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Does being Christmas No 1 lead to title glory?

26 Dec 2021
Raheem Sterling

City have triumphed before after being top on 25 December but have also proved it is no guarantee of success

Manchester City top the Premier League table at Christmas and will feel the omens look good in their quest for back-to-back titles.

In nine of the last 12 seasons, the team No 1 on 25 December have gone on to lift the Premier League Trophy, with City doing so themselves in 2011/12 and 2017/18.

With Liverpool three points behind, and Chelsea six, City's pursuers can find their own encouragement from seasons past.

In 14 of the Premier League's 29 previous campaigns, or 48 per cent of the time, the Christmas leaders have been overtaken come the season's end.

City were the ones chasing this time last year and they became the first team in Premier League history to win the title after being as low as eighth on Christmas Day.

Eventual champions' position at Christmas
Season Champions Pos Season Champions Pos
1992/93 Man Utd 4th 2007/08 Man Utd 2nd
1993/94 Man Utd 1st 2008/09 Man Utd 4th
1994/95 Blackburn 1st 2009/10 Chelsea 1st
1995/96 Man Utd 2nd 2010/11 Man Utd 1st
1996/97 Man Utd 5th 2011/12 Man City 1st
1997/98 Arsenal 6th 2012/13 Man Utd 1st
1998/99 Man Utd 3rd 2013/14 Man City 3rd
1999/00 Man Utd 2nd 2014/15 Chelsea 1st
2000/01 Man Utd 1st 2015/16 Leicester 1st
2001/02 Arsenal 2nd 2016/17 Chelsea 1st
2002/03 Man Utd 3rd 2017/18 Man City 1st
2003/04 Arsenal 2nd 2018/19 Man City 2nd
2004/05 Chelsea 1st 2019/20 Liverpool 1st
2005/06 Chelsea 1st 2020/21 Man City 8th
2006/07 Man Utd 1st  

City were eight points off the top at Christmas last season, and some champions have come back from even further.

Arsenal were 13 points adrift on 25 December 1997 but battled back to win their first Premier League title. 

Man City's fixtures over the turn of the year will test their ability to stay at the top.

They host Leicester City on Boxing Day and then, after a trip to Brentford on 29 December, they have back-to-back meetings with Arsenal and Chelsea.

Also in this series

Part 1: Man Utd top of the tree for Christmas form
Part 2: Kane targets Boxing Day scoring records

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