Mathematicians have simulated the next one million seasons of the Premier League

  • Kobe Tong

It’s the question on everybody’s lips: who will be Premier League champions in the 1002018-19 season?

Ok, maybe not, and although it seems unfathomable to lose the most competitive football league in the world, it appears unlikely that the competition would endure for one million years.

Besides, organised football in England has been going for less than two centuries and human beings were only starting to use tools when we rewind to 997981 BC.

However, that doesn’t make it any less interesting that a group of mathematicians have tried to analyse how the next one million Premier League seasons would play out.

The team at Numberphile – a popular maths-based programme with over two million subscribers – have used a number of equations and computer codes to simulate the future seasons.

The future of the Premier League

We won’t go too much into the complicated maths behind it all, but they based their simulation from data collected over the 2017-18 season, so expect Stoke, West Brom and Swansea to pop up.

It goes without saying that being able to predict every transfer, managerial switch and even rule changes is simply impossible but the data gives fans the best possible insight.

And, of course, the maths often fails to accommodate for footballing miracles, so there were sadly no recurrences of Leicester City’s dramatic achievement from 2015-16. 

So, without further ado, here are the most interesting findings from the next one million seasons of the Premier League. Brace yourselves.

Premier League title wins

1. Manchester City – 896,313

2. Liverpool – 45,862

3. Manchester United – 34,964

4. Tottenham – 18,757

5. Arsenal – 2,344

6. Chelsea – 1,760

Biggest win: Manchester City 20-1 Bournemouth

Highest-scoring game: Manchester City 17-5 Everton

Most goals from a losing team: Everton 11-10 Chelsea

Biggest points tally: Manchester City (114)

Fun facts: Chelsea were relegated on five occasions, Bournemouth qualified for the Champions League 89 times and Southampton came close with a second-placed finish. 

Analysing the data

There’s certainly a lot to unpackage there and inevitably when you simulate such an insane amount of seasons, truly bonkers results were always guaranteed.

Somehow we can’t see a future Chelsea manager bemoaning defeat at Goodison Park, despite having scored 10 goals of their own.

Meanwhile, it seems somewhat unlikely that City would average a goal every 4.5 minutes by putting 20 goals past Bournemouth.

But it’s certainly fascinating to see the results that are thrown up when professionals put their heads together and allow computers to do the talking. 

The code is naturally biased to City because the data is based on their remarkable title-winning season, while the programming also favoured Liverpool due to their attacking style of play.

Twenty-seven years of the Premier League so far, just 999,973 seasons to go until the million.

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