Does the league table lie?

You know the old adage – ‘the league table never lies’…..well sometimes it does. Or at least it does not always give a real reflection of teams’ actual quality especially at the midway point of a season. Whether it is luck, a bad spate of injuries, or perhaps a fixture list that is heavily weighted in terms of quality or home/away fixtures, there can be mitigating instances for under or over performance for a team’s league standing.

While the short term nature of the major football leagues around the world does not lend to a longer term perspective when relegation and the risk of losing millions in income is a very real threat, analysing a longer period of time, can sometimes reveal some pretty interesting and damning facts and stats.

We’ve taken the whole of last season along with the twenty games of this season and ordered the teams in the Premier League by points per game for the 58 games. We’ve done this specifically to cater for the promoted teams whose data only relates to this season.

Any surprises?