Premier League Permutations: Opta Supercomputer Predictions

As well as a compelling title race, there are a few other things to be decided on the final day of the Premier League season. Here’s a rundown of everything that can change on Sunday, along with the supercomputer’s predictions for how the final table will look.


It’s almost the final day of 2023-24 and we head into Matchday 38 with plenty still riding on the final round of games, though that’s largely because the title race is still to be decided.

But what else is hanging on Sunday’s Premier League results? We bring you all the possible permutations heading into the final day, along with the results of the Opta supercomputer’s simulations of the 10 remaining games to predict what the final table will look like.

Jump to permutations for:

Title Race
Champions League Qualification
Europa League and Europa Conference League Qualification
Relegation
Race for a Top-Half Finish

What We Know Already

Only three teams head into the final day mathematically certain of finishing in their current position:

  • Liverpool in third
  • Aston Villa in fourth
  • West Ham in ninth

The supercomputer thinks two more teams are certain to finish in their current positions due to a massive goal difference swing that is needed for them to swap places… more on that later.

Title Race

All eyes will be on the Premier League title race this weekend as Arsenal have forced Manchester City into a final-day showdown. Unfortunately for Mikel Arteta’s side, City have their fate in their own hands and only need to beat West Ham at home to win the Premier League for a record fourth consecutive time.

City are unbeaten since December and have won their last eight Premier League games, winning each by at least two goals. That would explain why, at the time of writing, the supercomputer gives them an 83.7% chance of winning the league.

Arsenal are the only other team who could still win the title and deserve credit for hanging in there for this long. They have a 16.3% chance of winning the league heading into the final day.

Premier League title race predictions

Champions League

The race for Champions League football is over. Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa will be England’s four representatives in next season’s competition.

Europa League and Europa Conference League

What each position will mean:

  • 5th: Qualification for the Europa League;
  • 6th: Qualification for the Europa Conference League if Manchester United win the FA Cup or qualification for the Europa League if Manchester City win the FA Cup;
  • 7th: Qualification for the Europa Conference League only if Manchester City win the FA Cup.
Premier League final positions predictions

Having fallen away in the top-four battle, Tottenham have been doing their best to throw away fifth place of late. Although they didn’t actually want to lose to Manchester City on Tuesday night, there were some fans who were content that they didn’t do rivals Arsenal a favour in the title race by getting a result against the reigning champions.

The result did, however, open the door to the teams below them to pip them to fifth place. Chelsea beat Brighton on Wednesday night to move to within three points of Spurs, meaning there is a final-day battle between those two teams for fifth – the only guaranteed spot for Europa League qualification. Newcastle’s defeat at Manchester United on Wednesday ruled them out of this particular contest.

Spurs only need a point at relegated Sheffield United to secure fifth spot, while anything other than a Chelsea win against Bournemouth would also mean Spurs get fifth. In other words, it’s very likely; the supercomputer gives Tottenham a 90.2% chance of holding on to their current position. Chelsea are most likely to finish sixth (81.1%).

Newcastle are in pole position to finish seventh (64.2%), which will get them into the Europa Conference League if Man City win the FA Cup next weekend. Newcastle travel to Brentford and just need to match Man Utd’s result at Brighton to keep hold of seventh place.

Eddie Howe’s side can still sneak into the top six if they win and Chelsea lose to Bournemouth. The supercomputer rates Newcastle’s chances of finishing sixth at just 9.1%, though.

Man Utd have just a 26.7% chance of overtaking Newcastle to finish seventh. Given the supercomputer gives them only a 14.9% chance of winning the FA Cup (within 90 minutes), overtaking Newcastle probably represents their best chance of a route into Europe.

Relegation

The relegation battle isn’t technically over. Luton are three points off safety with one game to play, but their goal difference (-31) is so bad that they’d require a 12-goal swing on the final day to overtake Nottingham Forest in 17th. It’s a mathematical possibility, but it’s extremely unlikely.

So unlikely, in fact, that when the supercomputer ran 10,000 simulations of the final day of the season, not even once did Luton escape the drop.

We then asked the supercomputer to run 100,000 simulations and again not a single simulation saw Luton overtake Forest. We can’t say exactly what Luton’s chances of survival are, but we do know they are less than one in 100,000.

It’s pretty safe to say that Luton will join Burnley and Sheffield United back in the Championship next season.

Race for the Top Half

The one that really matters.

The four teams between 10th and 13th still have a chance of securing a top-half finish on Sunday.

Brighton (71.0%) are currently in the final top-half position and are favourites to stay there, with Bournemouth (16.5%) the next-most likely side. Don’t rule out in-form Crystal Palace (11.1%), though, as they face Villa who may have spent the week celebrating Champions League qualification. Wolves (1.4%) can almost certainly be ruled out of this race (which isn’t really a race at all, is it?).


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