José Mourinho and the F word: Liverpool still just ahead of City though

Back in March 2014, when Chelsea topped the table on points but had played more matches than all of their nearest rivals, José Mourinho famously called the Premier League table “fake”.

He had a point — the official league table orders teams only on accumulated points, regardless of games in hand. And indeed Mourinho’s Chelsea went on to finish third in the league that season, behind Manchester City and Liverpool. (Aside: Mourinho’s wisdom did not of course extend to having invented the word “fake”. That honour supposedly belonged to Donald Trump, a couple of years later!)

Hopefully Mr Mourinho would at least appreciate the alt-3 league table, which does coherently take account of games in hand — and indeed does so in such a way that matches against lower-placed teams, and home matches, count most strongly as being “in hand”. The alt-3 table takes proper account of every team’s fixtures played (and hence also fixtures still to play) to provide a more meaningful picture of current league standings, at any point before the end of the season.

Right now: City have a game in hand, but Liverpool are still ahead (just!)

This tweet pretty much says it all. Manchester City currently have a game in hand over Liverpool, who are two points ahead of City in the official Premier League table. But City’s remaining fixtures are measurably harder than Liverpool’s, based on current standings of their remaining opponents. Most notably, City still have to face Spurs (currently 4th) at home, and Manchester United (currently 5th) away; whereas Liverpool’s remaining fixtures do not involve any of the current top-five clubs.

It’s very close. But Liverpool currently top the alt-3 table. Just.

It should be noted that this is not in any way a prediction: rather, it is simply a better representation of current league standings, based on all the match results so far this season.

Current schedule-strength charts (kept up to date after each new match result):

What about other Premier League clubs?

To see any Premier League team’s schedule-strength graph, just click on the team name in the current alt-3 league table.