An insight into the likelihood of all of Liverpool, Arsenal and Leeds United defying the odds this coming weekend has been provided on Friday.
The final round of 2021/22 Premier League fixtures is of course set to play out in 48 hours’ time.
Amid a campaign which has continued to twist and turn at every available opportunity, key goals remain to play for throughout the table, not least the English top-flight title.
Manchester City, as things stand, represent the clear favorites to make it back-to-back crowns, sitting pretty at the division’s summit ahead of a final day showdown with Aston Villa.
Liverpool, though, trail Pep Guardiola’s men by just a solitary point, meaning a victory of their own at home to Wolves, coupled with City dropping points, would see the Reds snatch supremacy away from their title rivals at the last.
What, though, are the actual chances of such a scenario coming to pass? Well, as alluded to above, an insight has now been provided into exactly that.
As per statistics-based website FiveThirtyEight, who make use of a series of complex algorithms to determine the likelihood across a range of fields, Liverpool’s hopes are slim, but far from dead in the water.
The Merseysiders, as things stand, boast an 18 percent chance of ousting Man City from the Premier League’s top spot owing to the weekend’s final round of results.
Arsenal face uphill battle
Turning attentions towards the battle for Champions League football, a major swing over the course of the last couple of weeks has of course seen Antonio Conte’s Tottenham usurp north London rivals Arsenal as the clear frontrunners for 4th spot.
A 3-0 derby collapse, followed by an equally concerning defeat at the hands of Newcastle, means that the Gunners now trail Spurs by two points, with just a single game to play.
Not only that, but the latter’s final day assignment comes in the form of a meeting with Premier League basement dwellers Norwich, whilst Arsenal will play host to an Everton outfit no doubt brimming with confidence after securing their own top-flight status in the most spectacular fashion imaginable on Thursday.
So, what are the chances of Mikel Arteta’s men defying the odds, to clinch a return to European football’s grandest stage?
In truth, slim to none.
FiveThirtyEight calculate the capital giants as being in possession of just a 4% shot of leapfrogging Tottenham into the top-4 on Sunday, a scenario which would only come about in the case of Arsenal downing Everton, whilst Conte and co. slip to defeat at the hands of a Norwich outfit who have racked up a grand total of five wins across the campaign to date.
Leeds on the brink
Last on the agenda when it comes to potential final day drama in the Premier League, of course, comes the battle against the drop.
Owing to the aforementioned Everton’s turnaround victory over Crystal Palace last night, one of just two clubs can now mathematically join the already-relegated pair of Watford and Norwich back in the Championship next season – Burnley or Leeds.
The former bagged what could prove to be a vital share of the spoils at Aston Villa on Thursday, to plunge Leeds back into the bottom three on goal difference.
Jesse Marsch’s Whites will therefore need to better Burnley’s result, when they make the trip to London for a meeting with Thomas Frank’s Brentford.
Should the Clarets go on to get the better of in-form Newcastle, though, then Leeds will be forced to wave goodbye to top tier football once more.
What then, are the odds of the Yorkshire club ultimately staying up?
The same FiveThirtyEight model puts such hopes around one in four, with Leeds 76% likely to be demoted, to Burnley’s 24%.
If the Premier League season to date, and moreover the competition’s history as a whole has taught us anything, though, it is that surprises lay around every corner.
Fans of Liverpool, Arsenal and Leeds alike should therefore perhaps not give up hope of a miracle in waiting just yet…
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