We're more than a third of the way through the Premier League season and there are still plenty of questions that need answering.
One thing that is for sure, however, is Arsenal's title credentials. The Gunners further cemented their position as league leaders with victory over Cardiff City at the weekend, while Sunderland climbed off the bottom of the table with a draw away to Aston Villa.
With all 20 teams set to play twice this week, expect plenty of movement up and down the Premier League table in the coming six days.
Here’s a look at the Premier League power rankings ahead of a crucial week in England’s top tier.
Analysis: Cardiff City Stadium, where both Manchester clubs have dropped points this season, was the stage for Arsenal on Matchday 13, but Arsene Wenger's men managed to avoid a similar fate. It was a case of another week and another polished performance for the Gunners.
With Aaron Ramsey at his marauding best in his home city, Arsenal romped to a 3-0 win to put them four points clear at the top of the table.
Hull City are the visitors to the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night and Arsenal fans will be desperate for all three points as they head into a tough and busy Christmas period. After Hull, the league leaders will face Everton, Manchester City, Chelsea, West Ham and Newcastle before the close of the year.
In the words of Wenger, "every win makes you stronger"—per Jason Burt in the Telegraph—and it would appear that Arsenal just keep going from strength to strength.
2. Manchester City
Analysis: Manchester City have been gloriously inconsistent this year, but you get the sense that things are starting to click for the Sky Blues.
Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo have been at their devastating best in recent weeks, and with Vincent Komapny back in training—per John Edwards in the Daily Mail—City look set to continue their surge.
The 2012 champions face two tough road trips this week, away to West Brom and Southampton.
Analysis: Chelsea leapfrogged Liverpool into second place with a solid victory at home to Southampton.
The Blues are grinding out results without really setting the world alight this season. But they have the strength in depth to keep the pressure on Arsenal during the busiest month of the season.
Analysis: Everton impressed in their 4-0 demolition at home to Stoke City. They have now bagged seven goals in their last two games and it’s difficult to pinpoint any glaring weakness throughout their starting XI.
Roberto Martinez has youthful talent in abundance and teenager Gerard Deulofeu was the latest to demonstrate his array of skills at the weekend.
Analysis: Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Hull marked the second game in a row they conceded three goals and their defensive show at the KC Stadium was comical at times.
Brendan Rodgers' solid unit has started to show signs of weakness and the Northern Irishman will need to put things right sooner rather than later.
6. Manchester United
Analysis: United extended their unbeaten run to 12 games across all competitions, but draws don’t win titles.
Wayne Rooney again looked unstoppable at times, but Red Devils fans will be concerned at how easily Spurs’ spluttering attack force opened them up at times.
7. Newcastle United
Analysis: It's said that there’s a fine line between madness and genius, and there has definitely been a bit of both on show at St James’ Park in recent times.
But Magpies fans will be glad it’s the latter that has been demonstrated over the last month. Since their disappointing defeat to Sunderland in the Wear-Tyne derby, Newcastle have won four games on the trot and they’re one of the Premier League’s in-form teams.
Analysis: Southampton’s stock has fallen slightly over the last two weeks, but it’s hard to find faults in away defeats to both Arsenal and Chelsea.
Saints fans will be hoping normal service resumes at home to Aston Villa this week.
9. Tottenham Hotspur
Analysis: Spurs recovered some credibility with a 2-2 draw at home to Manchester United. They looked more fluid in the attacking third, but the form of Roberto Soldado will still be a concern for Andre Villas-Boas.
Having said that, with games against relegation strugglers Fulham and Sunderland this week, Spurs should make up some ground on those above them in the table.
10. Hull City
Analysis: After the disappointing home loss to Crystal Palace on Matchday 12, Hull recovered in style with a 3-1 win against second-placed Liverpool.
Steve Bruce’s men had struggled for goals this season and he will be hoping his side can continue to find the net when they travel to Arsenal this week.
11. Aston Villa
Analysis: Villa were lucky to come away with a draw at home to Sunderland at the weekend. The Black Cats had numerous chances to break the deadlock with Emanuele Giaccherini putting his name in the hat for miss of the season.
Villa’s goal drought will be a worry for Paul Lambert. They have failed to score in five of their last seven league games and last year’s star man Christian Benteke is firing blanks.
12. West Brom
Analysis: West Brom will have been disappointed with their defeat to Newcastle. While they have impressed at times, they have failed to put together a consistent run of results, drawing a Premier League high six games this season.
13. Swansea City
Analysis: Swansea have so far failed to hit the heights they reached last season. A loss to Manchester City at the Etihad will have been expected, but with both Michu and Wilfried Bony struggling with injury, Swansea have lacked the finishing touch up top.
14. West Ham
Analysis: With Andy Carroll on the sidelines, West Ham will continue to struggle to score goals, but victory over Fulham will have given them a boost.
Sam Allardyce possesses plenty of experience in his squad and that could prove key in the Hammers' battle to avoid relegation.
15. Norwich City
Analysis: A 1-0 win at home to Crystal Palace won’t exactly make headlines, but Chris Hughton’s men got the job done on Matchday 13. There will be tougher challenges on the horizon, starting with Wednesday’s trip to Anfield.
16. Stoke City
Analysis: When Stoke brought in Mark Hughes in the hope of playing more attractive football, 4-0 defeats to Everton probably weren't what they had in mind.
Hughes is trying to play a brand of football with the personnel brought in to play the style that Tony Pulis championed. And so far it hasn’t worked.
17. Cardiff City
Analysis: Cardiff dropped two places in the Premier League table this week, but their stock hasn’t exactly fallen. Defeats at home to Arsenal will not define their status come May time, but defeats to fellow strugglers Stoke will. And that’s the next challenge facing Malky Mackay.
Analysis: There’s no doubting that Sunderland have looked a more solid unit since Gus Poyet arrived and they looked comfortable in their 0-0 draw with Villa at the weekend.
Wes Brown’s return from injury has given Sunderland stability at the back. Now if they can just start firing at the other end, then they may start looking up the table.
Analysis: A dismal 3-0 defeat to fellow strugglers West Ham was Martin Jol’s last act as Fulham boss.
In Rene Meulensteen, the Cottagers now have a tactically astute boss at the helm, but it will be his man-management skills that are challenged the most in the coming weeks. His players have not been performing, with some even coming up short in the effort stakes, and that will need to change if Fulham are to reverse their fortunes.
20. Crystal Palace
Analysis: Pulis has a lot of work to do at Crystal Palace if he is to turn things around. He began his reign in charge with defeat to Norwich and he will need to get his troops rejuvenated for their upcoming key clashes.
West Ham and Cardiff are the visitors to Selhurst Park this week in two games that could make or break Palace’s season.
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