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Monday Hoddle of Coffee, Weekend Recap, January 2, 2017

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No one from the top six is losing again ever, OK?

Arsenal v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The good news is that Spurs have won two straight fixtures by a score of 4-1 and are now starting to look like the same sort of team we saw for most of last season. We aren’t conceding many good chances. We’re creating great scoring chances ourselves. And we’re finishing many of the chances we create.

The bad news is that the big six in England all appear to be a considerable step ahead of the rest of the league this season and are never going to lose again ever. Put another way, a dramatically improved Spurs side is great, but it’s not nearly as great if everyone else in the top six is enjoying the same sort of purple patch.

The 20th round of the league begins today. It’s an excellent chance to see if any of the rest of the top six are going to trip up. We will be playing Chelsea on Wednesday, of course, but the other four matches are not as promising. City hosts Burnley today. Sunderland will host Liverpool today as well and West Ham hosts Manchester United in today’s late match. Arsenal is action on the south coast tomorrow when they face Bournemouth.

If recent form holds, all four of these results will be multi-goal victories for the side chasing Champions League placement. But it’s been rare in the past for six English teams to set themselves so far apart from the rest of the league. Perhaps the next few days will see a reversion to a more common, typical English mean.

On to the links:

Did you see The Guardian’s lengthy feature on the history of EA Sports’ Fifa franchise?

Diego Costa came very close to returning to Atletico before this season’s fantastic return to form.

How much time have each club’s most frequently used XI played together this season? Spurs fans won’t be surprised by the results here.

Zito really loved Giroud’s goal yesterday.

Just Football identified the 10 players that will be most missed by their EPL teams during this month’s African Cup of Nations.