Is there a race for the title? A race to escape relegation? As we approach the start of the 28th game week in the English Premier League, I thought it would be interesting to have a look at the state of the table going into the last 11 weeks of the 19/20 football season, and maybe make some predictions. This season has gone a bit different than years past, and the current table is not what many expected going in.
Let’s start at the bottom: the teams fighting to escape relegation.
If the season were to end right now, West Ham United, Watford, and Norwich City would be relegated, but, luckily for fans of these 3, the season isn’t over just yet! Brighton, Bournemouth, and Aston Villa are all within 10 points of last place, and as any football fan can tell you, a lot can happen in 11 weeks. None of the three bottom teams are behind by too many points yet to be stuck in the relegation bracket. Aston Villa and Bournemouth have been in poor form lately, while Watford has been looking much better than at the start of the season—so it wouldn’t be surprising to see some table movement here in the next few weeks. My own predictions for the relegation bracket are 18. Bournemouth, 19. West Ham, and 20. Norwich.
Moving up to the mid-table:
You might think that I have included too many teams in the mid-table but really these teams are all so close in points to each other that it is hard to pull them apart. In a single week, half of this mid table could be completely different! Every single one of these 10 teams are within only 2 points of the team ahead of them, with only 10 total points separating 5th place Manchester United from 14th place Newcastle United. It doesn’t seem like the teams here will move very far outside of the mid-table as they have no chance at the title at this point, and they would need something shocking to happen to drop down to the relegation bracket this far into the season. In terms of predictions, I see Tottenham dropping lower with some of their key players out, and possibly Burnley and Arsenal coming higher with their surprisingly good recent forms. Another prediction that may be slightly more hopeful than realistic is for Sheffield United to break top 5.
Lastly, the top of the table:
At first glance, this might not seem shocking—these four teams are commonly seen as some of the best of the Premier League in recent years. But looking at the points, you might see something interesting: 22 points separating 1st place Liverpool from 2nd place Manchester City. Liverpool has broken the record this year for the biggest lead in Premier League history and are on their way towards breaking the record for most points in a season as well. This lead means that if Liverpool wins the next four games, then they will have secured the title, as there is no way possible for any other team to surpass them in points. Just to fully grasp the current lead Liverpool has: the point difference between 1st and 2nd place is 22, the point difference between 2nd and 11th is 21, and the point difference between 5th and 20th is 23. Even if you are not a Liverpool fan, you have to acknowledge that their current lead is ridiculous. As a Liverpool fan, this still all feels like a dream, but we may be looking at Liverpool’s first league title in 30 years! Manchester City and Leicester still have a bit of a lead on the rest of the table, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chelsea slip a place or two before the season is over.
This is definitely a very interesting season in terms of the league table: to see such small point differences between the teams in the middle and bottom of the table this far into the season, and such a huge difference between 1st and 2nd place. For many fans of the sport, it should be exciting to watch the very tight battle that will occur over who will get relegated and who will win the coveted top four Champion’s League qualifying spots (or possibly top 5 depending on the result of Manchester City’s recent ban from UEFA).
Do you agree with my predictions and brief analysis? What do you think of the point differentials on the table? Feel free to leave a comment below!
(All photos used from https://www.premierleague.com/tables)