With the Premier League kick off exactly a week away, stakes in the outright markets are hotting up, with many attempting to answer the question, which team will lift the trophy in 2017.
Many punters will likely back one of the so-called big four, while some will follow their heart and opt for a bet on their own team, an option which sensationally paid off for a handful hopeful Leicester City fans last season, cashing in at 5000/1.
We are all about the numbers though and our mission is to find out what it really takes for a top-flight club to become Premier League champions.
“The Premier League title has not been defended in seven seasons.”
Naturally we have to begin with Leicester.
What the club achieved under Ranieri in his first season back in England since his departure from Chelsea back in 2004 was nothing short of miraculous.
Not only was it a success for the club, it was a victory for football, showing that passion and togetherness can overcome the financial powers of the modern game.
The big question has been, ‘Can Leicester City do it all again?’. Unfortunately many factors are looking against City defending their title.
The Premier League title has not been defended in the last seven seasons, while there has only been seven title defences altogether since the the Premier League formed in 1992, with six of those achieved by Manchester United.
They will also have to cope with each added matches and travel of the Champions League, something they did not contend with last term, while the loss of key personnel could hit the squad hard if not replaced sufficiently.
“20 of the 24 Premier League winners have finished in the top 4 in the two seasons previous to lifting the trophy.”
Consistency appears to be key to a club’s future successes, and though Leicester did prove otherwise, over the longer term it certainly helps to be constantly in the mix year on year.
In the 24 Premier League seasons, 20 of the teams who went on to lift the trophy had finished the previous two campaigns in the top four.
On top of this 23 of the 24 title winners have finished in the top three in their previous campaign, with the reigning champions being the exception, while 18 of those 23 sides finished in the top two.
To break it down even further, seven went on to defend their crown while the 11 runners-up went one better the following season.
“The last 17 Premier League titles have been claimed with 80+ points”
Winning games and accumulating points throughout the season is obviously vital, especially against close rivals in so called ‘six-pointers’.
The Premier League title has been claimed with no less than 80 points since the turn of the century, with the points tallies needed to grab the Premier League crown in the last 10 years averaging 86.4, though this has dropped to 84.7 points over the last three seasons.
Last season also saw the fewest combined points total (288 points) for the top four in the Premier League since 2001 (287 points), with an average drop of 8.5% on the last 14 consecutive seasons, a suggestion that big club dominance isn’t as strong as it has been in the past.
“Only three managers have won the Premier League in the debut season in England.”
When a foreign manager comes over to England for the first time, the same question is always asked, ‘Can they adapt to the English style of play?’
Only three managers have indeed made an instant impact winning the Premier League in their debut season, Jose Mourinho (2005), Carlo Ancelotti (2010) and Manuel Pellegrini (2014).
However saying this, excluding Sir Alex Ferguson’s dominance at Manchester United, the last seven managers to lift the trophy have been at their clubs for under 18 months prior to their winning season.
With the statistics that we’ve highlighted above, the only thing left to do is apply them to this season’s clubs to analyse which side ultimately ticks most of the statistical trends needed to become the title winners.
While Leicester cover 80% of the criteria, it’s difficult to see them challenging again simply because of the scale of what they achieved last season will lead to increased matches, increased travel and player departures which is without doubt going to have an impact of the club.
Interestingly, Arsenal also covered 80% of the statistics board, with only Arsene Wenger’s 20 year spell at the club denying them a clean sweep. It does seem to suggest that the Gunners may benefit from a fresh face in charge with some Premier League experience to his name going forward.
Elsewhere, favourites Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham all secured two of the five favourable statistics, though Manchester United and Liverpool benefited solely from their managers presence, so all eyes will be on both Mourinho and Klopp to see if they are able to guide their sides to better performances this season.
Finally Chelsea were the only side to register just a single tick, however they’ve brought in an impressive manager in the form of Antonio Conte and have made some key signings. Two of the three managers to win the Premier League without experience in the division have done it at Chelsea however which does tilt in their favour.
Overall though we cannot argue with the figures and Arsenal have constantly performed well in the Premier League, failing to finish outside the top 4 since 2005, and we are backing Arsene Wenger as the value at 6/1 to pick up his fourth title in his 20th season in charge of the North London side, in what may prove to be his last.
Arsenal To Win the Premier League 2016/17: 6/1 Bet365