How many points does it usually take to win the league: or come fourth?

By Tony Attwood

A question was raised in the office: is the Premier League getting harder to win?  And the, is it getting harder to get into the top four or into the Europa by coming sixth?

And then since we had started asking questions another popped up: are the bottom clubs finding it harder and harder to stay in the league?

None of us was quite sure, so we decided to make a little chart.  It is actually a very simple chart but none of us could recall seeing it before.

It shows how many points team in certain positions got each year.  (And a quick note – we didn’t use a super computer, as the media always claim, but never actually use.  This was done on a DT47 calculator powered by sunlight.

So here are the number of points for clubs each season in four key positions.

Season 1st 4th 6th 18th
2021 86 67 65 28
2020 99 66 59 34
2019 98 71 66 34
2018 100 75 63 33
2017 93 76 69 34
2016 81 66 63 37
2015 87 70 62 35
2014 86 79 69 33
2013 89 73 63 36

So the answer is, that yes, from 2017 through to 2020 the number of points gained by the club winning the league was some way in excess of the number of points achieved in the previous four years.

Between 2017 and 2020 we had four successive seasons in which the top team got 93 points or more, whereas in the previous four years the number of winning points was in the 80s.

Then we wondered about fourth place.  Here there was more consistency with just one outlier – 79 points to come fourth in 2014, but mostly the high 60s or low 70s would do it.

Sixth place was even more regular with for the most part something between 62 and 69 being sufficient.

So ok, what about the relegation clubs?  How many points did the 18th get, while being relegated?  The answer was between 24 and 37 over a nine-year period.   Only last season with 28 points for the 18th team was the pattern broken.

As for this season it looks like the winners will achieve a number of points similar to that between 2017 and 2020.  If the fourth-placed club gets around 72 points that again will be within the range of much of the last ten years.

Similar again for the sixth placed team – one would expect them to be in the mid-60s.  And yes for the 18th team, again something similar to what we have seen in recent years.

So we can say, yes the Premier League is pretty much running along now as it was before.  The one big change has been a move from clubs winning the league by getting 81 to 89 points to clubs winning the league between 93 and 100.

But the league is more static than changeable – at least for the moment.

Here’s the league table, just in case you have forgotten what it looks like…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 35 27 5 3 89 21 68 86
2 Liverpool 35 25 8 2 87 23 64 83
3 Chelsea 35 19 10 6 70 31 39 67
4 Arsenal 35 21 3 11 56 42 14 66
5 Tottenham Hotspur 35 19 5 11 60 40 20 62
6 Manchester United 37 16 10 11 57 56 1 58

So at the risk of looking incredibly silly, here’s our rough and ready projection of the final points total

Team Pts
1 Manchester City 92
2 Liverpool 89
3 Arsenal 72
4 Chelsea 71
5 Tottenham Hotspur 66
6 Manchester United 62

One can but hope.

6 Replies to “How many points does it usually take to win the league: or come fourth?”

  1. so Arsenal gonna be defeated once in their upcoming (last) 3 matches, that’s kinda interesting takes. for me, i really hope we can avoid anymore defeat this season (it’s suck we’re on 11 already) and keep this winning/undefeated runs going, so we can finish the season strongly and on a positive note. the team will also have (for motivation) that streak/run to protect and can use that as one of the main objectives for them to fight for at the start of next season. strong start can be crucial and also give momentum to the team, that we really want them to challenge from the start

  2. Five different stories appeared on within 18 minutes of each other today. All of them were of the format “Arsenal should complete £XXm ……. transfer because …..”. All of them named a different striker! The total value of these players (according to was £274m. They actually think we should sign 5 strikers. Clueless. are a joke.

  3. sorry but Man Utd only got 1 game left and if they win, their final points tally should be 61 points

  4. @seismic,

    IMHO we’ve already got the striker we need. He is a youngster, homegrown and is growing into the position more and more.
    When was the last time we scored a goal like the first against Leeds ? One of these goals that happen when the striker keeps harrassing the defense and the goalie ?
    Giroud ? Van Persie ?

    I’d rather they sign him a big salary and a sign-on bonus then get some unknown who then needs month to get used to a) the team, b) the manager, c) London, d) PGMOL, e) the torrent of hatred and BS spewed by the so-called press and social networks.

    As for Lacazette, It makes sense that he may want to play more and I really like the guy. Reliable and looks like a leader. Tough choices to make. Then, we’ll have 4 competitions to go for this year, so the squad needs depth and his experience and leadership are worth a lot as well.

    Get Eddie his contract, keep Lacazette and that settles it. And find at least one more left back.

    Ain’t fantasy football easy ?!?!

    by the way, the Bundesliga is bleeding talent. Expect

  5. Will Chelsea’s sale valuation be affected if they finish outside the CL qualifying positions? Does their current valuation include £1.5 billion of debt racked up under Abramovitch? Will he want it back? If not, should the PL FFP people be taking a long, hard look at things.

    The answer to all of these questions is, of course, an emphatic NO.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

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