February 04, 2014

Horse 1611 - 10 Points to Oblivion And The Six-Point Fixture In The Same Match!

WARNING: Maths Ahead!

Long time readers will note that I write Liverpool's season off as a non-event once they fall behind 10 points of the league leaders. The earliest that I've written the season off is in September and the latest that I ever wrote the season off was in the 91st minute of the very last game of the year*; in that match Liverpool hosted Arsenal and it's fitting that to write off the 2013/14 season (or not) should also occur when these two sides meet.
To explain why a particular fixture is called a "six-pointer" when there are only 3 points on offer for a league match, requires some maths.

The league currently stands thus:
1. Arsenal - 55
2. Man City - 53
3. Chelsea - 53
4. Liverpool - 47
All have played 24 matches and I'm going to discard Man City and Chelsea as irrelevant to this discussion, and disregard goal difference as well.

Assuming Arsenal wins. They pick up 3 points and Liverpool do not. The league table after 25 matches reads:
1. Arsenal - 58
4. Liverpool - 47
Arsenal would then be 11 points clear of Liverpool, and Liverpool's season is as good as dead for the 24th year in succession.

If Liverpool wins though, they pick up 3 points and Arsenal do not.  The league table after 25 matches reads:
1. Arsenal - 55
4. Liverpool - 50
Instead of Arsenal being 11 points clear of Liverpool, they would only be 5 points clear. Since 11 - 5 = 6, then it becomes obvious as to why such things are called six-point fixtures.

A draw of course means that relative to each other, the gap remains fixed. If either Man City or Chelsea or even both win in such a scenario, then we'd have a new league leader and Liverpool would be 9 points behind them; which is still dire but not quite so dire to write the season off entirely... yet.

Of course Liverpool would probably still be fighting for a European Champions League or Europa League spot but in all honesty, I don't really care about those. I would rather see Liverpool win the league and those things come as an added bonus.

I really hope that Arsenal implode here. The problem is that Özil keeps on supplying Giroud and Ramsey with goal fodder. I'm willing to bet that it's not Lionel Messi but Mesut Özil who is actually the best player in the world at the moment and that he'll be instrumental in bringing the World Cup back to Germany. Hopefully, Touré and Johnson can cancel them out.

*This single fixture I regard as the most important in the history of league football in England; even though Liverpool lost the league with it.
This single match unlocked the potential of television, brought football back into the civilised world after the events of Hillsborough and was probably instrumental in the creation of the Premier League.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

lul wut