Using the Opta supercomputer’s predictions, we’re able to look at the chances of each team lifting the Premier League title at the end of the season. As the campaign goes on, we’ll track the chance of each of the frontrunners in the title race.

22 April

With Manchester City in FA Cup action on Saturday, Arsenal and Liverpool had the chance to move ahead of the title favourites at the top of the Premier League table this weekend. And after disappointing results last week, they needed to take the chance to bounce back.

Both faced potentially tricky games on the road against mid-table teams, but both came through their tests unscathed. As a result, the title race became a little bit tighter according to the Opta supercomputer’s predictions.

Arsenal ran out 2-0 victors at Wolves on Saturday night thanks to goals from Leandro Trossard and Martin Ødegaard. That result took them back to the top of the table, one point ahead of Manchester City.

On Sunday, Liverpool survived a mini scare at Fulham to win 3-1 and join Arsenal on 74 points at the top of the league. Trent Alexander-Arnold put Liverpool ahead with a superb free-kick, before Timothy Castagne equalised for the hosts on the stroke of half-time, but second-half goals from Ryan Gravenberch and Diogo Jota handed Jürgen Klopp’s side the win they needed.

Those results leave City third in the table with a game in hand, and so reduced their chances of winning the title slightly.

Their title chances dropped from 70.1% to 62.0%, but they remain clear favourites to win the Premier League for a record fourth consecutive year.

Arsenal are second favourites, with the win at Wolves increasing their title chances from 18.3% to 22.1%. Liverpool are still in the race, though, with a 15.9% chance, having come into the weekend with their chances rated at 11.7%.

All three teams face tough midweek fixtures this week. Arsenal host Chelsea on Tuesday, before Liverpool make the short trip to Goodison Park for the Merseyside derby with Everton on Wednesday and Manchester City go to Brighton on Thursday.

We’ll be back after those games to see how the title race has been affected.

14 April

What a weekend for Manchester City. After picking up three points on Saturday to go top of the Premier League, they watched rivals Liverpool fall to a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Crystal Palace, before Arsenal also slipped up in a 2-0 loss to Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium.

After their 2-2 draw at Manchester United last week, Liverpool surely couldn’t afford to drop any more points so soon, but they suffered only their third Premier League defeat of the campaign and their first league loss at Anfield since October 2022 thanks to Eberechi Eze’s 14th-minute strike.

The 2.87 expected goals amassed by the hosts was their most on record (since 2010-11) in a game in which they failed to find the net, having also been wasteful in front of goal against United seven days prior.

It also came a day after Man City went top of the table with a 5-1 thrashing of Luton Town at the Etihad Stadium. A Daiki Hashioka own goal was followed in the second-half by goals from Mateo Kovacic, an Erling Haaland penalty, Jérémy Doku and Josko Gvardiol, with Ross Barkley pulling one back for the visitors.

Arsenal had the chance to take advantage of Liverpool’s slip on Sunday but were unable to do so as former manager Unai Emery returned to seal a 2-0 win for Aston Villa at the Emirates. Late goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins handed the Gunners their fifth league defeat of the season, and their first of 2024.

As a result, unsurprisingly, Man City have become even bigger favourites according to the supercomputer, winning the title in a whopping 70.1% of its 10,000 season simulations.
Arsenal’s possibility of lifting the title has dropped to 18.3%, while Liverpool pay the price for losing a game they were even heavier favourites in by seeing their chances reduced to just 11.7%.

There are just two points between City and both of their rivals with six games to play, but the supercomputer knows how ominous the form of Pep Guardiola’s men usually is at this stage of the season. Arsenal and Liverpool have it all to do to wrestle things back from them in the run-in.

Opta title chances 14 April

7 April

Well, well, well.

We said in our last post there’d be twists and turns in this title race yet, and we’ve just had an absolutely massive one at Old Trafford.

Liverpool dominated against Manchester United but wasted chance after chance and were made to pay late on. They had gone ahead through Luis Díaz, but Bruno Fernandes scored with United’s first shot in the 50th minute of the game, and Kobbie Mainoo turned the game on its head against all odds shortly after. Mo Salah rescued a point from the spot, but it will feel like two points dropped for Jürgen Klopp’s side.

They had come into the weekend as favourites to win the league, boasting a 45.0% chance of winning the title according to the Opta supercomputer. But after their draw at Old Trafford, their chances have dropped to 29.1%. They are now third favourites for the title.

That’s because their result followed both Arsenal and Manchester City winning on Saturday.

City had opened the weekend’s proceedings with a 4-2 win at Crystal Palace, although their victory wasn’t without its scares. Palace had gone ahead in the third minute, only for Kevin De Bruyne to inspire his side back in front.

Arsenal then played the late game at Brighton and cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win through goals from Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard.

City are now – once again – favourites to win the league, given a 40.6%% chance of securing a record-breaking fourth consecutive title. Arsenal, however, saw the biggest increase in their title chances, shooting up from 21.4% to 30.3% – a rise of 8.9% that puts them into second place in the race, and firmly in contention to win their first title in 20 years.

It is getting closer and closer to each side having a one-in-three chance of winning the title. It is almost as even as it could possibly be with seven games remaining.

5 April

We’re into April now, and well into the business end of the season. The fixtures are starting to pile up and all three title rivals will be playing both in midweek and at the weekend throughout the month.

Each of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City got the month off to the perfect start with a win in this midweek round of fixtures, and the headline news for the title race is that those results haven’t changed much at all.

Arsenal were the biggest winners following an incredibly comfortable victory over Luton on Wednesday. We are into the section of the season when things started to unravel last season, so the supercomputer values an Arsenal win during the run-in particularly highly. This victory saw their title chances rise from 18.8% to 21.4%.

Mikel Arteta rested several key players ahead of a busy month, and they still managed to win without much fuss at all. It’s the first time the Opta supercomputer has given Arsenal more than a one-in-five chance of winning the title since the turn of the year.

Premier League title chances before-after MD31

A Phil-Foden-inspired Manchester City responded later on in the evening by thrashing Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium. It was their first win of the entire season against another member of the current top five, and didn’t come without an early scare when Jhon Durán equalised for Villa.

But then Foden came to life and struck the third hat-trick of his career to send City back to within one point of Arsenal. City’s title chances rose by just 0.1% after this win over Villa; the supercomputer expected them to win and so doesn’t believe them winning affects their title chances too much.

Liverpool then had an almighty scare on Thursday night, but eventually managed to see off basement boys Sheffield United thanks to Alexis Mac Allister’s rocket of a finish. The Opta supercomputer had given Liverpool an 85.5% chance of winning that match, and so the fact that they struggled to break down the team set to break the Premier League record for goals conceded in a season appears to have hurt their title chances. Their chances dropped from 47.7% to 45.0% after this midweek round of fixtures.

With all three teams winning on Matchday 31, little has changed at the top. The three-horse race is still set to go down to the wire.

31 March

*Attention, please. Attention, please.*

*We have a new favourite for the Premier League title.*

That’s right. For the first time this season, Manchester City aren’t favourites to win the league.

Liverpool were the big winners from Sunday’s Premier League action. After they came from behind to beat Brighton in the earlier game, a goalless draw at the Etihad meant Liverpool overtake City as the supercomputer’s favourites for the title.

In the supercomputer’s latest round of 10,000 simulations of the rest of the Premier League season, Liverpool finished top of the pile 47.7% of the time. After the previous round of fixtures at the start of the month, Liverpool’s title chances were rated at 35.3%, meaning they increased by 12.4%.

Jürgen Klopp’s side have had to get used to coming back from losing positions this season, so there was no panic when they went 1-0 down to Brighton inside 90 seconds. At that point in the afternoon, however, they certainly didn’t feel like favourites to win the title.

Premier League Title Chances - Matchday 30

But back they roared to secure a vital win which ultimately meant they ended the day as the team the supercomputer deemed most likely to win the league.

That was because City were unable to find a way past Arsenal. Pep Guardiola’s side saw their title chances drop from 45.9% to 33.5% as a result of the draw – their second in a row and third in their last six Premier League games.

Their chances dropped by 12.4% – the exact amount by which Liverpool’s increased. At just over a one-in-three chance, this is the lowest Man City’s title chances have been all season.

Arsenal’s chances, meanwhile, remained steady at 18.8%. The positive of avoiding defeat at the Etihad was likely offset by the fact that they lost their position at the top of the league, meaning they are now – like City – relying on other teams to slip up.

With nine games to go, though, there’s plenty of time for each of the title hopefuls to drop points. There’ll be many more twists and turns, yet.

10 March

What a weekend that was, then. The title race felt like it was already on a knife edge, and Arsenal suitably did their bit on Saturday, just about.

Mikel Arteta’s men beat Brentford 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium thanks to a late Kai Havertz header. Arsenal became only the fourth side to win each of their first eight Premier League games of a calendar year, with the previous three all going on to win the title that year (Manchester United in 2009, Liverpool in 2020 and Manchester City in 2021).

Then it was a case of putting their feet up and seeing what happened at Anfield on Sunday.

They also got the result they wanted there, with a fascinating final Premier League clash between Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola ending 1-1, leaving Arsenal top of the table.

Because we know how insatiable people are for the opinions of the almighty Opta supercomputer, we fired it up to see its latest predictions in what is looking like a fantastic title race.

Arsenal have gone up to 18.8% to win the league, a rise of almost 6% following this weekend’s games. Liverpool have dropped very slightly from 35.6% to 35.3%, but Man City have lost the most ground, dropping below 50% as they slide from 51.4% to 45.9%.

Premier League Title Race Predictions MD28

The FA Cup returns next week, with internationals after that, but when the Premier League returns at the end of the month it will be Liverpool hosting Brighton… and Manchester City at home to Arsenal.

Strap in…

5 March

The title race keeps rumbling on. All three of Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal won this matchday, albeit in very different circumstances.

It took Liverpool just over eight minutes of added time – and a controversial referring decision to award them a drop ball – to grab a last-gasp winner at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Darwin Núñez rose highest in the Forest box to punish the hosts inability to clear their lines, heading in Alexis Mac Allister’s lovely flighted cross. Núñez’s goal, timed at 98 minutes and 37 seconds, was Liverpool’s latest winning goal in a Premier League game that Opta has on record (2006-07 onwards). It was also the 10th latest goal in recorded Premier League history.

The Uruguayan’s strike was the third added-time winner for Liverpool in the Premier League this season, following his winning goal at Newcastle United in August and Harvey Elliot’s winner at Crystal Palace on 9 December. Liverpool’s chances of winning the title are still a healthy 35.6%, although that is slightly down from the 36.1% they had going into Matchday 27.

And that’s because defending champions and Opta supercomputer favourites, Manchester City, eventually prevailed over Manchester United in the Manchester derby on Sunday.

Despite trailing at half-time, a brace from Phil Foden and a goal from Erling Haaland saw City win it. In doing so, they inflicted United’s first league defeat having held a half-time lead in over nine years.

That wasn’t before a mini scare though, with Marcus Rashford’s sensational long-range strike putting the visitors in front. City’s Premier League title probability looks healthy now – rising 0.8% to 51.4% overall after this win – but just before Foden’s 56th-minute equaliser, they’d gone from favourites for the title pre-match (47.6%) to second favourites (40.5%) behind Liverpool (44.7%).

Premier League Title - Odds of Winning MD27

If anything could sum up the magnitude of the task that Arsenal face, it’s the fact they steamrollered Sheffield United 6-0 and yet their probability of winning the title dropped by 0.3%. The Gunners blew away the Blades in the first half and were five goals ahead by the 39th minute – that’s the earliest an away side has had a five-goal margin in Premier League history. 

Despite their electric form – they’re the first side in English league football to win three successive away games by 5+ goals – if they are to win the title they need both Liverpool and Manchester City to slip up, something that gets increasingly unlikely the closer we get to the end of the season.

With all three sides hitting excellent form, it looks almost certain that the title race is going to be decided by the games between them. That starts next weekend as Manchester City visit Anfield. We can’t wait.

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.

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