As 2016 comes to a close it will forever be remembered as the year when the Premier League was turned upside down.
Last season was the most unpredictable in English football history as Leicester City defied odds of 5,000-1 to pull off arguably the greatest ever sporting upset to win the Premier League title.
Leicester proved fairytales do come true as they secured the unlikeliest of Premier League title success.
Claudio Ranieri’s fearless Foxes not look a pale shadow of the team that tackled head on every challenge put their way last season and appear to have saved their best for the Champions League.
Leicester’s title winners now find themselves entrenched in a relegation dogfight and they will be desperate to avoid the ignominy of going from champions to chumps in 12 months
Chelsea who were reigning champions last year made a mess of their title defence , but appear to have swapped places with Leicester this season with new manager Antonio Conte giving the Blues the shot in the arm they needed to get the club back on track for success.
Chelsea have put their shambolic efforts of last season when and truly behind and will go into 2017 as firm favourites to win the title off the back of an incredible 12-match winning run to put them clear at the summit.
Liverpool look like they could pose the biggest threat to Chelsea as they continue to thrill and excite under the effervescent Jurgen Klopp.
The Reds endured a disappointing Premier League campaign last term, but in Klopp’s first full season in charge the signs are positive of Liverpool becoming regular challengers again.
For Arsenal 2016 it was again a case of what could have been as they missed another great opportunity to end their wait for a first title since 2004.
Arsenal being Arsenal continue to provide more questions than answers and the fear among Gunners fans is that they will again blow their chance of being serious title contenders when they prizes are handed out in May.
Pep Guardiola’s arrival at Manchester City heralded a new era for the club after they fell away so badly in the title race in Manuel Pellegrini’s final season, but the Spaniard has found out quickly why the Premier League is the most competitive and unforgiving league in Europe.
City have shown glimpses of the heights they could reach under Guardiola, but the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich man will need time for his footballing philosophy to be fulfilled.
Tottenham enjoyed their best season in years and pushed Leicester all the way for the title and Mauricio Pochettino’s youthful and talented squad look well capable of becoming serial challengers in years to come
Jose Mourinho was out of work at the start of 2016 following his sacking by Chelsea, but is now back in management at Manchester United as he looks to turn the 20-times title winners into challengers again after three seasons of under achievement in the wake of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
United appear to be a work in progress, but if recent results are anything to go by it seems to point to the fact that Mourinho is slowly but surely getting to grips with the job in hand at Old Trafford.
The top six as it stands now have re-established order from the unpredictability of last season and it seems the Premier League’s big boys have taken the shock events of last season seriously to ensure there is no repeat.
At the other end of the table as is custom with Sunderland in recent years they find themselves in their yearly battle of battling to stay in the Premier League and it again looks like the fight to survive will go down to the wire.
Crystal Palace, who had the worst record of any side in the country in 2016, have turned to Sunderland’s saviour from last season Sam Allardyce to ensure they 2017 is a whole lot better than 2016.
Swansea are already looking for their third new manager of the season after sacking Francesco Guidolin and Bob Bradley and the demise has set in at the Liberty Stadium which could see their stay in the Premier League ended in 2017 if they do not get the next managerial appointment right.
As the clock ticks down on 2016 we can be sure of more twists and turns in 2017 in the race for the title and the battle to stay up in the most unpredictable league in the world.