Why the EPL is topsy-turvy: Gary Lim
Our writer gives the reasons for the topsy-turvy nature of the league
The English Premier League's record £5.136 billion ($10.8b) TV rights deal for the 2016/17 season means clubs in England's top tier will get richer than ever.
This season's champions will receive an estimated £150 million ($315m) in prize money, while the bottom-placed team can expect a windfall of about £99m - similar to what Chelsea got for winning the title last term.
Faced with the potential of getting more financial muscle to increase their transfer budget, the mid-table clubs scoured the world for the best talent in the summer.
It explains why the likes of Crystal Palace have been able to sign Yohan Cabaye from Paris Saint-Germain, and Stoke luring Xherdan Shaqiri from Inter Milan.
Clubs are learning to say no, too, to the sides above them.
Everton refused to listen to offers from Chelsea for John Stones, while Tottenham Hotspur couldn't tempt West Brom to part with Saido Berahino.
Earlier this month, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said: "Next year, all the clubs in the Premier League have a bigger budget than most of the clubs in Europe. That makes a big difference.
"You think Manchester United have a lot of money, that is true. But the difference is not so big any more.
"The confirmation is every week. The bottom clubs can beat the top teams.
"There is no other league where this happens as often as it does in the Premier League."
MANAGERIAL UNCERTAINTY AT BIG CLUBS
The relentless rumours surrounding the managers' futures didn't help the so-called big clubs.
Chelsea were favourites to retain their crown, but got off to a disastrous start.
They ended up sacking manager Jose Mourinho 16 games into the season, when relegation began to look more likely than a successful title defence.
Liverpool pulled the trigger earlier, replacing Brendan Rodgers with Juergen Klopp.
Man United's van Gaal, under pressure for his team's lacklustre performances, is in danger of suffering the same fate as Mourinho, who ironically could be the man to replace him at Old Trafford.
Even Manchester City's Manuel Pellegrini is rumoured to be warming the seat for Pep Guardiola, who announced on Sunday he will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season.
Said former Spurs manager Harry Redknapp: "There is so much uncertainty around Pellegrini's position and I can't see him lasting beyond this season.
"Winning the league wouldn't have any effect on what happens to him."
Among the big teams, only Arsenal's Arsene Wenger and Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino can boast about job security.
The traditional powerhouses are taking turns to stumble.
There have been terribly below-par performances and an alarming lack of consistency.
Even if opponents didn't explicitly say it, they would have considered themselves lucky if they had managed to get a point against Chelsea (especially at Stamford Bridge), Man United and Man City in the past.
This season, the fear factor is gone. It's as if the mental obstacle has been cleared overnight.
In one of the many shock wins in this campaign, newly promoted Bournemouth savoured an unlikely 2-1 win over the Red Devils more than a week ago.
After the match, Cherries defender Simon Francis said: "I don't think they have that aura any more."
West Ham wasted no time in starting the ball rolling, beating Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium in their opening game of the season.
It paved the way for the other underdogs to get into the act.
The biggest surprise package though, have been Leicester City, who will enter the Christmas period as league leaders.
Before his team lost 3-2 at home to Leicester last Saturday, Everton manager Roberto Martinez said: "They have been so competitive in every game they have played...
"I have seen a change from the first two fixtures when they were testing themselves to see if they could compete.
"Now they have incredible belief. They are going out there believing they can win and, when you have that momentum, it can be very, very powerful."
Crystal Palace and Watford, who hammered Liverpool 3-0 on Sunday, currently occupy sixth and seventh spots respectively.
West Ham, who have already beaten Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City, are eighth - above Merseyside clubs Liverpool (ninth) and Everton (10th).
BREATH OF FRESH AIR
Claudio Ranieri, Quique Sanchez Flores and Slaven Bilic have taken the Premiership by storm in their first season in charge.
Ranieri demanded a free-flowing attacking game from his Leicester players, and it seemed to draw the best out of his side.
Striker Jamie Vardy tops the scoring chart with 15 goals, while winger Riyad Mahrez is close behind on 13, as the Foxes continue to top the table against all expectations.
Flores' 4-4-2 system at Watford might look comically old-fashioned at first, but nobody's laughing now, especially after their 3-0 win over Liverpool on Sunday.
With Odion Ighalo notching 12 league goals so far, they continue to confound critics.
Meanwhile, Bilic's strength in raising his team's performances against the traditional big guns have made his return to West Ham a happy one.
Alan Pardew, too, in his first full season in charge of Crystal Palace, has moulded his team into a highly competitive side since taking over in January when the team were in the relegation zone last term.
"People think we’re competing with the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea, but we’ve got a completely different market. We scout differently to the top clubs. If you look at the club historically, we have produced wingers usually from ethnic backgrounds, who have been up against it and have got tricks and skills that they want to show the world and that’s the type of players I like."
- Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew
"The manager deserves great credit for the way Watford are playing. He has come from Spanish football which would involve short intricate passing, but he hasn’t been scared to go long. They are effective and, if they play like that every week, they will give any side a really difficult time."
- Former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness on Watford and their manager Quique Sanchez Flores
"We get confidence from our performances. We are in high spirits, because we have played most teams now, and they know how good we are and we want to keep it going and prove how good we are to everyone."
- Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri