The Premier League table at the moment looks a little messy, given that we have teams that have played 23 games and one that has played just 17. As such, the table perhaps isn’t quite a true reflection on what has happened for those teams that have played significantly fewer games.
So with that in mind, we have taken the liberty of producing our half-season grades on all 20 teams in the. EPL, showing just who has over-achieved and who has under-achieved so far this season.
As always any odds shown are courtesy of bet365 Sport.
Premier League Mid-Season Grades
Arsenal – B+
After their worst-ever start to a Premier League season, Arsenal and Mikel Arteta looked in deep trouble, however since then, the Gunners form has been much improved and they now sit 5th in the table with two games in hand on West Ham above them. They still have their poorer displays at times, which is why this rating isn’t higher, but there are signs at least that Arsenal are becoming a genuine top six side again.
Aston Villa – C
With Dean Smith sacked and Steven Gerrard now in charge, Villa have backed their new manager with some key signings in the transfer window so far. Results under Gerrard have been ok, but Villa have won just one of their last five and that needs to improve. They are a team though I feel will push on over the 2nd half of the season towards the top half of the table.
Brentford – B
Many people expected Brentford to go straight back down into the Championship in their first Premier league season but Thomas Frank’s team have played superbly well at times and sit comfortably above the relegation battle. Results have been tougher of late, but even so, for a first season back in the EPL, the Bees have been excellent.
Brighton – A-
For me, Brighton have been the success story of this season in many ways. Graham Potter’s team play great football and have proven very difficult to beat, losing just four games, the fewest outside of the top three. If they had a striker who could get 15-20 goals a season they’d be higher in the table. They do draw a lot of games but to be where they are in the table (9th) at this stage of the season is outstanding.
Burnley – D
Burnley have only played 17 games, the fewest of any EPL team but they have won just once this season and Sean Dyche’s team are under as much pressure now as they have ever been to stay in the division. They do have games in hand on their rivals at the bottom of the table to move away from the drop zone. However, the question is how many of those will they win? Not too many, if any, I feel.
Chelsea – B-
A few weeks ago, I’d have had Chelsea as an A- for this season but a worrying drop off in form in the league has seen them fall well behind Manchester City and now Liverpool can move seven points clear of them if they win their games in hand. That’s not the season that the Champions League holders wanted when they started their campaign.
Crystal Palace – C+
I do think Palace have made a little progress under Patrick Vieira this season and they sit in with a bunch of teams at mid table or just below who are inconsistent but pick up enough points to avoid being in the relegation battle. I’d like to see a bit more from Palace though as on a good day, they are capable of beating anybody but that lack of consistency is maddening for their fans and manager.
Everton – E
It’s fair to say the Rafa Benitez experiment was doomed to failure from the start and now Duncan Ferguson is back in charge of the Blues as caretaker manager once again. The Toffees had a good start but their form since has been relegation form and no wonder the fan base are not happy. Ferguson needs to make a big impact to start putting things right at the club once again. The question is can he do that again?
Leeds United – D
After an excellent first season in the EPL, Leeds have stuttered this time around but Marcelo Bielsa has stuck to his philosophy and the win at the weekend at West Ham will be a massive boost of confidence for them. I’d expect them to pick up more points in the second half of the season but this year has been disappointing for Leeds fans so far.
Leicester City – D
It’s been a bit of a disappointing season for Leicester so far. They have produced some good performances but going out of Europe at the league stage and then being so inconsistent in the Premier League means that a mid-table position is a real drop off from the standards that Foxes fans have come to expect.
Liverpool – A-
It\s been a pretty good season for Liverpool even by their own lofty standards and it has only been an exceptional first half of the season by City that stops the Reds being more in contention in the Premier League. Still in with a chance of winning all the competitions they entered, the Reds have lost just twice and have games in hand on their rivals. If they can win those and beat Manchester City on the road, they may yet have a say in the title race.
Manchester City – A+
The only blot on City’s copybook this year has been exiting the Carabao Cup to West Ham on penalties. They have been imperious in the league and in Europe and they have opened up an 11 points gap on Liverpool, with the Reds having a game in hand and they look odds on to win the league again with bet365 offering 1/16 on City repeating their success of last year.
Manchester United – E
After investing heavily in their squad to become title challengers this year, Manchester United have been so poor at times it has beggared belief. The Cristiano Ronaldo return hasn’t really worked out as they had hoped and with Jadon Sancho underperforming and several players reportedly unhappy, this looks like being a very tough second half of the campaign for Ralf Rangnick.
Newcastle United – E
They may be the richest club in the world after their Saudi takeover, but Newcastle have had a miserable campaign, Being unable to convert draws into wins has been their biggest issue and it is likely that they are going to be busy in the transfer market in January to try and strengthen the squad to improve their fortunes.
Norwich City – D-
Daniel Farke has been replaced by Dean Smith at Carrow Road and the former Villa boss has found it tough to turn the Canaries fortunes around. A win over Everton last weekend has given them hope of moving out of the drop zone with another win but whether they can pick up enough points over the rest of the season to avoid the drop I am not so sure.
Southampton – C+
There are a whole cluster of teams on 22-25 points in the Premier League and consistency is not a strong suit for any of them and Southampton are a good example of that. They went four games without defeat but were then well beaten by Wolves last weekend. They’ve drawn with Man City but lost to Norwich. That about sums up how inconsistent Saints have been at times.
Tottenham Hotspurs – C+
With one manager already sacked and Antonio Conte now in charge, Spurs have played just 18 games, but they have struggled for goals (23 in 18 games) and their form has been patchy. They are improving and if they can win their games in hand, this grade will shoot up as they would move into the top four, but there are still a few question marks about this team and they have not progressed as much as they should have done.
Watford – D-
After sacking one manager, things have not really improved any for the Hornets since and they now lie just one point above the relegation zone but five points behind Everton above them. It is hard to see this team being involved in anything other than a battle against relegation for the rest of the season and I am not sure it is a battle they will win.
West Ham United – A-
West Ham fans have been treated to one of their best 12 months in football in a long time. A fine finish to the end of last season has been replicated at the start of this to see the Hammers lying fourth in the table, in the next round of the Europa League and they also beat Man Utd and Man City in the Carabao Cup.
Wolverhampton Wanderers – B+
After Nuno Santos departure, Bruno Lage has done very well to come in and maintain the high level of performances from the team. Defensively strong, Wolves do need to score more goals to improve on their 8th position but having won three of of their last four they are set up nicely for the remainder of the season.