White lies, black lies, and statistics – Do they show the outcome of this year’s EPL title race?

White lies, black lies, and statistics – the outcome of this year’s Premier League title race

An old proverb defines three types of lies: white lies, black lies, and statistics. This entire post is a lie, but a conscious lie with no intentions of cheating. There are now ten rounds left of the PL season. Looking at the last ten games, here are my conclusions regarding how it will all pan out.

It surely won’t end this way and I know that, but statistics can be great fun anyhow. Not least when there is no game in sight for yet another week… So here goes.

Arsenal sit on top of the league. The last eight games each ended in three points for us. In case the next ten games are equally successful, we will end up at 94 points and only a tremendous run from Liverpool, winning as much but scoring more and conceding less goals than us, could possibly make us number 2. However. Our last ten games include two losses, against Fulham and West Ham, remember? We will thus take 24, not 30 points over the ten games to come. I am sorry, but ManCity are in a better run of form than us, having picked up 26 points in the last ten – drawing only twice, against Chelsea and Liverpool. And then, what about Liverpool? They have lost once, against the Gunners – and drawn once, against Man City. Still, this is better than us, one point better to be precise – 25 points in the last ten games for Liverpool.

If we disregard the general pressure of two games per week, the possibility of injuries, dubious VAR decisions, points deduction due to economic misconduct and so on and so forth, statistics tells us the following:

Man City, currently at 63, will get 26 more and end up with 89 points. Liverpool, currently at 64, will get 25 more and end up with 89 points as well. Only goal difference will separate the two. Arsenal, currently at 64, will get 24 more and end up with 88 points. Sorry, Gooners, but we’ll be one point short and finish as bronze medalists!

How about the next in line?

Aston Villa, currently at 56 with nine games left to play, will get 15,3 more and end up with 71,3 points (sorry, stupid number, but statistics are statistics!). Tottenham, currently at 53, will get 17 more and end up with 70 points. Saint Totteringham’s Day will surely be celebrated soon, folks!

ManUtd, currently at 47, will get 19 more and end up with 66 points. Conference League in sight for the Red Devils. Wolves, currently at 41, will get 19 more and end up with 60 points. Brighton, currently at 42, will get 15 more and end up with 57 points. WestHam, currently at 44 with nine games left to play, will get 9,9 more and end up with 53,9 points. Saudi supported Newcastle, currently at 40 will get only 11 more and end up with 51 points.

How do you feel, Gooners? Can statistics have anything meaningful to tell us, or is this game of numbers just a waste of time?

-Per Pippin Aspaas

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  1. An interesting but rather deliberately fantasizing piece overall.

    Stats, when sensible used over a decent enough time perod, but still in presnt times, CAN, though sometimes do NOT, act as a decent guide as to what MAY follow

    Clearly in this piece , the writer was attempting to make a point, by then using stats in a deliberately unwise way.

    The opening and importantly the qualified part of his piece shows us he IS A THINKER, so I hope he will write more often and more seriously and soon.
    By showing how foolish the reliance on unwisely used stats can be, he did us a service I would suggest.
    Perhaps he might wish to write another piece on stats,though this time using them wisely.
    Inreality, when w the three rival run in, EACH andEVERY game all three play during that run in is by iself, a game worth seriously looking , and in intelligent fashion, at ALL RELEVANT STATS FOR THAT PARTICULAR GAME.
    The devil is always in the INTENSELY CONSIDERED tiny details, IMO!

    I feel that if he does, he would get more considered Gooner responses.

  2. “Lies, damn lies and statistics.” Mark Twain (who apparently attributed it to Benjamin Disraeli but not found on record). The past in football can give an indication as to what may happen but only broadly i.e. of you look at the stats of all Premier league teams combined win ratio against 1st Division opponents, you may find a high win ratio for Premier league teams and predict an outcome between Premier League Vs First Division opponents. It will not accurately predict the correct outcome every time but you’d be daft to bet against a Premier league team, if playing a First Division team but that’s as far as it goes. The sample of games in this example is the past 10 games, in an already unpredictable sport, that being the Premier league where Fulham can beat Arsenal or Liverpool losing to Wolves, such a small sample is not enough to predict an outcome. In fact, no matter the size sample of data, you could not predict the title race because the Premier league is so unpredictable. Fully expect many more twists and turns in the last 10 games- history is no predictor otherwise records would never be broken. We can do this, finish top and even win the Champion league, why not. A bit of luck, a dodgy decision or two against opponents and some plucky courage and grit from our boys and you just never know, we may still do the double. Come on Arsenal! ❤️🤍

  3. AndyE, the win ratio over the last games gives a psychological advantage to those teams that are on a winning streak and a psychological disadvatage to those that struggle. It is also the question of “did we ever beat team x on their home turf?” Looking ahead to the next game, I think that ManCity perhaps remember their recent defeats at the Emirates and in the Community Shield. More importantly, they will compare Arsenal’s against their own current form and perhaps feel a bit shaky. In this way, in the psychological preparations to each game, statistiscs MAY play a role, don’t you think?

  4. Not really sure why you mention Villa and Spurs. Neither will win the league, neither expected to at the start of the season. But if we end up with five champions league spots then you will have two very happy sets of supporters. As for the rest, whoever holds it together best will win.

    1. Yes, jod — the title is a bit misleading, sorry about that. I also wanted to explore (strictly for the fun of it, it has to be said) how teams striving for the last CL spot, the Europa League sports etc. are likely to be doing.

  5. For PPA
    You have used simple mathematics and statistics (which I actually like) to predict the outcome which may well be correct.
    I have more or less predicted the same thing that we would finish on 88 points (marginal tweak with us finishing 2nd behind either Liverpool or Man City). But I really hope that both of us are wrong.

    1. I fully agree, IndianGunnerLondon — I really hope that we are wrong and that Arsenal will actually finish 1st! Having said this, statistics suggests a really close race, regardless Sunday’s result at the Etihad. On paper, we can ‘afford’ to lose one game and still win the league. But, but… there is also the psychological side to it. A draw against City would be way better than a loss — not to speak of the boost generated by 3 points, of course.

  6. There’s something lost in the interpretation of the headline, but I get the idea.
    I’m expecting 3 draws and no losses from the last 10 games, giving us 88 pts. Can’t really say if that’s a winning total, but it will have still been a damn good season for us.

    1. I totally agree, Jax, in case we reach 88 pts that will be fantastic. Last year ended like this:
      1. ManCity 89 pts
      2. Arsenal 84 pts
      3. ManUtd 75 pts
      4. Newcastle 71 pts
      5. Liverpool 67 pts
      So, even if we reach 88 pts and finish third, we can say that we have improved since our fabulous 2022/23 season ;-).

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