The Premier League takes an unprecedented six-week break in the course of the season because the World Cup in Qatar takes middle stage.
With this weekend’s motion completed now, the Premier League doesn’t return till 26 December.
The World Cup begins on Sunday, 20 November with the ultimate on Sunday, 18 December.
So how does the English high flight look now, who has essentially the most gamers going to Qatar and who wants this break?
The way it seems on the high
Arsenal are leaders by 5 factors from Manchester Metropolis, the primary time they are going to be high at Christmas for the reason that 2007-08 season.
Their 37 factors from 14 video games marks their best-ever begin. All seven groups to win 12 of their first 14 video games have received the Premier League title.
One other good omen for the Gunners is the workforce that topped the desk on Christmas Day have been champions in 10 of the final 13 seasons.
The unhealthy omen for Mikel Arteta’s aspect is the final 5 occasions they’ve been high on 25 December they’ve failed to remain there come the tip of the marketing campaign.
It’s important to return to 1947-48 for the final time they have been high on each days.
Gunners legend Ian Wright mentioned on BBC Match of the Day: “They’ve been in charge of a lot of the video games they’ve performed this season, very assured. The goal was high 4.”
After all, groups could have performed fewer video games on Christmas Day than normal, so Metropolis will nonetheless fancy their probabilities of making up the deficit on the Gunners within the remaining 24 video games.
Newcastle are in unfamiliar territory – sitting third, seven factors behind Arsenal.
That is the primary time since 2001-02 that they’ve occupied one of many Champions League spots on Christmas Day. They have been high that season however completed fourth.
Magpies icon Alan Shearer mentioned: “They’re so organized and there’s an understanding as a workforce of one another’s jobs – when to press, when to sit down off, and their response once they lose the ball.
“What a job Eddie Howe is doing at Newcastle. Nice occasions, they go into the break in third place and one other actually spectacular efficiency.”
Nonetheless, Shearer mentioned his previous aspect won’t win the title this season.
Tottenham, one level behind Howe’s aspect, full the highest 4. Manchester United are fifth, with Liverpool sixth on 22 factors.
Graham Potter’s Chelsea haven’t received in 5 Premier League video games and have dropped to eighth. They’ll in all probability relish the possibility to have a break and go once more.
Wright added: “Chelsea followers’ essential fear is the fixed altering of the formation. Seventeen targets in 14 video games shouldn’t be good, no workforce within the high half have scored fewer.
“They do want to present Graham Potter time – [Liverpool’s Jurgen] Klopp had time, we have seen what Arteta is doing with time. So hopefully he’ll get that point.”
And on the backside
In all probability any workforce under Chelsea can think about themselves to be within the relegation equation.
There are simply six factors separating Fulham in ninth and Nottingham Forest in 18th.
Wolves are backside – 4 factors adrift of security – so what are their odds of survival?
Solely six groups have ever been backside at Christmas and stayed up – with half of these within the first three Premier League campaigns.
Leicester Metropolis, in 2014-15, have been the final workforce to keep away from relegation from that place – earlier than profitable the title the next season.
However because the in-form Foxes confirmed simply earlier than this break got here, just a few good weeks can take you as much as mid-table as they now stand in thirteenth place.
What might change over the break?
Two groups have made managerial modifications simply earlier than the break – however might extra occur earlier than 26 December?
Julen Lopetegui takes over from Steve Davis as supervisor of Wolves on Monday – so these subsequent few weeks can be successfully like his pre-season.
Southampton, who’re second from backside, even have a brand new supervisor, with Nathan Jones taking cost of their last recreation earlier than the break, a 3-1 loss at Liverpool.
The bookmakers’ favourite to lose their job subsequent is Everton boss Frank Lampard. The Toffees have misplaced their final three video games to sit down one level above the relegation zone.
Police have been pressured to intervene on Saturday after the 3-0 defeat at Bournemouth to calm some followers because the gamers went over to the away part on the last whistle.
“Nearly as good because the followers are for us, with the welcomes they gave us final 12 months and the plaudits they gave us after the Crystal Palace recreation, you need to settle for that they’ve a proper to voice their opinion. And so they have traveled all the way down to Bournemouth to do this,” Lampard instructed BBC Sport.
The opposite boss below stress is David Moyes at West Ham, who’re solely above Everton on aim distinction.
Moyes admitted followers had the correct to go away early and boo in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat by Leicester. Of the stress on Moyes, captain Declan Rice mentioned: “It is nonsense. When you take a look at what he is performed for this membership, how he is introduced us again from the place we have been.”
A number of weeks in the past Brendan Rodgers at Leicester and Leeds’ Jesse Marsch have been below immense stress, however good kind means neither must be anxious now.
Former Premier League goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer expects the Premier League to have a special really feel on Boxing Day.
Citing Unai Emery’s current arrival as Aston Villa boss, the place he has picked up successive league wins, Schwarzer instructed BBC Radio 5 Reside: “There can be quite a few golf equipment who can be trying on the scenario of getting just about a month off and being able then to do this mini pre-season, attending to know gamers.
“In the event that they wish to usher in a brand new supervisor, I might see one or two golf equipment in all probability taking a look at the potential of doing that.”
Which groups can be worst affected by World Cup?
Champions Manchester Metropolis have essentially the most gamers going to the World Cup with 16 – and 10 of the beginning 11 for his or her 2-1 defeat by Brentford on Saturday will head to Qatar.
The one one who shouldn’t be… is the Premier League’s high scorer Erling Haaland as Norway didn’t qualify. He might take actual benefit of drained legs or back-up defenders come late December.
Manchester United could have 15 gamers heading to Qatar, ought to Hannibal Mejbri make the Tunisia squad as anticipated, with 12 for Chelsea and 11 for Tottenham.
Leaders Arsenal could have 10 gamers on the event.
However of the workforce that beat Wolves on Saturday, Gabriel, Oleksandr Zinchenko and captain Martin Odegaard are staying house.
If Newcastle are certainly within the title race, they may profit from any World Cup fatigue as they solely have 5 gamers going away.
Liverpool, in sixth, may additionally be more energizing than many with seven gamers going to Qatar together with solely three of their 10 goalscorers this season. Prime scorer Mohamed Salah’s Egypt didn’t qualify.
The groups with the fewest gamers going are Southampton – Germany’s Armel Bella-Kotchap and Ghana’s Mohammed Salisu – and Bournemouth, who’ve Chris Mepham and Kieffer Moore within the Wales squad. Leeds are subsequent with three.
When are Premier League groups subsequent in motion?
OK so we mentioned the Premier League is again on 26 December. However some top-flight groups might even have aggressive video games only a day or two after the World Cup last.
The Carabao Cup fourth spherical takes place on the week of 19 December – the day after the Sunday last in Qatar.
Historically, most of these video games find yourself on the Tuesday or Wednesday, though Manchester Metropolis will host Liverpool on Thursday, 22 December.
Wolves, Southampton, Nottingham Forest, Newcastle, Bournemouth, Manchester United, Leicester and Brighton are additionally in motion on this spherical.