English football's big six are locked into battle for the four Champions League places on offer. Nobody wants to miss out on Europe's premier club competition as Chelsea and Arsenal have done this season.
Liverpool and Manchester City look certain to finish in the top four but Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United won't be taking anything for granted. We assess their prospects of making it.
Manchester United's recent revival has fired them back into contention for the top four
45pts, goal difference +22
Highly inconsistent results has highlighted the lack of summer signings.
You don't know which Tottenham is going to turn up these days. A comprehensive defeat in the north London derby by Arsenal was followed by five consecutive victories, including blitzes against Everton (6-2) and Bournemouth (5-0), and then a damaging 3-1 loss at home to Wolves
It shouldn't be forgotten Spurs had more players involved in the latter stages of the World Cup than any other team so fatigue could be a factor in the second half of the season, particularly as they are still involved in the Champions League and Carabao Cup. Delays in moving 'home' haven't helped.
Tottenham Hotspur will be reliant on Harry Kane's goals with a lack of back up strikers
Harry Kane MBE has won two of the last three Premier League Golden Boots and is tied at the top this season with 13. Besides that, he seems to be showing his creative side at the moment as well, his brilliant pass for Dele Alli confirmed Tottenham's Carabao Cup win at Arsenal last month.
JANUARY TRANSFER BUSINESS
Having failed to sign anyone in the summer, it looks likely Mauricio Pochettino will be allowed to bring in a striker in January. Son Heung-Min will be away this month on international duty with South Korea and Fernando Llorente is surplus to requirements. Toby Alderweireld is set to stay until the summer after Spurs triggered a contract extension
Spurs will fancy winning three of their next four league games; New Year's Day's late game against Cardiff, Fulham and Watford. In the middle of those is a huge fixture at home to Manchester United at Wembley. What will concern Mauricio Pochettino is they also have an FA Cup trip to Tranmere and a two-legged Carabao semi-final with Chelsea to contend with in January.
Spurs have shown signs of usual flakiness following their collapse in the defeat by Wolves
43pts, goal difference + 22
Chelsea are grinding out results to stay in touch
Not a lot of thrills and spills but Chelsea have been resolute, particularly on the road where they have picked up maximum points at Brighton, Watford and Crystal Palace. Their excellent form at Stamford Bridge was blotted last time out when they were suprisingly beaten 1-0 by Leicester.
Maurizio Sarri can't decide what to do up front with Alvaro Morata a huge disappointment since his £60million move from Real Madrid, Olivier Giroud a bit-part player and currently injured, and Eden Hazard preferring to come in off the left rather than play as a 'false 9'. Goals could be an issue.
Eden Hazard has kept Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea side competitive near the top of the table
Eden Hazard is a live contender to be Player of the Season again and can turn matches on his own. The Belgian hasn't been put off by continued links with Real Madrid, indeed it seems to have made him even better. His dribbling powers have been matched by end product and he's in double figures for goals
JANUARY TRANSFER BUSINESS
Chelsea will hope to beat Liverpool for the signing of America's best player Christian Pulisic of Borussia Dortmund. His arrival could have a knock-on effect for teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi who is wanted by Bayern Munich. Club skipper Gary Cahill also wants to leave in order to get regular first-team football