Before the season started, the Opta supercomputer predicted how the Premier League would pan out in 2023-24; here, after eight rounds of matches, we have an update on those predictions for you.

Updated Premier League Predictions: The Quick Hits

Favourites for the Title: Manchester City
Top Four Favourites: Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur

Before a ball was kicked, our omniscient supercomputer told us what it thought would (or might) happen this season. If you want to look back at those pre-season predictions, you can find them here.

The supercomputer never sleeps – it has been running 10,000 simulations of the Premier League season on a more-than-daily basis since the season began to let us know the most likely finishing position for each of the division’s 20 teams. Ahead of the return of domestic football this weekend, here we bring you the October update to our Premier League predictions.

These are the percentage probabilities of each team finishing in each position in the latest round of 10,000 season simulations from our supercomputer. Read on for some analysis of our findings.

Premier League Opta predictions

Who Will Win the Premier League in 2023-24?

Manchester City were overwhelming favourites for the title before the start of the season according to our supercomputer and, in truth, they still are. Pep Guardiola’s side won the title in the majority of the latest round of 10,000 season simulations.

But after two successive losses, their chances of winning the title have plummeted (relatively speaking, of course). Before the start of the season, they won the title in 90.2% of our supercomputer’s simulations; in other words, more than nine out of 10 times, City were crowned champions. Now that is down to 73.4%: less than seven and a half out of 10, or roughly three in every four times.

They are still considered massive favourites despite the fact their last two results – which came with key man Rodri absent from their midfield due to suspension – have left them two points adrift of Tottenham and Arsenal at the top of the table.

But 73.4% is far lower than what it was not very long ago at all. In our mid-September predictions update, for example, City were given a 91.3% chance of winning the title, having started the season with four wins from four. What that means is that 26.6% of the time in our supercomputer’s simulations, a team other than City won the title.

So, who other than City has a chance? Our supercomputer makes Liverpool second favourites after they won 12.2% of simulations, while Arsenal are just behind on 11.8%. Arsenal had briefly been ahead of Liverpool but it is so tight between these two that Liverpool have just edged ahead again.

Race for the Premier League title

Meanwhile, Ange Postecoglou’s impressive start to life in the Premier League has led to Tottenham’s chances of winning the title jumping from 0.1% after four matches to 1.5% after eight. It isn’t a huge chance at all, but it is 15 times as high as it was in September, so something is obviously going right there. Spurs are the only other team with chance of more than 1%, with Newcastle currently next on 0.8%.

Manchester United were the fourth team (alongside City, Arsenal and Liverpool) to have more than 1% chance of winning the title before the start of the season, but their woeful start to the season has seen those chances drop to very close to nil.

Who Will Finish in the Premier League Top Four in 2023-24?

The race for the UEFA Champions League is hotting up nicely, with eight teams within six points of Liverpool in fourth place at present, and there is also the added possibility of a fifth place in next season’s competition for Premier League clubs. But as that fifth spot is not yet guaranteed, we will concentrate on the top four.

Unsurprisingly, Man City are deemed pretty certain to finish in the top four, finishing there in 99.5% of the Opta supercomputer’s current simulations. That is, however, down from 99.93% just four matches ago. It’s still very nearly a foregone conclusion that they will qualify for the Champions League next season, but those chances will only slip further if their poor form continues (yes, we know there isn’t much chance of that).

Despite Arsenal being above Liverpool in the table, the supercomputer says Liverpool (89.0%) are a little likelier to make the top four than Mikel Arteta’s side (88.0%). It is only a small difference though.

So, with those three finishing in the top four in most of the simulations our supercomputer ran, who else is in with a chance?

Spurs are the current favourites to finish fourth (25.3%), with an overall likelihood of finishing in the top four of 49.7%. Newcastle are next on 35.7%, followed by Aston Villa (16.1%), Brighton (11.3%), West Ham (6.1%) and Manchester United (3.4%). Those are all the teams deemed to have a chance of greater than one in a hundred of attaining Champions League football (based on the assumption that the top four qualify). Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea have an outside chance of sneaking in at 0.6%, while Crystal Palace finished in the top four in 0.2% of the supercomputer’s simulations.

Premier League race for a Champions League place
Jonathan Manuel / Data Analyst

Eight games in, we have our favourites, but there is still a long, long way to go, and the changes we have already seen in each team’s chances of success prove, if there was any doubt at all, that a lot can change in the space of a few matches.

Opta-Simulated Premier League Table

After simulating the Premier League 2023-24 season 10,000 times following eight games played, we’re able to rank teams positionally. Here’s the Opta supercomputer results from those simulations:

1st: Manchester City
2nd: Arsenal
3rd: Liverpool
4th: Tottenham Hotspur
5th: Newcastle United
6th: Aston Villa
7th: Brighton & Hove Albion
8th: West Ham United
9th: Manchester United
10th: Chelsea
11th: Crystal Palace
12th: Fulham
13th: Brentford
14th: Wolverhampton Wanderers
15th: Nottingham Forest
16th: Everton
17th: Burnley
18th: Bournemouth
19th: Luton Town
20th: Sheffield United

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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