Premier League Table 2019 – The Best & Worst Teams Over the Course of the Calendar Year

Liverpool and Manchester City have been head and shoulders above the rest of the Premier League in 2019 as the calendar year begins to draw to a close, with the Reds edging the battle between the two after a near perfect first of the 2019/20 campaign.

As of today (17 December), Liverpool have played 35 Premier League in 2019, winning 29 of them, losing only once – which was literally their very first game of the year on 3 January – and taking 92 points. Only City, who have amassed 86 points from 35 games, come close.

Gini Wijnaldum

It is that form that saw Liverpool come within a whisker of Premier League glory last season, recording the highest ever points tally for a runner-up, and has put them on course to go all the way this season after leaving Manchester City in their wake since August.

Leicester have been the third best Premier League team in 2019. Manager Brendan Rodgers has seen a remarkable rise since taking over in February, with the Foxes winning 18 times this year and collecting 60 points from 34 games along the way.

Chelsea and Manchester United have managed 58 and 56 points respectively in the Premier League in the calendar year. Each side has had significant up and downs over the last 12 months and a lack of consistency is the reason for trailing the top two by so much.

Anthony Martial,Marcus Rashford

Wolves and Crystal Palace have had impressive years and both have 52 points to show for it – the latter has even played a game less than the former to reach that tally.

It hasn’t been a particularly good 2019 overall in north London, with both Tottenham and Arsenal slipping towards mid-table.

Despite a strong home record that is better than Leicester’s, Spurs have lost too many away games, 10 of 16 to be precise. The Gunners have only played 33 Premier League games in 2019, but are still worse off than Newcastle and are 10th in the 12-month table.

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Everton (12th) and West Ham (13th) will be among those disappointed with their 2019. Bournemouth have also had a difficult year, despite patches of occasional form, and are 15th.

Excluding those that have been promoted or relegated and have therefore only been in the Premier League for half of 2019, the worst team of the year is Brighton. The Seagulls have at least improved in the latter half, with five of the seven victories this year coming this season.

Watford are only marginally better, but their form is the reverse of Brighton’s as the Hornets have picked up just a single Premier League victory since April.

Mohamed Salah,Christian Kabasele

Considering they have only played half of 2019 in the Premier League, Sheffield United are doing incredibly well. Their haul of 25 points from half the number of games is only just behind Brighton and Watford, with the Blades still to lose a league game away from home this season.

2019 Premier League Table (1 January 2019 to 17 December 2019):

?Pos Club? Pld? ?W D? L? GD? Pts?
?1. ?Liverpool 35? 29? 5? 1? +55? 92?
?2. ?Manchester City 35? 28 ?2 ?5 ?+62 86?
?3. ?Leicester City 34? 18? 6? 10? +30? 60?
?4. Chelsea? ?35 17? 7? 11? +8? 58?
?5. ?Manchester United ?35 ?15 ?11 9? +8? 56?
?6. Wolverhampton Wanderers 35? 13? 13? 9? +4? 52?
?7. Crystal Palace? ?34 15? 7 12? +3? 52?
?8. ?Tottenham Hotspur ?34 ?14 7? 13? +11? 49?
?9. Newcastle? United ?35 ?14 7? 14? -1? 49?
?10. ?Arsenal ?33 ?13 ?9 ?11 +2? 48?
?11. Burnley? ?35 ?13 7? 15? -8? 46?
?12. ?Everton ?34 13? ?6 ?15 -1? 45?
?13. ?West Ham United 34? 12? 8? 14? -7? 44?
?14. ?Southampton ?35 ?10 ?9 ?16 -21? 39?
?15. ?Bournemouth 35? 10? 8? 17? -10? 38?
?16. ?Watford ?35 ?7 ?10 ?18 -29? 31?
?17. ?Brighton & Hove Albion ?34 7? 9? 18? -24? 30?
?18. Sheffield United? ?17 ?6 ?7 ?4 ?+5 ?25
?19. ?Cardiff City 17? 5? 1? 11? -13? 16?
?20. ?Aston Villa 17? ?4 ?3 ?10 ?-7 15
?21. ?Norwich City ?17 ?3 ?3 11? -17? 12?
?22. ?Fulham 17? 4? 0? 13? -19? 12?
?23. ?Huddersfield Town 18? 1? 3? 14? -31? 6?

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Roy Hodgson Refuses to Rule Out Wilfried Zaha Departure Amid Chelsea Interest

?Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has admitted he cannot categorically rule out a January departure for winger Wilfried Zaha, who has been heavily linked with Chelsea in recent weeks.

Chelsea are on the lookout for new wingers to replace the ageing duo of Willian and Pedro, while Zaha is reportedly ?one of six names under consideration at Stamford Bridge ahead of the January transfer window.


Speaking after his side’s 1-1 draw with ?Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday (via the ?Evening Standard), Hodgson warned that ?Zaha – a summer target of Arsenal and Everton – would not be sold easily, although he refused to rule anything out.

“My only solace with Wilf is that he has got a three-and-a-half-year contract and as far as I know the club is in no desperate need to sell him. We aren’t about to go bankrupt so as far as I am concerned,” Hodgson said.

“I’m counting on Wilf, I’m delighted to be working with Wilf but when the transfer window is coming around I can never say exactly what will happen. I will have to adjust, as will the club, to anything that comes our way.”

Zaha bagged his third goal in five league games in impressive fashion on Monday, proving why ?Chelsea are interested in striking a deal.

Roy Hodgson,Wilfried Zaha

A move for the 27-year-old has certainly split supporters, the vast majority of whom are concerned by the potential cost of such a deal.

Everton are understood to have lodged a bid worth over £70m for Zaha during the summer, but Palace were not interested in doing business – despite the winger handing in a transfer request to try to force the move over the line.

It seems likely that ?Palace will demand a similar figure in January – undoubtedly a lot of money to pay for a player who has just three goals and two assists in 17 appearances this season.

Alongside Zaha, the Blues are pondering moves for Jadon Sancho, Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey and Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze to address their lack of depth out wide, while also acting as the creative successor to Eden Hazard. 


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Timo Werner & Leon Bailey on Chelsea’s Radar as Six-Player Attacking Shortlist Revealed

?Chelsea are reported to be looking at Bundesliga duo Timo Werner and Leon Bailey as potential January targets, as Frank Lampard looks to strengthen his squad for the second half of the season. 

The Blues had been facing an entire season without any new arrivals, with Lampard initially having to look within the club’s youth and reserve ranks to supplement the squad available to him.

That was until they won an appeal against the registration embargo imposed on them by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that halved the length of the ban – freeing them up to sign players from January onwards. 

FBL-EUR-C1-CHELSEA-LILLE

Since that ruling, the headlines have been awash with transfer rumours relating to who ?Chelsea could look to bring in. Lampard is ?believed to have £150m at his disposal to spend on new recruits, while an ?Eden Hazard replacement is the priority.

According to ?The Telegraph, a significant chunk of that will be spent on attacking talent, and Werner and Bailey join Jadon Sancho, Wilfried Zaha, Moussa Dembele and Samuel Chukwueze on a six-player shortlist that is said to be under consideration for next month. 

Werner has of course been one of the continent’s leading marksmen this season and has netted 16 goals in 15 Bundesliga games after an electric start to the campaign for RB Leipzig. 

A more left-wing option, literally, comes in the form of wide forward Leon Bailey, who has netted four goals in 12 appearances despite an injury-ravaged start to the season. The Jamaican comes highly rated, but has had some public attitude issues while at Bayer Leverkusen, and may come as a cheaper alternative to Sancho – who seems unlikely to be available for anything short of an absurd fee in January. 

Jadon Sancho,Pierre Kunde Malong

Dembele was linked with Manchester United in the summer and has scored an impressive 30 goals in 69 appearances since joining Lyon from Celtic in the summer. 

Rounding out the shortlist of attackers are Zaha and Chukwueze. The former is likely to cost an arm and a leg if he is to be pried from Crystal Palace mid-season, but will likely be open to a move after putting a transfer request in the summer.

20-year-old Chukwueze, currently at Villarreal, is a more traditional winger, who would offer competition to the likes of Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Willian, while replacing Pedro, who is ?expected to leave sooner rather than later. 


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6 Reasons Why This Season Could See the Most Exciting Top 4 Race Ever

?Going into the November international break, it seemed as though this was going to be one of the most boring Premier League seasons of all time.

Hey, just being honest.

Chelsea had at the time beaten Crystal Palace to go eight points clear of fifth placed Sheffield United, and it looked as if 2019/20’s top four race would be ‘The Last Jedi’ to 18/19’s ‘The Force Awakens’.

Frank Lampard

But what a difference a month makes.

The gap between fourth and fifth has closed from eight points down to three following the most recent round of fixtures, and left the chasing back fancying their chances. You don’t have to be Einstein to know that seven into one simply doesn’t go.

So indulge us as we get giddy with excitement over the six reasons why this could be the most exciting race for the top four ever.


Chelsea’s Poor Form

Kurt Zouma

?Chelsea looked untouchable under Frank Lampard. The young players were performing, the defence was just about coping, and most importantly, the Blues were great to watch.

That has all changed very quickly, as Lampard’s young side have gone on to lose four games out their last five in the Premier League, leaving them looking over their shoulders.

A saving grace is that they can now sign players in January, but the new recruits could really do with making an impact to put the Blues back on track for the remainder of the campaign.


Jose’s Hot Spurs

Jose Mourinho

Before the international break, ?Spurs were down in fourteenth – absolutely nowhere to be seen in terms of the top four race.

With the dismissal of Mauricio Pochettino and the hiring of Jose Mourinho within 24 hours though, that seems to have completely changed.

They now sit fifth just three points off their London rivals, and with four wins out of five going into Christmas – with Chelsea at home to come in their next game – they appear to be picking up form at just the right time. They could even be in the top four by Sunday night.


Manchester United Have Remembered Where the Goal Is?

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN CITY-MAN UTD

Back in November, ?Manchester United had managed just sixteen goals in twelve matches and looked toothless up front.

That has changed now though, as they have managed ten in their last five games. And after seemingly being destined for the sack, back-to-back victories over Spurs and ?Man City have put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in contention.

If they can sort out their performances against the smaller teams, then the race for top four is very much on.


Surprise Packages

Joao Moutinho,John Lundstram

?Wolves are a Europa League team who came seventh in the Premier League last season, so to call them a surprise package might seem a little unfair. But surely no one would have expected a genuine top four challenge this time around.

They’ve managed it under Nuno Espirito Santo though, and despite defeat to Spurs at the weekend, sit just five points off Chelsea.

?Sheffield United are an even closer four points back, and could be another team who shock everyone this season.


Sleeping Giant?


It’s hard to argue the case that ?Arsenal will make top four with their current form. They have won just once since October, and things haven’t got better under Freddie Ljungberg.

But, if they get their next managerial appointment right (and it looks like they might have one soon) then they only need to look across north London at local rivals Spurs to see how quickly things can change.

The Gunners are a sleeping giant in this race. Other teams will be hoping that they’re not awoken.?


The Packed Mid-Table

Wilfried Zaha,Fabian Schär,Isaac Hayden

If you’re including Arsenal in the top four race, then the ridiculously packed nature of the Premier League mid-table means you have to include ?Newcastle and ?Crystal Palace too.

Now, not saying either will be in the Champions League next year – although the idea of Steve Bruce and Roy Hodgson pitting their wits against the likes of ?Barcelona and the ?Real Madrid of this world is a fun one – but the gap is close.

With just seven points separating fourth and eleventh, no game is easy in the Premier League this season. Expect shocks and expect upsets because this is going to be one the best top four races we’ve ever seen.

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Ranking the 8 Champions League Last 16 Ties By How Good They Are Going to Be

The Champions League last 16 draw produced a number of enticing ties that are sure to be entertaining affairs when the competition resumes in February and March.

Here’s a look at each of the ties on offer, ranked by how good they are likely to be…


8. Atalanta vs. Valencia

FBL-EUR-C1-SHAKHTAR-ATALANTA

Atalanta have done incredibly well to reach the knockout stages in their very first Champions League season, not least because they had just a single point after four games. Valencia, meanwhile, won a very open group and are having an ‘only okay’ season back home in Spain.

This may be the hipster choice, but it’s more ‘Europa League’ than ‘Champions League’.


7. Lyon vs. Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo,Paulo Dybala

Lyon have been a strong side in the past and ruffled the feathers of Manchester City in the Champions League group stage as recently as last season, after which they were comprehensively thrashed by Barcelona in the first knockout round.

This season, Lyon scraped through the group stage with the second fewest points of any of the qualifiers (8) and are having a less than impressive domestic campaign in France. This is therefore expected to be a straightforward two-legged win for Juventus.


6. Borussia Dortmund vs. Paris Saint-Germain

UEFA Champions League"Paris St Germain v Galatasaray AS"

If Atalanta against Valencia is the ‘hipster choice’ of the round, then Borussia Dortmund vs. Paris Saint-Germain is the tie of choice for slightly more mainstream hipsters…if such a thing can exist.

Questions will be asked if Jadon Sancho is still a Dortmund player by the time the tie is being played, while Paco Alcacer will have to rediscover his pre-injury form if the Germans are to have a chance. Otherwise, things could be one-sided given the way PSG cruised the group stage.


5. Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski

Bayern Munich were the only team to win all six of their games during this season’s top stage and have striker Robert Lewandowski in the form of his life. They come up against a Chelsea side that has both scored and leaked goals at a considerable rate this season.

This tie therefore promises goals, while any misgivings over a potential mismatch owing to Chelsea’s recent domestic wobble might be addressed by the January transfer window.


4. Tottenham Hotspur vs. RB Leipzig

Jose Mourinho

Tottenham have Jose Mourinho and RB Leipzig are top of the Bundesliga, but this meeting between two teams who have only been relatively recent additions to the elite European scene doesn’t scream ‘Champions League glamour tie’.

That being said, it is still two good sides with very talented players and respected coaches. It is the master, Mourinho, against the young upstart in 32-year-old Julian Nagelsmann, who is increasingly being touted for a top level job in the near future.


3. Napoli vs. Barcelona

UEFA Champions League"FC Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund"

Barcelona are always a huge draw in the Champions League, while Napoli, despite a poor Serie A season by their own recent standards and managerial disarray, were strong in the group stage and were one of just a handful of sides to remain unbeaten.

A new coach with fresh ideas, along with rumoured January signings, could inject new blood into Napoli in time for the return of the Champions League in February. Barcelona, meanwhile, are looking to make up for last season’s semi-final collapse against Liverpool.


2. Atletico Madrid vs. Liverpool

FBL-EUR-C1-LIVERPOOL-GENK

This tie promises to be a huge test for a Liverpool side looking to become only the second in the Champions League era (post-1992) to successfully retain the trophy – the Reds last retained the European Cup more than 40 years when they won in 1977 and 1978.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico are certainly not immune to off days, but have proven time and again in recent years how difficult they are to beat. European knockouts are their forte.


1. Real Madrid vs. Manchester City

Pep Guardiola

This tie between Real Madrid and Manchester City not only pits two elite sides against each, it has the added factor of manager Pep Guardiola going up against his old Clásico adversaries.

These two last met in the 2015/16 semi-finals, with Real edging the tie by a single goal in a 1-0 aggregate score-line. This time around, there promise to be big battles all over the pitch between two clubs that are desperate to win the Champions League for different reasons.


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