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At the start of a new calendar year,

Surely there’s no better time to assess who has and hasn’t enjoyed the Premier League 2014/15 season to date.

Premier League 2014-15 half-term reviewOf course Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea started the year with a shocking 5-3 defeat to Spurs. Despite that though, they have been many people’s favourites for the title. Their defeat on New Year’s Day was only their second (in all competitions) this season; they remain arguably the team to beat. The subtle additions of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas have transformed an already good side into a great one. The likes of Gary Cahill, Nemanja Matic and Cesar Azpilicueta are becoming even better. Chelsea look set to win at least two trophies this year. They’re too good a side not to bounce back from a defeat such as this. It may in fact be a reality-check for some players who will use this defeat as inspiration to go on a long unbeaten run.

Champions Manchester City despite having a wobble or two look Chelsea’s only real title-challengers. There were a few doubts about City but after their somewhat fortunate Champions League win at home to Bayern, they have turned the corner. Certain maligned-players such as Samir Nasri and Martin Demichelis have stepped up and it’s clear that Manuel Pellegrini’s side have a great team spirit that will see them go far this season. In Sergio Aguero they have the league’s best finisher. If he’s fit to face Barcelona, maybe City can topple Messi and Co. Importantly too, Frank Lampard is staying for the rest of the year and his goals and all-round play, if they haven’t already, could well be pivotal in the outcome of the title-race.

Across the other side of Manchester, Louis van Gaal’s United are improving and sit in third. Despite drawing three out of their last four games, they look to have turned the corner and with a bit more luck with injuries could well have secured more points. They could do with signing a centre-back in the January transfer-window or they will continue to leak goals despite having the league’s best keeper (and possibly best performer) David de Gea.

Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers have had tough seasons so far. Despite lifting the FA Cup last season, it’s been very much the same story for Arsenal this year. Great going forward, but shaky and light at the back. New signings Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and Calum Chambers have all impressed, but with the likes of Ramsay, Walcott and Wilshere continuing to be thwarted by injuries, fourth is realistically Arsenal’s only goal again this year.

Liverpool meanwhile were always going to be a weaker side without Luis Suarez. The new signings bar Alberto Moreno and Adam Lallana haven’t worked. Danny Sturridge has missed most of the season and without his goals, it’s a question of who is going to score goals for the Anfield club. Steven Gerrard continues to try his best but he can only do so much. Rodgers needs to be busy in the upcoming transfer-window. If he doesn’t rate Simon Mignolet, he should spend the cash and bring in a better keeper.

West Ham and Southampton have arguably been the two surprise teams of the season. After the mass-exodus at St Mary’s in the summer many pundits feared the worst for Ron Koeman. However the Dutchman’s new-look side have shone, only buffering after facing the top-teams in succession. Sam Allardyce’s Hammers have changed in style this year and with options up-front, including the revitalised Andy Carroll, they look set for a top-eight finish too.

As for everyone-else, Spurs are showing some signs of improvement and after beating Chelsea should have the confidence to really make a push for fourth. Everton are due some luck if they are to dramatically improve and Roberto Martinez’s side have arguably been the disappointment of the season. Newcastle in the wake of Alan Pardew’s ‘it had to happen some time’ exit continue to be the soap-drama of the season. Aston Villa continue to frustrate their fans. Swansea and Stoke are continuing to win plaudits as is Charlie Austin whose goals should keep QPR up, although Harry Redknapp’s side could do with getting some points on the road.

Gus Poyet’s Sunderland despite only losing five of their 19 games, don’t look like winning many matches. Hull even if they don’t lose Steve Bruce to Newcastle look light in quality and will struggle. West Brom too will be in a dog-fight to stay up. Brave Burnley are winning admirers. Leicester despite winning at Hull look doomed. Palace under Pardew should stay up but as well as needing a win or two on the road could do with signing a striker.

Originally published at voomfootball.wordpress.com

Post written by Adam Dennehey
Twitter: @ADennehey87, Blog: adennehey.wordpress.com
for Voom Football, Blog: Voom Football, Twitter: @Voomfootball

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