Who will be relegated from the Premier League in 2023-24? 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 goes on, we’ll track the progress of those sides in their battle to avoid relegation to the Championship.
20 February 2024
What a weekend this turned out to be for Nottingham Forest. Not only did they pick up a vital three points against West Ham, but none of their relegation rivals managed to win.
Goals from Taiwo Awoniyi and Callum Hudson-Odoi, either side of a Kalvin Phillips red card, were enough to seal a 2-0 win for Nuno Espírito Santo’s men, as Forest registered their first clean sheet in the Premier League for 14 games. As a result of that victory – and of other results around them – Forest’s chances of relegation have more than halved according to the Opta supercomputer, cratering from an alarming 30.1% down to just 13.0%.
After a rare good week for Sheffield United in MD 24, they reverted to type in MD 25. Mason Holgate’s horror tackle set the tone for what was a horrible day at the office for Chris Wilder’s men, as they went down 5-0 to Brighton. There’s now a 99% chance they’re relegated.
Burnley (97.0%) are not too far behind them. Vincent Kompany would not have expected to get much out of their home game against title-contenders Arsenal, but even he would have been disappointed as just how easy it was for the visitors.
Burnley have now won just one of their 13 home Premier League games this campaign (D2 L10), with that win coming against fellow relegation battlers Sheffield United. It doesn’t look like that’s going to get them anywhere near safety.
As has often been the case this season, Luton putting in a battling and highly competitive performance against a so-called bigger side. They had more of the ball (58.5%) and took more shots (22 to 21) than Manchester United in their 2-1 home defeat but weren’t able to get anything from the game.
United have only faced more shots than that in four matches so far this season, and Luton remain a live threat in any game no matter the opposition. Rob Edwards’ side have scored at least once in each of their last 12 games in the division – the longest run by a promoted team since Burnley between December 2016 and March 2017 (also 12).
After seeing most of their relegation rivals lose over the weekend, Everton had a real chance to put some distance between them and the bottom three on Monday night, as they hosted a Crystal Palace side recently bereft of Roy Hodgson. Despite that, they had to settle for a point, and needed a late header from Amadou Onana to earn it.
At 19.0%, the Toffees are still outsiders to be relegated, but they need to get themselves out of this funk, and fast. Sean Dyche’s side are winless in their last eight Premier League matches (D4 L4) since a four-game winning run in December. It’s their longest streak without a win since failing to win any of their last eight games under Frank Lampard (October 2022 – January 2023).
13 February 2024
In a rare occurrence this season, it was a fantastic weekend for Sheffield United.
The Blades were the only team in the relegation scrap to avoid defeat on Matchday 24, and they did so while taking down a rival. Their 3-1 win at Luton Town was one of the biggest surprises of the weekend, which is testament to the job Rob Edwards has done at Kenilworth Road to this point.
That victory thanks to goals from Cameron Archer, James McAtee (penalty) and Vinicius Souza has seen the Opta supercomputer slightly reduce their chances of relegation. Chris Wilder’s men had been given a 99.6% likelihood of going down last week, but they face the drop in just 97.7% of simulations now.
Luton did face a big hit to their chances, though. After a run of three wins and two draws from their previous six Premier League games (L1), the Hatters had just a 32.6% chance of going down prior to this game. Following a damaging loss at home to the bottom side, that has gone up to 48.3%.
Burnley had a somewhat free hit as they travelled to face Liverpool. Vincent Kompany’s men gave a good account of themselves at Anfield too, with Dara O’Shea equalising after Diogo Jota’s opener to send the teams in level at half-time. Goals from Luis Díaz and Darwin Núñez took the game away from them, though, but unlike Luton, at least they got one of their harder remaining games out of the way.
The Clarets have actually seen their supercomputer percentage go down, previously being relegated in 96.4% of the 10,000 simulations, which now stands at 95.5%.
It is a similar story for Everton, who also lost but given it was away to Manchester City, very little damage was done. A brace from Erling Haaland eventually broke the resolve of Sean Dyche’s men at the Etihad Stadium, but like Burnley, their relegation chances have actually improved.
Everton went into MD24 with a 22.0% chance of going down, which has now reduced to 18.1%. This will largely be thanks to other relegation rivals losing, particularly Luton, but also after another defeat for Nottingham Forest.
Nuno Espírito Santo’s side came from behind twice against Newcastle United at the City Ground, only to succumb to a fine Bruno Guimarães winner in the second half in a 3-2 loss.
Again, though, the power of Luton’s loss has been far-reaching and Forest’s relegation chances also reduced, from 30.6% to 30.1%.
Crystal Palace (7.2%) will need to improve their form soon after a late home defeat to Chelsea on Monday to avoid getting sucked into the mire, though Brentford’s 2-0 win at Wolves reduced their chances to a comfortable 1.3%.
6 February 2024
…aaaaand, breathe. Matchday 23 of the Premier League season was an enthralling, action-packed and goal-laden thrill ride. In fact, the 45 goals netted across Saturday, Sunday and Monday was the most ever scored in a single matchday during a 20-team season (since 1995-96).
There were big results at both ends of the table, though here we’re focusing on the battle to avoid the drop, which is only getting more intense by the week.
It’s only right that we start with Luton Town. Rob Edwards’ side have enjoyed a significant resurgence over the past two months and went close to a remarkable win away to Newcastle United on Saturday. Despite falling behind twice, three unanswered goals had them 4-2 up just after the hour, but their hosts pegged them back in a gripping 4-4 draw.
Edwards acknowledged there was a “tinge” of disappointment after they surrendered a two-goal advantage in the second half, but in the grand scheme of things, it was a positive point for the Hatters, whose 11 points from their past six league games is bettered by only Manchester City (15 from five matches), Liverpool and Wolves (both 13).
Last week’s 4-0 hammering of Brighton saw Luton’s chances of relegation plummet from 62% to 36.3% according to the Opta supercomputer; while the change this time wasn’t quite as significant, earning a draw at Newcastle provided a nice boost. They’re now rated as having a 32.6% chance of being relegated as they sit just above the relegation zone on 20 points with a game in hand on Everton and Nottingham Forest either side of them.
Nuno Espírito Santo’s Forest at least managed to stop the rot on Sunday. They’d lost their past two games ahead of the trip to Bournemouth and managed to leave with a commendable 1-1 draw that maintains a two-point lead over Everton in the last relegation spot.
That was enough to reduce their likelihood of relegation slightly as well, decreasing to 30.6% – Luton are getting closer, however.
Everton also managed to avoid defeat, with Jarrad Branthwaite’s 90th-minute close-range equaliser denying Tottenham in a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park on Saturday. Despite being in the bottom three, the Opta supercomputer rates the Toffees as the least likely of the bottom five to go down, which makes sense considering they’d be comfortably clear of the relegation zone were it not for their 10-point deduction.
The draw with Tottenham didn’t prevent their relegation probability increasing slightly from 21.2%, but only to 22%. They do have an unenviable run of fixtures coming up, however, with Manchester City (A), Brighton (A), Manchester United (A) and Liverpool (H) in their next six Premier League games.
Sheffield United and Burnley are already near-certainties for the drop in the projections of the supercomputer. Both have had their relegation probabilities above 90% for a while now and neither saw an improvement over the weekend.
Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United were battered 5-0 at home by Aston Villa on Saturday, meaning the prediction model now calculates them to have 99.6% likelihood of going straight back to the Championship.
Burnley had a late escape at home to Fulham in a 2-2 draw rescued by David Datro Fofana’s late brace, though it wasn’t enough to improve their outlook – their relegation probability still increased to 96.4%.
The Clarets are seven points adrift of safety, while Sheffield United are a further three points worse off.
So, while these five clubs remain the most likely to go down according to the supercomputer, Brentford and Crystal Palace aren’t convincing many that they’ll pull clear comfortably. Their respective chances of relegation are yet to crack 10% in the simulations, both teams lost again over the weekend. They’re potentially just one more bad Matchday away from being in the thick of it, and Brentford have an especially tricky run of games coming up.
1 February 2024
Barring Bournemouth’s visit to West Ham and Manchester United’s mid-table clash (sorry United fans, but it is!) with Wolves, Matchday 22 of the 2023-24 Premier League season is history and there were some particularly notable results near the top and bottom of the table.
Here, though, we’re focusing on the relegation battle, and it would be remiss of us to not start with Luton Town, who were undoubtedly the biggest winners – literally and figuratively – over the past few days.
Rob Edwards’ men welcomed Brighton to Kenilworth Road on Tuesday and never looked like dropping points. The Seagulls barely had time to stretch their wings before finding themselves 2-0 down as Luton had a commanding lead after two minutes and 17 seconds; only once in Premier League history had a team been two goals up earlier.
Elijah Adebayo got the first and went on to score Luton’s first top-flight hat-trick since Lars Elstrup in September 1990, inspiring them to a 4-0 win, their biggest at this level in 35 years.
It was a remarkable result against a much-praised – albeit very inconsistent – Brighton team and it gave them a nice boost in their bid to avoid the drop as it took Luton up to 17th in the table, with Everton – hit with that 10-point deduction, of course – replacing them in the bottom three.
Luton have accumulated 19 points from 21 matches, which is a game fewer than almost all of their relegation rivals, and the unlikely hammering of Brighton saw their chances of being relegated plummet from 62% to just 36.3%.
Nevertheless, things could’ve been worse for Everton, who came away from Fulham with a point and a 0-0 draw. It was a result that only saw their relegation likelihood increase slightly from 15.6% to 21.5%.
Defeats were difficult to escape for everyone else towards the bottom, however. Sheffield United will be particularly gutted with their 3-2 loss at Crystal Palace, who have been threatening to throw their name into the hat for relegation in recent weeks.
The Blades led twice inside 20 minutes. Ben Brereton Díaz’s well-taken opener after 20 seconds was their earliest ever goal in the Premier League and it was followed by a deflected James McAtee effort after Eberechi Eze’s acrobatic equaliser.
England international Eze levelled again just before the half-hour mark with a stunning 20-yard strike and Michael Olise followed suit in the second half to ultimately seal a Palace win that leaves Sheffield United still stranded at the bottom with just 10 points; after 22 games, that’s their second-worst tally at this stage of a league season (in the top four tiers) after managing only six in 1975-76.
Either way, their relegation probability was already rated at 97.5% after the two-part Matchday 21, so in the grand scheme of things not much has change for them with it now at 99%.
Burnley’s situation isn’t too dissimilar, though at least they’d never have had any expectations of leaving the home of the champions with a result. For a while in the first half it looked like a big score could be on the cards, with birthday boy Julián Álvarez scoring twice in the opening 22 minutes.
But the final score was 3-1 to City, with Ameen Al-Dakhil’s tap-in in second-half stoppage time bringing a little more respectability to the result for Burnley – nevertheless, it didn’t help their chances of avoiding the drop, with their likelihood of relegation up slightly to 95.3% from 93.6%.
Nottingham Forest also lost, going down 2-1 at home to Arsenal on Tuesday. That result leaves them just two points above Everton in the last relegation place, while Luton’s win over Brighton has brought them to within a point of Nuno Espírito Santo’s men.
Forest’s probability of relegation increased considerably as a result of their defeat and Luton’s victory, to the point where their respective percentages are extremely close once again. Forest are now rated as having a 33.1% chance of going down; after Matchday 21, it was 20.2%.
It’s not just Forest having to look over their shoulder, though. Brentford lost again, this time to Tottenham, meaning they are only another two points further up the table; another bad result this weekend and they could be right in the thick of it.
22 January 2024
With the exception of Brighton-Wolves on Monday night, the Premier League’s winter break has thawed, and we can (almost) move on from what has felt like the longest MD in history.
The biggest relegation ‘winners’ from this most recent round of Premier League action – what we’ve called MD 21 (B) in the graphic below – were probably those sides who didn’t play.
Nottingham Forest led early on at Brentford through Danilo’s third-minute strike, but squandered that lead midway through the second half as goals from Ivan Toney and Ben Mee put the hosts in front. Chris Wood equalised for the visitors, before Neal Maupay scored what turned out to be the winning goal.
Nuno’s men have now dropped 19 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, with only Brentford (20) having lost more, and defeat saw them drop closer to the relegation zone. According to the Opta supercomputer, their chances of relegation jumped by 6.4% after their defeat to the Bees. They now have about a one-in-five chance (20.2%) of going down.
The other relegation-threatened team in action this weekend were Sheffield United, who played out a thriller with West Ham at Bramall Lane. Oli McBurnie’s last-gasp penalty – the latest Premier League goal in history – salvaged a point for the hosts. It didn’t do much for their relegation chances, though, decreasing them by just 0.3%. The Blades (97.5%) remain the Opta supercomputer’s most likely relegation candidates, just ahead of Burnley (93.6%).
With those two sides failing to pick up wins, both Everton (-1.4%) and Luton (-3.4%) saw their chances of relegation marginally drop; Luton do also have a game in hand on their relegation rivals.
Although they’ve not yet cracked our top five of most likely relegation candidates, Crystal Palace are surely looking over their shoulders. Roy Hodgson’s side have got just one win in their last 12 games in all competitions and now have a 6.1% chance of being relegated.
That’s a situation to monitor very, very carefully.
15 January 2024
It was just half a gameweek this week, but the Opta supercomputer doesn’t know the meaning of the words ‘winter break’.
Friday kicked off the action with a clash that was always going to have ramifications for the relegation battle, with Burnley hosting Luton Town at Turf Moor. An interesting contest ended all square at 1-1, though did end in some controversy after questions were asked about Luton’s late equaliser.
Zeki Amdouni had put Vincent Kompany’s side ahead in the first half, before Elijah Adebayo collided with Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford in stoppage time, allowing Carlton Morris to head in Alfie Doughty’s cross. The debate rages on as to whether a foul should have been awarded to the hosts, but what did it do for both teams’ survival chances?
Following the weekend’s action, Burnley – who remain five points from safety – have a 92.9% chance of being relegated back to the Championship, up from 91.5% following their previous game, while Luton’s likelihood is at 65.4% according to the Opta supercomputer, up from 64.6%.
Everton also secured a point at the weekend, drawing 0-0 at home to title challengers Aston Villa. It was a fairly turgid game at Goodison Park, only brought to life by an Alex Moreno goal that was correctly ruled out by the video assistant referee, eventually.
The point did slightly improve Sean Dyche’s men’s chance of staying up, only being relegated in 17.0% of the supercomputer’s simulations now, down from 18.8% after their previous game. They sit one place and one point above 18th placed Luton having played a game more.
No other team realistically in the relegation battle played in the Premier League’s other three games, though Fulham do go down in 1.7% of simulations after their 1-0 defeat at Chelsea.
Of those who didn’t play, bottom-placed Sheffield United’s percentage wasn’t really affected, merely moving from 97.9% to 97.8%. Nottingham Forest benefitted slightly, though, with their relegation percentage going down from 14.7% to 13.8%.
Reports suggest that Everton and Forest could potentially be handed points deductions for being in breach of the Premier League’s spending rules on Monday, which would of course affect the supercomputer’s findings further.
2 January 2024
You know what they say: ‘New year, new team in the Premier League relegation battle!’
Five successive defeats for Brentford have led to Thomas Frank’s side slipping to 16th in the table, now below Nuno Espírito Santo’s resurgent Nottingham Forest. As recently as 6 December, Brentford were 11th and surely would’ve had aspirations for a top-half finish rather than mere survival, but all of a sudden their hopes for the season look rather different.
Fortunately for them, there are three teams below them who are really struggling, and it’s for that reason that the Opta supercomputer only gives Brentford a 6.5% chance of relegation. The concerning thing for Frank is that in early December, they only had a 0.1% chance of going down. He will be looking forward to having Ivan Toney back from suspension this month.
The three newly promoted sides remain favourites for the drop, though, having each ended the festive period with a defeat. Sheffield United might even have been pleased to only lose 2-0 at Manchester City on Saturday, but the confidence boost brought by limiting the champions to two goals isn’t enough to improve their chances of survival. They are now relegated in 97.9% of the supercomputer’s season simulations – up from 97.7% before the weekend.
Burnley are now relegated in 91.5% of the supercomputer’s simulations – up from 88.8% before their weekend defeat at Aston Villa. Douglas Luiz’s 89th-minute sucker punch of a penalty meant Vincent Kompany’s side have failed to build on the 2-0 win at Fulham just before Christmas. Successive losses have left them still five points adrift of safety just after the halfway stage of 2023-24.
Luton returned to losing ways following back-to-back wins as they fell to a 3-2 defeat at home to Chelsea. They left their comeback too late, battling back from 3-0 down with two goals in the final 10 minutes, and ultimately missed the chance to leapfrog Everton and get out of the relegation zone for the first time since early November. Now with a 64.6% chance of relegation – up from 54.2% before the weekend – Luton were the biggest losers from the latest round of fixtures.
Everton had a catastrophically bad festive period, losing all three of their games, and their final result – a 3-0 defeat at Wolves – was the most disappointing of the bunch. That loss has seen their relegation chances continue to rise; they are now up at 18.8% – a significant rise from 12.2% before the Wolves game.
Forest extended their cushion above the relegation zone to five points with their impressive win over Manchester United on Saturday. As the only team in the bottom six to win, Santo’s side reduced their chances of relegation to 14.7%.
Crystal Palace (4.4%) and Fulham (1.2%) each won at the weekend and both saw their relegation chances drop significantly as a result. They are the only other teams with more than a 1% chance of being relegated according to the supercomputer’s latest round of 2023-24 simulations.
28 December 2023
With most teams having played 19 out of 38 games – including all but two of the bottom eight – it’s time to see how much work those sides have to do to escape the drop. Here are the percentage probabilities of each team finishing in every position in the supercomputer’s latest 10,000 season simulations.
Things have looked quite bleak for the three promoted sides for a while now and at the halfway point in the 2023-24 campaign, the supercomputer reckons those three teams are set for an immediate return to the second tier.
Sheffield United are up against it, with their very small uptick in form since Chris Wilder returned as manager not enough to give them much hope of survival. After earlier this week throwing away a 2-1 lead at home to fellow strugglers Luton to lose 3-2, they are seven points adrift of safety and face a battle with fate. In the supercomputer’s latest round of 10,000 season simulations, Wilder’s side were relegated a whopping 97.7% of the time. No team has ever survived in the Premier League having picked up as few as nine points from their opening 19 games, so history is very much against them.
Burnley, just two points ahead of Sheffield United, also face a battle if they are to stay up. Things have improved of late, with Vincent Kompany’s side having won two of their last six games – including an impressive 2-0 win away to Fulham – after winning only one of their first 13 games this season.
But 11 points from 19 games is very rarely enough to provide the foundations needed for a proper tilt at survival. Of the 17 teams to pick up as few as 11 points by the 19-game mark in a Premier League campaign, only two survived – West Brom in 2004-05 and Newcastle in 2021-22. Both teams picked up more than 70% of their points for the season in the second half of those campaigns, but both sacked their manager in late October.
There is no sign of Burnley looking to change manager to bring in a firefighter, and their inconsistent form is also showing little sign of abating; they are the only team in the top flight yet to go two games unbeaten this season. That will at least in part explain why the supercomputer rates Burnley as having a massive 88.8% likelihood of relegation.
The final of the three promoted sides, Luton – the team that came up through the play-offs – are deemed to have the best chance of survival, but they are still given a 54.2% chance of dropping straight back down to the Championship. However, having won back-to-back games for the first time this season after following up a hugely impressive 1-0 win over Newcastle with that aforementioned 3-2 victory at Sheffield United, Luton are now only one point adrift of safety and they have a game in hand on Everton. Now with an almost 50-50 chance of survival, this is the best position Luton have found themselves in all season. A mid-January trip to face Burnley at Turf Moor looks like a massive game.
The supercomputer reckons five other teams still have more than a 1% chance of relegation, with Nottingham Forest the next most likely to get sucked into the battle. They were relegated in 29.2% of the latest simulations, although after they came from behind to beat Newcastle in Nuno Espírito Santo‘s second game in charge of the club earlier this week, confidence will be much higher at Forest.
After Everton made it two losses in a row, they are now only relegated in 12.1% of the supercomputer’s simulations, while Crystal Palace have a roughly one-in-10 chance of relegation (9.6%), with their form having nosedived of late. Fulham (4.5%) and Brentford (2.6%) are the only other teams with more than 1% chance of relegation. Both are on poor runs of form, having lost three and four consecutive matches, respectively.
As we head into a Premier League festive period that’ll see every team play three games before the third round of the FA Cup (okay – Palace and Brighton have two after they drew 1-1 last night), now is an ideal time to look at the current relegation projections by the Opta supercomputer.
All three sides promoted from the Championship last season occupy the bottom three places, with a five-point gap separating 18th-place Luton Town and 17th-place Nottingham Forest. Of course, Luton do have a game in hand on the other teams in the bottom five following the abandonment of their game at Bournemouth last weekend, a match that the Premier League have decided will be replayed in full in 2024.
Both Burnley (91.4%) and Sheffield United (92.9%) were relegated in the vast majority of current simulations by the Opta supercomputer, but Luton’s projected relegation chances have improved from 11 days ago, when it was just over 5% higher (78.5% vs 73.3%).
Of the teams outside the bottom three, Nottingham Forest have by far the highest projected chance of relegation, with the Tricky Trees being relegated in 30.6% of the current 10,000 Opta supercomputer season simulations. Nuno Espírito Santo replaced Steve Cooper as Forest manager earlier this week, and it’s clear that Nuno has a job on his hands to stop their slide down the table.
There is hope for the teams down the bottom of the league, though. Before the Premier League resumed on Matchday 16 last season after the 2022 World Cup, the Opta supercomputer gave Wolves the highest chance of relegation (67.6%), with them rooted to the bottom of the league with 10 points and four points from safety. They turned it around, and ended the season in 13th. Nottingham Forest were also third favourites (51.1%) and survived. There’s still a lot of football to be played and points to be won in 2023-24.
We’re now 16 games into the 2023-24 Premier League season, so there’s been enough action to make meaningful assessments as to how the campaign could turn out for all 20 teams.
The bottom three clubs – Sheffield United, Burnley and Luton Town – have seen an unwelcome gap open up between them and safety, with Everton’s latest win over Chelsea sending them four points clear of 18th-placed Luton.
Here, we run through all of the clubs deemed to be in the relegation battle in 2023-24 according to the Opta supercomputer as they stand.
Sheffield United: 91.7% chance of relegation
Sheffield United put in a gutsy display in midweek versus Liverpool, but eventually lost 2-0 in Chris Wilder’s first game back in charge. Before this weekend’s game at home to injury-hit Brentford, the Blades were relegated in 95.1% of the Opta supercomputer’s projections. However, following a 1-0 win sealed by James McAtee’s impressive goal on Saturday at Bramall Lane, those chances have improved to 91.7%. That projection would have been better had it not been for Bournemouth and Everton winning on Matchday 16 as well, but Wilder’s side have a positive performance to build on.
Despite the win on Saturday, history is steering the Opta supercomputer towards its strong relegation projection for Sheff Utd. Before this season, seven different Premier League clubs have won eight points or fewer from their opening 16 matches in a season. All seven have been relegated, with five of them finishing bottom of the league at the end of the campaign. If Sheffield United and Wilder are going to escape relegation this time around, they’ll have to create history.
Burnley: 85.6% chance of relegation
Like Sheffield United, Burnley are on eight points from 16 matches. Their latest point came in a respectable 1-1 draw at Brighton on Saturday, but this is still their worst-ever start to a Premier League season. In their last EPL campaign in 2021-22, they’d won 11 points at this stage on the way to relegation.
Unlike Sheffield United, Burnley’s likelihood of relegation went up following this weekend’s results, moving from 83.3% to 85.6%.
After such an impressive promotion-winning season in the Championship last campaign, Vincent Kompany’s side were deemed as the sixth most likely to be relegated in the pre-season Premier League predictions by the Opta supercomputer (33.2%), but their poor start has ensured the AI-powered prediction model has reassessed.
Luton Town: 78.5% chance of relegation
Luton were the overwhelming favourites for Premier League relegation with the Opta supercomputer in the pre-season projections, as the only team with a higher than 50% chance of dropping down to the second tier (62.3%). While that projection is now higher (78.5%) with 16 matches of 2023-24 played, they have fallen below both Burnley and Sheffield United in the projected relegation chances according to our model.
Luton are a point ahead of the other two newly promoted sides in the table but are now four points from safety following Everton’s 2-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday.
Some potential positivity for Hatters fans: of the 10 previous teams to have won exactly nine points from their opening 16 matches of a 38-game Premier League season, four have stayed up – Southampton in 2018-19, Sunderland in 2013-14, Wigan in 2007-08 and Coventry City in 1995-96. Only one of those did so without changing their manager within the season, however – Ron Atkinson turning things around at Coventry.
Nottingham Forest: 21.7% chance of relegation
Nottingham Forest’s chance of relegation from the Premier League may have reduced by 12.1% since pre-season (33.8%), but it’s still been a somewhat disappointing start to 2023-24 for Steve Cooper and his side.
They find themselves five points above the relegation zone, while 14 points is one more than they’d won after 16 games last season (13), but the lack of overall improvement in their second season back in the top flight has led to rumours of Cooper’s departure from the club.
A 1-1 draw at Wolves on Saturday put an end to a four-game losing streak in the Premier League, but just one win in their last 12 league matches has contributed to Forest’s projected relegation chance increasing to 21.7% from 5.3% as recently as the November international break.
Everton: 11.7% chance of relegation
Everton began this season with the fourth-highest chance of relegation with the Opta supercomputer (34.4%) after two successive top-flight campaigns surviving by the skin of their teeth.
After a difficult start to the season soon picked up, and coupled with disastrous starts for others, Everton’s chance of relegation in 2023-24 fell to just 3.5% after winning 14 points inside 12 matches and opening up a gap of eight points between themselves and Luton in 18th. Then they were hit with a points deduction on 17 November.
After the 10-point deduction, Everton’s projected relegation chance increased by 30.6% to 34.1%, making them the fourth most likely side for the drop to the Championship and opening the door for the bottom three to reopen the relegation battle.
But that points deduction has only fired Sean Dyche and his side up. The Toffees have won nine points since then, with only Bournemouth, Liverpool and Aston Villa (10 each) winning more. Luton, Sheffield United and Burnley only won one more point than that between them (10) across those four matches. As a result, across the current 10,000 seasonal projections by the Opta supercomputer, Everton were relegated in just 11.7% of them.
Crystal Palace: 7.2% chance of relegation
Things have gone south for Crystal Palace since the October international break. Following a 0-0 draw with Nottingham Forest on 7 October, Palace’s projected relegation chances stood at just 0.4%. After a run in which they’ve collected just four points in eight Premier League games since, that probability has risen to 7.2% and Roy Hodgson’s side are now the sixth favourites for the drop with the Opta supercomputer.
Their total of 16 points is the Eagles’ worst Premier League tally after 16 games of a season since 2018-19 (12) and six fewer than at this point last season.
Looking across Matchdays 16 to 20 – so ahead of the FA Cup third round in January, Palace were deemed to have the hardest festive fixtures of all Premier League sides – a run of games that started with a last-minute defeat to Liverpool on Saturday. With a trip to Manchester City next Saturday, followed by a derby against rivals Brighton on 21 December, Palace fans might have a worrying Christmas ahead.
Bournemouth: 1.4% chance of relegation
Andoni Iraola’s start to life as a Premier League manager wasn’t a comfortable one. With just three points won in his opening nine matches in charge of Bournemouth, there were various reports suggesting that unless he won the MD 10 clash with fellow relegation-threatened side Burnley, he’d be out of a job.
Luckily for the Spaniard, goals from Antoine Semenyo and Philip Billing won all three points for the Cherries, despite falling behind in the ‘six-pointer’ on Saturday 28 October. Ahead of Matchday 10 in the Premier League, Bournemouth were the third-favourites for the drop at 66.9%. However, a run of five wins in seven games that include only one loss – at reigning Premier League champions Manchester City – has produced 16 points. Only Liverpool (17) have won more in this period, with their tally the same as Aston Villa (16) and Everton (16) and one more than Arsenal (15).
This all means that the Opta supercomputer sees them relegated in just 1.4% of the 10,000 current simulations of the 2023-24 Premier League season, which is testament to the exceptional turnaround that Iraola has managed on the south coast.
The Rank Outsiders
In the latest 10,000 Opta supercomputer simulations of the Premier League 2023-24 season, five other teams were relegated from the competition at least once. Now, we know that these are unlikely to happen as things stand, but they are still worth a mention.
Wolves’ chance of dropping to the Championship in our pre-season predictions stood at 16.5% before a ball was kicked in August. However, Gary O’Neil has led his side to 19 points from their opening 16 games of the campaign and that chance now stands at just 1.3%. While their start hasn’t broken any records – it’s only six more points than at this stage last season – the collective failure of the newly promoted sides to gain any positive momentum has helped Wolves.
Fulham were relegated in 40 of 10,000 simulations, but the Opta supercomputer obviously hasn’t paid enough attention to Marco Silva’s side becoming the hottest side in front of goal in the last seven days. Brentford have many injuries, which isn’t helping their current form. They will have Ivan Toney back from suspension in the new year, which should help them avoid a relegation battle, but they were relegated in 37 of the current simulations for the final Premier League table.
No side has performed worse than Chelsea in the Premier League in 2023. No ever-present side has won fewer than their 39 points (level with Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace) and Mauricio Pochettino hasn’t really given them the boost they’d hoped for. Their 19-point tally is their third lowest after 16 games of a Premier League season, ahead of only 2015-16 (15) and 1993-94 (14). Chelsea were relegated in five of the 10,000 Premier League simulations run today.
Finally, just one of the 10,000 simulations of the final Premier League table run today saw West Ham United relegated to the Championship. Then again, another of those saw West Ham finish second in the table. Neither are going to happen, but we have to cover all bases…
How Does the Opta 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 Power 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.