After 14 games, Manchester City and Leicester City lead the Premier League on 29 points. Arsenal are just two points behind on 27 in an incredibly tight table.
How many times has a team been on 27 points after 14 games and won the league? Just once since 1997, and it was Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal side that did it back in 1997/98.
They won the league, finishing on 78 points. No team has won the league with as few points as that since, so what are our chances this season?
Actually, they aren’t so bad. The current tally of 29 points shared by the top two is only the third time since 1997 that 29 points has been enough to lead the league at this point. The other years were 1997/98, 1998/99 (when 79 points won Manchester United the title) and 2010/11 (Manchester United won the league again, this time with 80 points after picking up 28 from the opening 14 games).
It may look a little bit bleak for Arsenal right now, with just 27 points, but history suggests this Premier League season is shaping up to be an unusual one. For just the second time since 2001, it seems like 80 points may just be enough to win you the Premier League.
In fact, running simulations based on form shown by teams so far, Michael Caley’s model projects Manchester City to win the league with under 80 points.
Full EPL projected table fwiw pic.twitter.com/OmIaCDKv3h
— Michael Caley (@MC_of_A) November 29, 2015
Casey’s method includes measuring the quality of chances each team has conceded and created so far this season, a good indicator of future success and proven to be a far better indicator than goals alone.
Injuries aside, Arsenal haven’t done too badly so far this season. Keeping pace with Manchester City isn’t easy, and the Premier League is going through a phase where the playing field is being levelled. More than ever before, everyone truly can beat everyone else.
As a result, 80 points may just be the benchmark for this season’s champions.