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At least three teams guaranteed Top Four survival

| 16.07.2010

Of course, with millions flying around, Man City are fully expected to barge their way into the Premier League top four next season.

Unfortunately for City fans, the team would need to fly in the face of some startling trends that date back to 1996, when the Premier League was still in its infancy.

For a start, you would need to go back to 1996 to find the last time that the top four didn’t feature at least three teams from the previous season’s top four.

A stat which bodes rather well for Chelsea (1/25 to make the top four again), Man United (1/16), Arsenal (4/6), and Spurs (11/4).

Chelsea can feel particularly confident, because only once in the history of the Premier League have the reigning champs failed to make the top four the following year – as happened to Blackburn, champions in 1995, 7th in 1996.

Another trend working against Man City (4/7) is that Liverpool (11/8) have never gone two seasons outside of the top four since 1995. They were 7th in the league last season.

Statistics suggest that the “danger spot” in the top four is 3rd – bad news for Arsenal.

Of the sixteen teams in Premier League history to drop from the top four, six of them finished 3rd the season before – compared to four who came 2nd, and five who came 4th. The other is the aforementioned Blackburn.

Of the other teams vying for a spot, both Everton (8/1) and Villa (9/1) have  enjoyed top four finishes in the past – Villa in 1993 and 1996, Everton in 2005.

In the case of Everton in 2005, it was a remarkable feat, being that they’d trundled in to a lowly 17th place finish the previous season.

There may yet be hope for West Ham (66/1).

Can anyone stop Liverpool reclaiming their top four spot? See the full Top Four betting market.



Ed Needham