top scorer from last season, Charlie Wyke, both on free transfers, while the Black Cats have raided the likes of Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Tottenham for impressive young talent.

If it does indeed come down to a race between the two clubs, it is important to note that Sunderland have already beaten Wigan twice this season: once in the league and once in the EFL Cup.

It's the most recent of those wins that is the most telling, though. Both teams played a second string, yet Sunderland dominated.

It suggests that when the fixtures start coming thick and fast and the injuries and fatigue set in, Sunderland will have more quality to draw upon.

League Two - Forest Green

Jake Young in action for Forest Green

As a division, League Two generally makes little sense at all. Bolton proved that last season when they got promoted after languishing in 20th position in February.

Newport County, Salford City and Bristol Rovers were all expected to have strong campaigns, but all have started poorly, with County boss Michael Flynn having already paid the price.

Only two teams, Tranmere and Forest Green, have lived up to their pre-season promotion-challenging expectations.

Forest Green are currently top and are very good value for it. They have won seven of their 11 games and boast the joint-best goal difference in the division.

Their closest rivals are surprise package Harrogate Town. Boss Simon Weaver has created a fluid attacking team, but it may be too attacking to sustain a challenge.

Tranmere who, like Forest Green, lost in the play-offs last season, are nicely positioned in the chasing pack and you feel they are capable of putting together a run.

If there is one team who might 'do a Bolton' then it's Bristol Rovers. Joey Barton did a decent job at Fleetwood and for all his faults he definitely knows what he's doing. Sooner or later they'll kick into gear, but the big question is whether or not it will be too late.

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