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Liverpool’s game against Sunderland tonight will mark the halfway point of the Premier League season. What have we learned so far from arguably the most unpredictable campaign in the competition’s history?
Anyone who claims they expected Leicester to be top going into 2016 is lying. Having two Player of the Season contenders in Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy certainly helps. Not bad for a team that were bottom at Christmas 2014.
Arsenal for real?
We say it every year but maybe this really is their year. Other teams have taken a step back and Mesut Ozil is in the form of his life.
Faith in youth pays off for Spurs
With one of the youngest squads in the league Tottenham are still very much in touch at the top. If Harry Kane stays fit, why not them?
Underdogs flying under the radar
In a crazy season Crystal Palace are fifth and West Ham seventh, and fully deserving of those places. Alan Pardew is now being linked to Real Madrid while Slaven Bilic is doing a great job.
Has there been a more boring Man Utd team?
No fans have seen fewer goals scored than Man United, who are keeping it tight at the back but struggling up front. Louis van Gaal looks to be a dead man walking as a result.
Can anyone stop Odion Ighalo?
Watford’s star striker has scored more league goals than anyone else in English football in 2015, with 30. Championship or Premier League, he doesn’t seem to care as he keeps banging them in.
Stoke can be good to watch
Disparaged for their style of play for years, the Potters are now one of the most exciting teams in the league. After knocking off both Manchester clubs, their stunning win at Everton was arguably the game of the season so far.
The Jurgen Klopp factor is taking effect
Liverpool are still inconsistent but they already look a more dangerous team under the former Borussia Dortmund boss. And, even for those who don’t like Liverpool, it’s hard not to warm to their German manager.
The not so Special One
Champions last season, Jose Mourinho didn’t even survive half the season at Stamford Bridge. Roman Abramovich doesn’t tolerate failure and taking one of the league’s best squads into a relegation battle wasn’t good enough.
Teams have come back from precarious positions before but for Aston Villa, one of the seven Premier League ever-presents relegation seems a foregone conclusion. Sunderland look a very good bet to join them.