Man City, Man United, Chelsea… How have the BIG 6 fared their 11 EPL games in?

It is time for another international break and a chance to sit back and ponder who is flying high in the Premier League and who is falling short.

Here, we assess all six of the clubs who started this season as supposed title-chasers. 

Manchester City, 1st 

How are they getting on?

Won 10, drawn one, lost none. It says it all. Manchester City have all the talent they could possibly need to win the Premier League and are operating on a different level to the others. They have scored 38 times this season – with their Manchester neighbours the nearest to that on 23. They came through their latest test against Arsenal with a 3-1 win. City will take some stopping if they can maintain this level of energy and excitement.

What are their league fixtures up until Christmas?

Huddersfield (a), Southampton (h), West Ham (h), Man Utd (a), Swansea (a), Tottenham (h), Bournemouth (h).

Guardiola will look at this list and want seven wins, though two ties stand out. City will look to bulldoze down a Jose Mourinho brick wall at Old Trafford on December 10 – just four days after they face Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League. They also welcome Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham to the Etihad Stadium on December 16.

Manchester United, 2nd

How are they getting on?

Manchester United missed out on putting pressure on City on Sunday as they suffered a 1-0 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho had a point to make in his post-match press conference, however. ‘We are worried (about the eight-point gap to City),’ he said. ‘But there are 18 teams more worried than us because we are second.’ That they are, though they have a mountain to climb.

What are their league fixtures up until Christmas?

Newcastle (h), Brighton (h), Watford (a), Arsenal (a), Man City (h), Bournemouth (h), West Brom (a), Leicester (a).

Eight Premier League matches between November 18 and December 23 which will make or break their season. None more so than their visit to Arsenal followed by a showdown with City a week later – and a Champions League tie at home to CSKA Moscow sandwiched in between. 

Tottenham Hotspur, 3rd

How are they getting on? 

Like United, Tottenham are eight points behind City. Losing at Old Trafford last week hurt them and Mauricio Pochettino responded by telling his players they have to take their chances if they are to win the title. It comes to that same, old question – how long can Tottenham keep hold of Harry Kane and Dele Alli if they do not start winning trophies? Time to join the party, Pochettino.

What are their league fixtures up until Christmas?

Arsenal (a), West Brom (h), Leicester (a), Watford (a), Stoke (h), Brighton (h), Man City (a), Burnley (a).

Tottenham’s first game back after the international break sees them travel to Arsenal. Spurs may be looking to close the gap to City, but the Gunners are looking to close their own gap to their London rivals. Another stand-out tie is City away on December 16.

Chelsea, 4th

How are they getting on? 

Fourth is not what Roman Abramovich wants. Neither is second or third, in truth. Only first will do when it comes to Chelsea’s demanding Russian owner. They are nine points off City, though their win over United on Sunday was vital and kept the reigning champions in the race. It would have made for an uncomfortable international break had Antonio Conte lost. The pressure is on.

What are their league fixtures up until Christmas?

West Brom (a), Liverpool (a), Swansea (h), Newcastle (h), West Ham (a), Huddersfield (a), Southampton (h), Everton (a).

Winnable games ahead. Chelsea’s trip to Liverpool is their toughest test on paper, though Conte has a favourable fixture list compared to others. West Ham away on December 9 comes four days after Chelsea face Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid at home. 

Liverpool, 5th

How are they getting on? 

Jurgen Klopp said in 2015 that he was ‘pretty confident’ he would win the title with Liverpool within four years. Two years later, they aren’t any closer. Liverpool have 19 points and are only inside the top six because their goal difference is better than Burnley’s. The days of looking upon Klopp with awe and wonder have been and gone. He is still giving out the hugs and attempting to play ‘heavy-metal football’ but, in truth, it is time they got some silverware.

What are their league fixtures up until Christmas?

Southampton (h), Chelsea (a), Stoke (a), Brighton (a), Everton (h), West Brom (h), Bournemouth (a), Arsenal (a).

Significant tests are on their way for Liverpool. Chelsea away on November 25, the Merseyside derby on December 10, a trip to Arsenal days before Christmas. Klopp could be flying high or a man on the ropes by the turn of the year. 

Arsenal, 6th

How are they getting on? 

Arsenal are the world’s seventh richest club and sit sixth in the Premier League. Like Liverpool, they are level on points with Sean Dyche’s Burnley. If they are to turn into title contenders, they have to hope that City seriously slip up and that they can win a series of games in succession. Arsenal never seem far away from tripping themselves up – a fight for the top four is likelier.

What are their league fixtures up until Christmas?

Tottenham (h), Burnley (a), Huddersfield (h), Man Utd (h), Southampton (a), West Ham (a), Newcastle (h), Liverpool (h).

Just wait for that tasty six-pointer away at Burnley on November 26… Arsenal have quite the festive fixture list and they may not be rubbing their hands at it. They are at home to Tottenham and United, then head into a London derby at West Ham, then Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium.

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