Does the league table after six games tell us who will win the league?

 

 

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by Bulldog Drummond

In the last ten seasons, three times clubs have reached 18 points after six games and each time have had a goal difference of 12 or 13.  So with a 3-0 win Arsenal will get to the 18 points and have a +12 GD

Of course that might seem quite a demand given that we are away at Manchester United, but leaving that aside for the moment let’s stay with the target.   Here is the list of clubs that were top of the league after six games – with Arsenal’s current position after five games in the first club row.

And what we can see in particular is that being top after six games is no guarantee of where the club ends up at the end of the season.

 

Season Team P W D L F A GD Pts End of season
2022/23 Arsenal 5 5 0 0 13 4 9 15
2021/22 Liverpool 6 4 2 0 15 4 11 14 2
2020/21 Everton 6 4 1 1 14 9 5 13 10
2019/20 Liverpool 6 6 0 0 17 5 12 18 1
2018/19 Liverpool 6 6 0 0 14 2 12 18 2
2017/18 Manchester City 6 5 1 0 21 2 19 16 1
2016/17 Manchester City 6 6 0 0 18 5 13 18 3
2015/16 Manchester City 6 5 0 1 12 2 10 15 4
2014/15 Chelsea 6 5 1 0 19 7 12 16 1
2013/14 Arsenal 6 5 0 1 13 7 6 15 4
2012/13 Chelsea 6 5 1 0 11 3 8 16 3

 

However, although being top at this stage doesn’t guarantee winning anything, on the other hand only once in these years has the club that has been top of the league after six games not ended up in the top four by the end of the season.  Three of the clubs that were top after six games went on to win the league that season.

On the other hand, the worst that can happen to Arsenal is that the club says top of the league.  It is also interesting to note that three of the “big six” are actually somewhat off the pace – although all six clubs are now in the top eight.

 

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 5 5 0 0 13 4 9 15
2 Manchester City 6 4 2 0 20 6 14 14
3 Tottenham Hotspur 6 4 2 0 12 5 7 14
4 Brighton and Hove Albion 5 3 1 1 6 3 3 10
5 Chelsea 6 3 1 2 8 9 -1 10
6 Liverpool 6 2 3 1 15 6 9 9
7 Brentford 6 2 3 1 15 9 6 9
8 Manchester United 5 3 0 2 5 7 -2 9

 

Let’s have a look at the home and away records of Arsenal and Manchester United in relation to the forthcoming game…

 

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
14 Manchester United home 2 1 0 1 3 3 0 3
1 Arsenal away 2 2 0 0 5 0 5 6

 

This however may be a bit unfair in that only two games have been played by each club so let’s go back to last season.

 

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
5 Manchester United home 19 10 5 4 32 22 10 35
6 Arsenal away 19 9 1 9 26 31 -5 28

 

Certainly last season Manchester United were better performers at home than Arsenal were away – but overall in the league this season Manchester United have fallen short of Arsenal’s position.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 5 5 0 0 13 4 9 15
5 Manchester United 5 3 0 2 5 7 -2 9

 

Arsenal are scoring 2.6 goals a game while Manchester United are scoring just one.   Arsenal are conceding 0.8 goals a game while Manchester United are conceding 1.4.

Historically Manchester United are one of the few clubs that has beaten Arsenal more than the reverse (100 wins for them, 86 for us), but we have been pulling things back our way of late.  In the last seven league games between the two, Arsenal have won four, two have been drawn, and only one has been won by Manchester United.

 

Date Match Res Score Competition
10 Mar 2019 Arsenal v Manchester United W 2-0 Premier League
30 Sep 2019 Manchester United v Arsenal D 1-1 Premier League
01 Jan 2020 Arsenal v Manchester United W 2-0 Premier League
01 Nov 2020 Manchester United v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
30 Jan 2021 Arsenal v Manchester United D 0-0 Premier League
02 Dec 2021 Manchester United v Arsenal L 3-2 Premier League
23 Apr 2022 Arsenal v Manchester United W 3-1 Premier League

 

What does strike me is that for the last nine seasons, Manchester United have been zigzagging around the top seven places in a somewhat similar way to that of Arsenal…

 

Club Position No of times position reached in last nine years.
Manchester United 2 2
Arsenal 2 1
Manchester United 3 1
Arsenal 3 1
Manchester United 4 1
Arsenal 4 1
Manchester United 5 1
Arsenal 5 3
Manchester United 6 3
Arsenal 6 1
Manchester United 7 1
Arsenal 7 0
Manchester United 8 0
Arsenal 8 2

 

The records are not identical but there is a similarity that seems to link the clubs just as happened in the early days of Wenger v Ferguson.  Although in the early days of that battle it was fought out over the top two places, more recently it has been fought out in lower reaches of the league.  But it is still a battle between the two to see which can recover a regular top four slot, and then which can push up and challenge the top two.

 

2 Replies to “Does the league table after six games tell us who will win the league?”

  1. Breaking news on BBC, the Prem League are to review the operation of VAR with the PGMOL
    About bloody time!

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