Who will be relegated from the Premier League in 2022-23? Using the Opta Supercomputer’s predictions, we’re able to look at the chances of relegation for each team facing the drop from the top-flight. As the season evolves, we’ll track the progress of those sides in their battle to avoid relegation to the Championship.
And then there were three.
Nottingham Forest’s 1-0 win over Arsenal was a seismic result at both ends of the table. Not only did it confirm Manchester City as Premier League champions, but it also secured Steve Cooper’s side a place in the top flight for next season.
It means that 2022-23 is just the fourth different Premier League campaign in which all three promoted sides have stayed up, after 2001-02, 2011-12 and 2017-18.
Great if you’re a Forest fan. But Everton, Leicester and Leeds would have been watching the game at the City Ground bemoaning Arsenal’s meek attempt at keeping the smouldering embers of a title race alive.
Neither of those three sides managed to win on Matchday 37, but only Leeds failed to pick up any points. As the relegation probabilities below show, a defeat at this stage of the season can be terminal. After taking an early lead away against West Ham thanks to Rodrigo’s volley, Leeds wilted under the subsequent pressure from the home side. Declan Rice equalised, before Jarrod Bowen and Manuel Lanzini won the game for the home side. After a bright, positive start, Leeds again showed their inability to hold onto a lead, sitting back passively when they went in front. After Rodrigo’s strike, the game saw 19 shots before Bowen put West Ham in the lead – David Moyes’ side had 14 of those efforts.
Defeat meant more points lost from leading positions for Leeds – no side has given up more in the Premier League this season than their 25, while they have won just two of the last nine league matches in which they have opened the scoring (D4 L3).
Sunday felt like the final nail in the coffin, with Leeds’ likelihood of relegation jumping from 66.7% to 96.9% over the course of the weekend. They were the clear losers from the recent round of fixtures. Injuries to Rodrigo and Patrick Bamford just make matters worse.
Earlier in the weekend, it looked as though Everton were going to get sucked back into the dogfight. That was until Yerry Mina popped up in the Wolves box with seconds to play to rescue a late point for the Toffees. In fact, Mina’s equaliser (98:54) was the latest Premier League goal that Everton have scored on record (since 2006-07), while Sean Dyche’s side finally scored with their 19th and final shot of the match.
As time goes on that point looks more and more valuable. Everton’s chances of relegation dropped from 27.5% prior to the weekend to 20.4% as they inch closer to safety.
Leicester managed to hold Newcastle to a battling 0-0 on Monday Night. It was not pretty, but Dean Smith will be more than happy with a point. Newcastle dominated possession (77.6%) and Leicester offered absolutely nothing going forward. The Foxes completed just 123 passes all night, and you have to go back over seven years to find a Premier League game in which they’ve completed fewer. They managed just one shot on the night (Newcastle had 23) and even that came in the 92nd minute, the latest any side has had to wait for an effort in a Premier League game this season.
But the ends justified the means, with this their first clean sheet in 22 games. Dean Smith’s decision to bench James Maddison and Harvey Barnes in favour of a more defensively stout lineup was vindicated – at least by the final result.
That point was enough to improve their chances of survival by 2.8%; the chance of them going down dropped from 85.0% to 82.7%.
They still need results to go their way on the final day, however.
With Southampton’s relegation now confirmed, there’s just four teams left with a chance of joining the Saints on their unwelcome march into the second tier. Heading into last weekend’s matches, the supercomputer boldly stated that none of the bottom five teams in the table would pick up a victory. And it proved right, although it wasn’t quite a perfect five defeats.
Leicester City’s loss to Liverpool has put the Foxes in a whole heap of trouble with two games to go in the season. Even the comforts of home have deserted them; they have conceded the opening goal in each of their last 12 home games, the longest such run in the Premier League’s history. Hardly surprising then that they are the only side in the big five European leagues who are yet to keep a clean sheet following the 2022 World Cup, resulting in their chances of relegation climbing to 85.0%, and they are now the most likely side to finish in 19th place (57.9%). Considering that on 2nd May the supercomputer only gave them a 27.7% chance of being relegated, this has been somewhat of a horror ending to the campaign.
Another Monday night meeting awaits Dean Smith’s side, with a trip up to St. James’ Park next week. The supercomputer predicts Leicester won’t pick up anything from that trip, which would leave their fate all down to a finale against West Ham… if they still have anything to play for by then.
Some hope for Leicester may have come from the fact that fellow strugglers Leeds United were able to slightly upset the apple cart and grab a point against Newcastle in the opening game of last weekend’s action. That draw wasn’t enough to change Leeds’ status as the supercomputer’s favourite to join Southampton in the second tier (66.7%), though their chances of relegation have decreased slightly. Leeds are without a win in their last seven Premier League games (D2 L5) and have both scored and conceded a goal in each of their last 11 Premier League games, the joint-longest run in their league history (also 11 in October 1928 and December 1937).
Awaiting Big Sam’s side is West Ham (it’s incredible how former clubs Newcastle and West Ham are going to have such a big say Allardyce’s future at the bottom) where the Londoners are the favourites to take the victory. Leeds then welcome Tottenham to Elland Road for what could be pulsating final game to the season.
Few expected Everton to pick up anything from their match-up with champions-elect Manchester City, so the defeat didn’t affect their chances of being relegated too much (27.5%). It was a crushing 118 seconds which did the damage for the Toffees, as that’s all that separated İlkay Gündoğan’s opener and Erling Haaland doubling their lead. In the end, a third home league defeat by three or more goals since the start of the year is the joint-most times they’ve been beaten by such a margin at home in a calendar year (also three in 2017).
That’s it for the ‘tricky’ fixtures for Everton though, as they are the only side in the relegation battle with their two remaining matches coming against sides in the bottom half of the table. Wolves await at Molineux first, with the hosts favoured to come out on top, before Sean Dyche’s side welcome Bournemouth to Goodison Park. That’s a match where the supercomputer will be making them favourites to pick up the win and ensure their Premier League survival.
Taiwo Awoniyi’s second successive brace helped Nottingham Forest (20.8%) pick up what could prove to be a vital point against Chelsea. The result does, however, mean they have failed to win any of their six games so far in the capital this season, conceding at least twice in each game. Their chances of being relegated dropped to 20.9%, nearly a 10-point decrease on this time last week, which must feel an incredible place to be in at this point.
It won’t surprise you to hear that the supercomputer is making Arsenal favourites to take victory when the two sides meet at the City Ground on Saturday, even if that mauling by Brighton last time out all but ended their title hopes. That leaves Forest with another trip to the capital to come on a final day, as they travel down south to Crystal Palace. Is their three-point advantage over Leeds in 18th going to be enough considering their London record this season? It’s going to be a nail-biting end to the season for those involved.
All change please, all change.
The battle at the bottom of the Premier League turned all the way up to 11 over the Coronation weekend, with our supercomputer working overdrive as it dealt with not only the numbers of goals being scored, but the drastic swings not seen since the latest local election results in the UK.
It truly was a must-win game between Nottingham Forest and Southampton on Monday night, and that has been shown by the shift in the percentages following Forest’s 4-3 triumph at the City Ground. They’ve managed to pick up a league-high 82% of their points in the Premier League this season on home soil (27/33), losing just two of their last 14 games as hosts (W6 D6). It’s the sort of form that’s going to help pull you away from the drop zone, however they do only have one game left at the City Ground this season and that’s against Arsenal – is it going to be enough for Nottingham Forest (30.8%) to survive?
Nottingham Forest run-in: Chelsea (A), Arsenal (H), Crystal Palace (A).
We must mention them as, although their race isn’t officially run yet, the supercomputer is pretty certain Southampton (99.9%) will be playing in the Championship next season. Despite some late drama courtesy of James Ward-Prowse (who has now scored 30 combined penalty (13) and direct free-kick goals (17) in the Premier League, second only to Harry Kane (33) since making his debut in the 2012-13 season), a tenth game without a win came as they conceded four or more goals in a Premier League match for the fifth time this season, more than in any other campaign.
Southampton run-in: Fulham (H), Brighton (A), Liverpool (H).
The biggest winners of the weekend, though, were Everton (26.3%), a side our supercomputer thought were dead and buried at the end of April, with a three-in-four chance of being relegated. A 5-1 triumph against Brighton was all the more remarkable when you consider it was the first time a team starting the day in the bottom three had won away to a top-seven side since April 2021, during which time there had been 37 such matches (D10 L27). Whether they will be able to build on this result against the league leaders next time out is unknown, but it’ll certainly be a less sticky time for the Toffees if they do lose than it could have been.
Everton’s run-in: Manchester City (H), Wolves (A), Bournemouth (H).
What goes up, must come down though. And for Leeds United (75.2%) and Leicester City (42.3%), they are now favourites to join Southampton in relegation to the second tier.
For Leeds, the ‘Big Sam bounce’ didn’t happen in his first game at the helm against Manchester City, a match they came into with just a 3.8% chance of victory, according to the supercomputer. Sam Allardyce has lost his last five Premier League games as manager, including four from his spell at West Brom in 2020-21. It’s the sort of rut he will need to end quickly if they are to dig themselves out of trouble, having been given a 49.4% chance of finishing in 19th place.
Leeds United’s run-in: Newcastle (H), West Ham (A), Tottenham Hotspur (H).
We thought Leicester might have pulled themselves away from the mire over the past couple of weeks. But when you’re made favourites to win – like they were against Fulham – and slip to defeat, the swing is going to be even more dramatic. It’s 21 defeats now for the Foxes, their most in a league campaign since 1994-95 (25), when they were relegated from the top-flight. It was also the 20th successive game in which they’ve conceded, and with a pretty similar run-in to that of Leeds United, they’re going to need to pick up points somehow.
Leicester’s run-in: Liverpool (H), Newcastle (A), West Ham (H).
Some of the best collections of people the world has ever seen have been made up of five.
The Power Rangers. Scooby Doo Mystery Inc. One Direction. The Spice Girls. The Simpsons Family. And of course, the Famous Five.
And now our supercomputer sees it being a five-way battle to avoid Premier League relegation after a weekend of action that didn’t see any of the troubled sides collect victories.
It means that Bournemouth and West Ham fans can now breathe a sigh of relief. Our model sees both sides safe from the drop, despite the Hammers falling to defeat in that pulsating game against Crystal Palace. The Cherries, meanwhile, looked to have delivered a hammer blow to Leeds United (58.1%), who remain our third favourites to go down, and the only side to see their chances of the drop heavily increase.
The 23 goals they conceded in the month of April is a new, rather unwanted, Premier League record for the Whites, the most in the top-flight in a month since Birmingham City conceded 23 in April 1965. No wonder it looks like they’ve pulled the ‘BIG SAM’ lever that every other club had avoided doing. But with just four tricky games to go and the Bielsa-shadow still looming large over the make-up of the squad, is it going to be enough?
Leeds United’s run-in: Manchester City (A), Newcastle (H), West Ham (A), Tottenham Hotspur (H).
Despite providing us with plenty of entertainment, perhaps a draw wasn’t the outcome that either Leicester City (27.7%) or Everton (68.6%) wanted from their encounter at the King Power Stadium. The Toffees remain our second favourites to head into the Championship next season. It wasn’t through lack of trying from Sean Dyche’s side though, attempting their highest total of shots in a Premier League match this season (23). But with no wins in their last seven (D4 L3) – the pressure is mounting.
Everton’s run-in: Brighton (A), Manchester City (H), Wolves (A), Bournemouth (H)
The Foxes have now dropped 24 points from leading positions in the Premier League this season, more than any other side, but it’s now three games without defeat for Dean Smith (W1 D2) after losing eight and drawing one of the nine before this. But how much might James Maddison’s penalty miss, his second in succession, come back to bite them come the end of May?
Leicester’s run-in: Fulham (A), Liverpool (H), Newcastle (A), West Ham (H)
Virtue of their terrible goal difference, it’s Nottingham Forest (46.6%) who fill the final spot in the relegation zone despite being tied on 30 points with both Leeds and Leicester. For quite a while against Brentford it looked like it would be a positive day for the club, but the Bees’ fifth 90th minute winner in their Premier League history, the most of any side since the start of the last season, once again caused heartache for the opposition.
Nottingham Forest run-in: Southampton (H), Chelsea (A), Arsenal (H), Crystal Palace (A).
One blessing for Forest is that they are the only side in this article who have still got to play a side below them in the table. And even better for their hopes of survival, certainly in the eyes of the supercomputer, is that they will face off against the seemingly hapless Southampton (98.3%) next Monday. The Saints are winless in their last nine league games (D3 L6) and, more worryingly, are winless in their last two games in the competition where they’ve scored first (D1 L1). And it really is now less of a case of if but when Southampton’s return to the Championship will be confirmed.
Southampton run-in: Nottingham Forest (A), Fulham (H), Brighton (A), Liverpool (H).
Three days have dramatically shifted the outlook at the bottom of the Premier League. For better and for worse.
Let’s start with the latter, as we are now pretty much set to wave goodbye to Southampton from the top flight come the end of the season. They had been favourites to see off Bournemouth at St. Mary’s on Thursday night, but an 11th home defeat in the Premier League, the most they have ever had in a single league campaign, has seen their chances of relegation climb to 97.7%, with an even more staggering 82.1% chance of finishing the season at the foot of the table. No team in England’s top four tiers have registered fewer than the four clean sheets the Saints have kept this season, equal with League One strugglers Forest Green Rovers.
Southampton’s run-in: Newcastle (A), Nottingham Forest (A), Fulham (H), Brighton (A), Liverpool (H)
For Bournemouth, this is the first time they’ve won three top-flight away games in succession and their reward? Just a 0.59% chance of going down. That 9-0 defeat against Liverpool seems a long way off now doesn’t it, Cherries fans?
Bournemouth’s run-in: Leeds United (H), Chelsea (H), Crystal Palace (A), Manchester United (H), Everton (A).
The big winners at the bottom following the midweek action were Nottingham Forest. An FA Cup semi-final hangover clearly affected Brighton as Forest ended a 12-match winless run in the competition with a 3-1 triumph at the City Ground. The supercomputer certainly hadn’t expected them to pick up the victory, so a healthy 32.9% swing in their favour has pulled them out of being one of our predicted sides for relegation. A look at their run-in shows there’s the chance to pick up some more points along the way, even if Brentford are the heavy favourites to take the victory on Saturday.
Nottingham Forest’s run-in: Brentford (A), Southampton (H), Chelsea (A), Arsenal (H), Crystal Palace (A)
Replacing them in our tips for the drop are Everton and Leeds United. Let’s begin with the Toffees who extended their winless run to six games in the competition following their heaviest home league defeat to Newcastle since Boxing Day 1933 when they lost by four goals in a top-flight encounter (3-7). Form has deserted Sean Dyche’s side at just the wrong time, keeping just two clean sheets in their last 10 league matches as they now have a 74% chance of being relegated come the end of the season, with a worrying 42% chance of finishing in 19th position. Their 69-season run as a top-flight club is in more jeopardy now than ever.
Everton’s run-in: Leicester City (A), Brighton (A), Manchester City (H), Wolves (A), Bournemouth (H).
Really, there’s not that much between Leeds (46.7%) and Nottingham Forest (46.3%) for the drop, but right now the Whites find themselves in the bottom three. Leeds have dropped 20 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, with only fellow strugglers Leicester (22) having dropped more. A look at their run-in and Sunday’s game against Bournemouth, for which they are the favourites to take the victory, feels extremely important for their survival hopes – how much would Javi Gracia love to have more of those dropped points on the board now?
Leeds United’s run-in: Bournemouth (A), Manchester City (A), Newcastle (H), West Ham (A), Tottenham Hotspur (H).
The hard facts right now show Leicester City in the relegation zone, a point behind Forest and Leeds. A leaky defence certainly hasn’t helped the Foxes’ cause this season, having conceded a goal in each of their last 18 league games. The only blessing is they are beginning to find the back of the net again, with Jamie Vardy’s equaliser against Leeds his first goal in 973 minutes in all competitions. The supercomputer still has them on the outside looking in with a 34.3% chance of being relegation, but a defeat on home soil to Everton on Monday night will see that change.
Leicester City’s run-in: Everton (H), Fulham (A), Liverpool (H), Newcastle (A), West Ham (H).
We have seen enough to mark another side safe from relegation. Now eight points clear from the relegation, our supercomputer believes Wolves will be a Premier League side again next season, meaning Julien Lopetegui should be able to enjoy his 200th top-flight match across spells in Portugal, Spain and England as a manager with a little less pressure on his shoulders. West Ham (0.5%) will join them if they can be victorious over Crystal Palace in the early kick-off on Saturday.
West Ham’s run-in: Crystal Palace (A), Manchester City (A), Manchester United (H), Brentford (A), Leeds United (H), Leicester City (A).
How Does the Supercomputer Model Work?
• Opta’s League Prediction model estimates the likelihood of teams finishing in each position in the competition. We can therefore see how successful a team’s season is likely to be, whether it’s their relegation or title chances.
• The model estimates the probability of each match outcome (win, draw or loss) by using betting market odds and Opta’s team rankings. The odds and rankings are based on historical and recent team performances.
• The model considers the strength of opponents by using these match outcome probabilities and simulates the remaining fixtures in the competition thousands of times. By analysing the outcome of each of these simulations, the model can see how often teams finished in each league position to create our final predictions.