We’ve made it to the half way point of the Premier League season and it’s time to look back at all the action from the last five months. I’ll have a look at how everyone is doing and how I think they will continue to do.
A really strong first half of the year saw Arsenal sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League for the majority of this season so far and a win against Newcastle in their final game of 2013 left them in pole position: one point ahead of closest rivals Manchester City.
Villa started the season well but when Benteke got injured after just five weeks of the season their form took a dip. Recent defeats to Crystal Palace and Stoke mean that the Villains are very much still in the fight for survival.
A few surprise results against big teams have given Cardiff fans something positive to look back on from 2013 but a meddling owner and not enough wins mean that Cardiff are just two points and two places above the relegation zone. And with no manager at the moment, things look worrying for the Bluebirds.
In what has been a mixed year for the Blues there has been plenty to shout about at Stamford Bridge. The return of Mourinho coupled with some big money signings should mean that Chelsea would be miles ahead and hot favourites going into 2013 but too many dropped points have meant that they are actually in third.
A poor start eventually led to the sacking of manager Ian Dowie and although things have started to look up under the new leadership of Tony Pulis, they are still only a place above the relegation zone. Above Fulham purely based on goal difference.
Renowned for a weak start and strong finish, the Toffees have got off to a blistering first half of the season and are currently in fourth. They seem to have found a natural goal scorer in Romelu Lukaku but the way they are playing at the moment means that anyone in the team could score a goal.
Currently in the bottom three and having just lost 6-0 to Premier League newcomers Hull City, Fulham’s prospects don’t look bright heading into the new year. When Dimitar Berbatov returns from injury he will be the one that fans hope can fire them to safety.
The Tigers start to the season shocked everybody, holding their own against the ‘big four’ and finishing the year in tenth. They will look to continue their good form into the new year but are well on their way to the target of ten wins that Steve Bruce set at the start of the season.
Liverpool have been playing great football and Luis Suarez has been scoring for fun. They did however lose their last two games of the year against Chelsea and Manchester City meaning they finish 2013 in fifth.
Man City have been playing exciting attacking football so far this year, scoring tonnes of goals but also conceding quite a few. Only three teams conceded less than three goals at the Etihad against City. They are currently second in the table, just one point behind leaders Arsenal.
After a dreadful start to the season that left many rival fans jokingly dubbing them ‘relegation candidates’ they have since picked up the pace and are now up into sixth and back within three points of the top four.
The Magpies got off to a flying start after a relegation threatened season last time around. With some great wins and good footballing performances they will be thrilled with their current position of eighth, just one position behind Manchester United.
Norwich haven’t had the start they would’ve wanted to this season. They are fifteenth, three points off relegation and are facing a bit of turbulence: losing their two recent matches 7-0 and 5-1. Survival will be a positive outcome from this year for the Canaries.
Fans in general seem to be impressed by Southampton’s free flowing, stylish football. They’ve been playing well and looking like a threat in almost every game they play in. Currently in ninth but challenging the big names such as Tottenham and Man United, it looks to be a promising season for The Saints.
Mark Hughes has attempted to change the philosophy at Stoke and it looks like it’s working. He has started to get the Potters passing the ball more and it has worked fairly effectively, leaving them looking at a comfortable mid table finish.
The Black Cats had a bad start to this season and sacked manager Paulo Di Canio after just five games. They were bottom at the time and despite a run of improved results, are still floundering at the foot of the table. It will be a tough slog for them this year but they are starting to turn things around.
Swansea are again playing good football this year and have become a Premier League regular. They look to be comfortable this season and should finish in mid table.
A shaky few games led to the sacking of manager Andre Villas Boas but they seem to have steadied the ship after massive defeats to both Liverpool and Manchester City.
West Bromwich Albion
They haven’t been scoring too many this year, winning only two games all season by a margin of more than one goal. They have still been picking up points however and look set for a decent finish.
West Ham United
West Ham desperately need a striker. They are in the bottom three and don’t have anyone in their squad who looks like they could fire the Hammers to safety. Worrying times for Sam Allardyce’s men.
Those are my renewed predictions as we reach the halfway stage in the 2013-14 season. Happy New Year to everyone and I hope your team, whoever they are does well this year!