Digital Football Journalist @ronnabe
How the Premier League's 'big six' compare to last season
Liverpool and Tottenham have improved their points tally, but Manchester City and Manchester United have not fared as well
Last Updated: 28/12/18 6:47am
With half of the Premier League season now over, how are last season's top six faring compared with this point in 2017/18?
It is difficult to argue with Liverpool's start to the season - sitting pretty and six points clear at the top of the Premier League. But what about the rest?
Both Chelsea and Arsenal appointed new managers in the summer, while Manchester United sacked Jose Mourinho earlier this month, but have the changes had the desired effect?
There is still a long way to go in the Premier League season but, at the halfway stage, how is 2018/19 comparing to the first half of 2017/18? Read on to find out...
Top six compared - 2017/18 & 2018/19
|1. Man City||55||-||1. Liverpool||51|
|2. Man Utd||42||-||2. Tottenham||45|
|3. Chelsea||39||-||3. Man City||44|
|4. Liverpool||35||-||4. Chelsea||40|
|5. Tottenham||34||-||5. Arsenal||38|
|6. Arsenal||34||-||6. Man Utd||32|
1) Liverpool - up 16 points, up three places
Liverpool made a fairly slow start to 2017/18, sitting as low as ninth with 10 games gone, but they dropped more points (seven) in their opening five games of that campaign than they have all season this time around - which tells you just how well they are doing now.
This is Liverpool's best start to a season, although they would still have trailed the 2017/18 Manchester City side by four points at this stage if we rewind 12 months.
But this time around, their six-point advantage looks a strong one with half the season gone - although in the last 10 years, Liverpool are the only team to have been top at Christmas and not gone on to lift the title. They have done it twice, in fact, so... third time lucky?
2) Tottenham - up 11 points, up three places
It is amazing to think that after becoming the first team in Premier League history to not buy a player during a summer transfer window since it was introduced in 2002, Tottenham have had their best start to a Premier League season.
This time last year, they were a point outside the top four and five off the third position they would end up inhabiting, but this time they are Liverpool's closest challengers, albeit six points off the top in second place.
That form has been cemented with eight wins from their last nine games, including a welcome 3-1 victory over Chelsea at Wembley, and the hope of more to come should Mauricio Pochettino have money to spend in January.
3) Manchester City - down 11 points, down two places
It would have been difficult for Manchester City to match the first half of last season, considering they had dropped only two points at this stage en route to the Premier League title, although Pep Guardiola did recently suggest his side had improved since then.
But three defeats in four games have dropped City off the pace, and even out of the top two with Tottenham leapfrogging them on Boxing Day after they suffered a second shock loss in four days, and they are now seven points behind league leaders Liverpool.
City will now have to win every game for the rest of the season if they are going to breach the 100-point mark for the second campaign in a row.
4) Chelsea - up one point, down one place
Chelsea looked as though they might mount a strong title challenge in Maurizio Sarri's first season in charge as they started with a 12-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.
However, they have slipped back after defeats to Tottenham, Wolves and Leicester in the last month and now look like they will face a fight for a top-four finish.
It was a similar story at this stage of the 2017/18 season for the Blues, although a title challenge looked more unlikely as Manchester City were 16 points ahead. Chelsea will be hoping to make a better start to the year than they did in 2018 when they only won one of their first five Premier League matches.
5) Arsenal - up four points, up one place
The Unai Emery revolution looked like it had found the winning formula after leading Arsenal on a 22-match unbeaten run, especially when a 4-2 home win over Tottenham took them fourth in the table earlier this month.
But four points from their last three games has slowed that momentum a little bit, although the upturn in home form and addition of Lucas Torreira have raised hopes for the future.
The Gunners may add more in January given a lengthy injury list, but there is certainly more optimism sitting on the fringes of the top four this season than there was last time around.
6) Manchester United - down 10 points, down four places
Jose Mourinho said he ranked leading Manchester United to second in the Premier League as one of his best achievements in his managerial career at the end of last season.
However, he never described his third year at Old Trafford in quite the same way before his season was cut short by dismissal. That is little surprise, as United were enduring their worst start to a Premier League campaign by the time he was shown the door.
They were never really in the title race in 2017/18 but were the best of the rest for the most part. However, this time they are eight points outside even fourth spot. Interestingly, their tally of 32 points is the same number Burnley had at this stage last season.