A comparison between Europe’s top four leagues – the Premier League, Bundesliga, Primera Liga and Serie A – has revealed that the continent’s most competitive division is the English top flight, whose 2015/16 edition is being more closely contested than normal.
Manchester City lead the way in England, two points ahead of second-place Arsenal, though their 18-point haul after eight games is almost three shy of the average tally boasted by the pace-setter at this stage over the preceding ten seasons.
Looking at the previous decade of Premier League football, the team topping the table through eight games typically has 21 points, while there’s usually at least one team undefeated heading into their ninth fixture too.
This term, not a single outfit has managed to remain imperious, with each of the teams currently residing in the top-four sporting two losses so far.
Man City’s two reverses suffered is over four times the ten-year average number of defeats endured by the league leader at this stage, which stood at 0.4 heading into this campaign.
The discrepancy in points between the summit sitter and those occupying the silver medal spot is also smaller than normal.
Arsenal trail the Citizens by two points at present, a gap that has tended to be verging on three points at this stage over the previous ten years.
By contrast, the Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A each have a larger deficit dividing first and second than what spectators have grown accustomed to seeing over the past decade.
In Germany, where the average prior to 2015/16 was a flimsy 1.9 points, a staggering seven points divides Bayern Munich from Borussia Dortmund.
Villarreal are one clear of Real Madrid in Spain, where the ten-year mean was previously 0.8, while the two-point lead Fiorentina hold over Inter in Italy creeps over the 1.8 average.
From a betting perspective, these findings promise a wide open Premier League title race, meaning punters must look beyond clear favourites Man City.
Manuel Pellegrini’s troops are 18/25 to rein supreme, next to 5/2-rated Arsenal, though Manchester United and Chelsea at 7/1 and 18/1, respectively, must be taken seriously, while 33/1 shots Liverpool are also in contention.