Manchester City win the title again, Newcastle go down, United and Spurs clash in the Europa League final and Frank Lampard’s Chelsea will be top at Christmas. BT asked A.I. boffins to plot the season ahead… so how does YOUR team do?
Manchester City will win the Premier League title ahead of Liverpool again, Tottenham will come up against Manchester United in the Europa League final and Newcastle will be relegated.
Those are some of the bold predictions made in a report commissioned by BT Sport after they brought together some of football’s biggest data platforms in an attempt to script the upcoming season using artificial intelligence and piles of statistics.
The broadcaster commissioned leading data scientists and real-time sports analysis experts Squawka to analyse vast amounts of football data from Opta and project how things will look come May 17, 2020 – the final day of the new season.
Manchester City will win the Premier League title again, according to a report by BT Sport
THE NEW SEASON’S KEY HEADLINES…
Premier League winners: Man City
Top four: City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea
Relegated: Newcastle, Norwich, Sheffield United
Golden Boot winner: Mo Salah (29)
Champions League winners: Real Madrid
Europa League winners: Tottenham
What has been produced is a comprehensive ‘script’: featuring all 380 matches of the coming Premier League season, their outcomes and the how the Champions League and Europa League campaigns will play out too.
Pep Guardiola will spend a third season lifting the Premier League title, pipping Liverpool to the crown by six points. Tottenham are primed to finish third with Chelsea in fourth as the top four remain in place.
Arsenal and Manchester United miss out on the Champions League places on the last day, falling short behind Chelsea – who perhaps will feel Frank Lampard’s first year could have gone even better given they topped the table at Christmas before a major collapse.
Manchester United are set to face Tottenham in the Europa League final – but they will lose
HOW DOES IT WORK?
BT commissioned some of the biggest brains in sports data, analytics and machine learning, to write the AI-driven script of the season before a single ball has been kicked.
Leading data scientists and real-time sports analysis experts Squawka have analysed huge amounts of world football data from Opta.
This was an unprecedented experiment with cutting-edge technology to predict the fortunes of the 20 Premier League clubs through their 38 league games and European campaigns.
At the other end of the table, Newcastle join newly-promoted Norwich City and Sheffield United in being booted into the Championship. Aston Villa survive, finishing in 15th.
In Europe, no English teams will go beyond the quarter-finals of the Champions League – but there will be success on these shores in the Europa League again.
Manchester United, having beaten Arsenal to get to the final in Gdansk, will find Tottenham – moved down from the Champions League after finishing third in the group stage – too strong as Mauricio Pochettino finally gets his hands on a trophy.
Find out how your team is due to get on below, with BT’s full ‘script for the season’ available HERE.
Manchester City come out on top in the title race… but Chelsea looked good halfway through
Newcastle’s strong start to the season tailed off as they were dragged into relegation hell
ARSENAL – 5TH
- Unai Emery’s team will miss out on the Champions League again, finishing a point behind Chelsea after a horror start which sees them lose three of their five opening games.
- The Gunners will be knocked out of the Europa League by Manchester United – and will have to watch Tottenham end up winning silverware.
- Arsenal will not finish a single gameweek inside the top four as the goals of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (23) and Alexandre Lacazette (16) fail to get them anywhere.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will score 23 goals but Arsenal look set to miss out on the top four
ASTON VILLA – 15TH
- Survival will keep Aston Villa happy, particularly as they are due to win just three of their opening 15 matches.
- Horror home form will see Villa fail to win consecutive games at Villa Park until the last two of the season – enough to keep them in the top flight.
- Jack Grealish and Matt Targett look set for seven assists each, providing the ammunition for new signing and top scorer Wesley Moraes.
Aston Villa will narrowly avoid relegation, despite their abysmal home record next season
BOURNEMOUTH – 13TH
- With the worst defence in the division outside the three relegated clubs, Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth will limp to a bottom-half finish this season.
- It is no surprise that Joshua King, Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser are set to be their most-productive players again, furthering the interest of some of the top flight’s biggest clubs next summer.
- A first-ever win at Old Trafford puts a smile on fans’ faces temporarily but heavy defeats by Manchester City, Arsenal, Watford and United in the return fixture will sum up the defensive performances to come.
Bournemouth will limp to a bottom-half finish this season with a woeful defensive record
BRIGHTON – 16TH
- The Seagulls manage to produced another season of survival but the questions will still be out about new manager Graham Potter after Chris Hughton was sacked this summer.
- Brighton top the table after the opening weekend – winning 4-0 away at Watford – but it will not take long for their form to fall off a cliff though with 14 games and 119 days without a win.
- The evergreen Glenn Murray, at 36-year-old, will be their standout player again with six goals and two assists.
Graham Potter’s debut campaign at Brighton will end in survival with Glenn Murray shining
BURNLEY – 17TH
- A miracle escape will leave Sean Dyche breathing a huge sigh of relief after Burnley spend nine of the last 15 weeks of the season rock-bottom of the table. It won’t be too entertaining either with only Arsenal conceding fewer goals than Burnley (51) from those teams outside the top four.
- Things get much worse at the other end of the pitch though because only four teams in history have scored fewer goals than Burnley are destined to end up on (31) without being relegated.
- An eight-game unbeaten run at the end of the season saves the day – including a plucky draw at Anfield against title-chasing Liverpool.
Burnley will spend nine of the last 15 weeks rock-bottom but somehow escape from danger
CHELSEA – 4TH
- Frank Lampard will lose his opening game as manager at Old Trafford but then embark on the longest unbeaten run of any Premier League team all season – lasting until a defeat at Everton on December 7.
- Chelsea make it through the Champions League group stage and impressively see off Borussia Dortmund in the last-16 before Eden Hazard comes back to haunt them with Real Madrid to knock them out in the quarter-finals.
- The Blues scrape a fourth-place finish after a rollercoaster season that sees them top at Christmas but crash out of the title race in gameweek 34. It will be a bumpy ride.
Frank Lampard will lead Chelsea on the longest unbeaten run of any team during the season
CRYSTAL PALACE – 10TH
- This season will produce a joint-highest Premier League finish for Crystal Palace – and they will complete the league double over Brighton for the first time since 1932. Not bad.
- Roy Hodgson’s defence looks meaner than ever with the second half of the season to bring five consecutive league clean sheets for the first time.
- Penalty king Luka Milivojevic finishes as top scorer for a third season running on nine goals – expect plenty more spot kicks to fly into the back of the net.
Crystal Palace’s mean defence earns five consecutive league clean sheets for the first time
EVERTON – 7TH
- A 14-game unbeaten run will have Marco Silva’s side dreaming of the Champions League in the season’s early weeks but eventually they will fail to crack the top six.
- More joy against the big sides is on the horizon, though. Everton will end a 23-match win-less streak at Arsenal this season – and they will also derail Chelsea’s formidable run in December.
- Lucas Digne continues to impress at left back and nine assists will see him match Leighton Baines’ total from the same position in 2014-15.
Lucas Digne continues to impress at left back for Everton and gets an impressive nine assists
LEICESTER CITY – 9TH
- Summer optimism will be flattened by back-to-back defeats by Wolves and Chelsea at the start of the season and that inconsistency will be a constant theme of Leicester’s campaign.
- Mid-season will bring a long three months without a win at the King Power Stadium – including being battered 5-1 by Arsenal.
- Jamie Vardy will take his Premier League goals tally to 90 by the end of this season, overtaking both Cristiano Ronaldo and Dennis Bergkamp in the overall charts.
Leicester will face a long three months without a win at the King Power Stadium this season
GOLDEN BOOT RANKINGS
1. Mohamed Salah – 29 goals
2. Harry Kane – 24
3=. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 23
3=. Sergio Aguero – 23
4. Raheem Sterling – 17
5. Alexandre Lacazette – 16
LIVERPOOL – 2ND
- Liverpool’s title drought enters a third decade as they miss out on the Premier League crown by six points to Manchester City.
- With their recent Champions League battle fresh in the memory, Lionel Messi will shine to help Barcelona send the Reds crashing out of Europe in the quarter-finals this time around.
- Jurgen Klopp will earn his first win at Old Trafford this season but Liverpool can also expect to be hit for four in a drubbing away to Pep Guardiola’s champions.
- Mohamed Salah will win a third consecutive Golden Boot – with his 29 goals beating Harry Kane to the honour again.
While a second-place finish looms for Liverpool, Mohamed Salah will win the Golden Boot
1. Raheem Sterling – 13
2=. Alex Iwobi – 11
2=. Bernardo Silva – 11
2=. Mesut Ozil – 11
2=. Trent Alexander-Arnold – 11
6. Christian Eriksen – 10
MANCHESTER CITY – 1ST
- Could City be knocked off their perch at last? Failing to beat West Ham, Norwich and Everton early on and a defeat at Southampton hints that could be the case… but it turns out: no.
- Eventual Champions League winners Real Madrid will tear through City at the Etihad to send them crashing out in the last-16 and extend their wait for continental glory.
- Sergio Aguero becomes the first player in Premier League history to score 20+ goals in six consecutive seasons and trails only Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer in the overall scoring charts.
While another title looms for Pep Guardiola, City will again struggle in the Champions League
MANCHESTER UNITED – 6TH
- It’s another sixth-place finish for United as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fails to bump them up the table. They will lose 12 matches this season for only the second time in the Premier League era.
- The Europa League will provide a buzz, but ultimately end in disappointmnent. Arsenal will be knocked out by United on the road to the final in Gdansk… where they will lose 1-0 to Tottenham.
- Paul Pogba will overcome his consistent desire to quit Old Trafford for a move to Spain, scoring 13 goals and adding eight assists to top United’s charts on both accounts.
It’s another sixth-place finish for United as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fails to improve things
NEWCASTLE UNITED – 18TH
- Years of neglect will finally come back to bite Newcastle and end in relegation. They will be sent down on goal difference with a dire away record – taking just seven points all season – costing them dearly.
- Newcastle can expect eight goals from £40million signing Joelinton, but Jonjo Shelvey will be their next-highest scorer on five followed by Matt Ritchie on four.
- The Magpies will take nine points from matches against the ‘Big Six’ – more than Tottenham and Chelsea can manage – but that feeling of what might have been will sting even more.
Newcastle will be sent down on goal difference with a dire away record costing them dearly
NORWICH CITY – 19TH
- A leaky defence will send Norwich straight back down to the Championship. They look set to concede a whopping 71 goals, which will be the highest in the Premier League this coming season.
- The campaign’s high point comes away at Arsenal – a shock 2-1 win that will be the only victory by a relegated club against one of the league’s big hitters.
- Daniel Farke will have to talk down chat about Europa League qualification after a strong start sees them sitting ninth after 12 matches, before things fall apart.
A leaky defence will concede 71 goals and send Norwich straight back to the Championship
SHEFFIELD UNITED – 20TH
- This will be a painful season for newly-promoted Sheffield United. The Blades will manage to complete just one gameweek outside the division’s bottom five and finish last.
- They will suffer the season’s biggest defeat, away at Anfield on New Year’s Day where Liverpool will triumph 6-0.
- Billy Sharp and David McGoldrick end up as the Blades’ top goalscorers: netting seven each in the Premier League.
David McGoldrick will score seven goals for Sheffield United – not enough to keep them up
SOUTHAMPTON – 16TH
- After a horror start to the season sets alarm bells ringing, Ralph Hasenhuttl will oversee a shock win at the Etihad against City to turn their campaign around.
- However, the Saints will not finish a gameweek in the top half of the table all season and relegation fears will persist until an eventual 16th-place finish is confirmed.
- They will keep just six clean sheets all season – only Norwich and Bournemouth will record worse totals.
Ralph Hasenhuttl will oversee a shock win against City to turn Southampton’ season around
TOTTENHAM – 3rd
- Spurs fall short in the title race by the turn of the year but it was another fine campaign from Mauricio Pochettino’s men, capped by delivering silverware the fans have been craving.
- Two heavy defeats by Bayern Munich compound a difficult Champions League run but they make the most of falling into the Europa League and lift the continent’s second-biggest prize, beating United in the final.
- No prizes for guessing who tops the scoring charts as Harry Kane bangs in 30 goals in their first full season in their £1bn new stadium.
Harry Kane bangs in 30 goals as Spurs end their wait for a trophy with the Europa League
WATFORD – 12th
- A mid-table finish secures Watford’s longest-ever stay in the top tier – six seasons.
- Fans at Vicarage Road were treated to nine home wins – the most of any team outside the top six – but the travelling faithful didn’t have it quite as good as the Hornets managed just two victories on the road.
- One of those away wins was at Stamford Bridge while Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu were the leading marksmen with 13 goals each.
Watford fans were treated to nine home wins – the most of any team outside the top six
WEST HAM – 11TH
- Just outside the top half for the Hammers after a campaign that will be remembered for one of the Premier League’s all-time great games – a 4-4 with London rivals Arsenal.
- There was also impressive results against both Manchester big guns and a debut season to be proud of for new signing Sebastian Haller.
- He could be the new Dmitri Payet after topping the Hammers’ scoring and assist charts.
West Ham’s new signing Sebastian Haller will top the Hammers’ scoring and assist charts
WOLVES – 8TH
- Back-to-back top-10 finishes for Wolves made all the more remarkable following a horror start that left them in the relegation zone after a third of the season.
- A long Europa League run had the fans dreaming but also took a toll on the legs while fans could celebrate a first win at Old Trafford in three decades.
- Raul Jimenez bags 15 goals in the top flight – exactly one third of his side’s tally.
Back-to-back top-10 finishes for Wolves made all the more remarkable following a horror start