Arsenal or Chelsea could be this year's Christmas No 1... but does it mean they will go on to win the Premier League?


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The Independent Football

Arsenal could go back to the top of tree on Christmas Day with a triumph over Chelsea tonight (Chelsea could also go top with a victory by an unprecedented 10-goal margin) but does history show they will then go on and win the Premier League title?

The last four teams to lead the division on 25 December have gone on to lift the trophy at the end of the season.

In fact, the last side to be top of the table on Christmas Day and not win the league was Liverpool, the current leaders, in 2008/09. Back on Christmas Day 2008, Rafael Benitez’s side had a one point lead over Chelsea. They went on to finish that season in second place, four points behind Manchester United.

Arsenal, on the other hand, are hoping to be the Christmas No 1 for the first time since 2007/08, when they led Manchester United by a point. The club then slipped up early in the year, going four matches without a league win between February and March, and ended up in third place.

In each of the three seasons Arsenal have won the league (1998, 2002 and 2004), they have never been top of the charts at Christmas. In 1997/98, in Arsene Wenger's first full season in charge, the Gunners were in sixth place on Christmas Day 1997, 13 points off the lead, but went on to secure the division by a point.

Season    Leading team on Xmas Day         League winner

2012/13 Man United                                       Man United

2011/12 Man City                                           Man City

2010/11 Man United                                       Man United

2009/10 Chelsea                                            Chelsea