The Fourth International Break

With a quarter of the season remaining we project where West Ham will finish in the Premier
League based upon current form.

bpl

Here we are roughly three-quarters of the way through the season and we have the fourth international break. Only three league games had been completed when we had the first, seven games for the second, and just eleven when we had a free weekend for the third. I guess it is about time for another one! Due to the EFL Cup and FA Cup, the number of league games played by Premier League clubs varies between Manchester United and Southampton on 26, and a few teams like ourselves on 29. We therefore have just nine games left to finish in as high a position as possible. But how high will that be?

Pts.

Left

1

Chelsea

69

10

2

Tottenham

56

11

3

Man City

56

11

4

Liverpool

55

10

5

Arsenal

50

11

6

Everton

50

9

7

Man United

49

12

8

West Brom

43

9

9

Stoke

36

9

10

Southampton

33

12

11

Bournemouth

33

9

12

West Ham

33

9

13

Burnley

32

9

14

Watford

31

10

15

Leicester

30

10

16

Palace

28

10

17

Swansea

27

9

18

Hull

24

9

19

Middlesbrough

22

11

20

Sunderland

20

10

Looking at the current league table above, which shows the points achieved so far and the number of games left in the season, then nobody could possibly bet against Chelsea coming out on top, although the fight to get into a top four position is not yet cut and dried. At the bottom, then the three most north-easterly clubs in the country look in trouble. We are in that cluster of clubs fighting for a ninth-place finish, as the top eight are now well clear barring a significant change of fortune.

Of course we don’t know what will happen between now and the end of the season, but one possible indicator is to look at the recent form of all the teams, and project this forward to the season’s end. As they write in all financial services advertisements, past performance is no guarantee of future results, but companies nevertheless still provide projections to enable potential investors to consider what might be achieved. So for this prediction exercise I looked at the number of points per game that all the teams have achieved in the most recent 10 games, and then multiplied this by the number of games that each has to play, to come up with a forecast of the final positions based on the form showed in their last ten games. And this was the result.

End of Season Predicted Points Tally Based on the form of the last 10 games

1

Chelsea

92

2

Tottenham

81

3

Man City

78

4

Man United

75

5

Everton

71

6

Liverpool

70

7

Arsenal

68

8

West Brom

58

9

Stoke

50

10

Southampton

47

11

Leicester

43

12

West Ham

43

13

Bournemouth

41

14

Swansea

41

15

Burnley

40

16

Watford

40

17

Palace

40

18

Hull

34

19

Middlesbrough

26

20

Sunderland

26

No great surprises here, although Manchester United would achieve a top four finish. We would finish in twelfth spot (as now) and the bottom three teams would be unchanged. Somebody I showed this to suggested that to look at the form of the last ten games would not be as accurate as considering the most recent results achieved, and it might be worth looking at a shorter time frame. So I carried out the same exercise looking at the most recent six games, and then projecting the end of season points totals from that, and this was the result:

End of Season Predicted Points Tally Based on the form of the last 6 games

1

Chelsea

92

2

Man City

82

3

Tottenham

76

4

Liverpool

72

5

Everton

70

6

Man United

69

7

Arsenal

61

8

West Brom

58

9

Southampton

51

10

Palace

48

11

Stoke

47

12

Leicester

45

13

Bournemouth

44

14

Watford

43

15

West Ham

41

16

Burnley

37

17

Swansea

36

18

Hull

35

19

Sunderland

28

20

Middlesbrough

26

This table produces greater variation than the previous one because we are looking at a smaller time frame. Some will argue that this could be more accurate as it is based upon more recent form. But as West Ham fans, we know that form can change. When we go along we never quite know what West Ham team will turn up, or what we can expect. Our form fluctuates more than many others. Nonetheless, this projection is more worrying in that we end up down in 15th place. Palace, on the other hand, finish in the top half of the table.

Mischievously, partly because I have a good idea what the results will be, I did a final calculation of end of season positions, based upon form in the last three games only. This is, perhaps, too narrow a time frame to be realistic. Or is it? The result is shown below.

End of Season Predicted Points Tally Based on the form of the last 3 games

1

Chelsea

99

2

Man City

82

3

Tottenham

78

4

Man United

77

5

Liverpool

75

6

Everton

68

7

Arsenal

61

8

Leicester

60

9

Palace

58

10

Southampton

57

11

Bournemouth

54

12

West Brom

52

13

Stoke

48

14

Swansea

36

15

Burnley

35

16

Watford

34

17

West Ham

33

18

Hull

33

19

Middlesbrough

26

20

Sunderland

23

I knew roughly what this would show, as we are the only team in the Premier League without a single point in our last three games. But if this did prove to be an indicator of the end of season position, then it would be a matter of goal difference as to whether or not we play in the Premier League next season! One thing is for sure. Our current form needs to improve, and we probably do need a few more points to be safe.