The next 6 games – Premier League top half contenders

International football is done for the year, which means we can now concentrate on club football for the next four months notwithstanding another COVID-related stoppage. The fixtures are going to come thick and fast, especially for top teams still competing in Europe. While there have been a lot of upsets and the tables are close so far, it is usually from this point onwards that the contenders are separated from the pretenders. With that in mind, I have decided to break down the season in different phases. This first phase consists of the next six rounds of fixtures. It may seem a bit arbitrary considering the league barely stops, but the weekend of December 19 seems a good point to pause, as its the last round before the even more hectic holiday schedule gets underway. For the purpose of this piece I have focused on the top 10 in the table plus Arsenal, United, West Ham and Leeds. How these 14 clubs navigate these six fixtures should give us a clearer picture of the ambitions and hopes of the teams as we head into the new year.

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Champions League Grades: Matchday 3

A record 62 goals were scored in a fine round of matches in the Champions League. There was a lot on entertainment on offer with the usual share of talking points. Let’s assess how the 32 teams did on matchday 3.

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Looking Ahead: Champions League Matchday 3

The spectre of COVID looms large on the Champions League as Europe goes into a second lockdown and cases of players being infected are on the rise. How long football — especially cross border football — can continue is anyone’s guess, but while it is on, the best anyone can do is look forward to it. Matchday 3 means the pivotal double-headers of the group stage are here with these two games usually decisive in sealing progress to the knockouts. These are the five games that intrigue me the most in this round.

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Champions League Grades: Matchday 2

Matchday 2 of the Champions League group stages delivered its usual share of quality and entertainment. Let’s categorize the performances from excellent to poor in a round that saw lots of questions asked of Europe’s leading teams.

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Looking Ahead: Champions League Matchday 2

The relentless campaign continues for Europe’s top clubs as they juggle domestic weekends with European midweeks. After an interesting first round of games, we are back at it in the Champions League with another set of intriguing fixtures. I have picked out six games that could be significant.

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