The 2022/23 Premier League season is about to take a one-month break to make way for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which will get underway in the Middle East on November 20 and run until December 18 — when the winner will be crowned world champions at the state-of-art, 80,000-seater Lusail Iconic Stadium.
With the final couple of gameweeks on the horizon, and all 20 teams hoping to wrap things up on a positive note, now seems like the perfect time to take stock of the Premier League’s winners and losers thus far this season. So, let’s do just that — taking a look at a couple of each.
Table-toppers (at the time of writing) Arsenal have been on a rampage this season, taking the new Premier League odds by storm as they continue to hold off Pep Guardiola’s defending champions by a single point — and Mikel Arteta’s men will be hoping they can continue to keep Man City’s side at bay heading into the World Cup stoppage.
The Gunners were written off continuously despite their fine start to the season, with their eventual defeat to Manchester United on gameweek six expected to be the turning point, but Arsenal have now proven they are title contenders and being top of the table throughout the World Cup will be a massive boost.
Mega-money takeover aside, Newcastle United wouldn’t have expected to be a top four side at this stage of the season — with the general consensus being that they still had a fair bit of work to do before they could compete with the traditional big six. But Eddie Howe’s men are flying and could prove to be a thorn in the side in the second half of the season as things begin to string out.
With just one defeat at the time of writing and on a run of eight games without defeat, while also boasting the best defensive record in the league, the Magpies are exceeding all expectations. A victory over Chelsea at St. James’ Park on the final weekend before the World Cup could be the moment they become true Champions League contenders — as long as they can carry on this form post-tournament.
Seventh place Fulham and eighth place Brighton & Hove Albion also deserve a place on this list, with both featuring much higher in the table at this stage of the season than many would have expected.
When Liverpool dropped points to Fulham at Craven Cottage in the opening game of the season, many put it down to an inspired performance from Marco Silva’s men. And, while you can’t take that away from the Cottagers, it’s clear Liverpool aren’t their usual rock and roll selves this campaign.
At the time of writing, Jurgen Klopp’s side are a dire ninth in the table having lost three of their last five games — including back-to-back defeats to bottom of the table Nottingham Forest and Leeds United. The Reds sit closer to the relegation zone than they do to the top four, so will need to turn their form around when the season resumes following the World Cup.
A side more accustomed to being at the other end of the table these days, things are looking pretty dire at the King Power Stadium. The owner’s financial woes away from football meant that Brendan Rodgers wasn’t really able to invest in his squad, nor replace the key players that left like Wesley Forfana and Kasper Schmeichel.
There were some indications that the Foxes were going to turn their form around after winning successive games against Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, but they were knocked back by Manchester City. Everton and West Ham are must-win games before the World Cup, with Newcastle and Liverpool their first two games back.
After recruiting over 20 players and sitting bottom of the table with just nine points and two wins, Forest deserves a place on the losers list. So do Wolves, who have massively underperformed, and big-spenders Aston Villa — who are just a point clear of the relegation zone.