The 2013/14 Premier League so far…

What a difference 12 months makes.

A year ago today, and with 16 rounds played, Man United were celebrating an away win in the Manchester derby that had moved them six points clear of their city rivals – and defending Champions – at the top of the league.

Chelsea were a further four points behind in third place and Everton occupied fourth place, though shared a points tally of 26 with Tottenham and West Brom.

Futher down the table, Arsenal had jumped three places into 7th, but were still a massive 15 points behind the leaders and well out of the title race.

Liverpool ended that weekend with a 3-2 win at West Ham to leapfrog the Hammers into 10th – albeit only through the narrowest of advantages in the goal difference of the respective clubs.

Southampton were out of the relegation zone on goal difference, and Newcastle only a couple of points clear of the bottom three.

After round 15 of the 2013/14 season last weekend, the current Premier League standings couldn’t look more different for a number of teams.

In terms of points tally, champions Man United are closer to 19th-placed Crystal Palace than to the current leaders Arsenal, who are five clear of second-placed Liverpool.

Newcastle and Liverpool are the big movers, nine points and eight points better off respectively than 12 months ago.

And Southampton have been one of the biggest surprises, thoroughly deserving of their position ahead of Man United in the table.

As most observers have commented, it’s been a thoroughly unpredictable campaign so far, and, due to that fact, one of the most interesting of all Premier League seasons.

Where the title ends up, and who claims the much coveted top-four places may become a little clearer in a month’s time.

Arsenal have dealt well so far with the big games, but face games against Man City, Chelsea and Newcastle before New Year.

Liverpool arguably have an even tougher conclusion to the calendar year, with a trip to Spurs this weekend, before away games at both Man City and Chelsea in the days between Christmas and New Year.

The outcome of those results may give an indication into the likelihood of either Arsenal or Liverpool mounting a serious and lasting title challenge, but equally revealing will be how Man City and Chelsea cope with facing two of the league’s form teams.

I wasn’t brave enough to make any predictions at the start of the season, other than backing Pellegrini to help Man City land their second Premier League title in 3 years.

I’d still be surprised for any other outcome in terms of the winners, but beyond that, anything could happen. My only hope is that the unpredictability continues, and that come May, there’s still plenty to play for.

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