How the PL top six’s points totals compare to previous seasons
While Liverpool are running away with the Premier League, lower down the table we’ve got an intriguing situation taking shape.
Chelsea are clinging on to the fourth and final Champions League spot, despite losing six of their last 12 games, with no one rushing to claw them back.
With this in mind, we’ve taken a look at the last decade of Premier League tables to see if the speed at which teams are picking up points is changing compared to years past.
1st – Liverpool
With 64 points from 22 games, Liverpool would finish the season with 110 points if they kept things up at this rate (well, mathematically speaking it’s closer to 111, but it’s already impossible for them to pick up exactly that many.
As we all know, the highest ever total for a Premier League winner is 100, from Manchester City in 2017-18, while the lowest of the 2010s came right at the start of the decade when Manchester United finished on 80 in 2010-11.
The average across the period is 89 points, a mark which Jurgen Klopp’s team can surpass before the end of March if they win their next nine games.
It's almost certainly not going to happen but Liverpool can still match the 98-99 United treble, the 03-04 Arsenal Invincibles & the City 100 point campaign all in the same season.
Which confirms that Chelsea letting in only 15 goals in 2004-05 is the best one.
— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) January 10, 2020
2nd – Manchester City
City’s 51 points from 24 games would equate to 81 for a full season, enough to win the league in one of the last nine seasons and tie with 2015-16 Champions Leicester.
It would put them bang in the middle of the second-place finishers, though, with Liverpool’s 97 points last season the high water mark and two teams – Arsenal in 2015-16 and Chelsea in 2010-11 – finishing on 71.
In terms of the mean average, we’re looking at 82 points for the season, meaning City are more or less bang average all the way. It just looks worse due to Liverpool’s flying start.
3rd – Leicester City
The Foxes are on course for a second top-four finish since returning to the top-flight in 2014, with their 48 points from 24 games making our maths very easy – that’s exactly two per game, or 76 across a 38-game season.
Three teams did better in the 2010s while still finishing third, with Chelsea’s 82 points in 2013-14 only five behind the Blues’ title-winning tally from the following season. At the other end of the scale we have Spurs, who needed just 70 points for a top-three finish in 2015-16.
The average across the decade is just over 74 points, despite none of the third-place finishers ending up on exactly 74.
4th – Chelsea
The Blues are fourth with 40 points from 24 games, putting them on course for a final tally of 63. For context, that’s fewer than Manchester United picked up under David Moyes.
Somehow, though, it’s only three points off the worst of the 2010s, with that honour going to Manchester City with 66 points in 2015-16. The highest fourth-place tally came two years earlier, where Arsenal – top in February, finished fourth with 79.
72 is the average across the period, and Frank Lampard’s men are some way away from that.
Chelsea couldn’t have picked a better season for their post-Hazard rebuild. Spurs seem at the end of a cycle, Arsenal are trying to reinvent themselves and United are in the biggest mess of my lifetime #CFC
— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) January 22, 2020
5th – Manchester United
With 34 points from 24 games, Man Utd’s projected target of 54 wouldn’t even be enough for the top seven in some previous years (last year, Wolves finished seventh with 57).
No other fifth-place finisher has been close to that low points-wise, with Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham (62 in 2010-11) the closest. Arsenal’s class of 2016-17 picked up 75 points, good enough for the top four in most other seasons. Wonder what happened to the man in charge that year…
On average, you’ll need 68 points to finish fifth, with five of the last nine occupants finishing in the 70s.
6th – Tottenham
Jose Mourinho’s Spurs are level on points with United, meaning they’re also on track for a 54-point season. Again, no sixth-place team has ended with fewer.
There’s a tie at the top, with another Mourinho side, the 2016-17 incarnation of Manchester United, finishing on 69 points, the same tally as Spurs themselves in 2013-14. At the other end of the scale, Kenny Dalglish dragged Liverpool to sixth with 58 points in 2010-11 after half a season of Roy Hodgson.
That Liverpool side is the only sixth-place finisher not to make it to 60 points, with the average sitting at a healthy 64.