With less than a quarter of the season gone, the Premier League is already on hiatus while internationals take centre stage.

For some, the pause in the new campaign is already much needed after difficult starts to 2022-23, with a need to take stock and re-evaluate what’s been going wrong and what’s required to put it right. But for others, particularly those who have got into their stride quickly in the early part of the season, it’s a pesky nuisance that they could do without.

Mirror Football offers an honest appraisal on the state of play for all 20 clubs after the opening seven games (six for some), looking at who will be happy with their early offerings and who most needed the break to get their heads down and make changes, as they look to bounce back when the domestic action resumes next month.


Position: 1st

Points: 18

Current title odds: 10/1

With six wins from seven and sitting pretty top of the table, Mikel Arteta’s men have made an excellent start to the season, the only lapse coming in defeat at Manchester United, where they played well only to be found wanting in both boxes.

Despite that, Gabriel Jesus and William Saliba have both made major impressions at either end of the pitch, the ex-Manchester City man showing his class as the side’s new attacking focal point while the young French international has been monstrous at the back, while netting a couple of goals to boot. New captain Martin Odegaard continues to mature also and has become the clear technical leader of the side.

The style of football Arteta has been developing and attempting to implement during the past 18 months is now crystal clear for all to see and there appears to be a new-found physicality and resoluteness about his side.

At the start of the season fans were looking for a top four push after last year’s last gasp failure to return to European football’s top table. But such has been their start that expectations around the Emirates are no doubt growing. Their next two league games, at home to Spurs and away at Liverpool, will give us a greater idea of whether they are realistic title challengers.

Gabriel Jesus has given Arsenal a new cutting edge in attack since his summer move

Manchester City

Position : 2nd

Points: 17

Current title odds: 3/10

Current relegation odds: 4500/1

The reigning champions are unbeaten with five wins and two draws from their opening seven games, have played some breathtakingly beautiful football and now boast Erling Haaland as their No.9, with the giant Norwegian having taken to English football like the proverbial duck to water.

Haaland has already helped himself to 11 Premier league goals – so much for that so-called ‘Bundesliga Tax’ – and while they’ve not been perfect so far, City are exactly where they want to be. Pep Guardiola’s side have made it their business not to peak too soon during their title winning campaigns and it’s frightening to think they aren’t yet in top gear.

They still have issues to solve, notably getting the best from Jack Grealish and keeping a number of key men healthy – notably Aymeric Laporte – although Manuel Akanji already looks an extremely smart, cut-price signing.

Their plus-17 goal difference is already six better than the division’s next best, while they’re boasting its best attack (23 goals scored) and joint-second best defence (six conceded). They might not be top just yet, but make no doubt about it: their start, coupled with everything we’ve seen from them in recent years, means they are still the team to beat.

Tottenham Hotspur

Position: 3rd

Points: 17

Current title odds: 14/1

Current relegation odds: 2000/1

After finishing last season strongly, winning four of their last five matches to claim fourth spot, Spurs have picked up where they left off. Antonio Conte’s team are one of just two unbeaten teams in the league, and sit a point off top spot after five wins and two draws.

Conte’s team has been bolstered with new signings, and Richarlison has made the biggest impression of the new arrivals. However, the manager’s two January signings – Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski – have both shown their worth to the team while their former employers Juventus underwhelm in Italy. Not all the new arrivals have thrived, though, with Djed Spence in particular struggling for minutes.

There’s an argument that recently-appointed set-piece specialist Gianni Vio is the best signing of the summer, arguably anywhere. Spurs have scored 18 this season – second only to Manchester City – with a number of those goals coming from dead-ball situations, something the Italian is turning into an art form.

With Harry Kane avoiding his customary slow start and Son Heung-min finally getting off the mark in style, Spurs have plenty to be positive about ahead of what’s already looking like a significant north London derby against Arsenal. There are still questions in Europe, though, where one win and one defeat in the Champions League puts extra pressure on the double-header against Eintracht Frankfurt.

Son Heung-min struggled at the start of the season, before putting Leicester to the sword with a hat-trick

Brighton and Hove Albion

Position: 4th

Points: 13 (6 Games)

Current title odds: 250/1

Current relegation odds: 40/1

There are two sides to Brighton’s start, and it might be best to look at them individually. First, the league form, with a 5-2 victory over Leicester City and a 2-1 win at Manchester United two clear highlights of a fast start.

Curiously, though, the Seagulls are yet to deliver a league goal scored by a striker. While Alexis Mac Allister leads the way with four, and Pascal Gross has already scored more this season than last, Danny Welbeck has been bringing midfielders into the game without netting himself.

Onto part two, then, and the biggest test of the season. All the results so far have been achieved with Graham Potter at the helm, and the manager’s move to Chelsea leaves Brighton needing to get things right to continue the momentum they’ve built up: fail on that front, and there will surely be clubs sniffing around the likes of Mac Allister and Liverpool-linked Moises Caicedo, both of whom have the potential to impress even further at the World Cup. Mac Allister’s switch into a deeper midfield role has worked wonders for him.

Roberto De Zerbi has been handed the reins, having previously delivered impressive results with limited resources at Sassuolo, while his brief spell at Shakhtar Donetsk did little to harm his reputation. The Italian now has a chance to show his talent in the Premier League.

Manchester United

Position: 5th

Points: 12 (6 Games)

Current title odds: 33/1

Current relegation odds: 500/1

Manchester United’s season is a test case in how quickly things can change. After two defeats to start the season prompted panic and question marks over new manager Erik ten Hag, things now look a great deal healthier.

Part of the improvement can be put down to some brave calls from the manager. Seniority is no longer a guarantee of a starting spot, and there are few who would argue the team isn’t looking much stronger now than against Brentford, where Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire made their most recent league starts.

Lisandro Martinez, a premature figure of fun, has formed a partnership at the back with Raphael Varane on which a return to form has been built. Four straight victories – including wins over Liverpool and Arsenal – have been enough to see last season’s sixth-place finishers start to believe they can improve on that finish.

There are still areas for improvement, of course. The victory over Arsenal wasn’t the most convincing – although it was clinical – while Real Sociedad claimed a Europa League victory at Old Trafford. Still, after the miserable end to last season and the worrying start to this, there’s cause for cautious optimism, particularly if Ronaldo is reintegrated and starts scoring again.

Erik ten Hag has had to deal with speculation about Cristiano Ronaldo, but United have kicked on after a difficult start


Position: 6th

Points: 11

Current title odds: 1000/1

Current relegation odds: 11/2

Fulham’s last crack at the Premier League didn’t go to plan, with the Cottagers never climbing above 17th in the table on their way to relegation. After a goal-filled promotion campaign under Marco Silva, though, there was some cause for optimism – though the start has been perhaps even more impressive than anticipated.

Aleksandar Mitrovic struggled two years ago, but it has been a different story this time around in a team more ready to play to his strengths. A return of six league goals has been bettered only by Erling Haaland, and includes efforts against three of last season’s top five, showing last season’s Championship record-breaker is anything but a flat-track bully.

Silva’s side are already almost halfway towards the 27-goal tally they posted under Scott Parker two seasons ago with his bolder, more expansive approach looks to be paying off. If we want to use the other newly promoted clubs as a barometer, meanwhile, they have just one fewer point than Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest combined.

The manager has a big part to play, both in terms of the fearlessness with which they have taken on opponents and the impact of his new signings. Joao Palhinha has been the standout, scoring in style during the comeback win against Forest, while Bernd Leno and Andreas Pereira have added important Premier League experience. Harry Wilson, their creator-in-chief last season en route to promotion, is also due back soon.


Position: 7th

Points: 10

Current title odds: 33/1

Current relegation odds: 1000/1

Where to begin? It has been a summer of upheaval for Chelsea, as many of us sensed it might be when Roman Abramovich’s 19-year tenure came to an end towards the close of last season, but even within that context it has been quite the trip.

No Premier League club spent more than the Blues over the summer, but some of that was needed after losing some big names. Whether by choice (Romelu Lukaku’s loan to Inter) or with matters taken out of their hands (Antonio Rudiger leaving on a free for Real Madrid ), the departing players needed replacing.

Results – and more specifically the behind-the-scenes issues that went with them – weren’t to the liking of new owner Todd Boehly, so much so that Thomas Tuchel was sacked just a month into the new campaign. Even the victories, against Everton, Leicester City and West Ham, weren’t that impressive.

Now it’s the task of Graham Potter to jump straight in and get results. There’s an uphill task in Europe as well as domestically, with one point from two Champions League games, and Potter will have to hope he can use the international break to his advantage and translate his Brighton form to his new club. An attack that, despite the signing of Raheem Sterling, had begun to look somewhat stale, could use his fresh ideas.

After Thomas Tuchel was shown the door, Graham Potter will now look to implement his ideas at Chelsea



Position: 8th

Points: 9 (6 Games)

Current title odds: 8/1

Current relegation odds: 2500/1

Things haven’t really got moving for Liverpool, at least not in the way they would have hoped. After a tough end to last season with defeat in the Champions League final, the Reds have looked a little deflated at times, though there have still been some positives.

One of the most frustrating things for Jurgen Klopp’s side has been Mohamed Salah’s form in front of goal. The Egyptian followed Klopp in signing a new deal over the summer, but has been unable to match the scarily high standards he set at the start of last season.

In other circumstances, others might have been available to pick up the slack. However, with Sadio Mane sold to Bayern Munich and Diogo Jota starting the season on the sidelines, this has been easier said than done – especially with big-money signing Darwin Nunez making things even tougher by picking up a three-match ban for a red card against Crystal Palace.

There have been positives, not least the form of Luis Diaz and the ability of Harvey Elliott to kick on and become an important part of the team. With last season’s title rivals Manchester City flying, though, there will be a worry that Klopp’s men have already left themselves with too much to do.


Position: 9th

Points: 9

Current title odds: 1000/1

Current relegation odds: 7/1

While it’s not the only benchmark of a successful team, Ivan Toney’s inclusion in the England squad – barely a year after making his first top-flight appearance for Brentford – feels significant. It is just one symbol of a team which, under Thomas Frank, is beginning to look established.

There were concerns that the departure of Christian Eriksen, so important in the second half of last season, could be devastating for Frank’s side. That was quickly put to bed by a 4-0 victory over Eriksen’s new side Manchester United – one of the most eye-catching results and attacking performances of the season so far.

A number of Frank’s new signings have made an impact already, not least in defence, Ben Mee and Aaron Hickey are at opposite ends of the experience scale, but both have been ever-present in a team which has already found the net 15 times – the fourth-highest tally in the league.

The challenge now is avoiding a repeat of last season, when a similarly fast start was followed by four straight defeats at this point in the season. Now, though, the Bees will hope they have goals from more sources and are able to pick up points even when their key men aren’t on their game.

Ivan Toney has earned his first England call up

Newcastle United

Position: 10th

Points: 8

Current title odds: 500/1

Current relegation odds: 50/1

Newcastle were tipped to splash the cash after comfortably surviving last season, but things haven’t quite gone that way. Yes, they broke their transfer record to sign Alexander Isak, but it’s been a medium-size summer by nouveau riche Premier League standards.

Recent results have left some fans thinking a busier July and August might have helped. After the positivity around St James’ Park during an unbeaten start which included a point against the champions, two points from the last three games has brought some of the mood down.

Injuries haven’t helped, of course. Those three games have come without Allan Saint-Maximin, so decisive in August, while Bruno Guimaraes and Callum Wilson have also missed key games. Without the Frenchman’s flair and Wilson leading the line, they’re not the same side.

Eddie Howe’s team are a match for most when at full-strength, but there’s a sense that the gap from the best XI to the next in line is still too big. With three top-half sides to come in the next three games, we should get a better idea of how high the Magpies should be aiming.

Leeds United

Position: 11th

Points: 8 (6 Games)

Current title odds: 1000/1

Current relegation odds: 9/2

There was a huge amount of pessimism hanging around Elland Road going into the opening day clash with Wolves and, despite going winless in their last three games, there has certainly been a U-turn.

The jury was still out on Jesse Marsch at the start of summer and his task was not helped by the departures of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha. Credit to the hierarchy, all that money was pumped back into the playing squad, but when you buy players who aren’t Premier League proven there will always be questions asked and the Whites were tipped by many for the drop.

They look to have unearthed a gem in American Brenden Aaronson, who they originally eyed back in January. He is helping Leeds play with an intensity that saw them beat Chelsea 3-0, by far and away the highlight of the season. That said, the defence remains an issue and finding a settled back four that can be trusted still needs doing. A late collapse cost points at Southampton whilst they shipped five at Brentford.

Nevertheless, with several of their new buys, including Luis Sinisterra, still bedding in, Leeds look in a far better place going into the international break than many would’ve thought.

Leeds underwent a big transformation over the summer under Jesse Marsch


Position: 12th

Points: 8

Current title odds: 2500/1

Current relegation odds: 8/15

The lowlight of their Premier League return was undoubtedly the 9-0 drubbing at Anfield, which signalled the death knell on Scott Parker’s time on the south coast, the club’s hierarchy having grown tired of its running battle with its manager and his public yearnings for more transfer backing.

The Cherries still haven’t appointed a new head coach to replace Parker, with Gary O’Neil in charge and having overseen an unbeaten run of five points from three games.

There’s no shortage of character in a young side, and the 1-1 draw at Newcastle showed that there is much more defensive stability than the early weeks of the season had suggested. What they need to do now is get Dom Solanke, after an injury-hit start to the campaign, amongst the goals.

Overall, on the field, they’re in pretty good shape, despite being managerless and with a potential takeover in the offing. They have a kind run of four fixtures when they return from the international break – three at home – to pick up points. At the end of those, we’ll know much more about them.


Position: 13th

Points: 7

Current title odds: 1500/1

Current relegation odds: 16/5

What a difference a win makes! Sunday’s victory over West Ham at Goodison Park was the Toffees first in the Premier League this season, having previously drawn four and lost twice, pushing them out of the relegation zone and into mid-table.

Frank Lampard is still missing his No.1 striker in Dominic Calvert-Lewin and having sold Richarlison over the summer – brought in Neal Maupay from Brighton to give them some kind of focal point. Thus, with goals at a premium, Lampard has been extremely pragmatic, going back to basics and building the side around new centre-back pairing Conor Coady and James Tarkowski, looking to be tough to beat. Everton haven’t scored more than once in any of their league games so far, and have only conceded two or more once in seven games also.

Anthony Gordon will have a major part to play in their season, the young winger’s dynamism, pace and ability to beat a man already a shining light; it’s little wonder Lampard was delighted to keep him away from Chelsea.

Achieving safety is no doubt still the No.1 aim at Goodison, but they win over the Hammers – thanks to Maupay’s first goal for the club – has offered renewed hope to supporters. They could do with the 2020-2021 vintage of Calvert-Lewin returning sooner rather than later.

Frank Lampard has made a number of changes at Everton, including the loan signing of England international Conor Coady


Position: 14th

Points: 7

Current title odds: 1500/1

Current relegation odds: 11/4

Like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates, you just never know what you’re going to get from Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton, and that’s even more true after a summer where the club’s hierarchy have looked to make the squad even younger.

Youth can be inconsistent, which partially explains why a side who eased to a 2-1 win over Chelsea has since failed to score in back-to-back defeats against Wolves and Aston Villa – although how Che Adams managed it in the former is anyone’s guess.

In Armel Bella-Kotchap and Romeo Lavia they’ve unearthed two bona-fide gems for the spine of the side, while goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu and striker Sekou Mara were both highly-admired before moving to St Mary’s. As the season progresses, it’s hoped those four will emerge as a new core, alongside club captain James Ward-Prowse, Mohamed Salisu and Kyle Walker-Peters who continues to improve.

However, defining precisely where the Saints stand is a tough one, such is the erratic nature of their performances. There’s quality there that, if harnessed, could compete for a top 10 finish. But there’s also enough to suggest that if they go off track, they’ll be battling against the drop. Much more will be known when the season breaks for the World Cup.

Aston Villa

Position: 15th

Points: 7

Current title odds: 1000/1

Current relegation odds: 8/1

After losing four of their first five games, Steven Gerrard was coming under heavy pressure at Villa Park. He’s spent a fair bit of money during his 10 months in charge, on the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne, but big questions were being asked by supporters.

Has he actually improved the side? What’s the actual style of play? Why doesn’t he trust Emi Buendia? What happened with Tyrone Mings? Those are just a snippet.

But a fighting draw against Manchester City – secured with a fine Leon Bailey strike – was followed up by a win over Southampton, Gerrard praised Mings publicly and players are speaking about digging in together. So they’re in a much smarter position than they were a few weeks ago.

Next up are two away games against Leeds and Nottingham Forest, clubs Villa believe they should be finishing well above when the season reaches its conclusion. Two wins, and Gerrard and co will be looking up at the sun in the sky. Two defeats and that pressure will grow once again. They’re another side balanced on a knife edge right now.

Jacob Ramsey gave Villa a much-needed win over Southampton in their final game before the break

Crystal Palace

Position: 16th

Points: 6 (6 Games)

Current title odds: 1000/1

Current relegation odds: 8/1

It’s been a strange start to the season for Patrick Vieira and his ambitious Palace players. They’ve picked up where they left off last season in terms of performances, continuing to play the free-flowing football that earned them plenty of plaudits, but the league table doesn’t look too pretty.

They have just one win all season, drawing three and losing two, to sit just two points above the relegation zone. Having said that, they were handed a tricky start and have already played Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. It doesn’t get even easier either; next up for them after the international break is Chelsea.

Vieira will be hoping he has a full squad to choose from when the team gets back together. Perhaps his most important player is Wilfried Zaha, who was linked with an exit late in the transfer window. The Ivorian is crucial to his manager’s long-term ambitions and is enjoying arguably the best spell of his career, having notched four goals already this season.

He’s not the only attacking superstar either; Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze are two exciting prospects who have flourished under Vieira. On paper, Palace have an exciting young team; Vieira just needs to start getting the best out of them.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Position: 17th

Points: 6

Current title odds: 1500/1

Current relegation odds: 4/1

The bold new era at Molineux looks remarkably like the previous one. Bruno Lage, having spent 12 pragmatic months following on the work of predecessor Nuno Espirito Santo by sticking with tried and trusted tactics and personnel, ripped up the rule book this summer, to put his own stamp on Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Club captain Conor Coady was dumped, a back four installed, playing higher up the pitch with more pressing was called for and big-money changes were made, notably with the signings of Matheus Nunes and Goncalo Guedes to add to the Portuguese enclave in the Black Country.

But while a new-look defensive structure and centre-back pairing had looked pretty solid until Manchester City arrived at Molineux, goalscoring has remained a problem, with only three goals scored in the league so far. Raul Jimenez has struggled with injury and form, Sasa Kaladjzic suffered an ACL injury on his debut, leading to an SOS call to Diego Costa and the other forward players aren’t doing enough in the final third, Daniel Podence apart.

Lage is a man who splits the old gold fan base, and there remains uncertainty over whether he has the personality or tactical acumen to take the best Wolves squad ever assembled and drag them into the higher echelons of the table. Nuno did much more with much less.

The club insist he is not under threat after a dire run of two wins in 16 Premier League games stretching back to last season. But he needs to start picking up wins soon, or he will be.

Pressure is growing on Bruno Lage at Wolves

West Ham United

Position: 18th

Points: 4

Current title odds: 1500/1

Current relegation odds: 12/1

Last season’s Europa League semi-finalists went a bit more upmarket with their summer signings, bringing in Thilo Kehrer from PSG, Italy international Gianluca Scamacca from Sassuolo and, most notably, Brazil star Lucas Paqueta from Lyon. But has thinking big upset the Hammers’ balance?

It’s been a disappointing start for David Moyes’ side and the 1-0 defeat to Everton on Sunday was notable only for its lacklustre nature. Paqueta’s role has yet to clearly be defined and he’s struggling to make an impact, in a team which, after European heartbreak in Frankfurt, is looking to become a bit more possession-based and a little less reliant on playing off Michail Antonio and counter-attacks.

Perhaps they won’t finish in the top seven again, but they have enough creative players and goals in the side – alright, it hasn’t looked that way yet – to suggest that it won’t be long before they’re climbing up the table.

Nottingham Forest

Position: 19th

Points: 4

Current title odds: 2500/1

Current relegation odds: 4/6

Having achieved promotion through the play-offs last term with a remarkable run following Steve Cooper’s arrival and thanks to key contributions from a number of loan signings – notably Djed Spence and Kienan Davis – Forest needed to make a whole host of changes to the playing staff this summer to stand any chance of competing.

That explains the TWENTY TWO arrivals sanctioned by owner Evangelos Marinakis, including club record signing Morgan Gibbs White, free transfer Jesse Lingard and new No.1 Dean Henderson on loan from Manchester United.

But with that many signings it was always going to take time for them to gel and what’s been noticeable about Forest is there is plenty of talent – not least young forward Brennan Johnson – but defensive structures – something that takes familiarity and training ground work – aren’t as resolute as they need to be.

Throwing away leads has become a nasty – and costly – early season habit and Cooper will be hoping that more time together under his players’ belts, can kickstart a move away from the bottom. All signs are pointing to a season of struggle, but if they finish 17th or above, it will all be worth it.

Forest signed 22 players in the summer and they haven’t gelled, unsurprisingly, yet.

Leicester City

Position: 20th

Points: 1

Current title odds: 2500/1

Current relegation odds: 2/1

Well, let’s be honest: This has been an absolute nightmare.

After a difficult summer due to financial constraints, Kasper Schmeichel’s surprise departure and the Wesley Fofana saga – which continued into the season – Leicester looked like they’d be just fine when they led Brentford 2-0 on the opening day. But since letting that two-goal lead slip, the Foxes have been, by and large, pretty shambolic.

Yes, James Maddison has been a massive bright spot. But he can only do so much for a side that has conceded 22 goals in seven games, including 11 in their last two and has lost six of those matches. They have lost 4-2, 5-2 and 6-2 on the road this season already, and kept just two clean sheets in 19 games.

The question is whether the players look a shadow of their former selves because of their manager? Brendan Rodgers’ body language hasn’t looked great in recent weeks and speculation is mounting over his future. His post-Tottenham comments were interpreted by some that perhaps he is ready to move on, he’s just waiting for the axe to fall.

But with a massive compensation package to pay if they do dismiss the ex-Celtic and Liverpool manager, will the club’s hierarchy use the current break to do so? Or will they give him the opportunity to turn things around?

*All odds are best available odds at time of writing.