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03rd Jan 2022

Supercomputer predicts Arsenal to pip Spurs to fourth in 2021/22 season

Reuben Pinder

The numbers have been crunched

A ‘supercomputer’* has released its first predictions in 2022 for how the Premier League will look come the end of the season.

*It’s not a supercomputer, it is a complex combination of statistics, coming from various databases including Transfermarkt and Opta, that are crunched in ways neither you or I can really understand, called FiveThirtyEight. Here is a more detailed explanation of how they use data.

They also do non-sporting data stuff, but here, we’re focusing on what the numbers suggest about the Premier League.

It will come as no surprise that FiveThirtyEight has tipped Manchester City to retain their crown as Premier League champions, with an expected 92 points, and a goal difference of +67.

There is, supposedly, an 85 per cent chance that City win the league, with Liverpool clinging onto a 13 per cent chance, and Chelsea taking the remaining two per cent of hope. Every other team, according to this projected table, has <1 per cent chance of being champions.

Slightly further down the table, and despite Antonio Conte’s unbeaten start with Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal are expected to pip them to fourth, with 65 points compared to Spurs’ expected 64.

The rest of the top 10 is pretty standard, though Leicester won’t be encouraged by an expected ninth placed finish – four points lower than their fifth place finish last season.

The bottom half is also not that shocking, with Norwich, Newcastle United and Watford expected to go down, and Burnley escaping the drop by one point on 34.

With Newcastle expected to spend big this month, that could potentially change, but based on their current squad and recent results, the computer believes they are doomed for another relegation.

Everton have been in a sort of semi-crisis almost all season, with their promising start fizzling out soon after Dominic Calvert-Lewin picked up an injury and Rafa Benitez seemingly unable to get his team to sustain any run of form. A 14th place finish would likely see the back of the former Liverpool man, as Everton leap from short-term fix to short-term fix, probably spending another £200m on players the Big Six don’t want for little reward.

Again, this is not a perfect science, but it is all based on data from the first half of the season. If we are to see any real deviations from this, drastic changes will have to be made.