Just a single point separates the top five in the Premier League currently, which justifies the pre-season narrative that this could be one of the closest and most competitive title races in years. At such an early stage though, it’s a little soon to be making solid judgements on form, as even within the first nine games we have seen Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City go from looking unbeatable to a team littered with vulnerability. We’ve decided to see what the top of the table would look like if we were to extend the form book into the end of last season, and what effect that would have on the standings. Firstly, let’s see what the current top 10 looks like:
As previously discussed, the table is tightly packed at the top, with Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool having near identical records. An important factor to consider though, is the variables thrown up by the fixture list; both Chelsea and Liverpool have had the toughest run so far, and will perhaps feel more positive about their prospects compared to their rivals given the fact they have got some big games out of the way (Chelsea alone have played Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and Leicester City in their opening nine matches). Arsenal on the other hand, have had a relatively easy run of games (on paper), but will face Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Everton and Manchester City before Christmas.
Last season’s champions Leicester City are nowhere to be seen in this table, but what happens if we extend to the last 20 games?
Finally, let’s see what the tables would look like if we were to include the last 38 games played:
In summary we can see that Manchester City, despite their current mini-slump, have gradually been improving their form, and the same can be said of both Chelsea and Everton who are enjoying brighter periods. At the other end of the spectrum, Leicester City and West Ham have seen a downturn in fortunes but of course, at this early juncture we shouldn’t be writing these teams off just yet. What is clear is that the top half of the table is more competitive than ever – gone are the days of the ‘big four’; seven different teams occupy the Champions League spots across our three tables, so it promises to be an exciting and unpredictable race for those berths as this season progresses.