From Erling Haaland magic to Miguel Almiron playing like Lionel Messi and Darwin Nunez chaos – The Premier League has already been a rollercoaster and it’s almost back

    After the disappointment of England’s exit from the World Cup, it’s time to get fully lost in the Premier League once again.

    It’s been a strange month with a winter World Cup for the first time ever, meaning a break from top flight action for what has seemed an absolute age.

    Arsenal are five points clear at the top of the Premier League table

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    Arsenal are five points clear at the top of the Premier League table

    Since the Premier League halted on November 13, out in Qatar there has been 64 matches played across just four weeks.

    Like talkSPORT, you’ve probably been all consumed by the action and loved (nearly) every minute of it. We just won’t talk about the quarter-finals…

    But now it is time for the Premier League to return and we can’t wait. In case you have forgotten what happened during the first part of the season, talkSPORT.com has you covered.

    Yes, Arsenal fans, you really are top of the Premier League… it wasn’t all a dream.

    Erling Haaland is here

    We haven’t seen Haaland in action for a month now and it’s easy to forget just how dominant the striker has been for Man City.

    The 22-year-old has already scored an outrageous 18 times in 13 total appearances. That’s a goal around every 58 minutes.

    Haaland has been virtually unstoppable for City

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    Haaland has been virtually unstoppable for City

    Barring any injury, he’s probably already got the Golden Boot wrapped up.

    Norway were not at the World Cup, so he’s had the chance to rest and recuperate while others have been out in Qatar.

    Spare a thought for City goalkeeper Scott Carson, who has probably been pelted with Haaland shots relentlessly over the last few weeks.

    Miguel Almiron playing like prime Lionel Messi

    Jack Grealish went viral at the end of last season when he mocked the Newcastle star.

    It seems Almiron took that personally and has been utterly breathtaking for the Magpies this season, and has been a big part of their rise to third in the Premier League.

    Almiron’s transformation has been remarkable

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    Almiron’s transformation has been remarkable

    In the last eight games before the break, he managed to score an incredible seven goals.

    Grealish, meanwhile, has netted just once so far this season. 

    Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope are the best goalkeepers

    It is normally the likes of Ederson and Alisson who take the goalkeeping plaudits in the Premier League.

    But it is two English goalkeepers leading the way in 2022/23 in Ramsdale and Pope, for Arsenal and Newcastle respectively.

    It is no coincident that those teams sit first and third in the table. They’ve got unbelievable goalkeepers between the sticks.

    Ramsdale has kept seven clean sheets this season

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    Ramsdale has kept seven clean sheets this season

    Pope has been a top signing for Newcastle

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    Pope has been a top signing for Newcastle

    They are neck and neck for the Golden Glove award with seven clean sheets apiece.

    What’s more, it’s a win for the lower leagues of English football. Both have earned their stripes outside the top flight.

    Pope has played as low as the Isthmian Premier Division, the seventh tier of English football, while  Ramsdale has played in every division of the EFL.

    Shocks

    There has been a shake up to the natural order of things this season. We have became used to Man City and Liverpool, to a lesser extent Chelsea, dominating the top of the table.

    But they have looked beatable so far. Liverpool have struggled and have suffered unlikely defeats to Nottingham Forest and Leeds – both struggling at the wrong end of the table.

    Liverpool have suffered a couple of surprise defeats this season

    AFP

    Liverpool have suffered a couple of surprise defeats this season

    City have lost to Brentford, while Chelsea have suffered defeats to Leeds and Southampton.

    De Zerbi’s touch

    There is a new face in the Brighton dugout, following Graham Potter’s switch to Chelsea – plus just about every member of their backroom staff.

    Roberto De Zerbi has been a welcome addition to the Premier League and has continued Potter’s fine work at the Seagulls.

    And he also has an incredible first touch, as he effortlessly showcased during their match with Liverpool.

    Man United almost signed Arnautovic

    The Red Devils were in full panic station mode in August as they looked to bolster their squad before the transfer window slammed shut.

    This involved trying to offload Cristiano Ronaldo, which they failed to do, but he agreed to terminate his contract after the Piers Morgan interview saga.

    Arnautovic nearly joined United this summer

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    Arnautovic nearly joined United this summer

    The height of their desperation was epitomised by their attempt to sign a 33-year-old Marko Arnautovic from Bologna.

    It was bizarre, before the club backed down following a fierce backlash from supporters.

    Darwin Nunez chaos

    Love him or hate him, the Uruguay striker has been entertaining in the Premier League this season.

    Billed as a rival for Erling Haaland following a blockbuster transfer from Benfica, things haven’t quite worked out that way.

    Nunez has been brilliantly entertaining this season

    Nunez has been brilliantly entertaining this season

    He was sent off for a headbutt on his Anfield debut, but has actually managed to score nine goals in all competitions.

    There has been plenty of terrible misses scattered in there too and serious unpredictability. Nunez has been pure chaos… and we love it.

    Welcome back!

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