English Premier League has been a holiday hell for some. Liverpool dropped valuable points in gameweek 20, drawing with Sunderland thanks to two penalties from Jermaine Defoe.
The draw now leaves Liverpool five points behind league leaders Chelsea, who play on Wednesday night against Tottenham. Liverpool need Spurs to win, or at the very least draw, to keep pace with the Blues.
While the English Premier League was a holiday hell post-New Year’s for the Reds, Manchester United kept their assault on the top four going.
Juan Mata and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the goals as United downed West Ham. Ibrahimovic has scored 13 times this English Premier League season.
Ibrahimovic has scored in six of his last eight English Premier League games. The Swede now leads all forwards in Fantasy Premier League points.
The holidays were kind to West Brom, who picked up two wins over the period. Now up to eighth, the Baggies defeated Southampton and Hull in a three day run of congested fixtures.
West Brom are a surprise team knocking on the door for Europa League action next term.
A team going in the opposite direction is Southampton. After a strong start to the season, the Saints have lost three straight. The English Premier League fixture congestion hasn’t been kind to the club.
The Saints once pristine defence has given up nine goals in their last three while only scoring twice.
Swansea’s English Premier League nightmare season continues. The Swans sacked manager Bob Bradley on December 27 after 85 days in charge.
Bradley won just twice in 11 fixtures. The club is expected to hire Bayern Munich assistant and former Derby manager Paul Clement.
Despite being last in the English Premier League, Swansea are only four points from safety; however, the team have now lost four straight. Swansea’s defence gave up seven goals in two fixtures during the holiday period.
After losing to Liverpool post-Christmas, Manchester City downed Burnley 2-1 in gameweek 20. Gael Clichy and Sergio Aguero scored the goals.
It was Aguero’s first goal since late November. Fantasy Premier League managers should be aware that Aguero has failed to score against the English Premier League’s top sides this term.
In fact, he has looked invisible against those teams.
Everton are riding a three match unbeaten run over the holiday period. Currently, the English Premier League’s seventh place team, there is a large gap growing between Everton and sixth place Manchester United.
Now nine points back of Manchester United, Everton look unlikely of cracking the English Premier League’s top six at the moment.
At the bottom of the table, Sunderland’s draw against Liverpool has helped the Black Cats’ fight for survival. Sunderland are now just a point behind Crystal Palace and safety.
The Eagles are yet to play in gameweek 20, and Sam Allardyce should have the team even more prepared than in gameweek 19’s draw.
The holiday hell period of the English Premier League is nearly up. The second half of the season is just a few games old.
Can Liverpool catch Chelsea? Will Manchester United return to the top four? Is this Sunderland’s season to finally go down?
All of those questions and more will be answered in the English Premier League’s coming weeks.