Premier League: State of play as English top flight returns after World Cup

Premier League: State of play as English top flight returns after World Cup

The last we saw of the Premier League was on Sunday, 13 November, with Manchester United snatching an injury-time winner at Fulham.

Six weeks have passed, during which we have been glued to events in Qatar, where Wales fell at the group stage and England suffered penalty woe again, before Argentina lifted the 2022 World Cup.

On 26 December the English top flight returns, and just in case you had forgotten how we left it, BBC Sport will bring you up to speed.

Arsenal are out in front after a superb first 14 games of the campaign.

They have amassed 37 points, dropping them in just two fixtures so far – their only defeat coming at Manchester United in early September.

After their best Premier League start, this is the first time they will be top at Christmas since the 2007-08 season.

All seven teams to win 12 of their first 14 games have won the Premier League title.

Another good omen for the Gunners is the team that topped the table on Christmas Day have been champions in 10 of the past 13 seasons.

In their first game back they face West Ham at Emirates Stadium.

With second-placed Manchester City not playing until 28 December – at Leeds – victory would take the Gunners eight points clear of the champions.

Newcastle – the surprise challengers at the top end of the table – are at Leicester on 26 December and will want to pick up where they left off. A sixth consecutive win would move them above Manchester City and into second.

There are a few teams in the top half who will probably have appreciated the chance to take stock during the World Cup before going again.

Tottenham beat Leeds before the break, but had lost three of the previous four. They get us under way on Monday with an away game at Brentford (12:30 GMT).

Graham Potter’s Chelsea have not won in five Premier League games and spent the World Cup break in eighth.

Source: BBC

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