2021 league table
Now that the final league game of 2021 has been played, it’s once again time to produce a combined calendar year table for the 92 current Premier League and EFL clubs.
This is pretty simple really – all I’ve done is to calculate one massive league table sorted in descending order of points, then goal difference and then goals scored. The difference is that I’ve calculated them all on a ‘per match’ basis to adjust fairly for the different numbers of games played.
I’ve only included league matches (no cups or play-offs) and I’ve used colour-coding to indicate each club’s current division. For clubs who were promoted or relegated I’ve rolled their record from both divisions together, including National League games for the two newly-promoted clubs in League 2.
I’ve not included points deductions for two reasons. Firstly, they would detract from the point of this table, which is to compare teams’ performances, and secondly it’d be messy as they apply to seasons rather than calendar years so I’d have to come up with some way of apportioning them.
Anyway, here’s the full table in all its glory – for anyone who has trouble viewing such a tall image on their device, I’ve chopped it into more manageable chunks further down the page.
Manchester City have been streets ahead of the rest in 2021, earning a whopping 2.5 points per match. While this is ridiculously good it falls short of Liverpool‘s 2.65 points per match in 2019 – the Reds only lost once in the league that year, nine fewer times than they did this time around.
Premier League clubs make up the top four places, with Chelsea falling just short of the two points per game mark in second, Liverpool third and Arsenal finishing an all-too-familiar fourth.
League 1 leaders Sunderland are the highest-placed EFL team in fifth – their big win over Sheffield Wednesday this evening nudged them ahead of Sutton United, who have carried their momentum from the National League into a strong League 2 debut.
Top flight teams bookend this table, with Burnley slipping to the bottom of the pile after tonight’s defeat to Manchester United, below fellow strugglers Newcastle. The Clarets won just seven games this year, with only one victory since mid-May.
It’s been quite the swing for Doncaster, who were sixth out of 92 in the 2020 version of this table but sit eighth from the bottom this year with one of the worst per-game goal differences (-0.84 goals per game). Only Southampton (-0.88 goals per game) have a worse record in this respect.
A special mention should go to Brighton for managing a perfectly symmetrical record this year: 12 wins, 12 defeats and a goal difference of zero.
In case anyone is unable to read the single 92-club graphic on their phone, I’ve also broken it up into four sections – the top 20 and then three further ‘divisions’ of 24, to mirror the actual league structure: