3 teams start life under new managers as EPL resumes after two weeks off for Christmas
With less than a month to go before Christmas, one thing is quite clear – no clubs look quite as good as they were during the first two weeks of November. Even Manchester City, who went 9 games unbeaten before crashing out of the Champions League has lost two games in succession.
We can’t speak for every team but we can do a little bit of maths to see where the merry-go-round is spinning. Here are where we start as we take a look at the teams that are set to make moves up the table in the new year:
1- Liverpool and Spurs
This might seem a slight ruse, but Liverpool has some catching up to do after their 2-1 loss to Red Star Belgrade in their last Champions League game. It doesn’t help that manager Juergen Klopp was very critical of the 3rd kit the team wore, saying it was below par. With a home game against Burnley next up and a third straight game at Anfield, it seems like Liverpool needs to find their touch ASAP.
Tottenham might be more fortunate. They are through to the last 16 of the Champions League and have found themselves a new manager in the form of former Porto manager Diego Simeone. The fact that they have won both their Premier League games under Simeone has led to them taking four points from their last two league games, taking them third and four points clear of Liverpool and Manchester City in fifth place.
Everything has been going right for Arsenal in the league since the beginning of October. They have two wins in their last three games and some of the blame should be laid at the feet of their opponents. In both of their last three games, Arsenal has lost by one goal. Since Unai Emery took over in May, the team has been able to score three or more goals eight times, but is still without a home win against top six teams this season.
3- Newcastle United
After picking up just two points in their first four games back in the Premier League, Newcastle is creeping back up the table. They can thank Matt Ritchie for two of those points, but have found consistency and luck to grab three points in their last two matches.
Benitez has led the team to only one league win against top six teams this season but has done a great job throughout the season and can do something very few managers could. He can guide Newcastle to a top four finish and propel them out of relegation zone.
A 3-0 victory against Burnley followed by a second consecutive Premier League win followed by a Carabao Cup quarterfinal victory should go a long way for Benitez and Newcastle.
Arsenal has a young team that currently sits seventh in the league but could find itself in fourth place by season’s end. A case in point would be Bayern Munich. With the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Corentin Tolisso, and Thomas Muller, the German side may not be able to keep up with the more attacking-minded sides like Manchester City. If Bayern is unable to challenge for the top three, the pressure will fall on manager Niko Kovac. One contender could be Besiktas. They only won one game in the Champions League this season, but could make it to the semi-finals if all goes right.
Chelsea can find itself in a relegation battle if they are unable to find the consistency that they possess at the moment. A poor start, particularly in the Premier League, did Chelsea no favors, but they have been relatively safe during the league season so far. Manager Maurizio Sarri is under some pressure as well, but it should be tempered after they reached the Champions League final in the recent years.
Newcastle can make a charge for a Champions League spot with a positive run of results. The team won seven of their 10 matches in the Carabao Cup to take fourth in the North East. Their title chase didn’t go as well as expected, but will a strong run in the league in the new year help them make the top six?