After the positive feedback (thanks!) on the original post - Here - here is an update on the table after 10 matches.
Previous standings - first 5 matches
A quick recap of the methodology : I assume that 91pts* will guarantee winning the league. To get this total - win all games vs bottom 10 (60pts), win and draw away against mid-4 (Villa, Everton, Newcastle, Swansea)** (16pts), win and lose away against the top 6 (15pts). This table shows how much the teams deviate from this target (i.e. a team with -2pts is on course to get 89pts, 2 short of 91).
The previous table:
Let's see how it has changed.
Table after 10 matches
Man U -5pts
Man City -6pts
Recap of last 5 matches
Last 5 form: 0pts (+1, 0, 0, 0, -1)
After the first five matches, we were performing in line with expectations Against Tottenham, Terry gained us +1 by getting a draw away (more importantly - Tot lost 2pts). Wins against Cardiff and Norwich were a must and the team delivered. Against City it was looking like a -2pts, until Torres gave us the expected result. Though it sounds like a bit of a downer (as in "we gained 0pts for a game against City"), the main benefit is that the match against City at the Etihad will be less stressful, as we have acquired the necessary 3pts from the 2 matches against City. Any additional points will be a welcome bonus.
Prior to the Newcastle game, we were on a +1, potentially going up to +3 if we beat the Magpies. It didn't work out, but it is not a reason to panic. That -1 from that game still means we are on target for 91pts. We have performed in line with expectations over the past 5 matches with a 0pt deviation. We have been the best team in this period (Liverpool and Arsenal also have 0pt deviations in the last 5, but we played against City).
Though we are not on top of the actual table, this analysis emphasizes the fact that our away games have been VERY difficult (Tot, Man U, Everton, Newcastle and the exception, Norwich) and we managed the get necessary record (1-2-2). Furthermore, if one was to choose whether to lose to Newcastle and Everton or Man U and Tot, we chose much better as we took points off our direct title contenders.
Liverpool: -1 pts
Last 5 form: 0pts (0, 0, 0, 0, 0)
Liverpool were at -1pts before this set of matches. They had an easy schedule with wins against Sunderland, Palace and West Brom, while they drew with 10-man Newcastle away (in line with expectations). The match against Arsenal was a chance for them to get some points, but they failed. Gives us a bit of comfort as they are the closest title contenders. Just like us, they performed in line with expectations during these 5 matches, but they haven't made up for their early dropped points.
Tottenham: -3 pts
Last 5 form: -3pts (-2, -3, +2, 0, 0)
Tottenham did not deviate in a single match in the first 5 games and were tied for first place. That quickly began to unravel. A draw to us at home (-2pts) and a hammering from the Hammers (-3pts) meant they were at the bottom of this table. They managed to regain 2pts quite fortunately against Villa and then managed to win against Hull with the help of the official. The match against Everton went as forecast, with a 0-0 draw, ensuring that Tot were the second worst team over the last 5 matches.
Arsenal: -3 pts
Last 5 form: 0pts (+2, -2, 0, 0, 0)
Arsenal were at -3pts after their early defeat against Villa at home. They have had a very easy schedule not only over the last 5 games, but all 10 games. A win at Swansea gave them an additional 2pts but they quickly gave those away, after failing to win against West Brom. Two easy wins against Norwich and Palace were in line with expectations. The Liverpool game was at home, so Arsenal were expected to win it. As mentioned above, this result prevented Liverpool from gaining on us. Last 5 matches, Arsenal managed to perform on target, but their slow start still drags them down.
Man U: -5 pts
Last 5 form: -5pts (-3, 0, -2, 0, 0)
Man U entered these 5 matches level with Chelsea at 0pts. It appears that their early poor performances were the real deal and not only caused due to schedule difficulty. At -5pts, they have been the worst team over the last 5 matches. A loss to West Brom at home(-3pts) and a draw to Soton at home (-2pts) has left them near the bottom of this table. The Stoke match nearly ended with more dropped points. Their wins against Fulham, Stoke and Sunderland were expected - one would struggle to find 3 weaker teams right now (Ok, maybe Crystal Palace and Norwich).
Man City: -6 pts
Last 5 form: -1pts (-1, 0, 0, 0, 0)
The big spenders started this round at -5pts and decided to continue their downward trend. An early loss to away Villa (only -1pts as it is a mid-4 team), the three wins against Everton at home, West Ham and Norwich, as well as the inevitable loss to Chelsea means they are currently the worst of the title contenders at -6pts. It raises the question why are so many pundits claiming the they (along with us) are the main title contenders.
Upcoming 5 fixtures:
With the next update of this table coming after the 15th match, what can we expect in the next 5 matches:
Chelsea: 5 matches that we are supposed to win. Southampton at home will be a challenge but aside from that the other games should be easy. Unfortunately (or fortunately) there are no matches in which we can gain points, so hopefully we remain at 0.
Arsenal: Supposed to win 4 of the 5 - with difficult home games against Soton and Everton. The away game to United will be interesting.
Liverpool: 4 easy matches and away game against Everton
Man C: Difficult home games against Swansea and Tot, as well Soton away.
Man U: Difficult home games against Arsenal, Everton and Newcastle and an away fixture at Tot.
Tot: Tricky home fixtures at home to Newcastle and Man U, as well as an away match to Man C.
Everything is looking quite well. Even though we are not first on the real table, as long as we maintain our current performance, we will very soon be on the top. I personally do not buy into the hype of the return of the Manchesters. As the table shows they have quite a lot of ground to make up. Our biggest threat appears to be Liverpool, but fortunately they were not able to capitalize against Arsenal ( I agree, however, that in the long-run a draw would be better, especially if they draw the return fixture).
As usual, I am looking forward to your comments.
*I will be somewhat surprised if the winning team ends up with 91pts due to the difficulty of this season, but if anyone does it, we look to be the most likely candidates.
**I agree with the opinions that Southampton should be the mid-4 rather than one of the current teams. However, I'll be sticking with these four for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it will not be that vital in the long run, as teams will say gain points against Swansea but lose points to Southampton so it will cancel out. Secondly, those four teams seem to be the teams we struggle against and already lost points to.