Doing the Math for You: The EPL Battles At The Top (And, Of Course, The Bottom) Of The Table

If you like math as much as you like the EPL, this is clearly the best time of year for you. Though we’re not as down to the wire as we were last year with the races for the top and bottom spots — after a weekend in which QPR and Reading relegated each other in predictably miserable 0-0 fashion — there’s a wee bit of drama headed into the final four weeks. The race for the third through fifth spots are made a little more interesting by Chelsea and Spurs playing each other May 8, as well as Chelsea’s tough schedule including Europa League games, and the Wigla battle for 17th including the final game of the season between Wigan and Villa, which could mean nothing or could be an awesome drama fest. Here’s some math, done for you, because we care.

The Chammmmmmmpions Race

Chelsea (currently third)
Games Remaining: 4
Points: 65
Max Points Possible: 77
Max Points Possible if they tie Spurs May 8: 75
GD: 33
Left to Play: at Man U, Spurs, at Villa, at Everton
Things to keep in mind: Man U doesn’t have much to play for now that the league’s wrapped up and the all-time points record isn’t possible, the game vs. Spurs will be a war, Villa will be likely scrapping to avoid relegation, Everton might have a shot at fifth at that point, which looks the only route to the Europa league.

Arsenal (currently fourth)
Games Remaining: 3
Points: 64
Max Points Possible: 73
GD: 30
Left to Play: at QPR, Wigan, at Newcastle
Things to keep in mind: Giroud’s gone for another two weeks because of the red card, QPR will be pretty deflated (okay, MORE SO), and Wigan and Newcastle will be scrapping to avoid relegation, and Wigan did tie Spurs this past weekend (though the two goals they gave up were comical). (Newcastle just lost 6-0 to Liverpool. They seem officially awful.)

Spurs (currently fifth)
Games Remaining: 4
Points: 62
Max Points Possible: 74
Max Points Possible if they tie Spurs May 8: 72
GD: 17
Left to Play: Southampton, at Chelsea, at Stoke, Sunderland
Things to keep in mind: Southampton’s been a tough out for top teams, Chelsea has played well of late (though, still, Torres + Benitez), Stoke is Stoke, and Sunderland has new fascist inspiration which will probably keep them out of the drop zone.

If everyone wins out (with the exception of Spurs beating Chelsea): Spurs 74, Chelsea 74, Arsenal 73
If everyone wins out (with the exception of Chelsea beating Spurs): Chelsea 77, Arsenal 73, Spurs 71
If everyone wins out (with the exception of a Spurs-Chelsea tie): Chelsea 75, Arsenal 73, Spurs 72

(Also, no one cares much, but Man City needs 7 points in its final four games to clinch 2nd, and their final two are at Reading and Norwich. At Swansea and hosting West Brom are the two semi-tests. And just for fun, Everton’s sitting at 59 points with three games left, max of 68 possible, against Liverpool, West Ham, and Chelsea. Liverpool’s at 54 points with three games left, so we’ll introduce them into the conversation should the Black Plague sweep London in the next few weeks.

The Relegation Battle

Wigan (currently 18th)
Games Remaining: 4
Points: 32
Max Points Possible: 44
GD: -23
Left to Play: at West Brom, Swansea, at Arsenal, Villa
Things to keep in mind: This is not a particularly easy stretch for Wigan, Figueroa’s hurt, they’ve got an FA Cup final in the mix here (not as WTF as Bradford vs. Swansea was, but close), and Arsenal will be gunning (rim shot) for a CL spot. So it could come to the match with Villa and Wigan’s current 4-goal GD advantage.

Aston Villa (currently 17th)
Games Remaining: 4
Points: 34
Max Points Possible: 46
GD: -27
Left to Play: Sunderland, at Norwich, Chelsea, at Wigan
Things to keep in mind: Winning today against the fascists would keep Villa in control of their own destiny; a loss would allow Wigan to grab the steering wheel. Villa have a goal differential to work on in the coming weeks. Though giving up three goals to RVP in 32 minutes last week was, well, bad, Benteke and Weimann continue to look dangerous and capable of multi-goal games. (That defense, though.)

Newcastle (currently 16th)
Games Remaining: 3
Points: 37
Max Points Possible: 46
GD: -23
Left to Play: at West Ham, at QPR, Arsenal
Things to keep in mind: Europe last year, and rim of the drop zone this year, thanks to an epic 0-6 bed-crapping against a Liverpool side that just lost Suarez to a 10-game ban. Alan Pardew, we applaud you. Could a 0-0 draw against QPR be enough to save Newcastle?

(If Sunderland lose today, they’re at 37 points with three games left, just like Newcastle, but with a much-better GD position of -7. Everyone else, starting with lackluster Norwich, look safe, though some look a lamer brand of safe than others.)

(Monday afternoon update: Are you kidding me? Villa wins 6-1, pulls ahead of Wigan and Newcastle in goal differential, goes up to 16th in the table … and this is in a game where Sessegnon gets red-carded out of the rest of the season. So, all of a sudden, the Tyneside teams are in more dire straits than Villa — the Toons are in 17th, and Sunderland’s in 15th but they don’t have their top two goalscorers. Nice win, Villa.)


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