Although predictions tend to make me a bit uneasy, it is always fun at the beginning of the season to make assumptions based on a million preconceived notions. Now that we are in the tail-end of the current EPL season, it only makes sense to start predicting where other teams will end up. However, since I would rather avoid predicting any specific teams finishing at any specific spot, this set of predictions will be what point totals should be necessary to obtain certain finishes.
For the most sought after spot in the table, first place still actually has four teams that are capable of bringing home the title. While Arsenal feel like a bit of an outside chance, crazier things have happened in professional football. City still have the ability to be the top side with their games in hand, Chelsea and Mourinho would be ruled out at anyone’s peril, and Liverpool seem bent on proving someone wrong once the final whistle blows.
To take top spot, it will take 86 points. (Arsenal’s max possible point total: 82)
For the last spot in the top four, Arsenal still seem the most likely to be playing Champions League qualifying games this summer. However, Everton are only one point behind the Gunners with a game in hand. After Tottenham’s bashing against Liverpool, they only seem like a team capable of snagging CL qualification if Arsenal and Everton decide to forfeit the remainder of the season (let’s not even talk about Man U).
To snag the fourth, and final, Champions League spot, it will take 77 points. (Tottenham’s max possible point total: 74; Man U’s max possible point total: 72)
In order to play in the Europa league, we will assume that only the fifth place team is getting in this season. To be completely honest, I have a hard time knowing when the 6th and 7th place teams get in the Europa League, but the Everton, Tottenham, and Man U squads seem the easiest candidates to consider. Arsenal fans will hope that they do not have to consider Europa qualification, but you never know.
To snag fifth and Europa League qualification, it will take 73 points.
Looking down towards the bottom of the table, we see that the typical “40 means safety” mantra will actually be looking a little too high this season. It is entirely possible that five or six teams could finish below 40 total points. From bottom-dwelling Fulham all the way up through West Ham, any of these teams could end up dropping down to the Championship this season. Random assortments of teams in the bottom half have (at least) one game in hand and the possible arrangement of the bottom three could change every single week until the end. The road seems the toughest for Fulham and Cardiff (Sunderland have three games in hand), but past relegation battles show that the fight will be intense.
To have enough points for safety and another Premier League season, it will take 34 points.
While the Premier League might not be boasting past strength in major European competition, the league feels as if it is the strongest from top to bottom of any league in the world. Fulham, Cardiff, and Sunderland would probably defeat other relegation battle clubs from other leagues without a lot of difficulty. Swansea has shown decent progress in Europa League fixtures this season, but only sits in 13th in the EPL…Manchester United is still in the Champions League and sits in 7th place in the EPL…there is some serious top-to-bottom strength in England this season. It only means that the season will have a fantastic finish!!!