After revealing what fortunes awaited the Premier League protagonists after ten matches, the news.bwin stats boffins have deployed the same methods to unearth what changes to the table punters can expect in this, the ‘craziest’ of seasons.
Amplifying the obscure nature of the campaign has been the mission of those responsible for hysteria generators at Sky Sports towers and beyond and, as 2015/16 enters its final ten games, this subscription-selling strategy is certain to intensify.
Will Leicester City fend off their title challengers? Can Manchester United break into the top four? Which, if any, of the bottom three will survive? Tune in to find out.
Actually, you don’t need to, for the answers to all those questions can be found below, which shows the results of a ten-year study into where teams finished based on their positions after 28 games.
For those responsible for creating end-of-season fanfare, the outcome isn’t good, with not much subject to change across the coming months.
The Foxes’ position at the top isn’t exactly cast iron, but their chances of winning the Premier League – currently available to back at 17/10 – are 60-40 in their favour. Their odds, therefore, should be shorter than evens, so there’s great value to be had there.
The fact that the average finishing position is 1.6 (so second place) is largely down to Arsenal and Chelsea capitulations in 2007/08 and 2013/14 respectively, when they squandered their positions of prominence to take the bronze medal.
Champions League football, however, is something Leicester are essentially guaranteed of, with 90% of the teams fourth or higher with ten fixtures to contest across the past decade remaining there come May.
Just three times in the previous ten seasons has the team in fifth after 28 games gone on to overhaul their fourth-placed counterpart. Arsenal managed it on each occasion, in 2005/06, 2008/09 and 2012/13.
It’s bad news for Man Utd, who can be backed at 17/10 to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
At the bottom, almost two thirds of the teams languishing in the drop zone at this stage went on to be relegated, so two of Aston Villa, Newcastle (though they’ve only played 27 at the time of writing) and Norwich are gone.
One of the trio will stay up, though those based above Bournemouth needn’t worry about being pulled into the survival skirmish, as no team stationed higher than 15th with ten matches left ended up going down.