Who will be top of the table on January 1st?

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Seven of the past nine Premier League leaders on New Year's Day have gone on to win the title that season. That's how important it has been to sit in first place in recent seasons heading into the second half of the campaign.

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Manchester City are the current leaders; two points ahead of Liverpool who themselves are two points ahead of Chelsea, with eight more Premier League fixtures until 2019. The smart online betting money is on City to be top on New Year's Day, and at the end of the season.

Pep Guardiola's side have dropped just four points so far this season – a 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers and a 0-0 draw at Liverpool. They have won their other 10 games with a goal difference of +31 and have conceded just five goals in their 12 matches this season.

Liverpool too have only conceded five goals in their dozen matches but have drawn an extra game. As well as their draw at home to the leaders, J├╝rgen Klopp's side have also been held 1-1 at both Chelsea and Arsenal.

On paper, Manchester City certainly have the easier fixture list between now and the new year, particularly when you factor in the Champions League. After the Citizens go to Lyon in their next match, they return to host Bournemouth. Victory in France would see them win the group, meaning they can rest star players for their final group game at home to 1899 Hoffenheim.

Meanwhile Liverpool may need to win their final two group games in order to progress to the knockout stages of Europe's elite club cup competition. The Reds go to Paris Saint-Germain next, four days before the first Merseyside derby of the season. They finish their group at home to Napoli, before hosting rivals Manchester United at the weekend.

For Chelsea to overhaul a four-point deficit on the league leaders and a significantly inferior goal difference it's going to take a lot of luck. Though they do host Manchester City in December. Essentially a make or break game for Maurizio Sarri's side and any title ambitions they may have.

Otherwise the fixtures aren't too bad on paper for the Blues with a trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers arguably the next toughest on the list, and even then, Nuno's side are currently out-of-form. In terms of Europe, Chelsea are cruising in their Europa League group and this shouldn't negatively affect their Premier League performances.

Who will be top of the Premier League on New Year's Day? Don't look past Manchester City…

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