The 2020/21 Premier League season has been a weird one so far, lacking any real dominant force, unlike previous season.

This season’s league leaders are the reigning Champions Liverpool. Their 32 points so far this campaign puts them a whopping 11 points behind their points total after 15 games of last season; 9 behind Manchester City’s total the season prior.

League Table courtesy of

In terms of points per game (PPG), Liverpool’s 2.13 puts them on course for a 81 points finish this season. This is below the average total for Premier League champions which is around 84 and a huge drop-off from the 98+ totals we have seen in each of the last 3 seasons.

As a result, the 6 points separating 1st and 9th in the table is creating a situation where many sides are ‘in a title challenge’ without any of them putting up traditional ‘title challenge form’.

The Great Pretenders?

Chelsea, for example, are currently just 6 points behind league-leaders Liverpool. However, their 1.6 PPG puts them on course for 61-62 points finish; a points total which would see them fail to qualify for European football entirely in most seasons.

Of course, Chelsea or any other club for that matter could put together a winning run of 5+ matches which would dramatically change their perception in this title race.

However, even Manchester United, who at the time of writing would be just 2 points behind if they win their match in hand, are dismissed by some as ‘real title contenders’.

The main reason for this ‘feeling’ is likely down to their failure to beat any of the Premier League’s usual top 7 sides that dominate the top spots over recent seasons.

The Great Pretenders: Premier League 2020/21 Big 7 Mini-Table
Premier League 2020/21: Big 7 Mini-Table

Looking at a mini-table of results among the Premier League’s ‘big-7’ so far this season it is clear to see why Manchester United and Chelsea in particular are dismissed as ‘real title contenders’. Their records against the perceived best 7 squads in the Premier League are abysmal.

However, the reality is it doesn’t really matter where you are picking up points, as long as you are. There are 78 points to gain from the other 13 teams not included in the above graphic.

Whatever side maximizes their points in those games will likely be there or thereabout come May.

A glossary of all the terms used in this article and throughout the site as a whole is available here. Also, click on any image in the article for a full-size high definition version.

All data used in our articles is sourced from Understat, FBRef, Sofascore, Transfermarkt and 538.

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