By Andrew Beasley (Twitter / Blog).
Fellow Tomkins Times’ subscriber Neil Mundy recently wrote an interesting piece looking at how important a team’s performance against the other top sides is if they wish to finish in the top four, or win the league.
Using statto.com‘s Group Comparison function, I have looked towards the other end of the table in order to try to establish how relevant a team’s record against the bottom seven cannon-fodder is. As Liverpool’s primary aim this season will be to finish fourth, I have focused my research here.
Of course, even before a season begins it’s fairly obvious who the members of the top/’big’ six are likely to be, yet surprise over- or under-performances by teams can make the final composition of the bottom seven a surprising sight come the end of the season; indeed, in the eleven seasons since a fourth place finish enabled Champions League qualification, both Manchester City and Spurs have finished in fourteenth, though you wouldn’t expect that to happen again any time soon.
Similarly, any conclusions from this article can’t instantly be applied; it’s impossible to say now which teams will take places fourteen to twenty in the table at the end of the season, so I can’t state “Liverpool must achieve X vs Y to reach fourth”; the findings will merely give an indication of how a team chasing a seat at Europe’s top table need to perform against the Premier League’s lesser lights.
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