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July 2021

With Chelsea winning the league where does that leave the rush for the other CL places?

By Bulldog Drummond

Although it was largely missed due to the mass hysteria of Chelsea winning the league, there was another match last night: Everton beat Watford 1-0.  Rather amusingly Statto has made a mistake in its calculations and have Everton above Arsenal in the league, but just in case that is where you started your viewing, I can tell you it is not the case.

If you want to see the table according to Statto it is here, although they could of course correct it at any time.  And I must be fair – is a masterpiece of statistics, and they most certainly are allowed the occasional blip.

But as a result of last night the actual table looks as below – and here we have it with two columns added at the end to show the highest and lowest positions that each club could reach if results turned out in the most extreme way (which often they don’t but occasionally they do).

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts Max High Low
1 Chelsea 36 28 3 5 76 29 47 87 93 1 1
2 Tottenham Hotspur 35 23 8 4 71 23 48 77 86 2 4
3 Liverpool 36 20 10 6 71 42 29 70 78 2 5
4 Manchester City 35 20 9 6 70 37 33 69 78 2 5
5 Arsenal 35 20 6 9 68 42 26 66 75 3 6
6 Manchester United 35 17 14 4 51 27 24 65 74 3 6
7 Everton 37 17 10 10 61 41 20 61 64 7 7
8 West Bromwich 36 12 9 15 41 46 -5 45 51 8 15

Both Liverpool and Manchester City could overtake Tottenham in second, but such a course of action is unlikely given that Tottenham has a better goal difference and need just one point from three games effectively to secure second place.

Arsenal coming third is slightly less unlikely than Tottenham slipping from second but it means seeing scenarios such as Arsenal winning all three games remaining while Liverpool and Manchester City each win no more than one.

But what about coming in the “not a trophy” position of fourth, and thus re-entering the Champs League.   In essence that means that even if Arsenal win all three games one of Liverpool or Man City must only win one match.  In theory Man City could win two and still be overtaken, but then Arsenal would have to be winning by large margins and Man City lose their third match by a large margin – it seems not worth considering.   Liverpool with just two to play look our most likely target.

And just for the benefit of the aaa naysayers who like to hang around the site, Arsenal’s lowest possible position is sixth, which means that we will either have Europa or Champions League games next season.  The fact that West Brom could come as low as 15th reflects the bunching of clubs below them.

But to sink that low would mean a series of results at the end of the season, not seen since 1938 when on the very last day of the season any two from seven could go down depending on the results of that day.  In the end, on that final day Grimsby, Portsmouth, Birmingham, and Stoke won, to stay up, while Man City and WBA lost to get relegated.  Quite remarkable since Manchester City were the defending champions at the time.

Arsenal won the league – but to do so they needed Wolverhampton to do worse than them on the final day.  Wolves obliged.  You can read the amazing story of that final month of the campaign in 1938 in the Arsenal History Society article on April and May 1938

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But back to the present, Tottenham are likely to finish second this season, just as Arsenal did last season, and it will quite possibly cause outbreaks of wild celebrations in certain parts of the country.   For this will be the first time Tottenham have come second since 1962/3 – and thus a remarkable achievement for them.   The first time in 54 years.  They have however come third seven times – although one of those was in the second division (which got them promotion).

So 54 years with a second to add to their seven thirds.

And what of Arsenal during this period?   In those 54 years Arsenal have come top of the league six times, come second seven times and third six times.  Of course neither second nor third is not a trophy, but with a 54 year record such as Tottenham have, we can understand it might feel like it.

As for Arsenal this season, our final position, as noted above, depends on Liverpool and Man City.  Liverpool have West Ham away and Middlesbrough at home – neither should be particularly tough for them, but Tottenham did have a little mishap against West Ham at the Taxpayers.

Manchester City have Leicester and West Brom at home and Watford away.   It is hard to see much of a slip up there, and certainly not two slips.

Of late however Man City have drawn with Man U and Middlesbrough, while Liverpool have these rather interesting results

  • Watford 0 Liverpool 1
  • Liverpool 0 Southampton 0
  • Liverpool 1 Crystal Palace 2

The problem for Arsenal is that neither Man City nor Liverpool have to win all of their matches to secure a top four spot.  But then that is exactly the scenario in which clubs do slip up.

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11 comments to With Chelsea winning the league where does that leave the rush for the other CL places?

  • Gwin

    @Drummond, your table is being a little generous to Liverpool with 2points. The highest points they can garner is 76points.
    Thus, if we can win our remaining matches and they draw one match, we will be in champions league place.

  • Josif

    Unfortunately, my prediction about Chavs winning the league written in a comment section on 12th August 2016 came true as well as the reasons for that prediction.

    My other predictions were less correct as I had predicted Tiny Totes and Liverpool out of Top 4 (still can happen for Liverpool though) with Man City and Man United joining two biggest London clubs in Champions League.

    My prediction that PGMO would try everything to help Man United to win the title again but also that it wouldn’t be enough were also pretty close to truth, especially given the referees review by UA as Man United should have been far worse on the table than they are now.

    What I didn’t expect, not even in my worst nightmares, was another season with Santi getting injured for six months and none of our midfielders being ready to step up in his absence. Fortunately, the manager has found Ramsey-Xhaka combination that works in this system better than it was in 4-2-3-1.

    Even if we don’t win a CL place… Well, a season in Europa League might be a good thing for us. Easier opponents mean we could rest most of our best players for the league until the latter stages of EL. That would mean our second string would be in action and in form while our first string would concentrate solely on beating PGMO’s “ABA”-agenda.

  • Adi

    pep on neville criticism.
    “Challenges that are fouls in other countries are not fouls here and contact is more allowed. “

  • Gord

    Come on Leicester!

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Amazing play by David Silva. He is clearly offside (draped over the defender’s backside, before touching the ball as it goes by) and it is given as a goal. We’re not talking about 2 yards offside but for the defender to back up he would have had to go THROUGH Silva.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    With Okazaki reducing the tally of the 2 goals lead they fell behind Man City to 1 goal lead at half time, the natural question that’s beg for answer is, can Leicester hold Man City at the final whistle of this match to give the Gunners more courage and to pick up these 2 points looking to be dropped by Man City as bonus points in addition to the 3 points they are set to collect in their match against Stoke City later today to make it 5 gained points?

  • Polo

    Manchester City was lucky to get away with the penalty, unbelievable.

    Congratulations to Chelsea on winning the league, I was hoping they do it on last game, now they can rest and concentrate on the FA Cup, not an ideal situation. I hope Arsenal don’t get burned out chasing fourth place.

  • Gord

    The mdja is saying that _ALL_ Gooners are mad about Mahrez missing a chance to score. It hasn’t even been mentioned here.

    Mdja must be out of touch, eh?

  • Gord

    Ahh, SAA I think has cleared that up. Mahrez missed a penalty at 77m.

  • Gord

    Come on Swansea, score at least another 12 goals!

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Our hopes rest with Liverpool! dropping points not ManCity. The goal differential is too great.