sport news Premier League: How every team has done so far this season

As teams come back from the first ever Premier League winter break, some will be feeling excited to build on a strong first half of the season.

But for others the year has been desperately disappointing, with many big guns yet to fire on all cylinders.

Top brass at Tottenham, and Arsenal will all be hoping for more from their stars as the sides sit 6th, 8th and 10th respectively. While Leicester City, Sheffield United and Wolves will be chuffed with their 3rd, 5th and 9th places.

Here, Sportsmail look at each club's expectation at the start of the season, where they sit following the winter break and the remaining fixtures.

Liverpool

League leaders Liverpool have dominated this season, with the speed and ability of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino raising hopes that the Premier League will be on its way to Anfield in May.

Klopp has raised expectations at Anfield since joining in 2015, but his team's efforts this season must be beyond even his expectations. 

Liverpool have dominated largely thanks to the speed and ability of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane

Liverpool have dominated largely thanks to the speed and ability of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane

Klopp has built the Reds into one of Europe's most formidable clubs, winning last season's Champions League, finishing second in the league and rampaging towards this term's domestic title.

They have stormed ahead and are 22 points clear of last year's winners Manchester City, with just 13 matches to go.

But Klopp has refused to get carried away with Liverpool near-perfect first half, saying last month: 'I'm really happy about it but the problem is you don't get anything from best starts except for numbers.'

Liverpool's key fixtures:

Everton vs Liverpool - March 16

Manchester City vs Liverpool - April 4 

Liverpool vs Chelsea - May 9

Despite his insistence, the Reds have performed week after week, thrashing 3rd placed Leicester 4-0 in December, Southampton 4-0 last month, and perhaps most importantly for some Everton 5-2 in the Merseyside derby before Christmas.

It seems inevitable Klopp will deliver the goods this year and his side have been blessed with a comfortable run of fixtures after the winter break. They take on Norwich this weekend, followed by third bottom West Ham, then second bottom Watford.

The tougher games come towards the end of the season - when they may have already wrapped up the league - as they face Manchester City at the Etihad on April 4, where they could match Arsenal's record of 49 league games unbeaten. This is followed by a clash with 3rd-place Chelsea at Anfield on the penultimate week of the season. If they continue their unbeaten run, they could lift the title as early as their game against Crystal Palace on March 23rd.

Delivered on expectations? Yes

Manchester City

The same Manchester City side that won back-to-back Premier League titles and a domestic Treble last season have fallen 22 points adrift of Liverpool.

And the players seem resigned to coming up short, with midfielder Bernardo Silva even admitting Pep Guardiola's men stopped believing they would retain their crown a month ago.

City 'stopped believing they would retain their crown a month ago' said Bernardo Silva

City 'stopped believing they would retain their crown a month ago' said Bernardo Silva

The reigning champions suffered a shock defeat against Norwich in September, and also sustained setbacks against Wolves, Newcastle and rivals - effectively handing Liverpool the title before the Christmas period.

In another blow just before the winter break, they lost 2-0 away at Tottenham after midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko was sent off.

Manchester City's key fixtures:

Leicester vs Man City - February 22

Man United vs Man City - March 8

Man City vs Liverpool - April 4 

If they have any hope in catching a surging Liverpool, the Sky Blues will need to take three points from every game.

Their first task after returning from the break will be to beat West Ham in their rescheduled fixture for February 19.

Storm Ciara ripped across Manchester on February 9, causing officials to postpone the Premier League clash amid supporter safety concerns.

Following the Hammers' clash they will need to overcome Leicester at the King Power Stadium, as the Foxes sit just two points behind them. Next month City will travel across Manchester for the derby against United, having lost 2-1 to them in the home fixture before Christmas.

In what could be an incredible showdown if the gap at the top narrows, City will host Liverpool on April 4 and make a last-ditch attempt to steal the title.

Delivered on expectations? No

Leicester City

The Foxes are doing it again. The East-Midlands side are producing a dazzling season that has seen them rise to 3rd - echoing their form in the astonishing 2015/16 title-winning campaign.

Brendan Rodgers has followed up his double league-winning success at Celtic with Leicester, where he has star striker Jamie Vardy firing them home once again.

Jamie Vardy has been in form this season despite a slump and has fired Leicester to third

Jamie Vardy has been in form this season despite a slump and has fired Leicester to third

The England man is leading the likes of Sergio Aguero and Mo Salah in the race for the golden boot after netting 17. He may also be joined on the plane to the Euros by fellow Fox Harvey Barnes, with the 22-year-old winger thriving in the top flight after bagging three goals and one assist in the new year.

But much of the credit has gone to Rodgers, who after taking over last February tweaked the side to produce an aggressive, organised, pressing team.

Leicester City's key fixtures:

Leicester City vs Man City - February 22

Leicester City vs Sheffield United - May 2

Spurs vs Leicester City - May 9

Yet with the squad's recent success has come an increased expectation among fans.

Rodgers said recently: 'This is a great group of supporters that, up until four or five years ago, would have been happy with 17th and a point above [the relegation zone].

'Now the expectation has grown. The performances they want from players has grown.'

In order to keep their spot in the top three this season, the Foxes will have to hunt down Guardiola's men at Manchester City when they face off on February 22. They have a more comfortable run of games after this, only having to negotiate an out-of-form Arsenal and resurgent Everton until May.

But then it gets tricky. In a gruelling last three matches in May, Leicester will need to see off Sheffield United, then Tottenham and lastly .

Delivered on expectations? Yes 

Chelsea

Six-time Premier League winners Chelsea go into every season with high expectations.

But after sacking experienced Italian manager Maurizio Sarri last year and replacing him with Frank Lampard - who is only in his second year as a manager - it was always going to be tough to win big.

With Frank Lampard in his second year as a manager it was always going to be tough

With Frank Lampard in his second year as a manager it was always going to be tough

The west London side seem to have run out of puff in the League. Lampard enjoyed a lengthy honeymoon earlier in the season but has been confronted with the harsh realities of top-flight management as they sit in fourth.

They have won just two of their last seven league matches, seeing the gap to 5th shrink. Going further back, they have won just four of 13 games despite prior to that having won six straight.

Chelsea's key fixtures:

Chelsea vs Man United - February 17

Chelsea vs Tottenham - February 22

Sheffield United vs Chelsea - April 25

And now comes a defining period in Chelsea's season that will test if they are to finish in the Champions League spots.

Their first two games after the winter break see a battle with on February 17 and then Tottenham five days later on February 22. 

The Blues will again have a tough time up in Manchester as they take on City at the Etihad, followed by a crunch match against Sheffield United at Brammall Lane as they look to fend off the 5th-place Yorkshiremen. Throw in the Champions League against Bayern Munich and a cup tie with Liverpool and the Blues have a seriously tough run coming up. 

Delivered on expectations? Jury's out

Sheffield United

The Blades' record in the top flight in previous seasons has been woeful. Three top flight campaigns have seen two relegations and they have not beaten the drop since their maiden 1992-93 campaign.

So it was easy to not expect much from them when they returned for the first time in 12 years last summer. But any thoughts of Chris Wilder's team being in a relegation fight have quickly evaporated.

Any thoughts of Chris Wilder's Sheffield United being in a relegation fight have evaporated

Any thoughts of Chris Wilder's Sheffield United being in a relegation fight have evaporated

Following numerous spirited victories from behind, United are comfortably in 5th spot on 39 points - banishing any thoughts of them being relegated.

Instead the focus is on Europe, and not just the Europa League - Champions League football dangles in front of them by just two points.

Sheffield United's key fixtures:

Sheffield United vs Tottenham - April 4

Chelsea vs Sheffield United - April 25

Leicester vs Sheffield United - May 2

But the route to it is steep, with the Blades having to battle Tottenham at home in April, as Mourinho's men look to vanquish the two-point gap between them.

This is followed by a trip to Stamford Bridge as Sheffield look to close their own two-point gap with Chelsea above.

In the final big hurdle for the year, the Blades will grapple with high-flying Leicester City in the East Midlands, before finishing their so far impressive campaign with Everton and Southampton.

Delivered on expectations? Yes 

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs were hoping to build on last year's fourth placing by being serious title contenders this season. But despite having settled into their plush new stadium, the north London side got off to a terrible start under Mauricio Pochettino.

The Argentine was sacked by owner Daniel Levy in November after his side slumped to 14th in the table having only won five games. In came superhero - or villain to some - Jose Mourinho, who has reversed fortunes and lifted Tottenham to 6th.

Jose Mourinho has reversed fortunes at Tottenham and lifted Spurs to 6th in the league

Jose Mourinho has reversed fortunes at Tottenham and lifted Spurs to 6th in the league

It has reignited hopes of Champions League football at White Hart Lane next season as they are just four points off fourth-placed Chelsea.

Yet consistency is lacking, with Mourinho's men only winning two out of the last five, including a shock defeat to Southampton and a goalless draw at relegation-threatened Watford.

Tottenham's key fixtures:

Chelsea vs Spurs - February 22

Spurs vs - March 15

Sheffield United vs Spurs - April 4 

In what could be a crucial match for their Champions League ambition, Spurs will tackle a stuttering Chelsea - who have drawn three of the last five - on February 22.

From there they need to overcome a similarly poor United, who sit in 8th but are just a point off and have a game in hand over Everton. They host Ole Gunnar Solskjær's team on March 15.

And towards the end of the season Mourinho will have the chance to take points off 5th place Sheffield United, who are just two points ahead having played an extra game, on April 4.

Delivered on expectations? No

Everton

The Toffees had been a force to be reckoned with under David Moyes, Roberto Martínez and Ronald Koeman, but after a series of short appointments the club's form dropped, as did their place in the Premier League table and the expectation from the fans.

Having been in the bottom three at the beginning of December after sacking Marco Silva, the club are now within five points of Champions League places after hiring three-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti.

Three-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti has got the likes of Richarlison performing

Three-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti has got the likes of Richarlison performing

The Italian has had an immediate impact at Everton, with the 17 points from his eight matches in charge bettered only by near-neighbours and runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool - 24 - over the same period.

And in even better news for supporters, 60-year-old Ancelotti is already eyeing an extended stay at Goodison Park despite only signing a lengthy contract in December.

He is tied to the Premier League club until the summer of 2024 but has ambitions for it to be longer as by then he expects the Toffees to be competing for trophies and regularly playing in Europe.

Everton's key fixtures:

Arsenal vs Everton - February 23

Everton vs Man United - March 1

Tottenham vs Everton - April 11 

Asked where he saw Everton being in three years, Ancelotti told evertonfc.com: 'I think I see Everton (towards) the top of the table, fighting for some titles, fighting to be competitive in Europe.'

But before he gets ahead of himself, there are a number of fights to win before the end of the season.

Their first game back after the winter break could prove tricky, as an embattled Arsenal will be looking to nab all the points they can get.

Ancelotti's men must fend of , who trail them by just a point, and then tackle Tottenham if they want to reach those sought-after Champions League spots.

Delivered on expectations? Jury's out

Being one of the world's most marketable clubs, the pressure to perform is constant on the red side of Manchester. But in yet another season that has not lived up to the success of Sir Alex Ferguson, Solskjær's squad sit in lowly 8th.

The team have won just one of the last five, losing three and drawing one, and are looking way off the pace if they hope to return to Champions League football next season.

It has been another season that has not lived up to the success of Sir Alex Ferguson, as United sit in 8th

It has been another season that has not lived up to the success of Sir Alex Ferguson, as United sit in 8th

Supporters have watched on helplessly as United have shown quality and determination against the 'big six' - beating Tottenham and Manchester City in the same week as seeing off Chelsea - but have stuttered against the rest of the league.

's key fixtures:

Chelsea vs Man United - February 17

Everton vs Man United - March 1

Manchester derby - March 8

The Red Devils have lost to the likes of Bournemouth, Watford, Newcastle, West Ham and Crystal Palace - while also being held by Aston Villa.

And their remaining games are littered with potential pitfalls as they look to climb the table.

They will have to play Watford, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, West Ham and Crystal Palace again before the season's end, as well as take on stronger opponents in Chelsea, Manchester City, Sheffield United, Everton and Leicester.

Delivered on expectations? No

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves have had to deal with increased expectation from top brass and fans following their staggering 7th place finish last term. The West Midlands side are playing European football for the first time in the club's history - and will be looking to again next season as they currently sit in 9th.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side have proved themselves a tough task for the 'Big Six' this season

Nuno Espirito Santo's side have proved themselves a tough task for the 'Big Six' this season

Nuno Espirito Santo's side have proved themselves a tough task for the 'Big Six', having beaten Manchester City, held Arsenal to a draw and putting in a good performance against an unbeaten Liverpool.

The Portuguese head coach has also made a number of promising signings in the January transfer window, having snatched Rochdale's Luke Matheson in a deal believed to be worth £1million.

Wolves's key fixtures:

Spurs vs Wolves - March 3

Sheffield United vs Wolves - April 18

Wolves vs Everton - April 25

The 17-year-old was the fourth signing Wolves made last month and is the third to link up with the Under 23 side, after Leonardo Campana and Enzo Loiodice.

If Wolves are to realise ambitions of Champions league football, they need to leapfrog , Everton, Tottenham and Sheffield United in the table - which seems like quite an ask. But the difference between these clubs is just four points.

In their remaining games, Espirito Santo's men will play Tottenham, Everton and Sheffield United, giving them the chance to move up the table. He will unleash his Wolves against Spurs at White Hart Lane on March 3, followed by

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