As a football fan, seeing your team top of the pile at Christmas makes the annual occasion even sweeter. The team top of the league entering the festive period have gone on to win the title six times in the past seven seasons, including Leicester City’s remarkable triumph last campaign. With five points separating the top five and Christmas fast approaching, who will be top of the Premier League come December 25th?
Liverpool – Current Position 1st – 26 points
Jurgen Klopp’s side have enjoyed a fine start to the season and have already visited three of the potential title challengers away from home in their first 11 matches. The Reds have brought back seven points from a possible nine from their visits to London including an impressive opening day victory at Arsenal, a 1-2 win at Chelsea and a point from White Hart Lane. Finding the net hasn’t been a problem for Klopp’s side, averaging just shy of three goals a game and scoring four or more five times already this season. With the front three of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all in excellent form and chipping in with over half of the side’s league goals already, can they all keep fit and continue their purple patch in front of goal all season? With a Merseyside derby at Goodison Park just before Christmas could The Reds secure top spot going into the festive period against their local rivals?
Chelsea – Current Position 2nd – 25 points
Chelsea have been on a remarkable run of form since changing formation to Antonio Conte’s preferred 3-4-3 formation after a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal, with five wins from five in the league, scoring 16 goals and not conceding including a dominating 4-0 win against former boss Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. Eden Hazard has been reborn under Conte and is full of confidence again with seven goals in the league so far, compared to only four last campaign. With tough games against Middlesbrough, Tottenham and Manchester City upcoming, Chelsea will be looking to continue their recent run and claim the number one spot at Christmas.
Manchester City – Current Position 3rd – 24 points
After six wins from six at the start of the season Pep Guardiola’s side have suffered a dip in form in the league. One win in their last five and three consecutive 1-1 draws at home has seen them knocked off the top. The Citizens defeated Spanish giants Barcelona in the Champions League, and Guardiola will be hoping to build on that result in the league Keeping their star players Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne fit could be crucial to Guardiola’s team in action in three different competitions between now and Christmas. A trip to the champions Leicester City in between two huge home games against Chelsea and Arsenal are City’s big fixtures before Christmas, and positive results could see them return to the top at Christmas.
Arsenal – Current Position 4th – 24 points
Could this finally be the year Arsenal win the Premier League for the first time since their ‘Invincibles’ season back in 2004? They were last top at Christmas nine seasons ago, but the Gunners have some tough fixtures between now and Christmas Day including trips to Old Trafford and the Etihad. Positive results from those games could see Arsene Wenger’s side in the mix to be top at Christmas. November has traditionally been a month where Arsenal struggle under Wenger so six points from their remaining two games in the month would fill the squad with confidence heading into a busy December schedule. If playmaker Mesut Ozil and forward Alexis Sanchez carry on their impressive form, surely Arsenal will be there or thereabouts come Christmas.
By Charlie Smith – Follow me on Twitter – @CharlieSmith118