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Premier League: How every team has done so far this season

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Liverpool are almost perfect while Leicester and Sheff Utd have surprised everyone... but Man Utd, Arsenal and Man City have underwhelmed spectacularly: How EVERY Premier League side has performed against expectations this seasonA group of Premier League teams return from their winter break this weekendThe break marks the start of a defining time of the season for a lot of clubsTeams like Bournemouth, Arsenal and Leicester are in unexpected territorySportsmail looks at what teams hoped for this season and how it has unfolded

As teams come back from the first ever Premier League winter break, some will be feeling excited to build on a strong first half of the season.

But for others the year has been desperately disappointing, with many big guns yet to fire on all cylinders.

Top brass at Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal will all be hoping for more from their stars as the sides sit 6th, 8th and 10th respectively. While Leicester City, Sheffield United and Wolves will be chuffed with their 3rd, 5th and 9th places.

Here, Sportsmail look at each club's expectation at the start of the season, where they sit following the winter break and the remaining fixtures.

Liverpool

League leaders Liverpool have dominated this season, with the speed and ability of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino raising hopes that the Premier League will be on its way to Anfield in May.

Klopp has raised expectations at Anfield since joining in 2015, but his team's efforts this season must be beyond even his expectations. 

Liverpool have dominated largely thanks to the speed and ability of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane

Klopp has built the Reds into one of Europe's most formidable clubs, winning last season's Champions League, finishing second in the league and rampaging towards this term's domestic title.

They have stormed ahead and are 22 points clear of last year's winners Manchester City, with just 13 matches to go.

But Klopp has refused to get carried away with Liverpool near-perfect first half, saying last month: 'I'm really happy about it but the problem is you don't get anything from best starts except for numbers.'

Liverpool's key fixtures:

Everton vs Liverpool - March 16

Manchester City vs Liverpool - April 4 

Liverpool vs Chelsea - May 9

Despite his insistence, the Reds have performed week after week, thrashing 3rd placed Leicester 4-0 in December, Southampton 4-0 last month, and perhaps most importantly for some Everton 5-2 in the Merseyside derby before Christmas.

It seems inevitable Klopp will deliver the goods this year and his side have been blessed with a comfortable run of fixtures after the winter break. They take on Norwich this weekend, followed by third bottom West Ham, then second bottom Watford.

The tougher games come towards the end of the season - when they may have already wrapped up the league - as they face Manchester City at the Etihad on April 4, where they could match Arsenal's record of 49 league games unbeaten. This is followed by a clash with 3rd-place Chelsea at Anfield on the penultimate week of the season. If they continue their unbeaten run, they could lift the title as early as their game against Crystal Palace on March 23rd.

Delivered on expectations? Yes

Manchester City

The same Manchester City side that won back-to-back Premier League titles and a domestic Treble last season have fallen 22 points adrift of Liverpool.

And the players seem resigned to coming up short, with midfielder Bernardo Silva even admitting Pep Guardiola's men stopped believing they would retain their crown a month ago.

City 'stopped believing they would retain their crown a month ago' said Bernardo Silva

The reigning champions suffered a shock defeat against Norwich in September, and also sustained setbacks against Wolves, Newcastle and rivals Manchester United - effectively handing Liverpool the title before the Christmas period.

In another blow just before the winter break, they lost 2-0 away at Tottenham after midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko was sent off.

Manchester City's key fixtures:

Leicester vs Man City - February 22

Man United vs Man City - March 8

Man City vs Liverpool - April 4 

If they have any hope in catching a surging Liverpool, the Sky Blues will need to take three points from every game.

Their first task after returning from the break will be to beat West Ham in their rescheduled fixture for February 19.

Storm Ciara ripped across Manchester on February 9, causing officials to postpone the Premier League clash amid supporter safety concerns.

Following the Hammers' clash they will need to overcome Leicester at the King Power Stadium, as the Foxes sit just two points behind them. Next month City will travel across Manchester for the derby against United, having lost 2-1 to them in the home fixture before Christmas.

In what could be an incredible showdown if the gap at the top narrows, City will host Liverpool on April 4 and make a last-ditch attempt to steal the title.

Delivered on expectations? No

Leicester City

The Foxes are doing it again. The East-Midlands side are producing a dazzling season that has seen them rise to 3rd - echoing their form in the astonishing 2015/16 title-winning campaign.

Brendan Rodgers has followed up his double league-winning success at Celtic with Leicester, where he has star striker Jamie Vardy firing them home once again.

Jamie Vardy has been in form this season despite a slump and has fired Leicester to third

The England man is leading the likes of Sergio Aguero and Mo Salah in the race for the golden boot after netting 17. He may also be joined on the plane to the Euros by fellow Fox Harvey Barnes, with the 22-year-old winger thriving in the top flight after bagging three goals and one assist in the new year.

But much of the credit has gone to Rodgers, who after taking over last February tweaked the side to produce an aggressive, organised, pressing team.

Leicester City's key fixtures:

Leicester City vs Man City - February 22

Leicester City vs Sheffield United - May 2

Spurs vs Leicester City - May 9

Yet with the squad's recent success has come an increased expectation among fans.

Rodgers said recently: 'This is a great group of supporters that, up until four or five years ago, would have been happy with 17th and a point above [the relegation zone].

'Now the expectation has grown. The performances they want from players has grown.'

In order to keep their spot in the top three this season, the Foxes will have to hunt down Guardiola's men at Manchester City when they face off on February 22. They have a more comfortable run of games after this, only having to negotiate an out-of-form Arsenal and resurgent Everton until May.

But then it gets tricky. In a gruelling last three matches in May, Leicester will need to see off Sheffield United, then Tottenham and lastly Manchester United.

Delivered on expectations? Yes 

Chelsea

Six-time Premier League winners Chelsea go into every season with high expectations.

But after sacking experienced Italian manager Maurizio Sarri last year and replacing him with Frank Lampard - who is only in his second year as a manager - it was always going to be tough to win big.

With Frank Lampard in his second year as a manager it was always going to be tough

The west London side seem to have run out of puff in the League. Lampard enjoyed a lengthy honeymoon earlier in the season but has been confronted with the harsh realities of top-flight management as they sit in fourth.

They have won just two of their last seven league matches, seeing the gap to 5th shrink. Going further back, they have won just four of 13 games despite prior to that having won six straight.

Chelsea's key fixtures:

Chelsea vs Man United - February 17

Chelsea vs Tottenham - February 22

Sheffield United vs Chelsea - April 25

And now comes a defining period in Chelsea's season that will test if they are to finish in the Champions League spots.

Their first two games after the winter break see a battle with Manchester United on February 17 and then Tottenham five days later on February 22. 

The Blues will again have a tough time up in Manchester as they take on City at the Etihad, followed by a crunch match against Sheffield United at Brammall Lane as they look to fend off the 5th-place Yorkshiremen. Throw in the Champions League against Bayern Munich and a cup tie with Liverpool and the Blues have a seriously tough run coming up. 

Delivered on expectations? Jury's out

Sheffield United

The Blades' record in the top flight in previous seasons has been woeful. Three top flight campaigns have seen two relegations and they have not beaten the drop since their maiden 1992-93 campaign.

So it was easy to not expect much from them when they returned for the first time in 12 years last summer. But any thoughts of Chris Wilder's team being in a relegation fight have quickly evaporated.

Any thoughts of Chris Wilder's Sheffield United being in a relegation fight have evaporated

Following numerous spirited victories from behind, United are comfortably in 5th spot on 39 points - banishing any thoughts of them being relegated.

Instead the focus is on Europe, and not just the Europa League - Champions League football dangles in front of them by just two points.

Sheffield United's key fixtures:

Sheffield United vs Tottenham - April 4

Chelsea vs Sheffield United - April 25

Leicester vs Sheffield United - May 2

But the route to it is steep, with the Blades having to battle Tottenham at home in April, as Mourinho's men look to vanquish the two-point gap between them.

This is followed by a trip to Stamford Bridge as Sheffield look to close their own two-point gap with Chelsea above.

In the final big hurdle for the year, the Blades will grapple with high-flying Leicester City in the East Midlands, before finishing their so far impressive campaign with Everton and Southampton.

Delivered on expectations? Yes 

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs were hoping to build on last year's fourth placing by being serious title contenders this season. But despite having settled into their plush new stadium, the north London side got off to a terrible start under Mauricio Pochettino.

The Argentine was sacked by owner Daniel Levy in November after his side slumped to 14th in the table having only won five games. In came superhero - or villain to some - Jose Mourinho, who has reversed fortunes and lifted Tottenham to 6th.

Jose Mourinho has reversed fortunes at Tottenham and lifted Spurs to 6th in the league

It has reignited hopes of Champions League football at White Hart Lane next season as they are just four points off fourth-placed Chelsea.

Yet consistency is lacking, with Mourinho's men only winning two out of the last five, including a shock defeat to Southampton and a goalless draw at relegation-threatened Watford.

Tottenham's key fixtures:

Chelsea vs Spurs - February 22

Spurs vs Manchester United - March 15

Sheffield United vs Spurs - April 4 

In what could be a crucial match for their Champions League ambition, Spurs will tackle a stuttering Chelsea - who have drawn three of the last five - on February 22.

From there they need to overcome a similarly poor United, who sit in 8th but are just a point off and have a game in hand over Everton. They host Ole Gunnar Solskjær's team on March 15.

And towards the end of the season Mourinho will have the chance to take points off 5th place Sheffield United, who are just two points ahead having played an extra game, on April 4.

Delivered on expectations? No

Everton

The Toffees had been a force to be reckoned with under David Moyes, Roberto Martínez and Ronald Koeman, but after a series of short appointments the club's form dropped, as did their place in the Premier League table and the expectation from the fans.

Having been in the bottom three at the beginning of December after sacking Marco Silva, the club are now within five points of Champions League places after hiring three-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti.

Three-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti has got the likes of Richarlison performing

The Italian has had an immediate impact at Everton, with the 17 points from his eight matches in charge bettered only by near-neighbours and runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool - 24 - over the same period.

And in even better news for supporters, 60-year-old Ancelotti is already eyeing an extended stay at Goodison Park despite only signing a lengthy contract in December.

He is tied to the Premier League club until the summer of 2024 but has ambitions for it to be longer as by then he expects the Toffees to be competing for trophies and regularly playing in Europe.

Everton's key fixtures:

Arsenal vs Everton - February 23

Everton vs Man United - March 1

Tottenham vs Everton - April 11 

Asked where he saw Everton being in three years, Ancelotti told evertonfc.com: 'I think I see Everton (towards) the top of the table, fighting for some titles, fighting to be competitive in Europe.'

But before he gets ahead of himself, there are a number of fights to win before the end of the season.

Their first game back after the winter break could prove tricky, as an embattled Arsenal will be looking to nab all the points they can get.

Ancelotti's men must fend of Manchester United, who trail them by just a point, and then tackle Tottenham if they want to reach those sought-after Champions League spots.

Delivered on expectations? Jury's out

Manchester United

Being one of the world's most marketable clubs, the pressure to perform is constant on the red side of Manchester. But in yet another season that has not lived up to the success of Sir Alex Ferguson, Solskjær's squad sit in lowly 8th.

The team have won just one of the last five, losing three and drawing one, and are looking way off the pace if they hope to return to Champions League football next season.

It has been another season that has not lived up to the success of Sir Alex Ferguson, as United sit in 8th

Supporters have watched on helplessly as United have shown quality and determination against the 'big six' - beating Tottenham and Manchester City in the same week as seeing off Chelsea - but have stuttered against the rest of the league.

Manchester United's key fixtures:

Chelsea vs Man United - February 17

Everton vs Man United - March 1

Manchester derby - March 8

The Red Devils have lost to the likes of Bournemouth, Watford, Newcastle, West Ham and Crystal Palace - while also being held by Aston Villa.

And their remaining games are littered with potential pitfalls as they look to climb the table.

They will have to play Watford, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, West Ham and Crystal Palace again before the season's end, as well as take on stronger opponents in Chelsea, Manchester City, Sheffield United, Everton and Leicester.

Delivered on expectations? No

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves have had to deal with increased expectation from top brass and fans following their staggering 7th place finish last term. The West Midlands side are playing European football for the first time in the club's history - and will be looking to again next season as they currently sit in 9th.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side have proved themselves a tough task for the 'Big Six' this season

Nuno Espirito Santo's side have proved themselves a tough task for the 'Big Six', having beaten Manchester City, held Arsenal to a draw and putting in a good performance against an unbeaten Liverpool.

The Portuguese head coach has also made a number of promising signings in the January transfer window, having snatched Rochdale's Luke Matheson in a deal believed to be worth £1million.

Wolves's key fixtures:

Spurs vs Wolves - March 3

Sheffield United vs Wolves - April 18

Wolves vs Everton - April 25

The 17-year-old was the fourth signing Wolves made last month and is the third to link up with the Under 23 side, after Leonardo Campana and Enzo Loiodice.

If Wolves are to realise ambitions of Champions league football, they need to leapfrog Manchester United, Everton, Tottenham and Sheffield United in the table - which seems like quite an ask. But the difference between these clubs is just four points.

In their remaining games, Espirito Santo's men will play Tottenham, Everton and Sheffield United, giving them the chance to move up the table. He will unleash his Wolves against Spurs at White Hart Lane on March 3, followed by the Blades on April 18 and the Toffees on April 25.

Delivered on expectations? Yes 

Arsenal

The Gunners have had a torrid season and are a shadow of the title-winning teams put together by Arsene Wenger for many years.

After Unai Emery was given his marching orders in November 2019 following a poor run of results, former club midfielder Mikel Arteta was handed the reigns and tasked with turning the north London team's fortunes around.

Arsenal are 10th since Mikel Arteta took over, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang firing again

They were sitting mid-table in the league with just five wins at the time and fans became restless along with several players who looked uninterested in Emery's final matches at the helm.

Since Arteta took over, the side have risen to 10th. But for fans used to Champions League football and winning regularly, their patchy path so far this season has not been good enough.

Arsenal's key fixtures:

Man City vs Arsenal - Postponed, TBD 

Wolves vs Arsenal - April 11

Tottenham vs Arsenal - April 25 

Arteta wants to be swift and have all his recruits secured before a ball is kicked at Euro 2020 in a bid to begin planning his assault on the top four for the 2020-21 campaign.

But he could also be set to lose captain and star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - who is coming to the end of his contract - as well as poor performing Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette, who seeks a move to Spain.

Before looking to next season, Arteta has a tricky rest of the season to manoeuvre as they take on Manchester City, Wolves, Leicester City, Tottenham and Liverpool. They will particularly be hoping to nick points off Wolves at the Molineux on April 11, with the West Midlands team sitting just four points ahead of them in 9th.

Delivered on expectations? No

Burnley

Burnley have the wind at their backs after a run of good performances including conquering Manchester United at Old Trafford. The team at Turf Moor have looked solid recently, but it comes off the back of a terrible run of form that saw them fail to win in 15 away games.

The Clarets were unlucky not to improve their soaring 11th position when they took on Arsenal

They are seven points from danger and if Sean Dyche's men keep up the recent good work, look set for another year in the top flight next season.

Burnley's key fixtures

Burnley vs Watford - March 21

West Ham vs Burnley - April 18

Norwich vs Burnley - May 9 

The Clarets were unlucky not to improve their soaring 11th position when they took on Arsenal before the winter break. The struggling Gunners were held to a 0-0 draw at Turf Moor, with Jeff Hendrick wasting a good chance before half time.

If the Lancashire-based team are looking to climb the table, their remaining fixtures gives them a chance. Despite having to travel to Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham, there is still the chance to grab a win against a lowly Watford on March 21, at West Ham on April 18 and versus Norwich on May 9.

Delivered on expectations? Jury's Out 

Newcastle United

The empty Newcastle trophy cabinet has become a matter of club policy. But having won the League Cup with Norwich in 1985, the FA Cup at Manchester United and taking Hull to a Wembley final, this was not something Steve Bruce could get on board with.

The 59-year-old gaffer took over in the summer when expectation among the Toon Army faithful were at rock bottom following the departure of Rafael Benitez. There was a feeling this season could unravel rapidly, accelerated by those who were turning on owner Mike Ashley and by extension Bruce.

Steve Bruce has steadied the ship at Newcastle when many fans had little hope

But the Magpies sit safely in 12th and, despite posting poor home attendances as fans boycotted Ashley's rule to begin with, have more recently averaged packed crowds hitting 99 per cent of St James' Park's capacity.

Newcastle's key fixtures:

Arsenal vs Newcastle - February 16

Crystal Palace vs Newcastle - February 22

Southampton vs Newcastle - March 7

With them sitting on the same points as Arsenal and Burnley, Bruce may be eyeing up finishing as high as 10th. But he will be all too aware that only seven points separate Newcastle and the bottom three - so they still need positive results.

In the last five games they have slipped, having split the points against a weak Norwich side as well as away at Everton. But they have beaten the likes of Chelsea and Sheffield United and held Manchester City to a stalemate.

The remaining games could prove tough for the Magpies, as they battle the Gunners at the Emirates first after the break, before fending off Crystal Palace and Southampton to keep their 12th place.

Delivered on expectations? Yes  

Southampton

The Saints seemed destined to go down last season, but avoided the drop by just three points. It made for low expectations ahead of this campaign, which were topped by a 9-0 drumming by Leicester in October.

That result left Southampton in the relegation zone with only eight points from ten games, and the club were even sitting in 19th place with only nine points to their name at the end of November.

The Saints, led by Shane Long (above) l look safe as they sit seven points from the drop

But under Ralph Hasenhuttl Southampton have dramatically bounced back. They will return to the Premier League after the winter break, having already risen from the canvas full of confidence that relegation will not follow as they relax in 13th.

Southampton's key fixtures:

Southampton vs Burley - February 15

Southampton vs Newcastle - March 7

Southampton vs Brighton - May 2 

The 52-year-old Austrian coach has orchestrated a string of positive results - including wins away at Chelsea and Leicester and at home to Tottenham - and appears to have convinced owners to buy into his long-term vision for the club as a new contract is waved his way.

Sitting on 31 points, Southampton appear safe from relegation. But Hasenhuttl's team will want to remain vigilant in their last few games as the jostle among middle-table teams continues.

The Saints' first game back after the break will be a chance for revenge again Burnley after they were stuffed 3-0 in August. The Clarets are just two places above them and are on the same points.

This is followed by a visit from Newcastle on March 7, who split Burnley and Southampton in the table. And another stern test will be towards the end of the season when they face Brighton at home on May 2.

Delivered on expectations? YES

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have been suffering in recent times, with January proving a particularly tough month as manager Roy Hodgson missed out on the transfers he wanted.

The south London side slumped to yet another defeat on Saturday as Sheffield United came out on top. A fake Twitter account even duped some supporters into thinking Hodgson had walked, and the odds on him being the next Premier League manager to leave plummeted.

Crystal Palace have been suffering in recent times under former England gaffer Roy Hodgson

Palace are sleepwalking towards a relegation battle, in part down to Hodgson's tactics, but much of the blame must go to the board for their lacklustre transfer window.

Crystal Palace's key fixtures: 

Brighton vs Crystal Palace - February 29

Crystal Palace vs Watford - March 7

Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace - March 14

Their scattergun approach to signings could well be the reason for the club's potential return to the second tier.

They have a favourable run of fixtures in the coming weeks, with Everton, Newcastle, Brighton, Watford and Bournemouth on the horizon, but beyond that things get tricky.

If Hodgson's side are within touching distance of the relegation zone after that, a run of Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham to finish the season at Selhurst Park will do nothing to calm the nerves.

Delivered on expectations? No 

Brighton & Hove Albion

For the past three seasons Brighton always seemed a team earmarked for relegation. And Graham Potter's players are again struggling for wins and have tasted victory just once in well over two months.

Four points from their last six games is a poor return and is unlikely to be a ratio that will keep any side battling relegation in the Premier League. But more concerning for Potter is these have been six games where they needed to capitalise.

Battle at the bottom: Brighton's Alireza Jahanbakhsh fends off Watford's Adam Masina

After the winter break they will face a run of games including Wolves, Arsenal, Leicester, Manchester United, Norwich, Liverpool and Manchester City, with points from these games coming at a premium.

Brighton's key fixtures

Southampton vs Brighton - May 2

Brighton vs Newcastle - May 9

Burnley vs Brighton - May 17

By the end of that run there will just be three games to play and as they sit just three points outside the relegation zone, they need to improve their form urgently.

They will need to thwart the advances of Southampton, Newcastle and Burnley as they cling on to their place in the top flight, with these three games being their best remaining chance of points this season.

Delivered on expectations? No 

Bournemouth

Bournemouth are clinging to Premier League survival by a whisker, with the Cherries just two points safe in 16th. But though this year has been when the reality of a relegation battle has hit home on the south coast, it was last year when the damage was done, despite the club never being in the bottom three last year.

Of the teams to have been in the Premier League for both this season and last, only Watford and Brighton picked up fewer points than Bournemouth's 39 in 2019.

A familiar sight for Bournemouth fans this season as the Cherries concede to Sheffield United

This season, as with last, they were only kept out the bottom three by a fast start, but a Christmas slump has hit them again. They have had desperately needed wins over Brighton and Aston Villa since.

Bournemouth's key fixtures:

Burnley vs Bournemouth - February 22

Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace - March 14

 

Yet if they are to remain in the top flight, they need to negotiate wins over those around them, as well as try to steal a few points from larger clubs.

In a brutal finish to the season, the Cherries will play the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea soon after the winter break. Eddie Howe's men will hope to bag the points against Burnley in the first match after the holiday, but the Lancashire club looks strong in 11th.

Another game they will want to walk away from with a win is against Crystal Palace at the Vitality Stadium on March 14. Under Roy Hodgson the side have been struggling, so it marks a good opportunity for the Cherries to move up the table.

Delivered on expectations? No

Aston Villa

Aston Villa are holding on to a Premier League place following their last-minute promotion via the play offs last season. The Birmingham boys have been bolstered by a blistering Jack Grealish banging in goals to keep them in 17th place before the winter break.

Jack Grealish banging in goals helped keep Aston Villa in 17th place before the winter break

Aston Villa's key fixtures

Southampton vs Aston Villa - February 22

Aston Villa vs Crystal Palace - April 25

West Ham vs Aston Villa - May 17 

Having been an impressive top-flight club for years during the Martin O'Neill and Graham Taylor era, The Villa have more recently been hopscotching between the Premiership and second tier.

But looking at their remaining fixtures, Dean Smith's side can pick up points. 

After seeing off the top five, as well as tough tasks in Everton and Wolves, the Claret and Blues can try to steal wins against a poor Crystal Palace team on April 25, as well as from West Ham and Southampton.

Delivered on expectations? No 

West Ham United

The Hammers have a new stadium, new stars and a new manager, but their performances on the pitch have been woeful all season.

In scenes echoing Newcastle at the start of the season, fans have turned on the owners and taken to protesting outside the London Stadium. Now slumped down to 18th, having recorded three losses and two draws in their last five, it is difficult to see how the Hammers can avoid the Championship.

West Ham have a new stadium, new stars (picture, Declan Rice) and a new manager, but their performances are still poor

Exacerbating fears for the days to come, the club has said Premier League survival is an 'absolute necessity for the future wellbeing of the club'. For them to do this, they need to pick up points from those much higher up the league, as well as conquer the two below them when they meet.

West Ham's key fixtures

Norwich City vs West Ham - April 25

West Ham vs Watford - May 2 

In potentially relegation-deciding clashes, the east London side will take on Norwich at Carrow Road on April 25, then Watford at home on May 2. They may feel they have a small cushion against the Canaries - what with a six-point gap between them - but Watford are only below them due to their slightly more terrible goal difference.

On the last game of the season West Ham host Aston Villa, who are currently above them by just a point, and could be a season-defining match if the Hammers leave it that late.

Delivered on expectations? No 

Watford

The Hornets are looking to pull off yet another great escape as they currently sit perilously close to the drop in 19th.

Luckily manager Nigel Pearson is experienced in this department, having been in charge of Carlisle and signed Jimmy Glass, the goalkeeper whose dramatic final-day goal against Plymouth kept the Cumbrians in the Football League in 1999.

The Hornets are looking to pull off yet another great escape under gaffer Nigel Pearson

He also kept West Brom in the Premier League in 2005, Southampton in the Championship in 2008 and Leicester in the Premier League a year before they miraculously won the title.

Watford's key fixtures:

Crystal Palace vs Watford - March 7

Watford vs West Ham - May 2

Pearson is looking to help the Hornets stay up and mark his fifth great escape.

Having experienced a managerial bounce following his appointment at the start of December that made Watford's survival seem a formality, results have now levelled out.

They have failed to win their last four games and thrown away eight points from winning positions in the last three. 

Following the winter break, Pearson's side face tough games away at Manchester United, before hosting Liverpool at Vicarage Road. But possibly more important will be the matches against teams just above them as they scrap to avoid the drop. 

A clash with Roy Hodgson's ailing Crystal Palace is followed at the end of the season by a huge fixture against 18th-place West Ham on May 2.

Delivered on expectations? No 

Norwich City

Newly-promoted Norwich have so far failed to make an impact on the Premier League, having taken the Championship title with relative ease last campaign. As was the case during their last foray into the top flight in 2016, the East Anglia side mainly hoped to stay up.

Newly-promoted Norwich have so far failed to make an impact despite goals from Teemu Pukki

But as was what happened four years ago, the side have had a tough time of it, gaining just 18 points from 25 games and sitting dead bottom of the table at the winter break.

Norwich's key fixtures:

Norwich vs Liverpool - February 15

Watford vs Norwich - April 18

Norwich vs West Ham - April 25 

 

Daniel Farke's men sit six points adrift of Watford and seven from safety, with the German gaffer even admitting in December it would be a 'miracle' if they stay up.

But they do have the ability to cause an upset, having beaten Manchester City 3-2 in September thanks to top goalscorer Teemu Pukki and young sensation Todd Cantwell.

The Canaries' will be welcomed back from their winter break with a visit from league leaders Liverpool, who stuffed them 4-1 last time they met in August and are yet to lose a game this year.

In their quest for survival, Farke's men will look to take points off relegation-embattled Watford and West Ham. They face the London teams in consecutive weeks in April.

Delivered on expectations No 

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