For the 2014/15 Premier League season, based on the relative ELO rankings, the simulations indicated an easy top four finish for Manchester City, Chelsea, and Liverpool. There was a four way scramble for fourth, with Arsenal having the edge. Manchester City were clear favorite to win the league with Chelsea a reasonably strong second.
With ten gameweeks played, how things have changed.
To find out the answers, simodds.com has simulated the tournament a few hundred thousand times.
After Gameweek 10, the odds of Chelsea finishing first are 81%, while Manchester City’s odds of lifting the trophy are at 19%.
Given their strong start to the season, there’s no surprise that Chelsea is the favorite to win the Premier League as well as a sure bet to finish in the top four. It is however perhaps surprising how likely they are to win the league. There are two reasons for this. One, they have a full six point lead over their nearest rival (in terms of strength. Southampton are closer in points. More on them soon). Two, Chelsea’s ELO rating was 1921 at the start of the season and is 1937 now. Manchester City’s rating was 1959 at the start of the season and is 1912 now.
Although after ten rounds the simulation predicts a two horse race for the top, the top four battle has expanded. Nine teams are now in the running. Chelsea and Manchester City are locks. I’ve had the sense that Arsenal has been a disappointment to many supporters this season. Their ELO rating has declined from 1849 to 1826, which might confirm that feeling. However, the pre-season simulation predicted almost no chance of Arsenal winning the league, so any expectations of a top finish were likely unrealistic. Despite only a small of winning the league, Arsenal’s odds of finishing top four have climbed from 53% to 83%. Combine this with Arsenal’s near certain advancement from the UEFA Champions League group stages and the season has to be seen as a relative success so far.
If Arsenal has improved their odds even with a declining ELO rating, that means other teams have performed poorly. Apologies in advance to fans of Liverpool, Manchester United, and Tottenham.
Liverpool started the season with a 13% chance of winning the league and an 89% chance of a top four finish. They now have a 0% chance of winning the league and a 46% chance of top four. What has happened? We all know that Suarez left, Sturridge has been injured, and practically one half of a new team arrived in the summer. Liverpool’s ratings have dropped from 1899 to 1810. They have had the poorest performance, relative to the rating at the end of last season, of any team in English football. These ratings can’t tell you whether the cause is Suarez, Sturridge, Ballotelli, Lovren, Lallana, or Rodgers. It can tell you that Liverpool is showing every indication of declining to a new, and much lower, performance level. It will be very interesting to see what happens when Sturridge gets back.