Mirror Football's supercomputer has predicted that Manchester City will retain their Premier League crown - despite being five points adrift of Arsenal.
City pipped Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to the title by a single point last year and 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. Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side top the Premier League, five points clear of City with one game in hand.
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, Mirror Football’s supercomputer has predicted they will slip up, handing Pep 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 shoo-ins for the top four, with City given an 82 per cent chance and Arsenal 73 per cent.
While they may be languishing in ninth place at the moment, Liverpool are predicted to bounce back towards the end of the season, and are third favourites for the title according to the simulation, at 21 percent with a 67 per cent chance of making the top four.
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 Erik ten Hag’s men, at five per cent compared to four per cent for the Red Devils.
Currently in tenth place, Chelsea splashed out more than £250million 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 Blues below Newcastle (25 per cent) and Tottenham (22 per cent) for top-four probability, though many Magpies fans might expect their chances to be higher after their superb first half of the season which leaves them third.
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.
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West Ham, Leeds and Crystal Palace are 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.
Supercomputer top four and relegation
1. Man City
4. Man Utd