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Premier League mid-season round-up: 11th-15th

Selhurst Park, home of Crystal Palace FC

We continue to look back at how the Premier League season has gone so far for each of the 20 teams, with 11th to 15th place up next.

11th place: Aston Villa

How the season has gone so far

Another Premier League season where it has not been entirely straightforward for Aston Villa. Poor early season form led to the departure of Steven Gerrard in October, after a raft of summer signings which have failed to hit the ground running. Unai Emery was brought in just before the World Cup break and his appointment has so far turned out to be a masterstroke. The Villains are now 11th and flying under the Spaniard.

Looking ahead to the rest of the campaign

Minor strengthening in January was required for Emery’s side, and the acquisition of Alex Moreno from Real Betis and Jhon Duran from Chicago Fire did just that. Letting go of Danny Ings to West Ham could be a risk, but with Villa only three points off sixth placed Brighton, under the tutelage of Emery, there is still a real possibility the Lions could be playing European football come next campaign.

12th place: Crystal Palace

How the season has gone so far

Not enough goals, that is it. Only 18 goals scored by Patrick Vieira’s side after finding the back of the net so seamlessly during the 2021/22 season. 12th place and 24 points at the halfway stage of the campaign does not seem too bad on paper, but Palace have regressed and a lack of goals is once again the main factor for their struggles. Summer signings Cheick Doucoure and Chris Richards have come in and done well, but a lack of good forward options was needed in early doors.

Looking ahead to the rest of the campaign

Gone is the winter window, and in came Sambi Lokonga and Naouirou Ahamada, two central midfielders. No forwards arrived at Selhurst Park and the risk of losing star player Wilfried Zaha in the summer is growing day by day. Vieira will need to rely on Odsonne Edouard and Jean-Philippe Mateta for the rest of the season, but with only seven points between them and 18th placed Bournemouth, the Eagles need to find a solution or else they are getting drawn into a relegation battle.

13th place: Nottingham Forest

How the season has gone so far

23 players arrived in a hectic summer for newly promoted Nottingham Forest and after a shaky start, they finally look like a team ready to fight for survival in the Premier League. Sitting in the mire of the relegation zone early doors, manager Steve Cooper was on the verge of getting the axe, now they sit above East Midlands rivals Leicester City come the halfway point. The Reds are finally beginning to look like a proper team again and under Steve Cooper, they will only get better.

Looking ahead to the rest of the campaign

Further signings arrived in January, most notably Champions League winning goalkeeper Kaylor Navas, but Cooper has added to the spine of his team in his bid to keep Forest up. With the Reds reaching a first League Cup semi-final since the 1991/92 season, a consecutive season in the top-flight would not be a miss for Cooper and his team, but with the amount of money spent in the resulting transfer windows will only add more pressure to the Welshman.

14th place: Leicester City

How the season has gone so far

It has been a rude awakening for Brendan Rodgers and Leicester City. From a European semi-final to a relegation battle, the 2022/23 season has not been plain sailing for the Foxes. Losing key players Wesley Fofana and Kasper Schmeichel in the summer was a blow for the East Midlands club, along with heavy defeats early in the season. They are not conceding as many goals as before, but the results have still not been there.

Looking ahead to the rest of the campaign

It is a simple task for Leicester, survive. The additions of Tete, Harry Souttar and Victor Kristiansen will aid Rodgers in his quest to keep the Foxes in the Premier League, the first such instance since he arrived at the club. They need points, especially when there are only three points separating Leicester and bottom club Southampton. Their aim must be to take as many points off their rivals as possible, otherwise the second tier beckons for them.

15th place: Leeds United

How the season has gone so far

Another team who has had far from the best of seasons. It has been far from the disaster first half of the season Leeds had under Marcelo Bielsa the previous campaign, but sub-par nonetheless. After the departures of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha, two of the Whites’ most influential players, the club needed to replace them. They did with the acquisitions of numerous players from manager Jesse Marsch’s previous club, and they have looked a raw and talented group.

Looking ahead to the rest of the campaign

Survival is the goal and Leeds should do this quite comfortably. Further reinforcements were brought in the winter window in the form of Max Wober, Georginio Rutter and Weston McKennie, with Marsch hoping they will have the desired impact on the team. This Leeds side is definitely good enough to stay in the Premier League, it is just a matter of whether they have the accruement to do so.

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