Who will lead the Premier League head into the festive season?

AP Photo/Dave Thompson

The gap between first place and fifth place after eight weeks of last season in the Premier League was nine points, a departure from the norm.

The previous two seasons saw the lead at three points. It’s two this year.

Something that hasn’t changed? Man City’s been first in all four campaigns when 2018-19 is included.

[ MORE: MLS State of Play ]

Manchester United is five points back of the Top Four, so we’re not going to do the math there even though the Red Devils could easily be in the race by Boxing Day.

Liverpool’s Cup exit at the hands of Chelsea and just two Top Four contenders on its docket certainly seems to bolster the hopes of the Reds being atop the table on Christmas.

Arsenal has murderous pair of back-to-back matches on Dec. 2 and 5, a home North London Derby followed by a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United.

The onus is on Man City to have its Champions League group fate sewn up by the time it heads to Hoffenheim a few days after going to Chelsea.

Man City (20 points)
Top Six opponents: at TOT, vs. MUN, at CHE
European/Cup matches (minimum): five

Liverpool (20 points)
Top Six opponents: at ARS, vs. MUN
European/Cup matches (minimum): four

Chelsea (20 points)
Top Six opponents: vs. MUN, at TOT, vs. MCI
European/Cup matches (minimum): five

Arsenal (18 points)
Top Six opponents: vs. LIV, vs. TOT, at MUN
European/Cup matches (minimum): five

Spurs (18 points)
Top Six opponents: vs. MCI, vs. CHE, at ARS
European/Cup matches (minimum): five