Let’s all be honest here, luck certainly plays a massive role in the Premier League.
Sure, the fact the competition is contested over 38 game-weeks means some of the crazier bouts of fortune are ironed out, but the odd deflection and refereeing error can still play a massive role.
You only need to look at last season’s title race to understand how nail-biting things can get with Manchester City and Liverpool both enjoying 100% records after the start of March.
In the end, it was the Citizens who romped their way to the title for the second consecutive year, but apparent officiating blunders always played on the mind of Liverpool fans.
We even looked at the conundrum ourselves in March, coming to the conclusion that wrong decisions had cost Liverpool five points and actually given City an extra one.
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The footballing ‘Luck Index’
However, luck is about more than just refereeing mistakes, something that could be eradicated by the introduction of VAR, and we also don’t have the calculative resources of a whole university.
That’s where the London School of Economics (LSE) comes in and they’ve devised a fascinating ‘Luck Index’ to try and calculate what how a ‘fair’ 2018-19 season would have played out.
ESPN have collaborated with the team led by Dr. Thomas Curran and have made delivered some fascinating results, adjusting both the Premier League table and Golden Boot standings.
Adjusting the 2018-19 season
They found that, rather remarkably, Pep Guardiola’s men were actually unlucky and lost three points due to misfortune, meaning they ‘should’ have been crowned champions one week earlier.
Think you were unlucky Liverpool fans? Absolutely not, as their points tally of 97 points proved spot on and they were actually unluckier last season when they were robbed of 12 points.
As for the luckiest team, Manchester United are amusingly one of the leading contenders and when you take their ‘jamminess’ out of the equation, they actually should have finished seventh.
Check out the full, adjusted Premier League table down below:
Can we get some tissues for the Fulham fans out there please? The Cottagers were actually robbed of five points and Brighton only survived based on eight points associated with good fortune.
Now to the race for the Golden Boot and it seems their shouldn’t have been a three-way tie after all, and nobody in that victorious triumvirate should have won in the first place.
Sergio Aguero has been named the worthy winner and clearly Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, who has been deducted eight goals, was playing the season with a rabbit’s foot and four-leaf clover.
And sorry to break more Liverpool hearts, but both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were comparatively riding their luck. Take a peek at the full breakdown here:
Ok, sure, is the model perfect? Nope, and we’re not sure anybody will ever be able to quantify ‘luck’ with much accuracy, but we trust one of the world’s top universities to come as close as possible.
However, it still seems that the Premier League would look rather different in a footballing world where all his fair, every bobble lands justly and the referees are omniscient.
For now, though, we’re sure plenty of supporters will enjoy the fact they can throw the data at any Liverpool fans still bemoaning last season’s near miss.
Who do you think will win the Premier League this season? Have your say in the comments section below.