Where will Arsenal sit in list of best ever Premier League points hauls at half-way stage?

Arsenal are already comfortably among the top 10 Premier League starters with a game to spare before halfway. They could crack the top five – but it’s no guarantee of the title.

Mikel Arteta’s side will reach the halfway mark in their season on Sunday when they welcome Manchester United. Their record so far is good enough to get them eighth in the top 10 best starters to a Premier League campaign, but they could climb even higher with a positive result against the Red Devils.

Arsenal’s record so far: 47 points
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Here’s the current top 10 best starters through the first half of a season since the Premier League was cut to 20 teams in 1995/96.

1) Manchester City 17/18: 55 points
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Final position: champions
Pep Guardiola’s first Premier League title, won with five games to spare, saw City break all kinds of records. Most points (100); most away points (50); most points ahead of second (19); most wins (32); most away wins (16); most goals (106); best goal difference (+79); and most consecutive victories (18).

Is this the best Premier League team ever?

2) Liverpool 19/20: 55 points
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Final position: champions
Jürgen Klopp’s Reds broke one of City’s records by wrapping up their first title in 30 years with seven games still to go. But it was also the latest coronation – in June 2020 – after Covid turned up and acted the d*ck to spoil Liverpool’s celebrations.

3) Chelsea 05/06: 52 points
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Final position: champions
The Blues celebrated their centenary by winning their second consecutive title when Jose Mourinho really was ‘a special one’. It was achieved by an eight-point margin over Manchester United, who were also the first side to beat Chelsea on match-day 12.

4) Liverpool 18/19: 51 points
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Final position: runners up
Liverpool were better off than Arsenal, even if the Gunners beat Manchester United on Sunday, and still f***ed it. They didn’t lose until matchday 21 at Manchester City, which proved all-important since despite not losing again all season, they were still pipped at the post by City, with four draws in six games between the end of January and beginning of March also crucial.

5) Chelsea 16/17: 49 points
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Final position: champions
Arsenal can take Chelsea’s place in this top five if they beat United at the Emirates. In Antonio Conte’s first season in charge, the Blues equaled the Premier League records for consecutive wins in a season (13); fewest draws (3); fewest home draws (none), and home and away wins against different sides (12). It helped that Diego Costa was largely unplayable.

6) Manchester City 21/22: 47 points
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Final position: champions
City started quite slowly, losing their opening game to Spurs and then to Palace at the end of October. They didn’t hit the summit until matchday 15, after which they were never unseated, despite Liverpool’s best efforts.

7) Manchester United 06/07: 47 points
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Final position: champions
United ended what for Sir Alex Ferguson amounted to a title drawn by winning their first crown in four seasons, reasserting his authority over Mourinho in the process. The Red Devils eased down the home straight, securing the title with two games to go, winning neither but still finishing with a six-point cushion.

8) Chelsea 04/05: 46 points
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Final position: champions
Mourinho won his first Premier League title while setting a number of records along the way: most away wins in a season (15); most clean sheets (25); fewest goals conceded away (9); most wins (29); and fewest total goals conceded (15). They still retain the records for most clean sheets and fewest goals conceded.

9) Chelsea 14/15: 46 points
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Final position: champions
Mourinho, reappointed by the Blues, spent only one matchday – the second, despite winning both games – off the top spot and they didn’t suffer their first defeat until early December at Newcastle. It wasn’t a vintage Chelsea side and their longest winning run was four matches. But good enough for an eight-point margin of victory.

10) Manchester United 03/04: 46 points
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Final position: third
United started well but tailed off, failing to win 11 games through the second half of their campaign. They were left choking on the dust of Arsenal’s Invincibles, who amassed 45 points through their opening half of the season. Arteta’s Gunners have bettered that with a game to spare.

Read more: Everything Gary Neville has said about Arsenal & Arteta in 22-23

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