Mohamed Salah leads four Liverpool players: Premier League team of the season so far

Reds sit top of the table as the season enters its second half

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The Premier League season takes a short respite this week for the FA Cup third round, and after a hectic stretch over the festive period, it's a good chance to take stock and reflect on the campaign so far.

With the season now beyond the halfway stage, it appears as though it could be all to play for. At the top end, a genuinely wide-open title race looks to be under way, with Liverpool holding a three-point lead over surprise challengers Aston Villa. However, champions Manchester City – aiming to become the first club to win four successive Premier League titles – can close the gap to two points by winning their game in hand.

Arsenal, in fourth, remain contenders despite ending this recent run of fixtures with back-to-back defeats. Rivals Tottenham are a point and a place back, so the battle for the top four looks set to be closely contested.

The rest of the top half of the table sees West Ham in sixth place, David Moyes so far successfully balancing Europa League commitments (the Hammers are through to the last 16) and staying competitive domestically.

Brighton & Hove Albion, in seventh, continue to thrill even if consistency has been an issue, while the three teams in eighth, ninth, and 10th will be disappointed with their campaigns so far.

Eighth-placed Manchester United perennially creep from one crisis to another, ninth-placed Newcastle have found their squad too stretched on their return to the Champions League, and Chelsea, in 10th, continue to struggle for cohesion, despite the brilliance of new signing Cole Palmer.

Wolves and Bournemouth – in 11th and 12th respectively – have impressed to defy preseason expectations that both clubs would be in a relegation scrap, while 13th-placed Fulham have picked up enough good results to stay clear of the bottom three.

Crystal Palace, in 14th, looked to be sliding down the table but the return of Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze should be enough to keep them safe, while 15th-placed Nottingham Forest have started brightly under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo with back-to-back wins.

Brentford, in 16th, endured a miserable festive period and five successive defeats sees them lurking just five points above the drop zone. Everton, meanwhile, bounced back from their 10-point deduction to surge clear of the bottom three but three straight losses have halted their progress.

As for the relegation zone, those places are occupied by the three promoted clubs. Luton Town, whom many expected to get buried this season, are making the best fist of it and are just one point behind Everton with a game in hand. Burnley and bottom club Sheffield United are five and seven points adrift of safety and will need to produce monumental turnarounds to preserve their top-flight statuses.

As the campaign heads into its second half, we have picked our Premier League team of the season so far in the gallery above. To move on to the next photo, click on the arrows or swipe if using a mobile device.

Updated: January 03, 2024, 8:28 AM