A few seasons ago, being top of the English Premier League at Christmas meant that winning the league was a certainty. This has changed over the last few seasons with Liverpool throwing away their Christmas day top spots in 2013/14 and again in the 2018/19 season, with Manchester City clinching the title in both seasons. Champions Liverpool were on top at Christmas once again, and are currently joined at the top by Manchester United, but who is most likely to spoil their party?
Liverpool are champions and are once again favourites, with odds of 1/1, with Manchester City not too far behind at 7/4 and Manchester United at 13/2. The Premier League table makes for interesting reading as well, with the gap between leaders Liverpool and Manchester City in fifth only four points, with City a match behind the leaders. Who can realistically challenge the Liverpudlian reign?
Manchester United have come out swinging this season and sit joint-top of the pile with 33 points. Nobody gave the Red Devils a chance at the start of the season, but they are proving to be title contenders once again. Having failed to sign any of their major transfer targets until Uruguayan free agent Edinson Cavani walked through the door, followed by attacking full-back Alex Telles from Porto, fans were worried about their current crop of players. United have relied heavily on Bruno Fernandes, who has 18 goal contributions so far this season, for most of their forward thinking. Not only do they seem like a one-man team, their defensive record is also the worst in the current top four. Ole Gunnar Solskjær seems to be getting the best out of his players this season, though, even when they leave it late to snatch victory. Could Ole be the man to take them back to the top?
Leicester have once again proven under Brendan Rodgers that they have what it takes to be at the top. Currently in third and combining style and speed to rattle defences, they are showing that their Premier League win of 2015/16 was no accident. Jamie Vardy is once again proving that he ages like fine wine, racking up 11 goals and 5 assists already this season at the age of 33, if anyone in the Leicester squad can turn them into champions again, it will be the veteran Englishman. Rodgers splashed the cash on 20-year-old French Centre-Back Wesley Fofana, paying £30 million (Roughly R600 million) to AS Saint-Étienne for his services. It is easy to see why he did, with the youngster showing a great maturity at the back of the park, keeping 4 clean sheets in his 12 appearances so far. To see if the Foxes could be champions again this season, we will have to wait until May.
Tottenham Hotspur, round out the current top four with 29 points, and with the lethal duo of Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane, they could prove to be title contenders yet. Not only are Spurs a force going forward, at the back they have also conceded only 15 goals so far this season. José Mourinho has built a bit of a reputation for famous second seasons throughout his career, having only failed to win a second season league title once, during his time with Manchester United. Is this the year that Spurs fans have been dreaming of for so long? Is José the man to end the trophy drought? Nothing seems impossible anymore.
Manchester City and Everton both join Tottenham on 29 points. Aston Villa, Chelsea, Southampton and West Ham sit on 26 points each to round off the top half of the table. No one can be discounted from the Premier League title race this season, it seems and the fixtures come thick and fast in the new year. Who knows who will be top of the tree come May? All I know is that this is turning into one of the most exciting title races in years.