New data shows how the top four, Europa League and relegation battles will end in the Premier League
We’re down to the final two games of the season and there’s still plenty to play for in the Premier League.
With no fans, increased substitutions and water breaks, it may not feel like it, but the stakes don’t get much bigger for a number of clubs towards the top and bottom of the league table.
Manchester United, Chelsea and Leicester are still neck-and-neck in battling it out for the remaining spots in the top four. Bournemouth and Aston Villa are desperately trying to drag Watford back into the relegation mix while a host of clubs are in with a chance of Europa League football.
And new data from StatsPerform has revealed the highest and lowest possible finishing positions for each of the Premier League’s 20 clubs, as well as the percentage chance of them finishing in each position.
Sportsmail dissects the data and looks at what it could mean for your club at the end of this whirlwind season.
Data from football experts StatsPerform has given the highest and lowest possible finishes for every Premier League club
With two games remaining there is still plenty to be decided in the Premier League this season across the division
New data has revealed the likely finishing positions of each team after the final games, and the highest and lowest they can go
Sportsmail looks at what the finishes could mean for the clubs fighting for the top four, Europa League and relegation battle
With just two games to go, there is still so very little to split the three teams chasing a place in European football’s premier competition next season. Leicester’s win on Thursday means they could yet rally late, Chelsea are doggedly refusing to shift from the top four while United show no sign of stopping their charge.
And the data, gleaned prior to the previous round of fixtures, shows that all three teams can finish between third and fifth this season, with only Leicester mathematically possible to drop into sixth place. The data has Lampard’s side at a 48.6% chance of clinching third place, while United have a 39.4% chance of finishing just below arch rivals City in third. Chelsea have a mere 12% chance of finishing fifth while United have a 20% chance of staying where they are in fifth.
Meanwhile, Rodgers’ side at 65.4% probability of finishing in fifth place, while they have a 3.3% chance of finishing sixth in the event that they have a disastrous final two games against Spurs and United.
Despite fifth being a credible finish for a team not technically in the ‘Big Six’, the failure to make the Champions League could have a major impact on business this summer. The likes of James Maddison, Ben Chilwell and Caglar Soyuncu have been linked with moves to Europe’s top teams, and without the security of Champions League football, Leicester fans could be waving goodbye to their star trio. They are expected to rake in close to the £142m earned by last season’s fifth place finishers, Arsenal.
Chelsea have occupied the top four all season and the data reveals that there is a 12% chance that they will miss out
Meanwhile, Manchester United look set to gatecrash the quartet at the final furlong, with a 20% chance of finishing fifth
Sealing Champions League football could be big in securing a Jadon Sancho transfer, who is linked with a £109m move
But for Chelsea and United, the riches of Champions League football could propel them into contention with Liverpool and City for the league title. Last season, Chelsea and Spurs earned £146m and £145m respectively for finishing third and fourth.
The Blues have already splashed £53m on Timo Werner as well as £38m for Hakim Ziyech, but the extra money could go a long way in financing a move for Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz.
United are also set for a big summer themselves, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eager to bring in Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, with the Germans anticipating a bid of £109m for the winger. Raul Jimenez, Jack Grealish and Havertz have also been linked with the Old Trafford club.
Whoever finishes in fourth place will have to contend with a Champions League qualifier, but should they come through that contest unscathed, they, alongside the third place side, Man City and Liverpool will net a base fee of £13.8m for reaching the group stage.
However, that means Leicester City are likely to drop out, and could finish as low as sixth, with a 3.3% chance of doing so
No Champions League football could mean that Ben Chilwell (L) and James Maddison (R) leave the King Power Stadium
If, as Liverpool did last season, one of those teams wins the whole competition, they could bag as much as £88.9m from the tournament.
Beyond the race for the top four, there is still plenty to be decided for those clubs who couldn’t quite keep the pace with Leicester, United and Chelsea.
Wolves’ draw to Burnley on Wednesday has all but ended their Champions League dream but clinching Europa League football for the second successive season would be a huge achievement for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, while north London rivals Arsenal and Spurs will be keen to secure a Europa League place after abject campaigns by their standards. Sheffield United remain closely on the tails of those three clubs, too.
Despite recent positive showings, Arsenal are set to miss out on European football altogether after a disastrous campaign
A lack of European football could see Pierre Emerick Aubamayang leave this summer, with the Gunners not raking in enough money to meet the striker’s £250,000-per-week demands
And StatsPerform’s table shows that Wolves can finish as high as fifth but no lower than tenth, while Spurs, Arsenal and Sheffield can finish anywhere between sixth and tenth.
Those four aren’t the only teams that could qualify for the Europa League next season, with Burnley a 1.1% chance of finishing seventh. If Arsenal do not win the FA Cup, Sean Dyche’s team would be in Europe again with that finish.
With regards to merit payments, there is roughly a £2million difference between each position from fifth to tenth, although Spurs and Arsenal could end up netting more than Wolves and Sheffield United due to facility fees. Last season, The Gunners earned £28.9m from facility fees while Wolves raked in £17.8m.
However, it remains to be seen whether those marginal differences will be enough to allow Mikel Arteta to get on with the summer rebuild he desires while keeping his favoured players at the club. The north London club have struggled through the coronavirus pandemic, with owner Stan Kroenke pumping money into the club to help ease the financial burden, while the players and coach, Mikel Arteta, all agreed to a 12.5% wage cut.
StatsPerform gives Arsenal a 16% chance of finishing in sixth, as well as a 25.3% chance of finishing in seventh, which would be enough if they don’t win the FA Cup, meaning there is a whopping 58.8% chance that they miss out on European football altogether.
The lack of any form of European football could see Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, who is currently demanding a £250,000-per-week deal, walk away from the club, seeking action at the very top of the game.
Spurs’s favourable fixtures means that they have a near 70% chance of securing Europa League football next season
Jose Mourinho aims to win every trophy and has a good success rate with the Europa League, winning it with Porto and United
And in the same breath, no European football could hamper Arteta’s ability to attract the big names required to climb them back up the table. Club legend Tony Adams has hit out at club chiefs Raul Sanllehi and Edu for being ‘out of their depth’ in recruiting for the club, and their jobs may be made even harder if Arsenal don’t have European football on offer.
Spurs, too, may face a battle to keep hold of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min as a result of failure to earn the lucrative sums from finishing in the top four, particularly in light of the fact Manchester United and Chelsea are set to pocket more than the two north London clubs. Jose Mourinho’s men raked in £145m after finishing fourth last season. They’ll receive considerably less than that this time around.
Mourinho’s men are a 41.7% chance to finish sixth, 27.8% likely to finish seventh and have a 1.5% chance of finishing the season in tenth place.
Wolves could finish as high as fifth, although StatsPerform gives them a slim 3.3% chance of doing so, with the data indicating that their best hope is finishing in either sixth or seventh, with a 30% likelihood of each. Last season, they earned a total of £127m for finishing seventh, and that sort of sum would be more than welcome as they look to keep hold of their stars. However, they could finish as low as tenth, being given a 0.9% chance of doing so.
Wolves look to consolidate last season’s seventh-placed finish with the same position again, but could finish as high as fifth
Whether that finish is enough to secure Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez remains to be seen, with big clubs circling for them
Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore have had outstanding seasons in the Black Country, and have both been linked with an array of big names. Whether another year in the Europa League will be enough to persuade the pair to stay remains to be seen. Particularly with Jimenez, who, at 29 years of age, could be looking to seal one final big contract.
Wilder’s Blades have an 8.3% chance of finishing sixth, a 15.6% chance of finishing seventh and a 41.3% chance of ending the season in ninth. The no-nonsense manager has said it’s unlikely that his side will splash the cash in the transfer window, but the expected £123m they’d receive would be very welcome indeed.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the table, once the Premier League restart got up and running, West Ham, Watford, Bournemouth and Aston Villa looked so unlikely of securing one point, let alone three, with a series of terrible performances.
However, the Hammers and Hornets have picked up a couple of valuable wins to give themselves an edge over their rivals going into the final knockings but David Moyes’ side’s decisive 3-1 win over the Hornets on Friday has turned things in their favour.
Prior to that win, StatsPerform’s data shows that West Ham have a 1.4% chance of finishing as high as 14th, while Nigel Pearson’s side could finish no higher than 16th. However, the outlook is bleak for Villa and Bournemouth heading into the final two games, with Eddie Howe’s side having an 89.9% chance of relegation while Dean Smith’s men are 81.8% likely to drop back into the Championship.
Watford and West Ham are set to narrowly avoid relegation to the Championship this season, with a 79% and 93% chance of survival respectively
The Cherries could extend their five-year stint in the top flight with two miraculous results against Southampton and Everton, but the data gives them a 9.6% chance of finishing 17th. Relegation would most likely see a number of top stars follow Ryan Fraser out of the door, too, with clubs expected to sniff around Joshua King and Callum Wilson.
However, the biggest name they need to keep would be Eddie Howe. The young coach has seen his stock skyrocket in the Premier League, but should they keep hold of him and the core of their squad, they’d fancy their chances of coming up quickly, particularly with the estimated £101m parachute money at their disposal.
For Villa, relegation could spell a rocky time for the club, who had splashed out lavishly on a host of new recruits when they gained promotion last summer. The club have spent around £143m on signings since winning top flight status and will have to offload a number of those incomings. But they could avoid that misery with wins over Arsenal and West Ham, and the data has the Villans at a 0.5% chance of finishing as high as 15th, 3.2% chance of 16th and 14.5% chance of 17th place.
It means that Aston Villa (81.8%) and Bournemouth (89.9%) are predicted to be relegated from the Premier League
Relegation for Villa will more than likely result in talisman Jack Grealish leaving the club for around £50million this summer
Bournemouth will hope to make an immediate return if they can keep hold of Eddie Howe, with £101m parachute payments
Dropping down to the Championship would likely see Villa cash in on club captain and fan favourite Jack Grealish, who has been courting the attention of United in particular.
Grealish has singlehandedly been the bright spark of Smith’s side, and it could take some time for them to recover from his loss. Villa will look to receive as much as £50m for their talisman’s service.
For West Ham and Watford, survival would mean both clubs will have a far better chance of holding onto their big name talents. The Hammers look set for a tough battle in keeping hold of Declan Rice, with Chelsea circling, while Pearson will have to convince Ismail Sarr and Abdoulaye Doucoure to give another season to the club.
Due to facility fees, West Ham are likely to rake in more than Watford regardless of finishing position. Last season they earned almost £7m more than the Hornets in that regard.