Weekly permutations: Premier League, 7-9 Dec 2019

These graphics break down how much the league table can change during the next round of fixtures as follows:

  • Down the left is the current order if league table, with each club’s current league position also indicated by a shaded square in their row.
  • Across each club’s row is a hollow colour-coded strip showing how they are mathematically capable of moving after the next round of fixtures is over, regardless of how crazy the combination of scorelines would need to be.
  • To differentiate between the probable and the possible, inside the strip is a little minimalist column chart showing the relative chance of them ending up in each position based on my ratings model.

There’s not likely to be all that much movement at either end of the table this weekend: Man City could barge past Leicester and Everton could claw their way back out of the bottom three, but that’s about it. The middle of the table remains almost useless as a way of ranking teams at the moment – while it’s encouraging to see the likes of Sheffield United and Newcastle sitting higher than expected, the reality is that a single round of fixtures can bounce you between the fringes of Europa League qualification and relegation peril.