Having initially watched Manchester City threaten to streak away at the summit, the top ranks of the Premier League table now have a real chop-and-change feel.

From City, to Chelsea, to Liverpool, the lead changed hands across the weekend before leaving Jurgen Klopp’s Reds as the race leaders going into the international break.

Perhaps the Liverpool manager summed it up best when playing down his team’s chances, saying: ‘We saw Chelsea, quite impressive. Man City playing Barcelona, quite impressive. Manchester United – never write them off. Tottenham are a good side. There’s a lot of really good teams around.’

Just two points separate Liverpool, Chelsea, City and Arsenal in the top four while Spurs and United retain the potential to challenge from behind, too.

Real competition is on the cards once again as the pendulum of momentum swings between the top sides.

Here, Sportsmail looks at how the title contenders are shaping up and the mood around the camps before the Premier League gets back under way after the last international break of the year.




Premier League leaders Liverpool are riding on a wave of momentum after their most-prolific attacking performance to date against Watford on Sunday.

Klopp has not seen his side defeated since August and with goals coming from all over the park there is a quiet belief around Anfield that this might be a side with real title potential.

The drab draw with Manchester United last month blights their otherwise 100 per cent recent record but Liverpool will be confident of keeping control of this lead with a favourable run of fixtures to come.

Next up: Southampton (A), November 19; Sunderland (H), November 26; Bournemouth (A), December 4; West Ham (H), December 11; Middlesbrough (A), December 14; Everton (A), December 19

Feel-good rating: 8/10




Antonio Conte has transformed the Stamford Bridge outfit from a team that was showing signs of the weaknesses of last season to an indomitable force in their new 3-4-3 set-up.

Chelsea are yet to concede in the league since switching to three at the back and have 16 goals from their last five matches with Eden Hazard and Diego Costa running riot.

Everton’s Ronald Koeman, their latest victim, said this weekend: ‘I’ve never seen a team so strong playing this system.’

Next up: Middlesbrough (A), November 20; Tottenham (H), November 26; Manchester City (A), December 3; West Brom (H), December 11; Sunderland (A), December 14; Crystal Palace (A), December 17

Feel-good rating: 8.5/10



Beating Barcelona in midweek was a huge achievement but City underwhelmed on Saturday in failing to break down Middlesbrough before conceding a late equaliser.

Having won his first six games in the Premier League on the trot, Pep Guardiola has now taken just one victory from the last five and his team’s early lead has been squandered.

There is clear title potential in City — they should be the outstanding candidates.

Consistent wins are needed to wrestle it back in their direction, though.

Next up: Crystal Palace (A), November 19; Burnley (A), November 26; Chelsea (H), December 3; Leicester City (A), December 10; Watford (H), December 14; Arsenal (H), December 18

Feel-good rating: 6.5/10




A 1-1 finish in the north London derby saw Arsene Wenger’s team relinquish their chance of a spell at the top of the pile but two draws in their last five games gives the look of only a brief stumble for Arsenal.

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil have shone for much of this season, while Olivier Giroud’s return — in good form — has boosted their attacking prospects. They look much stronger at the back, too.

A trip to Old Trafford is up next for the Gunners and they need points to give faith to the idea that their traditional November dip will not be a problem this year.

Next up: Manchester United (A), November 19; Bournemouth (H), November 27; West Ham (A), December 3; Stoke (H), December 10; Everton (A), December 13; Manchester City (A), December 18

Feel-good rating: 7/10




Still unbeaten in the Premier League, but Tottenham go into the international break with their egos somewhat bruised and five points off the pace set by Liverpool.

Mauricio Pochettino cannot seem to find a way to turn Spurs’ constant draws into wins and it has held last season’s title contenders back from asserting themselves on the current race.

The return of Harry Kane, who should be approaching full fitness when Spurs face West Ham in two weeks’ time, is huge in that respect.

The England striker’s comeback gives Tottenham hope of deciding games by much-needed small margins again.

Next up: West Ham (H), November 19; Chelsea (A), November 26; Swansea (H), December 3; Manchester United (A), December 11; Hull (H), December 14; Burnley (H), December 14

Feel-good rating: 6/10
The return to fitness of striker Harry Kane could have a big impact on Tottenham’s title bid




A first win in five came at Swansea City on Sunday for Jose Mourinho, but the United boss’ mood is still sour.

He appeared to question the bravery of some of his players after Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw made themselves unavailable in the manager’s latest blast at his own team.

But away from that, things are looking up for United: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back among the goals and Paul Pogba produced arguably his best Premier League performance to date at the weekend. More of that will be needed when Arsenal visit.

Next up: Arsenal (H), November 19; West Ham (H), November 27; Everton (A), December 4; Tottenham (H), December 11; Crystal Palace (A), December 14; West Brom (A), December 17

Feel-good rating: 5.5/10

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