Listen: 2019-2020 Premier League Odds: Will Manchester City take the title?
"Twenty thousand nine hundred thousand twenty english premier league is officially underway last year we saw historically close title race liverpool still in pursuit of its first premier league title finished just one point behind repeat pete champions manchester city though the ripple did when the champions league title over my beloved tottenham heading into this new season liverpool and city remained the favorites and we're expecting acting another close fight. Here's steve nicol on e._s._p._n. F._c. making the case for man city but yes city still have a stronger squad in liverpool. You could say that they've actually got strong since last year and considering they won the title this to lose and liverpool's to try and take extra step neil. What does our model say about. The primarily grace is mandy the favorite again they are indeed so we give them a a sixty one percent chance of winning. They are the highest rated team. According to the soccer power index they have the best offense in <hes> the ep l. and also the best defense so all of that kind of adds up to to a shockingly high probability of winning. We really think that there's almost no chance that they finished any lower than third or really. Even i mean second. Can they have a like. I said sixty one percent chance of finishing first and then a twenty four percent chance of finishing second so not much room for anything below that but then you know liverpool is relatively close to them in terms of sti so man city has a ninety four point four s._p. That's on a zero one hundred scale and then liverpool the second best team has a ninety two point four so that's kind of a small gap when you consider that the third team tottenham sarah's team and nominally my team mm-hmm has an s._p._a. Of eighty five point three so massive difference in drop off between number two and number three <hes> but still liverpool has a just a twenty-seven percent chance in our model of of actually winning the e._p._l. What did the first weekend of games or the friendly community shield match up between these teams. It's a week ago. Tell us about what to expect. From this revelry in these opening match ups. I mean it is also sort of an open question as to how much we can learn about single soccer matches and i'm always amazed even when we get into the world cup that first sport was so little scoring that the better team tends to win with a good amount of frequency well we're actually in a talk later in the show in the rabbit hole about baseball upsets <hes> and and it's a game baseball is a game with more scoring than soccer and yet according to all the models and just if you sort of look at the the results of games the favorites favorites and soccer tend to win far more often than they do <hes> in baseball and so. I don't know why that is necessarily. I think there's a lot of things things going on about who is controlling soccer game that are not picked up in the scoreline. Necessarily right and advance stats are trying to do that work work. We talk about possession or you know. Further things like expected goals expected assists progressive passes. All of those things that are happening in a soccer are game that are you know sort of. We don't think about them in terms of the scoreline but they're all helping to tell the story so you know these two teams james city and liverpool are the best of those things too so that probably goes a long way to why we have them rated so highly why soccer power index thanks so much of them and they really are. They're returning their very good teams. From last year with slight tweaks slight improvements that you know should get them pretty far. One would think inc beyond the top two teams. There's an interesting dynamic among what we've typically considered the top tier in the ep all those that have been part of the big six for the past couple of beers and then the middle tier teams so our model which uses that sti showed a big gap going into the season between city and liverpool and chelsea and tottenham him that was a gap of about seven points neil said earlier but then there's another big gap of about five points to that next batch of teams manchester united and arsenal now everton which is often just on the outside looking in at the big six is only one point behind arsenal and all and then lester and wolverhampton just a couple of points further back so the golfs there really are between the top two and everybody else right but then three and four four and then this group that could all compete for for the fifth and sixth spots but also the third and fourth spots so you could see some a real shakeup shakeup in the table for the first time in a while we haven't had anyone outside of the current big six finish among the top six spots since lesser one at all in two thousand sixteen which of course was a shock collar bone. They didn't subtle just getting sex. They were like let's just win at all. This season could be even though i think some people are thinking i would sort of boring in city liverpool same thing. It's just a repeat of last year. There could be some really interesting. Things happen in the world of the top soccer teams. I think that's sorta. Uh shows how amazing it was that lester one in two thousand sixteen everyone points to that five thousand one odds they had which is a little misleading. They've really didn't have a one in five thousand chance of winning in a twenty team league. It was just a terrible line and the terrible line was a reflection of the public opinion as all odds and all lines are a reflection of the public opinion. Don't forget that that that no one else outside of this elite group could win that league so why not make the line five thousand one try to get some people the bed on it and they were burned so in many ways it kept that people on us and of course it's obviously gone back to the same handful of teams winning but just showing that it was possible i think was very big for the sport in terms of giving giving fans hope and giving everyone hope which will all all hopes will be diminished by october but at least right now the dream is alive because the lester her yeah well when you think about the history of the premier league which started with the nine thousand nine hundred ninety three season there have been only six winners. It's man united man city arsenal chelsea leicester blackburn and that's it nobody else in all those years and so and they have not been many teams that have even gone into a season thinking. They had a great chance so lesser winning. I think did a huge thing for the league. Now someone what else needs to actually win again someone different come on spurs. The beauty of it is that there are all these like competitions within the bigger competition trying to make it to the level. Were you qualify for europa. League champions league trying to just stay up in the primary league is is often more exciting later in the year so it isn't isn't just like you know another sport where winning is everything. There's many rewards existing in the league which will sort of add excitement in lieu of the playoffs and realistic chance of actually winning the championship and and <hes> having your hopes of doing that at all dashed. You know extremely early into the season season. He can settle some consolation tournaments. I mean what's wrong with that. I think well this goes to my theory about really all sports. There's no shame in rooting for a team that can't win at all and there are lots of other things along the way that makes sports fun. My college football team is not going to win at all but i'm still gonna enjoy the season and be happy when they knock someone off. Whatever and you are going to watch those five thirty eight. <hes> college football playoff odds like a hawk hawk note to me every single week when they go up or down <hes> not that's connected to that's not connected to an actual belief. They're actually going to make the playoff. It's more like well look. It's my team and they're doing well. They're not gonna win. Percent percent chance of making the playoffs. They were on the list nehal all right. I think we can leave that"