Liverpool to finish top four? Can Everton stay up? Ranking Premier League title, top four, relegation races
Back in 2020, in the first few months of the pandemic, I appreciated every season in the Premier League because… well, what else was I supposed to do? On a number of factors, such as the quality of the title race and overall week-to-week uncertainty, the 1997-98 season came out on top.
In the same year, Arsenal made up a 13-point gap mid-season, surpassing Manchester United to win the league. Three big clubs Everton, Newcastle and Tottenham were seriously flirting with relegation, and the gap between first place and first place relegation at the end of the season was only 38 points. Last year, the same gap was 58 points. Hell, the gap between first and eighth was 41 points. The thing is, in 1998, anything could happen on any weekend.
Fast-forward 25 years and this could be true once again. The balance in the title race seems to shift with every goal scored by or against Manchester City and Arsenal. The top 4 race is the biggest and most unpredictable in recent memory; 7-0, anyone? And almost half of the league is within six points of the bottom of the table. Turn on the TV on a Saturday or Sunday and chances are you’ll find a game with huge implications for a title, top 4 or relegation – if not all of the above.
As the chaos is likely to continue until the end of the season, let’s take a look at all the teams involved in the various Premier League battles and try to give some context. Using FiveThirtyEight Probabilities, I’ve ranked all 16 teams according to their likelihood of reaching their goals, and I’ve included only those teams that have at least a 5% chance of doing what they want. So, we apologize to Fulham, Brentford, Chelsea and Aston Villa. enjoy watching everyone else go crazy!