THE STATISTICAL APPROACH TO HOW WELL TEAMS WILL DO THIS SEASON

NUREMBERG, GERMANY - JULY 08: Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal celebrates with teammates after their sides fourth goal after an own goal by Tim Handwerker of 1.FC Nuernberg (not pictured) during the pre-season friendly match between 1. FC Nürnberg and Arsenal F.C. at Max-Morlock-Stadion on July 08, 2022 in Nuremberg, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

THE STATISTICAL APPROACH TO HOW WELL TEAMS WILL DO THIS SEASON

The newspapers and websites are full of predictions about how well various clubs will do in the coming season, and the consensus among them (be they those that claim to have nicked time on one of the most expensive computers in the country, or those that let their journalists make simple predictions) is that for the first time ever in the history of the Premier League the top four will remain the same next season, as it was last season.

But Untold, as you may know, likes to do things with numbers, so instead of lying through our teeth about having a supercomputer, we used a desktop calculator and look at three figures.

First, the points per game (PPG) for the seasons 2020/21 and 2021/22, and then for the last six games in 2021/22, just to look for any trends.

Pos Team PPG 20/21 PPG 21/22 Increase PPG last six 21/22 increase
1 Manchester City 2.27 2.45 0.18 2.67 0.22
2 Liverpool 1.82 2.42 0.60 2.67 0.25
3 Chelsea 1.76 1.95 0.19 1.50 -0.45
4 Tottenham Hotspur 1.63 1.87 0.24 2.33 0.46
5 Arsenal 1.61 1.82 0.21 2.00 0.18
6 Manchester United 1.95 1.53 -0.42 0.66 -0.87
7 West Ham United 1.71 1.47 -0.24 0.83 -0.64
8 Leicester City 1.74 1.39 -0.35 1.67 0.28
9 Brighton and Hove 1.08 1.34 0.26 1.83 0.49
10 Wolverhampton W 1.18 1.34 0.16 0.33 -1.01
11 Newcastle United 1.18 1.29 0.11 2.00 0.71

So let’s see what this tells us.

Clubs always increasing – that is to say doing better in 2021/2 than in 2020/21 and then doing better in the last six games of 2021.2 than the season as a whole.

Pos Team PPG 20/21 PPG 21/22 Increase PPG last six 21/22 increase
1 Manchester City 2.27 2.45 0.18 2.67 0.22
2 Liverpool 1.82 2.42 0.60 2.67 0.25
4 Tottenham Hotspur 1.63 1.87 0.24 2.33 0.46
5 Arsenal 1.61 1.82 0.21 2.00 0.18
9 Brighton and Hove 1.08 1.34 0.26 1.83 0.49
11 Newcastle United 1.18 1.29 0.11 2.00 0.71

 

Amazingly six out of the 11 clubs looked at have improvement in terms of points per game both between 2020/21 and 2021/2, and between 2021/2 as a whole and the last six games of the season.

Contrasting with this, where are the clubs in decline?  In fact there were only two clubs that got fewer points per game in 2021/22 as opposed to 2020/21 AND got fewer points per game in the last six games of 2021/22 as opposed to the season as a whole.

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