Liverpool's hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League may look to be hanging by the thinnest of threads, but thanks to the wonders of technology all is not yet lost.
Despite failing to win a single league game since December 30 last year, a football supercomputer has predicted that the Reds will still make the top four even though they are currently languishing in tenth position in the table.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were beaten to the title by a single point last year, and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have brought in further firepower in the form of Erling Haaland, with the Norwegian already netting a mind-boggling 25 league goals in just 20 games so far.
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Already out of both domestic cup competitions, there have been rosier times than right now to be following the Reds, but Liverpool are predicted to bounce back towards the end of the season, and perhaps surprisingly they are third favourites for the title according to the simulation, with a 67 per cent chance of making the top four.
Klopp brought in Cody Gakpo this January for added potency going forwards, but the Dutch striker is yet to register a single goal or assist in his first three Premier League appearances.
But for all Liverpool’s woes, including their embarrassing 3-0 defeat at Wolves this weekend, fans can still hope that the simulation knows something many pundits do not, and will see them recover to finish in the top four once again.
Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side top the Premier League, five points clear of City with one fewer game played. They have been buoyed by the arrival of former City stars Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus, who have helped fire the Gunners into a commanding lead as we begin the second half of the season.
But despite Arsenal’s dominance, the supercomputer has predicted they will slip up, handing Guardiola’s City another title.
The supercomputer, which ran 500 simulations of the remaining Premier League fixtures based on results so far, gave City a 33 per cent chance of retaining the title, while Arsenal are expected to finish second with only a 27 per cent chance of winning the league.
Both sides are deemed shoe-ins for the top four, with City given an 82 per cent chance and Arsenal 73 per cent.
Manchester United have a 41 per cent chance of Champions League qualification, just ahead of high-flying Brighton on 31 per cent, though the simulation actually gives the Seagulls a better chance of lifting the title than Eric ten Hag’s men, at five per cent compared to four per cent for the Red Devils.
Currently in ninth place, Chelsea have splashed out more than £250 million in the January transfer window in an effort to rescue their season, and have been given a 21 per cent chance of recovering enough to make the top four. That puts the West London club below both Newcastle (25 per cent) and Tottenham (22 per cent) for top four probability, though many Newcastle fans might expect their chances to be higher after their superb first half of the season sees them in fourth place as things stand.
At the other end of the table, Southampton, Everton and Bournemouth are the three sides predicted to go down, with the Saints relegation favourites at 45 per cent, ahead of the Toffees on 43 per cent and the Cherries on 41 per cent.
Nottingham Forest are also flirting with the bottom three, as the supercomputer gives them a 33 per cent chance of relegation, while Wolves have a 22 per cent chance. West Ham, Leeds and Crystal Palace are all expected to struggle, but the simulation predicts each will have enough to stay clear of trouble, as the Hammers only have a 19 per cent chance of going down, while Palace and Leeds each have 18 per cent.
But fans who are unhappy with the supercomputer's forecast for their club can take heart from its predictions before the season started. In June, it predicted Liverpool would win the League, with a 71 per cent likelihood, while City were given just a 24 per cent chance. Both sides were given a 100 per cent guarantee of making the top four, while league leaders Arsenal only had a 59 per cent probability of Champions League football.
Tottenham were expected to round out the top four ahead of Chelsea and Manchester United, while all three promoted teams were favourites for the drop.
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