Skip to Content

A supercomputer is tracking one of most exciting soccer title races for years. It keeps coming up with different predictions

<i>Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Alexis Mac Allister celebrates after giving Liverpool the lead against Sheffield United.
Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images via CNN Newsource
Alexis Mac Allister celebrates after giving Liverpool the lead against Sheffield United.

By Ben Church, CNN

(CNN) — A supercomputer is tracking one of the most exciting English Premier League title races in years and with three clubs involved, separated by a matter of points, it keeps spitting out different predictions as it analyzes thousands of simulations.

While the supercomputer whirs away in the background, the 2023/2024 title race has been something to truly savour, with three powerhouses of English football – Liverpool, Arsenal and defending champion Manchester City – all in contention to win that prestigious crown.

“In the supercomputer’s latest round of 10,000 simulations of the rest of the Premier League season, Liverpool finished top of the pile 47.7% of the time,” said Opta Analyst after the three clubs had played their 29th league game.

“After the previous round of fixtures at the start of the month, Liverpool’s title chances were rated at 35.3%, meaning they increased by 12.4%.”

After Liverpool beat Sheffield United 3-1 on Thursday, there are now three points separating the top three with eight games remaining.

With all three teams now having played 30 matches, the Opta supercomputer is giving Liverpool a 45% chance of winning the league, Manchester City 33.6% and Arsenal 21.4%.

“Liverpool an 85.5% chance of winning that [Sheffield United] match, and so the fact that they struggled to break down the team set to break the Premier League record for goals conceded in a season appears to have hurt their title chances,” said Opta Analyst on Friday, adding that the Reds’ chances of winning the league had dropped from 47.7% to 45% after the midweek round of fixtures.

Liverpool leads the title race on 70 points, with Arsenal second on 68 and City third on 67. Arsenal has the superior goal difference of the three teams with +48, while Liverpool is on +42 and City +38.

Twists and turns

Liverpool’s result follows a successful night for Manchester City and Arsenal on Wednesday, with both teams easing to victories.

City looked to have arguably the toughest tie, facing an emerging Aston Villa which is bidding for a place in the Champions League next season.

The defending champion was also without key men Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland, who were rested ahead of Saturday’s league game against Crystal Palace and the team’s Champions League quarterfinal against Real Madrid on Tuesday.

But, in the absence of both stars, Phil Foden produced a masterclass to ensure his team kept pace with its title rivals, scoring three goals in a comfortable 4-1 win for City.

Whilst serving as another reminder of how good Foden has been this season – the Englishman has now scored 21 goals in all competitions, providing 10 assists – it was also a display of might from City which has a squad depth capable of winning a championship.

Meanwhile, Arsenal breezed to a 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Luton. Manager Mikel Arteta was able to rest some of his key players and still get the job done with relative ease, with Martin Ødegaard’s strike and an own goal was enough for the host.

In truth, after recent performances, it’s hard to see any of the top three dropping points until now and the end of the season.

But, if history tells us anything, they’ll be multiple twists and turns during the run-in.

Liverpool play Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, having lost 4-3 to its fierce rival in a FA Cup quarterfinal last month, and City boss Guardiola is aware of how close the remainder of the season it’s likely to be.

“If we win all our games it will be down to the last day because they are not five, six, seven points in front,” Guardiola said after the Aston Villa win.

Twice in recent years, City has only been confirmed champion on the final day of the season.

“It will not be easy. I see Liverpool and Arsenal dropping points but you never know,” added Guardiola.

“We have to show up and do our job and don’t regret that we should have won that game because they lost the game after.

“We cannot do anything. We cannot control what they do. We have to win our games, that’s all we can do.”

While City could win a fourth consecutive title, Arsenal is looking to win its first for 20 years.

For much of the two decades since Arsenal’s title-winning ‘Invincible’ season in 2004, the Gunners have struggled to really compete at the top of the table but look to have finally turned the page on a difficult chapter for the club.

Under Arteta, Arsenal looks rejuvenated and has continued to prove itself amid plenty of doubters this season.

The North London club seemingly threw away the league title last season, letting slip a healthy lead at the top of the table as Manchester City cruised past them.

This year, though, Arteta hopes it will be a different story.

“I can’t really remember how I was feeling last year. I was very excited, we kept growing, we tried our best and in the end we didn’t do enough to win it,” he said after beating Luton.

“Sometimes you just have to recognise the consistency and quality of other teams like we did and try again and go again, and here we are.”

For Liverpool, meanwhile, there is a sense that this season’s title race is all about one man, Jürgen Klopp.

The German has simply revolutionised the club and his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season came as a shock to the world of football.

The team now looks focused on winning a league title as the perfect way of saying thank you to Klopp after his years of service.

After going 1-0 up in the first half against Sheffield United – Klopp said Darwin Núñez’s opener was one of his “favourite goals ever” – Liverpool was pegged back by a Conor Bradley own goal.

Chasing a seemingly lost cause, Nunez had successfully charged down United goalkeeper Ivo Grbic’s clearance and the ball ended up in the back of the net.

And goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Cody Gakpo ensured Liverpool remains the supercomputer’s favorite to lift the Premier League trophy.

“As a manager, you have to take it like you get it,” Klopp said after the win. “I would prefer to be 5-0 up at that moment [when Sheffield United equalized] already but that’s tricky.

“Then obviously we controlled the game but there are different ways to control a football game and the way we controlled it today was not the right one with not enough creating.

“What you have to do, we saw that after 60 minutes, you have to accelerate, you have to speed up, you have to overlap, underlap – and that’s what we did all of a sudden.”

Is this the most exciting EPL title race ever?

With Manchester City dominating the league title in recent seasons – it’s won in four of the last five years – only Liverpool has really been able to truly challenge Guardiola’s history makers of late.

But this year is a different prospect, with there being a legitimate three-way title race for the first time in a very long while.

The last time three teams were truly pitted against each other at the summit of the league was in 2014, where Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool all stood a chance going into the final two fixtures of the season.

City eventually pipped its rivals to the title, with Liverpool two points behind in second and Chelsea another two points behind in third.

With neither side looking like dropping their form, the neutral will be hoping this year will also go down to the wire.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Sports

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content