Pep Guardiola’s men are heavy favourites to win the league. According to our model, they have a 47% chance of becoming champions once more. It would be the first time since 2009 that the defending champions retain the title. Manchester City also have an astonishing 91% chance of finishing in the top-4. Our model values Manchester City at 90 points next season.
Almost all players, and as a result the whole team, have improved significantly since Guardiola took over in the summer of 2016. The playing style is crystal clear and all players seem to thrive in the roles they have to occupy on the pitch. Their best players, according to Remiqz’ unique EPI-model, are Kevin de Bruyne (5502) and Raheem Sterling (5335).
It’s very rare in the modern English game, but no players were bought and no players were sold at Tottenham Hotspur, even though there were questions last season over the depth of the team at central midfield and central defence. The biggest win for Spurs is that they did not lose their star players in Toby Alderweireld (5018), Harry Kane (4917), Dele Alli (4050).
Manager Mauricio Pochettino has drilled his players in a style that ensures quick pressing and positional play from the back. All players are familiar with their roles, and there are no new members of the squad who may have difficulties adjusting to a new environment. Their chances of finishing top-4 are quite solid at 73%. Our model gives Spurs a 17% chance of winning the title.
Ever since Jürgen Klopp took over at Anfield Road, the difference in points between Liverpool and the champions has declined. This seems to be the year in which the final step has to be taken. Our model values Liverpool about as strong a title contender as Tottenham Hotspur, coming in at 16%. When rounded up, both Liverpool and Tottenham have the same amount of expected points in the 2018/19 season (81).
What speaks for Liverpool is that they have the highest average EPI in their new signings, with the four players coming in averaging a very healthy 3751. Alisson Becker is the eye-catcher of the new batch of Liverpudlians, with an EPI of 4036.
Jose Mourinho guided Manchester United to an impressive second place last year. However, at 12%, our model doesn’t value them as serious title contenders. The Portuguese coach is notorious for his third season at a club, in which a lot of bad things tend to happen for the clubs he is managing. A reported dispute between star player Paul Pogba (4720) and his manager has already been heavily reported in the media. Don’t be surprised to see Manchester United fall out of the top-4 this season, especially if Mourinho does not finish the season.
For Chelsea’s players, it’s a whole new game this year. Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri are very different managers and the first season will be about adjusting and trying to learn a new style. Even though our model only gives Chelsea a 2% chance of winning the title, a top-4 finished is valued at 44%. This would be a solid accomplishment for Sarri, as the team finished fifth last year and the squad is not selected for his style of play. Jorginho (4333) and Mateo Kovacic (3532) are very skilled additions to the roster, who can start influencing the team right away.
Thus far, Arsenal’s season has been a classic story of old wine in new bottles. Under Arsène Wenger, The Gunners were very vulnerable in the games against the other big boys. The first two Premier League games led by Unai Emery, against Manchester City and Chelsea, yielded 0 points. There is some rebuilding to do.
Arsenal’s last top-4 finish has come in 2015/16. Since then, things haven’t got better. Our model gives them an altogether 24% of finishing in the top four. There is a 2% chance that Arsenal will be champions this season, a 4% chance of becoming second, a 7% chance of becoming third and an 11% chance of ending up in the fourth spot.