Premier League - Title (and Top 4) Race

teddykgb

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I reckon City will win against Leicester. But Dyche can grind out a result...but, having said that his players might have their flip flops on already, now they're safe...so...I've just talked myself out of it.
He even setup his Celtic teams well against City and he always seemed to truly hate City. Maybe he won’t want Klopp to win so he can convince himself he’s Liverpool’s best modern manager. He seems like the type
 

coremiller

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If City win out to win the title, which they have a reasonable shot at doing now, they'll have finished the season winning their final 14 matches and 18 of their last 19. That would be an astonishing closing run, since it looks like they'll need every one of those points.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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Brighton could be fighting for their lives in that game- they’re only 3 points clear of safety and Cardiff are in better form. A game with City needing a win for the title and Brighton needing a win to stay up would be bonkers.
 

coremiller

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Brighton could be fighting for their lives in that game- they’re only 3 points clear of safety and Cardiff are in better form. A game with City needing a win for the title and Brighton needing a win to stay up would be bonkers.
The last time City needed to win on the final day to clinch the title while playing a relegation-threatened side needing a result to stay up, the result was certainly bonkers.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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If City win out to win the title, which they have a reasonable shot at doing now, they'll have finished the season winning their final 14 matches and 18 of their last 19. That would be an astonishing closing run, since it looks like they'll need every one of those points.
Also amazing: Even if they win out, it still won't be as good (points wise at least) as their first half last season.

Pep has achieved equivalent points totals at his other clubs. But for English football this is just an unprecedented level of domination.
 

jkempa

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Brighton could be fighting for their lives in that game- they’re only 3 points clear of safety and Cardiff are in better form. A game with City needing a win for the title and Brighton needing a win to stay up would be bonkers.
Barring a pretty dramatic change, Brighton have effectively a 4 point lead over Cardiff, as they are 13 better in GD.
 

Zososoxfan

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I will say this for BHA, they make attacking miserable for their opponents. Parking the bus does a disservice to buses everywhere. Nevertheless, with the squad and Pep's tactics, City should cruise. Only thing keeping them from the title is LCFC turning back the clock, playing stout D, and having Vardy pip one IMO.
 

Zososoxfan

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One bizarre footnote to that is that the PL shifted the City v Leicester to Monday at the last minute much to the annoyance of both sets of fans. One thing that is absolutely nuts to me about this league is the willingness to burn their ticket holders. Match dates and times need to shift at times due to cup matches but a fan of these teams who tries to legitimately attend home and away has to deal with a lot of bullshit regarding travel. Add in the mess with VAR and how they aren’t really showing what the refs see on screen and how goals aren’t capable of being celebrated until the VAR check is complete and they’re practically begging people to stay home and watch on TV
Spurs were originally supposed to play that Monday, but the game had to be moved back to Saturday due to Spurs' CL semi. The TV contract requires there be a game in that Monday evening time slot, so somebody else had to switch on short notice to Monday.
This is what happens when TV rights are more valuable than seats in the house. We've seen it in the US for years--the best seats are in your living room. There's certainly an interesting experiment to be done where a match is played in a setting totally optimized for filming. Think gliding cameras along each touchline and endline, multiple overheads, etc. You can add some seating to make some extra dollars and bring some atmosphere, but really try to reimagine the filming process.

It’s still a long shot because they have to win today but amazingly Champions League is still in United’s hands.

Arsenal’s destruction today is great news for Liverpool fans.
And naturally Spurs fans as well :fonz:

Disasterous day for Arsenal. Live Table standings with every team in the top 6 having 3 games remaining:

3. Spurs - 70
4. Chelsea- 67
5. Arsenal - 66
6. ManU - 64

Spurs schedule: West Ham(11), @Bournemouth(14) and Everton(7). Playing Ajax in the CL Semi Finals
Arsenal schedule: @Leicester City(9), Brighton(17) and @Burnley(15). Facing Valencia in the Europa Semi Finals
ManU Schedule: Chelsea(4), Huddersfield(20), Cardiff City(18).
Chelsea schedule: @ManU(6), Watford(8) and @Leicester City(9). Playing Frankfurt in the Europa Semi Finals.

1. City - 89
2. Liverpool - 88

Liverpool remaining schedule: @Newcastle(13), Wolves(10). Playing Barca in the CL Semi Finals.
Man City remaining schedule: @Burnley(15), Leicester City(9) and Brighton(17). Playing Watford in the FA Cup Final on 5/18.
Chelsea's remaining schedule is brutal, Arse almost certainly still control their own destiny. If they can get 6-7 points from their remaining matches, I think they pass Chelsea. They hold a slim 2 goal lead on GD, so we could see some fun scorelines to finish the season.

Nope. This is what happens when you have to hope for a soulless squad to steal points for you.

1 loss on the whole season and it’s not enough to win the league.
La Liga-esque
I don't know what that last sentence is meant to imply. Barcelona sit top of the table with 80 points currently, Atleti are second with 71. MANC and Pool are at 89 and 88 respectively.

More interestingly, looking at the tables, there have been 100 draws in La Liga and only 62 in the EPL. There have been 960 goals in the EPL, but I can't find the total for La Liga.
 

teddykgb

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I disagree. Anyone can pip a draw with a parked bus and a little luck. Even United had four or five really good chances yesterday. In terms of my fear, Vardy is definitely 1 as City have been struggling recently with balls over the top and lord knows that’s his thing. But the upcoming Burnley trip is a classic play well and draw scenario as well. Then if they make it to final weekend with lead you never know what that pressure does. Admittedly a lot of my thinking is grounded in that run in against United where seemingly crazy results kept happening under the duress of the race. These two teams have been remarkably consistent but if I had to place a bet I’d probably bet on both teams dropping points in the remaining three just because it seems like there are always twists and turns in the race.
 

Zososoxfan

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I disagree. Anyone can pip a draw with a parked bus and a little luck. Even United had four or five really good chances yesterday. In terms of my fear, Vardy is definitely 1 as City have been struggling recently with balls over the top and lord knows that’s his thing. But the upcoming Burnley trip is a classic play well and draw scenario as well. Then if they make it to final weekend with lead you never know what that pressure does. Admittedly a lot of my thinking is grounded in that run in against United where seemingly crazy results kept happening under the duress of the race. These two teams have been remarkably consistent but if I had to place a bet I’d probably bet on both teams dropping points in the remaining three just because it seems like there are always twists and turns in the race.
City is easily the best side in the EPL at breaking down hunkered defenses though. After Pep established his ball control style at Barca, he then evolved the system to break down hunkered defenses by having width players hug the touchline and his most dangerous dribblers setup as inverted wingers, all the while having world class passers and finishers in the middle. So yes, while the danger of getting hit on the counter is always there for a major club trying to take points off a minnow, City are better situated to score a goal early and make the minnow open up. It's basically the opposite of the Spurs-BHA match where Spurs sputtered all match to break BHA down, but BHA didn't create many chances.

One area in which Pool are far superior to City IMO is defending these counters. While Dinho is an excellent pivot, Wijnaldum, Keita, and others are faster and able to slow down a counter.
 

DrewDawg

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The record for fewest draws by a team in PL is 3---as of now, Spurs have 1 and City just 2.
 

Gunfighter 09

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City is easily the best side in the EPL at breaking down hunkered defenses though. After Pep established his ball control style at Barca, he then evolved the system to break down hunkered defenses by having width players hug the touchline and his most dangerous dribblers setup as inverted wingers, all the while having world class passers and finishers in the middle. So yes, while the danger of getting hit on the counter is always there for a major club trying to take points off a minnow, City are better situated to score a goal early and make the minnow open up. It's basically the opposite of the Spurs-BHA match where Spurs sputtered all match to break BHA down, but BHA didn't create many chances.

One area in which Pool are far superior to City IMO is defending these counters. While Dinho is an excellent pivot, Wijnaldum, Keita, and others are faster and able to slow down a counter.

This seems like a very good assessment of City with KDB. They seem much less threatening without him this season.
 

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If Burnley needed a point for survival, I might give them a shout to get something against City. I've no doubt's they'll be well organised and tight at the back, but as already said above, City are the best at negotiating the parked bus. If City score first, you always fancy them to score the next when the oppostion has to show some ambition and spaces are created.

There are always blips in form and bumps on the road, but i think losing to Spurs in the Champions League was the last blip we'll see from City this season.

One of my favourite Hansenisms was 'Course and distance' - he'd often say this when talking about sides who've been there and done it. City are like a great runner on the last lap, they get faster as the winning line approaches. They know what it feels like, Pep knows what it feels like. They've been preparing for this all season. It's what great teams do down the stretch...they go up a level, moreso in terms of professionalism than mere performance.

Hats off to Liverpool for living with City and breathing the same air. The season's not over and I'm already looking forward to the close season and seeing who adds what to their respective squads.
 

wonderland

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One of my favourite Hansenisms was 'Course and distance' - he'd often say this when talking about sides who've been there and done it. City are like a great runner on the last lap, they get faster as the winning line approaches. They know what it feels like, Pep knows what it feels like. They've been preparing for this all season. It's what great teams do down the stretch...they go up a level, moreso in terms of professionalism than mere performance.

Hats off to Liverpool for living with City and breathing the same air. The season's not over and I'm already looking forward to the close season and seeing who adds what to their respective squads.
I kind of disagree with this.

Last year City were beaten pretty convincingly by Liverpool in the CL then missed out winning the title against United, which I’m sure they would’ve loved to do.

This year they were obviously bounced by Spurs. And I suspect they will drop some points in the next three.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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It’s at the back where City are weakest. Most sides are too busy bunkering against them, but yo can have a go at those fullbacks As Spurs showed.
 

fletcherpost

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I kind of disagree with this.

Last year City were beaten pretty convincingly by Liverpool in the CL then missed out winning the title against United, which I’m sure they would’ve loved to do.

This year they were obviously bounced by Spurs. And I suspect they will drop some points in the next three.
I take your point. But they're reigning Champions now, and that was Pep's first league title with City. I think he's a smarter manager, and i thnk the players he has now are better prepared for what's to come than last year. Plus they were farther in front last year. The Man U game last year wasn't a must win, and Utd were a better team last season, having (in league terms) a better season.

I also think we have remember the Champions League tie at home to Spurs was a cup tie with away goals counting. A different dynamic. It wasn't about getting three points.

But i hope City drop points cos I'd love to see Liverpool get the title.
 

Nick Kaufman

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On any Sunday, any team can win any other team. Looking at the standings, I see that City has won 29 out of their 35 matches, or 82% of them. Based on this, their chances of them running the table is 0.82x0.82x082=55%. Liverpool have actually won 27 out of their 35 matches so using the same method, their chances of running the table are 45%.

You could argue that both teams are playing weaker teams than average. Even so, if you assign City 90% chance of winning each match, their chances of running the table are at 72%.

FWIW, I think City is clearly better than Liverpool. Liverpool strengthened their defense this year with Van Dijk and Alisson, but I think De Bruyne makes the difference creatively for City. Besides, when you look at xgoals City seem to have a 6 point differential. To me that confirms what I ve noticed with my eye that Liverpool have run somewhat well and stole some results against the run of play.

Having said that, it's so close right now that you can't preclude Liverpool from winning it all.
 

InstaFace

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I don't believe in Arsenal. There's a soft nougaty center there.
Their B team they ran out there against Wolverhampton? Sure. But put Ramsey and the rest of the A-teamers in and it's a much more solid squad that knows what to do with possession.

Two of the goals they gave up to Wolves were absolutely shambolic midfield disasters which were then compounded by goal"keep"ing disasters.

Anyway, given the remaining schedule, I'd rather be in Arsenal's position, down a point but playing 3 relative patsies, than in Chelsea's position playing the 6th, 8th and 9th-ranked teams and likely needing 9 from them. Just enjoy Everton's chance in week 38 to knock Spurs down a few pegs.
 

OilCanShotTupac

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Their B team they ran out there against Wolverhampton? Sure. But put Ramsey and the rest of the A-teamers in and it's a much more solid squad that knows what to do with possession.

Two of the goals they gave up to Wolves were absolutely shambolic midfield disasters which were then compounded by goal"keep"ing disasters.

Anyway, given the remaining schedule, I'd rather be in Arsenal's position, down a point but playing 3 relative patsies, than in Chelsea's position playing the 6th, 8th and 9th-ranked teams and likely needing 9 from them. Just enjoy Everton's chance in week 38 to knock Spurs down a few pegs.
I don't mean soft center in terms of midfield, although there is that. I just mean that with Arsenal generally, it's... meh. What are they, really?
 

InstaFace

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I don't know how to answer that question. "What is" any top team? What is Everton, really, for example?
 

OilCanShotTupac

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I don't know how to answer that question. "What is" any top team? What is Everton, really, for example?
Now that things seem to have clicked under Silva, Everton are a team that like to play a high press and try mostly to advance out wide through their fullback/winger combos - Digne/Bernard and Coleman/Richarlison.

Newcastle will play a 5-4-1 or 4-5-1 and beat the crap out of you physically.

Leicester try to spring Vardy on the break.

Arsenal... ? Maybe I don't see enough of them but what's their thing?
 
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DrewDawg

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538's updated numbers:

Spurs 96%
Chelsea 73%
Arsenal 26%
ManU 6%

At the other end, Cardiff is 96% to go down, BHA 4%.
 

SoxFanInCali

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We've now guaranteed that the Premier League runner-up will have the highest points total of any non-champion. The previous record was 89 points. City have 92 and Liverpool 91 with 2 games to go.
 

Clears Cleaver

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Liverpool realistically can play 52 games this season in all competitions, lose only six, and bring home no trophies.
 

SoxFanInCali

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Or 5 losses in 51, if they go out of the CL to Barca on away goals after 2 draws.
Liverpool have already lost 6 games this season. Once in the league, 3 times in the CL group stage (lost all 3 away games), and once each in the League Cup and FA Cup. As you said, they could go out of the CL without a loss on away goals or penalties.

They will play 38 in the league, 12 or 13 in the CL, and 1 each in the domestic cups, for a total of 52 or 53.
 

swiftaw

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Liverpool have already lost 6 games this season. Once in the league, 3 times in the CL group stage (lost all 3 away games), and once each in the League Cup and FA Cup. As you said, they could go out of the CL without a loss on away goals or penalties.

They will play 38 in the league, 12 or 13 in the CL, and 1 each in the domestic cups, for a total of 52 or 53.
My bad, I missed one of the CL losses.
 

Clears Cleaver

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Liverpool have already lost 6 games this season. Once in the league, 3 times in the CL group stage (lost all 3 away games), and once each in the League Cup and FA Cup. As you said, they could go out of the CL without a loss on away goals or penalties.

They will play 38 in the league, 12 or 13 in the CL, and 1 each in the domestic cups, for a total of 52 or 53.
Right
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Two weeks left for the premier league. Doesn't seem like any of the teams 3-6 even want to qualify for the Champions league. Points by each team over their last three games.

Spurs - 3
Chelsea - 2
ManU - 1
Arsenal - 0

Should we place a bit on who will pick up more points in the final two weeks? City and Liverpool combined vs 3-6 combined?

3. Spurs - 70 - 96% to qualify for CL
4. Chelsea- 68 - 73% to qualify
5. Arsenal - 66 - 26% to qualify
6. ManU - 65 - 6% to qualify

Spurs schedule: @Bournemouth(14) and Everton(7). Playing Ajax in the CL Semi Finals
Arsenal schedule: Brighton(17) and @Burnley(15). Facing Valencia in the Europa Semi Finals
ManU Schedule: Huddersfield(20), Cardiff City(18).
Chelsea schedule: Watford(8) and @Leicester City(9). Playing Frankfurt in the Europa Semi Finals.

1. City - 92 - 82% to win PL
2. Liverpool - 91 - 18%

Liverpool remaining schedule: @Newcastle, Wolves(10). Playing Barca in the CL Semi Finals.
Man City remaining schedule: Leicester City(9) and Brighton(17). Playing Watford in the FA Cup Final on 5/18.


Golden Boot:
Salah - 21
Mane, Augero - 20,
Aubameyang - 19
Vardy - 18
 
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OilCanShotTupac

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The Guardian, from their story on Arsenal ‘s draw with Brighton today-

This was the latest instalment of a race for the top four that seems more like a lobbying campaign to have the number of English clubs in the Champions League reduced.
 

Gunfighter 09

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The Guardian, from their story on Arsenal ‘s draw with Brighton today-

That quote is dumb. Four EPL teams in the quarters and two in the UCL semis, plus a likely all EPL Europa league final makes it seem like there are just too damn many good teams in the EPL and they are all exhausted at the end of a brutal schedule.
 

InstaFace

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yeah that article is playing to a self-deprecating, always-nervous English audience. They have the best league top-to-bottom in the world. If you take each league by finishing place and pair up 1st-to-1st, 2nd-to-2nd down to 20th-to-20th, the EPL would probably beat La Liga and the Bundesliga (1-18) pretty soundly, and absolutely crush Serie A and Ligue 1, even if they wouldn't be favored in any of the 1st-on-1st matchups.
 

InstaFace

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Oh hey, while I'm at it, through the first 37 weeks (and not counting the Man City match going on right now), here are the number of points taken off of matches against Top-6 teams, by non-Top-6 teams:

1. Wolverhampton: 16 (W vs ARS, CHE, MUN, W @ TOT, T vs MCI, T @ ARS, CHE, MUN)
2T. Everton: 11 (W vs ARS, CHE, MUN, T vs LIV, T @ CHE)
2T. West Ham: 11 (W vs ARS, MUN, W @ TOT, T vs CHE, LIV)
4. Leicester: 10 (W vs ARS, MCI, W @ CHE, T @ LIV)
5T. Crystal Palace: 8 (W @ ARS, MCI, T vs ARS, T @ MUN)
5T. Southampton: 8 (W vs ARS, TOT, T vs MUN, T @ CHE)
7. Bournemouth: 6 (W vs CHE, TOT)
8T. Brighton: 5 (W vs MUN, T vs ARS, T @ ARS)
8T. Burnley: 5 (W vs TOT, T @ CHE, MUN)
10T. Newcastle: 3 (W vs MCI)
10T. Watford: 3 (W vs TOT)
12. Huddersfield: 1 (T vs MUN)
13T. Cardiff City: 0
13T. Fulham: 0

Wolves have faced 11 matches against top-6 competition, and gotten a result in 8 of them! They play at Liverpool on Saturday.

And the flip side of it, here's points dropped (3 * Losses + 2 * Ties) against non-top-6 teams by the Top 6:

1. Liverpool: 6 (0 L, 3 T)
2. Man City: 11 (3 L, 1 T)
3. Tottenham: 18 (6 L, 0 T)
4T. Chelsea: 22 (4 L, 5 T)
4T. Man United: 22 (4 L, 5 T)
6. Arsenal: 26 (6 L, 4 T)
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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One week left, and it looks like it will take an act of god to knock Man City out of the top spot. 3-6 continued their remarkable bad showings this week, which has allowed Chelsea to clinch their spot and Spurs through as well barring a horrific defeat combined with an Arsenal win to overcome an 8 goal differential.

Total points last 4 games
Spurs - 3
Chelsea - 5
ManU - 2
Arsenal - 1

3. Chelsea - 71
4. Spurs - 70
5. Arsenal - 67
6. ManU - 66

Spurs schedule: Everton(7). Playing Ajax in the CL Semi Finals
Arsenal schedule: @Burnley(15). Facing Valencia in the Europa Semi Finals
ManU Schedule: Cardiff City(18).
Chelsea schedule: @Leicester City(9). Playing Frankfurt in the Europa Semi Finals.

1. City - 95 - 87% to win PL
2. Liverpool - 94 - 13%

Liverpool remaining schedule: Wolves(10). Playing Barca in the CL Semi Finals.
Man City remaining schedule: Brighton(17). Playing Watford in the FA Cup Final on 5/18.

Golden Boot:
Salah - 22
Mane, Augero, Aubameyang - 20,
Vardy - 18