For better or for worse the Premier League has kept us all on our toes so far this season as the main theme is unpredictability and this weekend was a case in point.
Upstarts Stoke City beat stacked Manchester City. Struggling Newcastle United beat red-hot Liverpool. Tiny Bournemouth beat defending champs Chelsea. The upsets and unpredictability just keeps coming week after week.
Who, before the start of the season, would say that entering the second week of December Leicester City would top the PL? What about Chelsea two points off the relegation zone? And then there’s Crystal Palace, West Ham and Watford all in the top 10. Okay then, if you’re saying “yep I did” and nodding your head then you sir/madam are a liar.
Forgive me, I’m a little bitter when I look back at my own preseason predictions for how the PL standings would look in May 2016. Just have a look at how we all though this season would play out when making our picks back in August. Solid choices back then, right?
The beauty of the PL is often the story of the underdog rising from the lower leagues and against all the odds plucking out a miraculous result when facing a perennial powerhouse, but this season the smaller clubs are stringing wins together continuously and the big boys are left scratching their heads in wonderment. True, it’s still early, but with nearly have the season gone the only thing predictable about the PL this campaign is its unpredictability.
Leicester have been far and away the surprise of the season with many tipping Claudio Ranieri‘s side for relegation. Chelsea’s severe struggle is an equally mind-boggling storyline (more on that below) and then having a group of seven teams from Crystal Palace in sixth to Southampton in 12th separated by just two points shows the equality present and how a level-playing field is being reached across most of the league. Looking back over the history of the PL, I can remember the 2005-06 season being particularly all over the place with Wigan, Bolton and Blackburn all finishing in the top 10, plus plenty of big teams embroiled in a relegation battle.
17 – After 15 games last season, Chelsea were 26 points ahead of Leicester – they now find themselves 17 behind. Swing.
This season seems like the most open and unpredictable in the last 10 years and at the top, some of the big boys are still around but nobody is taking the bull by the horns and saying “go on then, if you don’t want to win the title, we will.”
Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United have all stumbled multiple times already — City have lost four games, Arsenal three and United twice — and you get the sense this is only the beginning.
Looking back over the past few seasons, Chelsea, Man City and Man United have had a monopoly on the title since 2005 but various teams such as Everton and Tottenham have edged into the top four and clinched UEFA Champions League qualification. Recently Swansea, Southampton, West Ham and Newcastle have threatened to break into the upper echelons but faltered late in the season and the likes of Leicester, West Ham and Palace this time around seem eager to not only keep all of their star players but also want to add more quality in the January transfer window. Due to huge TV deals, many of the so-called smaller clubs having billionaire owners and the unfashionable clubs investing huge windfalls they’re getting in perhaps more imaginative ways than the big boys, the gap between the usual suspects and the rest is diminishing. This season is a great indicator of the collective wealth and health of all 20 PL clubs and how on any given day anybody can beat anybody.
That parity in the PL is one of the main reasons why it’s beloved across the globe.
Unlike leagues in Spain, Italy and Germany of late, where title contenders and the top four seem predictable, the Premier League is anything but. That’s why we love it and heading into the crazy festive period, good news for those who love drama out there: even more unpredictability is to come with five matchdays squeezed into the next three weeks. Bring it on and let the shocks continue. I don’t know about you, but I’m loving this feeling of unpredictability rumbling around each and every weekend.
Hands on his hips and with a face like thunder under the lights at Stamford Bridge, Saturday was another bad day at the office for Jose Mourinho. Very bad, in fact. Chelsea lost 1-0 to Bournemouth as Glenn Murray scored a late winner (which, on second viewing should have been ruled out for offside) to hand the Cherries what manager Eddie Howe called their biggest win in club history.
Mourinho, predictably, blamed the refs for the loss, but what he has to accept is that Chelsea have now suffered eight defeats in their opening 15 games of the campaign. The defending champs lost only three times the whole of last season and just six times the season before that.
Chelsea created plenty of chances, had penalty shouts and toiled in front of their own fans but they were hit by a late sucker-punch and lost for the third time at home this season in the PL. Mourinho had only lost one PL game at home in his previous five seasons in charge of Chelsea heading into 2015-16. Who could’ve predicted this? Nobody.
Those calling for Mourinho to be fired are outsiders, pundits and fans of other clubs. Chelsea fans are sticking with the “Special One” despite all of this woe and, most importantly, so is owner Roman Abramovich and the board. Remember the vote of confidence they gave him? Well, that was after 11 games of the season in all competitions. Chelsea had won four, lost five and drawn two of those games. Since that dreaded vote of confidence arrived from the board, Mourinho has exactly the same record in the last 11 games, winning four, losing five and drawing twice.
So, there’s not been much progress and lifting his team from their early season slumber has proved even more difficult than he thought with faint hopes of rescuing a top four finish all but over and now a top six finish seems like a huge job for Mourinho to overcome.
“[Roman Abramovich] has sacked so many coaches in the last 10 years that I am sure he has learned by it. He has to trust and have confidence Jose can turn it around,” Ferguson said. “There is no point in sacking one of the best coaches of all time, he’s won the European Cup twice, he’s won the league in each country he’s managed in, he’s won the big trophies.”
“I have been watching Jose recently and spoken to him a couple of times, and this is the first time he has been confronted with non-success. If you look at his whole career there has been nothing but a rise all of the time so for the first time in his life he has had to deal with bad publicity, adversity and that is a challenge for him, but there are signs he is getting back to a balanced level although they lost on Saturday.”
Mourinho has got the confidence of his club and one of the greatest managers in soccer history.
Now, he needs his players to somehow regain their confidence with five winnable (the away trip to Man United on Dec. 28 aside) games coming up over the festive period. If Chelsea aren’t in the top 10 by the time January rolls around, just over six months after delivering the PL title Mourinho’s future at Stamford Bridge will become increasingly untenable. Given all of the off-field drama this season surrounding him, it’s these poor performances on the pitch which will cost him his job.
Xherdan Shaqiri was sublime as he played in Marko Arnautovic to score both of Stoke’s goals in the first 15 minutes, while Bojan and Ibrahim Afellay also turned on the tricks and flicks throughout as City — yes, they had injuries but this was still a woeful performance and the strength of their squad means they should be able to cope better — were second best and Stoke looked like they were having fun.
I visited Stoke’s training ground in November to chat with a few of the players about their new-look under Mark Hughes and how he’s been able to steadily attract attacking players with incredible pedigree to mesh with their hard-nosed, defensive approach which kept them in the PL for so many years under Tony Pulis. Now, Hughes is pushing the envelope. Stoke are just one point off the top six in the PL, have reached the Capital One Cup semifinals and have won three of their last four games. They’re on a roll and Stoke are, well, pretty stoked about what lies in store this season. As they should be.
USMNT UPDATE: CAMERON, GUZAN ON SONG
Four U.S. national team players were in action this weekend as Geoff Cameron put in a superb display in holding midfield to lock down David Silva (he was substituted in the second half) and he was involved in the build up to Stoke’s second goal with some patient possession and then finding Shaqiri who released Arnautovic. Cameron, 30, is fresh off signing a new contract at the Britannia Stadium over the summer and he’s been a pivotal part of their rise to just four points off the top five. Turns out he’s pretty stoked about Stoke too…
Another USMNT goalkeeper who performed well was Aston Villa’s Brad Guzan as they picked up a point at Southampton, with Guzan denying Juanmi late on as the Illinois native stood tall. After the game — Villa set a new club record as they’ve now gone 14 games without a win in the PL — I asked Villa’s manager Remi Garde about Guzan’s performance.
“He is very important – you’re right to mention Brad,” Garde told ProSoccerTalk. “He made a very good save. He was helpful in the air because they had many crosses and when you’re bottom of the league we give him a lot to do. He did well today and I’m very pleased with that.”
Premier League Playback comes out every week as PST’s Lead Writer and Editor takes an in-depth look at the action from the weekend. Read the full archive, here.
How to watch Manchester United vs Leeds live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 3pm ET, Wednesday TV Channel: USA Network Online:Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
Marcus Rashford had scored in six of United’s last seven Premier League matches and he’s zipped up the PL goals list as one of just six players with at least 10 goals this season.
One player Rashford is likely to pass is fellow 10-goal man Rodrigo, who will not play for Leeds. The visitors will be looking to new signings Georginio Rutter and Weston McKennie to help lead the way, while Wilfried Gnonto and Jack Harrison seem likely to keep pestering opponents with pace.
Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options
QUESTIONABLE: Antony (lower leg). OUT: Mason Greenwood (suspension), Anthony Martial (undisclosed), Scott McTominay (other), Casemiro (suspension), Christian Eriksen (ankle), Donny van de Beek (knee).
Leeds team news, injuries, lineup options
QUESTIONABLE: Sonny Perkins (ankle). OUT: Stuart Dallas (thigh), Adam Forshaw (groin), Archie Gray (ankle), Rodrigo (ankle/foot)
Remember: you can watch all 380 Premier League games across NBC, USA Network, NBCSports.com and Peacock. We’ve got you covered.
Will Manchester City win yet another Premier League title? Can Chelsea and Liverpool push them all the way? How will Manchester United’s new-look side fare? What about Tottenham and Arsenal? How will the new boys get on? Who will be the surprise package?
Those questions will be answered from August 2022 to May 2023, with the full list of Premier League fixtures.
While below are the answers to all of the questions you have around the Premier League fixtures and everything else you need to know for the upcoming season, with full details on the Premier League TV schedule across the NBC family of channels and more.
The Premier League fixtures for the 2022-23 season were announced on Thursday June 16, 2022 at 4am ET. Below is the full schedule, as you can watch all 380 games across our NBC platforms.
The Premier League fixture computer decides who plays who and when, as teams located close to one another are usually playing at home on opposite weekends to help with policing, crowd control and transport congestion in those areas.
When will the Premier League take a break for the 2022 World Cup?
When will the 2022-23 Premier League season finish?
The final day of the season will be on Sunday, May 28, 2023.
Which teams will compete in the 2022-23 Premier League?
These are the 20 teams which will compete in the Premier League for the upcoming season:
Arsenal, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Fulham, Leeds United, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers
9am: Leeds v Man Utd – USA Network – WATCH LIVE
11:30am: Man City v Aston Villa – USA Network – WATCH LIVE
Monday 13 February
3pm: Liverpool v Everton – USA Network – WATCH LIVE
Wednesday 15 February
2:30pm: Arsenal vs Manchester City (rearranged)
Saturday 18 February
7:30am: Aston Villa v Arsenal
Brentford v Crystal Palace
Brighton v Fulham
Chelsea v Southampton
Everton v Leeds
Nottingham Forest v Man City
Wolves v AFC Bournemouth
12:30pm: Newcastle v Liverpool
Sunday 19 February
9am: Man Utd v Leicester
11:30am: Spurs v West Ham
Friday 24 February
3pm: Fulham v Wolves
Saturday 25 February
7:30am: Newcastle v Brighton
Everton v Aston Villa
Leeds v Southampton
Leicester v Arsenal
West Ham v Nottingham Forest
12:30pm: AFC Bournemouth v Man City *subject to EFL Cup Final
2:45pm: Crystal Palace v Liverpool ^If Liverpool are not in EFL fifth round and if AFC Bournemouth or Man City progress to EFL Cup final, this match will move to 17:30 and remain on Sky Sports
Sunday 26 February
8:30am: Man Utd v Brentford* Due to UEFA Europa League playoff round
8:30am: Spurs v Chelsea
Saturday 4 March
Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace
Brentford v Fulham
Brighton v West Ham
Chelsea v Leeds
Liverpool v Man Utd
Man City v Newcastle
Nottingham Forest v Everton
Southampton v Leicester
Wolves v Spurs
Saturday 11 March
AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool
Crystal Palace v Man City
Everton v Brentford
Fulham v Arsenal
Leeds v Brighton
Leicester v Chelsea
Man Utd v Southampton
Newcastle v Wolves
Spurs v Nottingham Forest
West Ham v Aston Villa
Saturday 18 March
Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Aston Villa v AFC Bournemouth
Brentford v Leicester
Brighton v Man Utd
Chelsea v Everton
Liverpool v Fulham
Man City v West Ham
Nottingham Forest v Newcastle
Southampton v Spurs
Wolves v Leeds
Saturday 1 April
AFC Bournemouth v Fulham
Arsenal v Leeds
Brighton v Brentford
Chelsea v Aston Villa
Crystal Palace v Leicester
Everton v Spurs
Man City v Liverpool
Newcastle v Man Utd
Nottingham Forest v Wolves
West Ham v Southampton
Saturday 8 April
Aston Villa v Nottingham Forest
Brentford v Newcastle
Fulham v West Ham
Leeds v Crystal Palace
Leicester v AFC Bournemouth
Liverpool v Arsenal
Man Utd v Everton
Southampton v Man City
Spurs v Brighton
Wolves v Chelsea
Saturday 15 April
Aston Villa v Newcastle
Chelsea v Brighton
Everton v Fulham
Leeds v Liverpool
Man City v Leicester
Nottingham Forest v Man Utd
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Spurs v AFC Bournemouth
West Ham v Arsenal
Wolves v Brentford
Saturday 22 April
AFC Bournemouth v West Ham
Arsenal v Southampton
Brentford v Aston Villa
Brighton v Man City
Crystal Palace v Everton
Fulham v Leeds
Leicester v Wolves
Liverpool v Nottingham Forest
Man Utd v Chelsea
Newcastle v Spurs
Tuesday 25 April
19:45 Everton v Newcastle
19:45 Leeds v Leicester
19:45 Nottingham Forest v Brighton
19:45 Spurs v Man Utd
19:45 West Ham v Liverpool
19:45 Wolves v Crystal Palace
20:00 Aston Villa v Fulham
Wednesday 26 April
19:45 Chelsea v Brentford
19:45 Southampton v AFC Bournemouth
20:00 Man City v Arsenal
Saturday 29 April
AFC Bournemouth v Leeds
Arsenal v Chelsea
Brentford v Nottingham Forest
Brighton v Wolves
Crystal Palace v West Ham
Fulham v Man City
Leicester v Everton
Liverpool v Spurs
Man Utd v Aston Villa
Newcastle v Southampton
Saturday 6 May
AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea
Brighton v Everton
Fulham v Leicester
Liverpool v Brentford
Man City v Leeds
Newcastle v Arsenal
Nottingham Forest v Southampton
Spurs v Crystal Palace
West Ham v Man Utd
Wolves v Aston Villa
Saturday 13 May
Arsenal v Brighton
Aston Villa v Spurs
Brentford v West Ham
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
Crystal Palace v AFC Bournemouth
Everton v Man City
Leeds v Newcastle
Leicester v Liverpool
Man Utd v Wolves
Southampton v Fulham
Saturday 20 May
AFC Bournemouth v Man Utd
Brighton v Southampton
Fulham v Crystal Palace
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Man City v Chelsea
Newcastle v Leicester
Nottingham Forest v Arsenal
Spurs v Brentford
West Ham v Leeds
Wolves v Everton
Sunday 28 May
16:00 Arsenal v Wolves
16:00 Aston Villa v Brighton
16:00 Brentford v Man City
16:00 Chelsea v Newcastle
16:00 Crystal Palace v Nottingham Forest
16:00 Everton v AFC Bournemouth
16:00 Leeds v Spurs
16:00 Leicester v West Ham
16:00 Man Utd v Fulham
16:00 Southampton v Liverpool
Who’s looking like title contenders and/or favorites?
Almost at the halfway mark of the 2022-23 season, Arsenal and Manchester City are looking head and shoulders above the rest though Newcastle is not going away and Manchester United has surged into contention.
Uneven Tottenham are hanging in the top four battle, while Liverpool is struggling to stay in the Champions League scrap. Chelsea has some work to do while surprising Fulham, Brentford and Brighton are hanging around on the periphery with fine campaigns.
Who are the candidates for relegation?
Everton, Bournemouth, and Southampton currently occupy the relegation places.
But Leicester, West Ham, Wolves, and Leeds all find themselves within a few points of the bottom three after a topsy-turvy season so far.
Below you will find the latest Premier League table.
There is something somewhat dull about knowing the identity of the 2022 Golden Boot winner, the lone curiosity being the final number of his final tally, we get it, but most of what Haaland is doing this season is simply marvelous and to be admired without much fear.
Haaland’s Premier League-leading 25 goals have him eight goals clear of the next closest challenger: Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
The Norwegian star piled up 20 goals in a single Premier League season faster than any player in history… by seven games (Kevin Phillips of Sunderland did it in 21). Now he’s within five goals of equalling Kevin Phillips’ record for most goals in a debut Premier League season.
And the later this season goes with him projected so far over the current record, the less chucking is accompanied by marking out the pace (especially considering Haaland was not beaten up by the World Cup, as Norway was not in the tournament). And even though Haaland is currently overperforming his expected goals total, it’s clear that projecting him for the Premier League record is rather realistic.
Haaland may not be likely to hit 50 goals given the schedule congestion to come for Man City, but the Premier League record is very well under assault and that figure isn’t entirely absurd. He’s played in 20 of Man City’s 21 games, scoring 25 goals.
Mohamed Salah holds the 38-game season record with his 32 goals scored for Liverpool during the 2017-18 season, while Newcastle’s Andy Cole and Blackburn’s Alan Shearer bagged 34 during 42-game seasons in the 20th century’s final decade.
Haaland also could topple the record for goal involvements (goals plus assists) in a single season, including beating the 42-game record. Alan Shearer put up 47 over 42, while Thierry Henry holds the 38-game record with 44.
Other records that Haaland could legitimately tie or topple:
30 goals in a first Premier League season (Kevin Phillips, Sunderland, 1999-2000)
Goals in 24 different Premier League matches (Salah, Liverpool, 2017-18)
Most goals in a Premier League match (Five tied with five)
11-straight Premier League games with a goal (Jamie Vardy, Leicester, 2014-15)
Read on to see the latest Premier League goal totals for the 2022-23 season, as Haaland looks to claim a Golden Boot in his first PL season.