Last year at Christmas, Burnley, QPR and Leicester were the top three clubs in the league, with play-off final losers Derby fourth. As such, it seems a good time to assess the Championship's front-runners and whether they have what it takes to gain the prized promotion to the Premier League.
As much as it's always claimed that anybody can beat anybody in the Premier League, that's never true over the course of a full season. It's part of what makes league competitions so much better in many ways than cups - it's entertainingly open from week to week, while still ensuring that the winning team at the end of the season is almost always the best one.
It seems like just yesterday that the 2014/15 Premier League season kicked off to huge anticipation. Nearing the halfway stage, the table is starting to take shape and at the bottom the battle to stay in the division looks as though it will be as tight as ever.
Chelsea and City are currently out in front by a large distance and are understandably favourites to take the crown, though contrary to popular belief, this year's Premier League is not yet just a duel between the two teams in blue.
Another week, another race or sexism in football story. Or two. Or three. Is it getting worse, or are we just better at spotting and punishing it now? These shouldn't be the football stories that we see. Not because we should ignore these issues - entirely the opposite, issues like this should be tackled swiftly and taken seriously every time they raise their ugly heads.
Jose Mourinho and Chelsea couldn't get near it and as Thierry Henry once said, "Breaking the record and holding on to our invincibility - that's a hell of an achievement in English football, and nobody will ever be able to take that away from us".
This time last season, West Ham United were mid-way through their seemingly regular flirtation with relegation and were preparing for a painful second half of the season... Here are the five defining factors in the East London club's rebirth, other than the obvious arrival of new and improved players.
When the summer transfer window closed just a few months ago, most fans will have been at least content with how their club bought. We witnessed a number of surprise signings and questionable ones too, but three months down the line, would any of these individuals go back to their old club if they could?
The former Wigan star has emerged as one of Everton's most important players since joining last September. His injury was felt on Sunday and the Toffees need McCarthy fighting fit sooner rather than later if they are to mount a serious challenge for a top four finish.
Ironically, the Premier League season is warming up very nicely as we enter the foggy, festive period of December. The title race is beginning to take shape, it is difficult to predict where the European qualification positions will go and the relegation battle looks set to be the tightest one for a long time.
It was a shrewd move from Brendan Rodgers to go in front of the press last week and admit that he was aware of being the bookies' favourite for the sack. Possibly his smartest move of the season.
Carrick is one of his generation's most decorated individuals. Since joining United from Tottenham in 2006, he has won five Premier League titles, two League Cups and has been a Champions League and Club World Cup winner, as well as playing in two further Champions League finals. He has the kind of top level experience that is matched by very few others...
Having developed statistically calculated strengths of 'finishing', 'dribbling' and 'holding on to the ball', Kane boasts the necessary attributes to link the midfield and attack. While he is unlikely to reach Ronaldo levels of excellence, as per Vertonghen's suggestion, Kane has started to realise his potential under Pochettino after rising to the fore under Tim Sherwood.
Newcastle have flown up the table from 18th to 5th in the space of five matches and Pardew and co are being held up as an example of the good that can come from giving a manager some leeway - and having some patience. It's just a shame that it's all a bit nonsense.
This season Roberto Martinez's team have found it hard to replicate the kind of form that took them to the brink of breaking into the notoriously exclusive top four for just the second time. Despite an indifferent start, however, the Toffees have improved of late and the tightness of the league table so far means that a similar challenge could be on the cards in 2014/15.
Arsenal have been heavily criticised in recent years and there is much debate as to why they continually fail to win the Premier League title or shoot themselves in the foot during key matches. However, critics are far too harsh towards the Gunners and here are five reasons why they should change their tune.