Same as after 261 games, with the important races at the top, and a data dump at the bottom.
The European spots
Last time round qualcompTSR projected the race would finish like this.
The same four teams are still in contention although, as I said at the time, Everton were long shots to get in, and after todays draw we can pretty much rule them out (factoring in their inferior goal difference I think they’d need to pick up at least 15 points over their final seven games to have a good chance of the top five). How do the teams compare in terms of their ability to control the ball, and that of the opponents they’ll face the rest of the way?
So qualcompTSR suggests the teams are ranked Spurs > Arsenal > Chelsea/Everton in terms of their ability to control the ball. Whilst Spurs are the best team they have one game fewer to play than Arsenal (who also face slightly easier opponents) and Chelsea (who face much tougher opponents and are the worst team of the three).
Working in Chelsea’s favour is a game in hand over Spurs and two points over Arsenal however they face an incredibly difficult set of opponents over their final seven games. Highlights include trips to Anfield and Old Trafford, as well as hosting Spurs, City, and Everton. They’re going to need all of that head start.
I’ve left Everton on there, not because they’re too likely hit one of the top 5 spots, but it’s worth showing just how close they’ve come against clubs with far more resources.
So this is how qualcompTSR projects 3rd-6th to look at the end of the season.
There’s not been a huge change in the last five to six games, but Arsenal picked up three points more than expected over their last five games, and Spurs took one-two fewer, and the top three have bunched very nicely as a result. In short – it’s tight, and it’s going to be fun to watch.
The relegation battle
I’ve said Reading and QPR are essentially gone since the season was 15 games old, and nothings changed. I’m going to stop even considering them in these posts – it would just be me stating it’d be a massive shock if one of them were to survive.
Sunderland and Stoke have been dragged into the mix in recent weeks, and join Wigan and Villa as the candidates for the final Championship spot. Here’s how the underlying numbers compare.
Basically qualcompTSR suggests we have three terrible teams, who deserve to be in a relegation fight, and Wigan, who are currently bottom of the pile (albeit with a game in hand). There’s an inverse correlation between how good each team is and the quality of opposition they have still to face. In theory that sets things up beautifully for the run in.
So it’s tight, but DiCanio has a big job on his hand. That being said, one surprise victory could be the difference between 15th and 18th, and random variation dwarfs the variation due to talent over a sample size of 6-7 games. This one is also boiling along nicely.
To be scheduled – Chelsea v Spurs
Monday, 29th April – Villa v Sunderland
Saturday, 4th May – Sunderland v Stoke
Sunday, 19th May – Villa v Wigan
United will win the title – beyond that there’s basically nothing important to know.
Click on any of the tables for a full size version. The black lines indicate separating two teams indicates where the league average lies.