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Happy Blue

Top or Bottom at Christmas?

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It's official: Manchester City will be top and Swansea City will be bottom of the Premier League table at Christmas. But will they finish up there come May?

Few would bet against City failing to win the Premier League from this position and Pep Guardiola's men can take confidence from the fact seven out of the past 10 teams top of the Premier League at Christmas have gone on to win the title. Pep Guardiola's dominant side 13-points clear of Jose Mourinho's Red Devils, who sit second in the table. 

That gap represents the largest lead ever by a top-flight team on Christmas day. 

Only Liverpool (twice, in 2008/09 and 2013/14) and Arsenal (2007/08) have slipped from being top on December 25, while City have won the league on both occasions they've been in first place at this time (2011/12 and 2013/14).

When it comes to the race for the Champions League qualification spots, the current top four will be rightly optimistic about securing their place in Europe's elite club competition - but history suggests a word of warning for the team in fourth, who this year are Liverpool.

While 82.5 per cent of teams in the top four at this point go on to finish in the top four, only four teams in fourth place on Christmas Day have qualified over the past 10 years.

Arsenal (2016/17), West Ham (2014/15), Tottenham (2012/13), Chelsea (2011/12), Aston Villa (2009/10) and Manchester City (2007/08) are the ones who missed out, while Villa also slipped out of the top four in 2008/09.

RELEGATION OMENS

Looking at the other end of the table, 50 per cent of teams who have been bottom of the league at Christmas since 2007 have finished last.

Aston Villa (2015/16), West Ham (2010/11), Portsmouth (2009/10), West Brom (2008/09) and Derby (2007/08) failed to climb off the foot of the table by May. Will Swansea join them?

While Hull in 2016/17 and Reading in 2012/13 - both bottom at Christmas - managed to climb up from 20th place, they were both ultimately relegated, so the Swans will look instead to Sunderland in 2013/14 and Leicester City in 2014/15 for inspiration.

It's not all doom and gloom for teams currently in the relegation zone, though. While 50 per cent of teams in the bottom three at Christmas have gone on to be relegated over the past 10 years, the only season where every team who were in the drop zone at Christmas went down was 2012/13, when Wigan, Reading and QPR were unable to recover and slipped into the Championship.

This news will give the current bottom three - Swansea, West Brom and Bournemouth - hope. In fact, Swansea have survived the drop after being in the bottom three at Christmas in two of the last three seasons. They will be hoping to continue the trend with a strong second half of the campaign.

Wigan Athletic survived the drop more times than any team in the last decade, maintaining their top-flight status despite being in the bottom three at Christmas three times in five years before eventually going down in 2012/2013.

So it seems there are strong correlations between Christmas positions and where teams end up at the end of the campaign. And that's likely to be even more pronounced this year, with all of the teams having played two games more than they normally would have at this point.

But with half of the season's fixtures still to play and a January transfer window fast approaching, teams will still be optimistic of ending the campaign on a high.

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Don't think we stay undefeated due to CL football and the cup and FA cup to come.

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Not surprising that both Liverpool and Arsenal have been the ones to mess up a stat that tends to ring true throughout most of Europe’s top leagues with whoever’s top at Christmas and subsequently ending up as Champions. 

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Half the season may have passed but Man City haven't played us yet. We never win on boxing day and the game has been moved to the day after for tv. There's your omen that we will win.

:coffee:

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Think the only thing that can stop us now is a few major long term injury's to key players so the more breathing room we can get the better .. @Pep Talk if we can maintain the gap i think we will take a knee somewhere down the line for a bigger game around the corner like we did in the last CL game already having 1st place wrapping up and United a few days later  .. @SirBalon if only Arsenal could of focused for a full season, do you think it was a mental pressure thing for the collapses or something else? 

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1 minute ago, Kitchen Sales said:

Half the season may have passed but Man City haven't played us yet. We never win on boxing day and the game has been moved to the day after for tv. There's your omen that we will win.

:coffee:

It's ok, we can afford to lose 4 and draw 1 and still be top :D  ..funny enough, winning at St James Park was a key win in our 1st Premier League title win ..Omens ;)

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Man City are 13 points clear at the top. I don't think there's a need to look at bullshit omens

Edited by 6666
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3 minutes ago, Happy Blue said:

It's ok, we can afford to lose 4 and draw 1 and still be top :D  ..funny enough, winning at St James Park was a key win in our 1st Premier League title win ..Omens ;)

We are about to be taken over by rich Arabs... Oman's :ph34r:

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32 minutes ago, Kitchen Sales said:

We are about to be taken over by rich Arabs... Oman's :ph34r:

That will be interesting if they have deep pockets but you will struggle with FFP  ..you will need to be self funded like us before you can conquer the world, it's taken us 10 years to get to where we are now but it's better to have money you cant spend than not have it :D  ...the draw bridge might already be up on new money clubs

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3 minutes ago, Happy Blue said:

That will be interesting if they have deep pockets but you will struggle with FFP  ..you will need to be self funded like us before you can conquer the world, it's taken us 10 years to get to where we are now but it's better to have money you cant spend than not have it :D  ...the draw bridge might already be up on new money clubs

I don't think we will get the money to conquer the world, but they will want to turn us into a valuable asset for the super wealthy which means we will have to get in and around the top 6. 

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2 minutes ago, Kitchen Sales said:

I don't think we will get the money to conquer the world, but they will want to turn us into a valuable asset for the super wealthy which means we will have to get in and around the top 6. 

Top 4 wouldn't be out of the question if you could spend 200million  ..Arsenal, Cheslea, Liverpool and Spurs yo-yo up and down and united are a Europa league quality team on a good day, it's wide open 

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1 hour ago, Happy Blue said:

Think the only thing that can stop us now is a few major long term injury's to key players so the more breathing room we can get the better .. @Pep Talk if we can maintain the gap i think we will take a knee somewhere down the line for a bigger game around the corner like we did in the last CL game already having 1st place wrapping up and United a few days later  .. @SirBalon if only Arsenal could of focused for a full season, do you think it was a mental pressure thing for the collapses or something else? 

There is too much turmoil at Arsenal right now mate to be able to focus on a full season at 110% which is what’s needed when we consider the quality everyone’s up against in the free spending City and United.

To start with, we need fully committed players... You know, those ones that really make a difference. 

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1 hour ago, Happy Blue said:

Think the only thing that can stop us now is a few major long term injury's to key players so the more breathing room we can get the better .. @Pep Talk if we can maintain the gap i think we will take a knee somewhere down the line for a bigger game around the corner like we did in the last CL game already having 1st place wrapping up and United a few days later  .. @SirBalon if only Arsenal could of focused for a full season, do you think it was a mental pressure thing for the collapses or something else? 

Guess depends how deep we go in CL..think we should be looking at semis at least. Even though I think we can win it.

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