With the FA Cup being played on the weekend, the Premier League gets a much needed break after the festive period. With over 20 games played so far, we have an idea of where things could stand come the end of the season. Here are our predictions:
As it stands, Crystal Palace, Burnley and Leicester City occupy the relegation zone with the trio all having just three wins under their belt. However, only four points separate 18th place, Crystal Palace and 12th place, Aston Villa so we could be in store for another tight relegation battle this season.
Palace have recently appointed Alan Pardew as their new manager while 17th place, West Brom have appointed Tony Pulis – moves which impact the relegation battle greatly. We think only one of them can get their clubs to safety in Pulis as he’s done it before – coincidentally with Palace – while Pardew could face a struggle.
We predict Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Aston Villa to get relegated.
Europa League places
As for 5th, 6th and 7th, Tottenham, Arsenal and West Ham respectively occupy those spots though it is highly unlikely to remain that way, come the end of the season.
West Ham are unlikely to keep up their early season good form while 8th place, Liverpool have finally begun to find their feet this season following the departure of Luis Suarez. As for Tottenham, they are probably the only team likely to finish where they currently lie, just lacking that extra bit of quality to finish in the top four.
We predict Tottenham, Southampton and Liverpool to occupy 5th, 6th and 7th.
The top four sees Chelsea and Manchester City at joint top, remarkably having the same amount of points, goal difference and games won, drawn and lost. 3rd place, Man United are nine points behind with 37 points while Southampton are 4th, one point behind United.
Southampton have done well to maintain their position in the top four this season so far but it still remains to be seen whether they have the overall quality to remain in it for another five months. Arsenal should leap frog them in the coming months, having more experience and quality in their squad, being just three points behind the Saints.
As for the title race, it could very well go down all the way to the wire. We’ll predict a second consecutive title for City based on their current form.
Final predictions for the top four: 1) Manchester City 2) Chelsea 3) Man United 4) Arsenal