Premier League table: updated EPL 2022 standings and Champions League, relegation and title races
The Premier League is considered by many to be the strongest and toughest league in the world and the 2021-22 season holds its own, with hotly contested places up and down the table.
Although marred by COVID-19 disruptions, the races are compelling. Man City have taken the lead with a sizable lead, but Liverpool (and possibly Chelsea) can still race them in the second half of the season. The Reds look the most likely challenger to prevent Pep Guardiola’s fourth title in the past five seasons.
Other finishes across the table are equally important, with teams battling for the Champions League and European places, while others are battling to avoid relegation. An overview of each race follows below.
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Premier League title race
Manchester City currently hold a 10-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, and FiveThirtyEight have the Citizens 87% to win the Premier League title after beating Chelsea in the blockbuster game on January 15.
However, liverpool and chelsea can still make things interesting if City slip up. Liverpool are now 11 points behind and still have one game less, while Chelsea have some work to do to catch up. The Blues are in a bad way, with only one victory in their last six games and 12 points behind. It looks like their title run may be up to snuff.
Apart from these three teams, no other team has a realistic chance of winning the Premier League title, as it would take a cataclysmic collapse of several top teams to see the likes of West Ham, Arsenal, Spurs and Manchester United. get into the mix.
PTS = Points, GP = Games played, GD = Goal Difference (goals scored minus goals conceded)
Champions League places: hunt for the Top 4
The Champions League race – only four places are available and they go to the top four teams in the table – is probably the most fascinating, as a number of teams are in the mix and only four can qualify.
Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool all look set to finish comfortably in the top four, with FiveThirtyEight each having more than 90 per cent to clinch a place in next season’s Champions League.
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The fourth and final spot is the one everyone has their eyes on. West Ham currently hold fourth position thanks to a fabulous start to the season, but the Hammers slipped a bit in late November and early December. Now Arsenal and Spurs are both within two points Manchester United are three points behind that last place, with West Ham having played at least one game more than everyone else below them.
According to FiveThirtyEight predictions, Tottenham are now the most likely to snatch that spot, at 42% after the stunning victory over Leicester City in mid-January, while Arsenal are at 38%, and West Ham and United just 11%. Ralf Rangnick has a lot of work to do.
|seven||united man||35||21||+5||vs. WHU|
Premier League race for European places
As well as the Champions League, there are two Europa League spots up for grabs: one for the fifth-placed Premier League side and the other for the FA Cup winner. There is also a place for the Europa League Conference which goes to the winner of the League Cup.
However, if the FA Cup or League Cup winners have already qualified for the Champions League or Europa League by other means, the place automatically allocated to the cup winner is transferred to the team. next highest in the Premier League table who has not already qualified for European competition. In this scenario, finishing fifth, sixth or seventh could mean a place in Europe.
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So until the cup scenarios are clear, we’ll assume fifth, sixth and seventh are in contention for the European spots. And with united man, wolves, Brighton, and Leicester City all having games in hand would give them an edge over others for those spots.
|seven*||Manchester United||35||21||+5||vs. WHU|
|9||Brighton and Hove Albion||29||21||0||@LEI|
|ten||Leicester City||25||19||-3||vs. BIS|
|11||crystal palace||24||21||-1||vs. LIV|
Premier League relegation battle
Premier League revenue streams are astronomical in world football, so absorbing relegation from the English top flight is an expensive proposition. Teams fight as hard as they can to avoid the bottom three spots and not suffer that fate.
With the bottom four teams within three points, the race for relegation is wide open.
For long periods this season, it appeared that City of Norwich would almost certainly be heading for a drop, but on the heels of a change of direction and a big result against Everton, the Canaries are just one point from safety.
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Newcastle, under new ownership, is already spending a lot of money to improve the team in the January transfer window with plenty of time to score points.
Things don’t look bright for Burnley, particularly with star striker Chris Wood moving to Tyneside. But their many fewer games give the Clarets a fighting chance.
Watford are also candidates, while Leeds and Everton are in a much more advantageous position with a significant gap below, but they have looked lost at times this season and any extended slip would see them sucked into the vortex. Everton fans in particular know there is no room for error, having parted ways with manager Rafa Benitez as the Toffees continue to stumble.
|15||Leeds United||22||20||-15||vs NEW|
|18||City of Norwich||13||21||-35||@WAT|