Premier League sides have now embarked on the competition’s long awaited and inaugural winter break, with some sides in rather more need of the scheduled mid-season rest.
Managers will now get the chance to regroup ahead of the final stages of the season, and several sides are in need of revitalising following a torrid run of form.
Here are the five most out-of-form teams in the Premier League as we head into the winter break…
Last eight games – LLDDDDWL (seven points)
After beginning the season in solid fashion, Palace have dipped in form of late, winless in their past six and taking just seven points from their past eight Premier League fixtures to begin to nervously looking over their shoulders.
Roy Hodgson’s side have struggled for goals and are the lowest scorers in the division, managing just 22 for the season with Jordan Ayew the club’s top scorer on six league goals.
Wilfried Zaha has failed to recapture his best form since being denied a move away from Selhurst Park last summer, and Hodgson will hope the Ivorian can provide the spark to turn the Eagles fortunes around in the coming weeks.
Palace remain six points clear of the drop zone but results will need to improve, and quickly.
Last eight games – WWLLLLDL (seven points)
Bournemouth have given their hopes of survival a major boost in recent weeks, securing back-to-back victories over fellow strugglers Brighton and Aston Villa to lift themselves outside of the drop zone.
Those wins ended a run of four consecutive defeats, with their record over the past eight league fixtures still amongst the worst in the division.
Eddie Howe’s side have taken seven points from those eight fixtures, whilst their goal difference in that time stands at -8 after heavy defeats to West Ham and Watford.
Recent results have lifted spirits at the Vitality Stadium, though they remain a long way sure of safety.
Last eight games – DLDLDWLL (six points)
In what looks likely to be one of the most intense relegation battles in recent seasons, Brighton are in danger of being dragged right into the race after a worrying winless run of form under Graham Potter.
The Seagulls have managed just six points from their past eight fixtures, though more worrying still is their recent performances against the sides near them at the bottom.
Brighton have failed to win in three fixtures against Aston Villa, Bournemouth and West Ham – the three sides directly below them in the table – and face tough trips to Sheffield United, Wolves and Leicester in their next six fixtures.
Winning against the sides around them could be crucial in pulling clear of relegation troubles, starting with a crunch home fixture against Watford after the winter break.
Last eight games: DLWLDDLL (six points)
It looks a long way back for Norwich if they are to avoid a swift return to the Championship, and their recent form is indicating no signs of a miraculous recovery for Daniel Farke’s side.
The Canaries are seven points from safety, whilst they have taken just six points from their last eight Premier League fixtures, a sole victory coming against fellow strugglers Bournemouth last month.
No side has conceded more than Norwich’s 47 goals this season, their leaky defence and over reliance on Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell for goals contributing to their current flight at the foot of the Premier League.
They face league leaders Liverpool, Wolves and Leicester in their next three games, so it may get worse before it gets better for Farke and Norwich.
Last eight games: DLLDLWLL (five points)
Could West Ham really go down?
The London side had hopes of challenging the top six at the start of the season, armed with expensive reinforcements in the form of Sebastien Haller and Pablo Fornals to bolster a squad containing emerging talents such as Declan Rice and Issa Diop.
In what began as a campaign with much optimism has proved a disaster thus far, however, fading after an initial bright start and seeing Manuel Pellegrini sacked.
David Moyes has returned for a second stint with the Hammers but after thrashing Bournemouth in the first game of his second tenure, it has been more of the same as West Ham continue to struggle.
Just five points have been picked up from their last eight games, the club dropping into the bottom three after squandering a two-goal lead to draw with Brighton last weekend.
Moyes must now galvanise his side as unrest begins to surround a club, for who relegation could bring catastrophic consequences.