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Is this the most competitive title race in history?

Discussion in 'The Football Forum' started by Dreambeliever, Jan 10, 2019 at 21:30.

  1. Dreambeliever

    Dreambeliever Looking on the brightside HAHA! Member

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    The numbers say yes.



    Premier League title race: Liverpool and their challengers are breaking records

    By Simon Gleave
    Head of sports analysis, Gracenote
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    In almost any other year, Liverpool would be nailed on to win the Premier League.
    Only three top-flight teams in the last 113 years have recorded a better points total after 21 matches than Liverpool (re-calculating all seasons to three points for a win).
    But the Reds find themselves doing this in a season in which the points totals for the teams in second and third are unprecedented.
    A team with a points total as big as Liverpool's could usually expect to have a lead in double figures at this point.
    But with a gap of only four points to second-placed Manchester City, Liverpool do not have that luxury.
    The Euro Club Index - a ranking of all European teams - estimates Liverpool's chance of winning the league at 56.6%, ahead of Manchester City's 33.5% and Tottenham Hotspur's 8.6%.
    Even fourth-placed Chelsea, 10 points behind Liverpool, cannot be written off yet as the Blues have a 1% chance of a shock title win.
    In fact, Chelsea's total of 44 points is the joint highest for a fourth-placed team at this stage.
    Here is how dominant the Premier League's top sides have been this season:
    Liverpool being made to work

    Recent attention has concentrated on Liverpool failing to win the league title when leading at Christmas but in each of those seasons, their lead was small.
    In fact, the leads Liverpool had at Christmas in 2008 and 2013 had already been lost by this point. The only previous Premier League season in which Liverpool led after 21 matches was 1996-97 - by two points from Arsenal and four ahead of eventual champions Manchester United.
    This season Liverpool are another beast altogether, recording one of the best opening 21 matches in the English top flight since 1905-1906, when 20 teams competed for the first time.
    Normally such a start would result in a sizeable lead at this stage but Liverpool's four-point cushion is the smallest of any team with at least 52 points at this stage.
    Every team with at least 52 points after 21 matches has been crowned English champions, with Chelsea's five-point lead over Arsenal in 2004-05 the smallest.
    Clubs with at least 52 points after 21 top-flight matches since 1905-1906
    Preston North End (1888-1889) and Sunderland (1892-1893) would also qualify but their seasons were only 22 and 30 matches long respectively. All seasons recalculated to three points for a win - information provided by Gracenote.
    SeasonClubPoints after 21 gamesFinal positionClosest challengers (points)
    2017-18Man City59ChampionsChelsea (45)
    2005-06Chelsea58ChampionsMan Utd (45)
    1960-61Tottenham56ChampionsWolves, Burnley, Everton (45)
    2018-19Liverpool54?Man City (50)
    1907-08Man Utd53ChampionsSheffield Wednesday (38)
    2006-07Man Utd53ChampionsChelsea (47)
    1987-88Liverpool53ChampionsNottingham Forest (43)
    2012-13Man Utd52ChampionsMan City (45)
    1993-94Man Utd52ChampionsLeeds, Blackburn (39)
    2016-17Chelsea52ChampionsLiverpool, Tottenham (45)
    2004-05Chelsea52ChampionsArsenal (47)
    The difference between Liverpool and dominant teams in the past is that the Reds have a genuine rival for the title, and possibly even two.
    Liverpool's contenders break records

    The 2-1 victory over Liverpool on 3 January made Manchester City the first top-flight team to get 50 points from their first 21 matches and not be top of the league.
    The previous best points total for a team in second at this stage was Liverpool in 1990-91, with 49 points after 21 matches, but behind Arsenal on goal difference, and Arsenal's 'Invincibles', who had 49 points after 21 matches in 2003-04 but were a point behind Manchester United.
    To continue the pattern, Tottenham's 48 points is the highest ever of any third-placed team. The previous best was the 46 points for Spurs in 2011-12 and Chelsea in 2013-14.
    One of the key reasons for Tottenham's points total this season is their complete lack of draws.
    Tottenham are only the second post-war team to go 21 games into a season without a draw, with Burnley in 1953-54 the other.
    Best of the rest

    Chelsea's 44 points is a record-equalling total for the team in fourth at this stage and only Arsenal, two seasons ago, have failed to finish in the top three after picking up that number of points for 21 games.
    Even fifth place has an unusually high points total, with Arsenal's 41 enough for a top-four spot at this point of the season in all but three previous campaigns.
    Even much maligned Manchester United have a relatively high number of points for a sixth place team at this stage. Only seven teams outside the top five have managed 38 points or more after 21 matches.
    With success, there comes failure


    Statistics say Terriers' are relegated - Wagner
    However, with this sort of dominance from the big six, there must also be some historically low points totals.
    Bottom club Huddersfield Town's 10 points is the lowest by any Premier League team at this stage since Derby County managed seven in their first 21 matches 11 seasons ago - every team in history with Huddersfield's current tally has been relegated from the top flight.
    And it only looks slightly more optimistic for Fulham, whose 14 points is the lowest for a team in 19th position for six years. The Cottagers are one of only four teams in the 20-team Premier League era to record 14 points or fewer at this stage and not be bottom.

    Surely whoever wins it from here it will go down as the greatest ever title victory?

    Amazing to think the top 4 have a record points today for each position so far.

    Can it be sustainable?
     
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  2. moron

    moron i am legend Member

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    I think it can be sustainable if the players of those challenging clubs stay fit for the rest of the season - with injuries if any kept to an absolute minimum and not impacting key players within those teams.

    In terms of the craziness of the current situation - the effect is like a wet dream of those capitalists who love the idea of free markets and competition.  Man City - set an new standard last season in terms of consistency and not having bad days.  Everyone that wants the title will know that they cannot trip up - and I think it is getting the best out of the top teams like never before.  There is an absolute fear of failing to qualify for the CL, and the top players want to qualify, they know that the top clubs only have limited places for the very best, and if they want to join that party they have to perform in the challenging clubs.  I think this might become the new normal if it stays like this - otherwise the alternative is a single club challenging City every season while Pep is in charge.

    The other factor now is that we have some of the best coaches in Europe managing these teams, granted Poch, and Sarri have not won stuff but you cannot argue that Poch is maximising what he has available.  All of these coaches are quite ruthless in their approach and our Klopp is no different given how much our team has changed since his arrival.
     
  3. Peatcheo

    Peatcheo Well-Known Member

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    You have to remember we are the only team who has fucked it up being in the lead at Christmas....TWICE.
     
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  4. doctor_mac

    doctor_mac My cowboy name is Garland Justice Member

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    Lets just get back on the league title train chaps.  All aboard, next stop Brighton.
     
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  5. Modo

    Modo A contentious scando Member

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    Is this going to be used as an excuse at the end of the of season?
     
  6. Brizzle

    Brizzle Well-Known Member

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    It is up to us to stop it being competitive - keep winning.
     
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  7. moron

    moron i am legend Member

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    This is the only way.
    @Wet Wet Dreambeliever  - thinking about the league being competitive and looking back...I actually think we are discussing this way to early.  Apart from last season we could argue that close challenges have taken place.  Under Rodgers our own last go at it was very close with city winning by 2 ppints and Chelsea right behind us.  Then there was  that Leicester title winning season where Spurs were chasing.  
    Also the last Chelsea winning season I think upto Christmas were we not initially leading and then injuries kicked in and they took over ?

    Maybe the way to look at all this is ...same old shit but with better consistency from the top clubs.
     
  8. Frogfish

    Frogfish Gone to Redcafe Member

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    If we do that until the end of the season then it will STILL be competitive because City are not going to stop.

    It's going to be tense and it's going to be fraught with danger but we can do it if we hold our nerve and the injury gods favour us.
     
  9. Holle

    Holle Subcomandante Sanchez Member

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    Third time unlucky.

    We're DOOMED.
     
  10. Insignificance

    Insignificance Bad to the bone Member

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    So all these posts could just as well been in the "top of the League" thread….
     
  11. HC

    HC Very Well-Known Member

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    It won't be come the end of monday when we've beaten Brighton whilst Spuds and City both drop points
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019 at 11:02
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  12. Brizzle

    Brizzle Well-Known Member

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    Yep - hoping for a Conor Coady shut out versus city with a flash of the 5 times salute at the end to the away support.
     
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  13. momoWASboss

    momoWASboss Well-Known Member

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    Is competitive the correct term? Or is it more of a higher standard of top teams?
     
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  14. HC

    HC Very Well-Known Member

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    I imagine , results against sides outside of the top 6 will be the same as those in the first half of the season , pretty much .

    We still have Utd, spurs and Everton to play they still have Arsenal , Chelsea , Everton (all three in a row in feb) utd and spurs on last day of season.

    Not to mention they're going to have two more league cup games , one against spurs or Chelsea and however many FA cup matches and cl matches. They have a deeper squad for sure but shit could go down to the wire even we spaff the 4pt lead In the near future , alternatively our 4pt lead stretches to double figures if they fluff Feb !
     
  15. Frogfish

    Frogfish Gone to Redcafe Member

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    The second half of the season has just started, we have virtually the same teams stil to play ;)  As in they also still have United and Spurs and we also still have Chelsea ;)
     
  16. HC

    HC Very Well-Known Member

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    I've literally posted the fixtures against the top sides .........
     
  17. Fabio

    Fabio Former mod, consistent c*** Honorary Member

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    Don't try and bamboozle him with "facts"
     
  18. Frogfish

    Frogfish Gone to Redcafe Member

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    Which you didn't list in their entirety. Hence my post :rolleyes:

    Now what do you have to say smartarse ?
     
  19. Fabio

    Fabio Former mod, consistent c*** Honorary Member

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    I say you were being pedantic and a smartarse
     
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  20. Frogfish

    Frogfish Gone to Redcafe Member

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    Wrong. I was completing the list of Top 6 teams to play. There was nothing smartarse about it, it happens a hundred times day on here, people correcting others' minor slips. They are not all followed by snidey remarks from other posters though. On second thoughts maybe you just simply prefer to have a limited picture to take in, in which case as you were.
     

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