Just as it appeared some sense of normality was set to be restored to the top of the Premier League table, a wild midweek round of games has thrown a fresh spanner into this most unpredictable of seasons. Six-goal thrillers between Manchester United and Newcastle United as well as Liverpool and Arsenal , along with a victory for Leicester City away at Tottenham means that the battles for the title and the top four remain wide open.

With now just 17 matches remaining, the biggest surprise package of all, Leicester, are level on points with Arsenal at the top of the Premier League. Manchester City and Tottenham, three and seven points back, respectively, both dropped points on Wednesday to lose a chance to close the gap at the top and further cement their positions in the four Champions League places. Behind them, West Ham, Manchester United, Stoke City, Crystal Palace and Liverpool can all have real hopes of earning a lucrative spot in Europe’s premier competition for next season.

Can Leicester Continue Title Charge?

For those in the chasing pack, it is surely Leicester that they have long identified as the club most likely to fall away and open up a spot in the top four. Yet Claudio Ranieri’s side continue to defy the odds. Despite a brutal schedule that has seen them play Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham in the past month, only goal difference separates them from the summit. When the Midlands side lost 5-2 at home to Arsenal in September few would have predicted that the return match at the Emirates Stadium on Feb. 13 could have huge title ramifications for both clubs.

Arsenal’s recent Premier League form has hardly been disastrous, winning five of their last seven matches. Yet there must be some frustration from Arsene Wenger that his side have failed to open up a gap at the top. And the critics who claim that the Gunners lack the character required to go all the way to a first championship in 12 years have been given fresh ammunition by a 4-0 defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day and the concession of a 90th minute equalizer at Anfield on Wednesday.

Manchester United, Liverpool Chase Top Four

That frustration will no doubt be shared by Wenger’s counterpart at Old Trafford, Louis van Gaal. After ending a run of six Premier League matches without a win with a victory over Swansea City, Manchester United then looked set to pick up another three points at struggling Newcastle United. Wayne Rooney’s best performance of the season saw Van Gaal’s side go 2-0 up and then 3-2 ahead with 11 minutes remaining before, like Arsenal, conceding a last-minute leveler.

Thus the pressure remains firmly on Van Gaal. Achieving a Champions League place was the bare minimum that was required at the start of the season, and although that is still only two points away and very much within reach, the Manchester United board must surely be very twitchy.

The expectations are lower at Liverpool, where Jurgen Klopp only took over in October and faces a lengthy list of injuries. But they also continue to offer glimpses of their ability to match the very best in England. Adding to wins over Manchester City, Chelsea and Leicester, Liverpool took the game to Arsenal for much of the first half and fought back to salvage a point at the very end.

If Klopp can find some consistency and get the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho quickly out of the treatment room and onto the pitch then a five-point gap to fourth-placed Tottenham is surely bridgeable. However, for both Liverpool and Manchester United, Sunday’s meeting between the two historic rivals looks set to play a huge role in their hopes.

Premier League Title Odds (via Oddschecker)

Arsenal: 6/5

Manchester City: 6/5

Leicester City: 12/1

Tottenham: 16/1

Manchester United: 25/1

Liverpool: 66/1

Odds To Finish In Top Four

Arsenal: 1/33

Manchester City: 1/33

Leicester City: 8/13

Tottenham: 4/5

Manchester United: 11/10

Liverpool: 11/5

Chelsea: 12/1

West Ham: 12/1

Everton: 25/1

Crystal Palace: 25/1

Stoke City: 33/1

Table After 21 Games (Points)

1) Arsenal (43)

2) Leicester City (43)

3) Manchester City (40)

4) Tottenham Hotspur (36)

5) West Ham United (35)

6) Manchester United (34) 

7) Stoke City (32)

8) Crystal Palace (31)

9) Liverpool (31)

10) Watford (29)

11) Everton (28)

12) Southampton (27)

13) West Bromwich Albion (27)

14) Chelsea (24)

15) Norwich City (23)

16) Bournemouth (21)

17) Swansea City (19)

18) Sunderland (18)

19) Newcastle United (18)

20) Aston Villa (11)