Disclaimer: my first post on this forum, though I have been following it for some time.
After 5 matches, we should feel comfortable with our position in the table, as we are performing in line with expecations. Read on to understand why I think so.
Winning the League - 91 pts
In order to be crowned Premier League champion over the last several years around 90-91 points would have been sufficient. The way this season has started it appears that this point haul will be enough to win the league.
Though this may have been discussed before, let's look at how one of the potential six title contender can amass the required 91 point threshold.
The Algorithm - where to get 91 pts
Bottom Half Teams - a title challenger would be expected to win both home and away games against this opposition. That gives us 60 points (20 matches x 3pts)
Six Title Contenders - as these are the toughest teams to defeat, a title contender should win their home and lose away. That gives us 15 points (5 x 3pts)
The Mid Table Teams - these are difficult games (banana peel matches). However, if you are challenging for the title you should win your home again, and in the worst case draw away. This gives us 16 points (4 x 3pts + 4 x 1pts). Based on previous year performances, current performances and my general feeling the 4 teams this season are: Aston Villa, Everton, Newcastle, Swansea.*
And that's how we achieve a grand total of 91 points - almost guaranteeing us the league title.
So now we can assess the performance of each of the title contenders based on their deviation from their target - that is if title contender draw against a bottom half their deviation is "-2 pts". If a title contender wins away at a title contender then that team would have a deviation of "+3pts". Summing all these deviations we can understand how each team is performing against their schedule. I have made a table adding this up.
There are some early surprising results after the first 5 matches. Let's have a look at the early leaders:
Early Leaders - Chelsea, Man United, Tottenham. Deviation: 0 points
A bit of surprise there. Let's analyse:
Chelsea - as much has been made of "the poor form" in the media recently, this table demonstrates that we are performing in line with expecations. Wins against Aston Villa, Fulham and Hull were expected. We gained a point against Man U (expectation was a loss) and lost a point against Everton (expectation was a draw).
Tottenham - they have been performing in line with predictions. Though they were 1 minute away from being -2.
Man United - this might seem a bit of surprise, as they are 5 points adrift from the league leaders. But the losses against Liverpool and Man City (though heavy) were expected. They defeated Swansea away giving them +2 points deviation, but Chelsea took that away from them.
Chaser - Liverpool. Deviation: -1 points
Liverpool were nearly the early leaders, but the loss to Southampton cost them -3 points. With an away win against Villa, they were on +2. Their draw against Swansea is on target.
Early Under-performer - Arsenal. Deviation: -3 points.
Even though they are leading, it doesn't mean that much. Their loss at home to Villa cost them -3 points, while all the other results are in line.
Out of title race? - Man City. Deviation: -5 points.
They might have won 4-1, but that was expected in this system. Their draw against Stoke (-2) and loss to Cardiff (-3) means they are under-performing quite a bit.
Man U 0pts
Man City -5pts
So there is nothing to worry about from a results perspective. On the other hand, Man City will have to win some trickier matches to recoup the lost points.
Looking at our next 5 matches, especially the next one - if the unthinkable happens - there is no reason to panic. The match against Spurs can only be a boost to our title challenge. The more important match is the one against City - as if the unthinkable happens, we will deviate away from the target, while Man City will recoup some of the lost points.
Hopefully, you enjoyed my first ever post. I will give an update of this table every 5 matches as long as it makes sense. Any input is welcome. More importantly, KTBFFH.
*This might be a contentious point and I am open to change these teams. My reasoning for these teams is as follows:
Hull, Cardiff and Crystal Palace - newly promoted sides who have not been playing too well - bottom half
Fulham, Sunderland, West Brom - clearly suffering and battling relegation.
Norwich and Stoke might not be relegation contenders but should be a struggle to break into the top half
This leaves the four above, West Ham and Southampton. I feel that Everton, Swansea and Villa are clearly the better teams in this group, while Newcastle should perform well due to the players they possess.