Premier League: The most unpredictable season?

Premier League players celebrate and look dejected
The Premier League has thrown up numerous surprises this season

It is the Premier League season that has everyone scratching their heads.

Champions Chelsea are down in 14th. Leicester, bottom at Christmas last year, are top less than 12 months later.

In fact, as this image below shows, the old cliche that anyone can beat anyone has never been more apt. Undoubtedly, there have been some strange results.

Graphic showing every team beating each other

But just how unusual has this season really been and what have been the key factors in making it so unpredictable? BBC Sport crunches the numbers to find out.

Chelsea go from champions to chumps

Chelsea's start to the season is the worst of any reigning Premier League champion.

In fact, Blackburn are the only other side to have picked up fewer than 20 points in the first 15 games of a title defence.

Chelsea and Manchester United have mounted the best starts to a defence, both registering 40 points in 2005-06 and 1993-94 respectively.

Points by defending champions in first 15 games
2005-06Chelsea401993-94Man Utd40
2000-01Man Utd362011-12Man Utd36
2006-07Chelsea351994-95Man Utd34
2009-10Man Utd342003-04Man Utd34
2014-15Man City332012-13Man City33
2007-08Man Utd331999-00Man Utd33
1997-98Man Utd312008-09Man Utd31
2010-11Chelsea291996-97Man Utd26
1998-99Arsenal252013-14Man Utd22
2001-02Man Utd211995-96Blackburn18

Tight at the top

This is reasonably unusual. There are just six points between top side Leicester and fifth-placed Tottenham - it's only been that close one other time in the past 10 seasons.

Gap chart

Big boys get beaten

Jose Mourinho

Last season's top two of Chelsea and Manchester City have lost a combined total of 12 games this term - the highest over the past 10 seasons.

Defeats in first 15 games for previous season's top two
2015-16Chelsea (8)Man City (4)12
2014-15Man City (2)Liverpool (6)8
2013-14Man Utd (5)Man City (4)9
2012-13Man City (0)Man Utd (3)3
2011-12Man Utd (1)Chelsea (4)5
2010-11Chelsea (4)Man Utd (0)4
2009-10Man Ud (3)Liverpool (5)8
2008-09Man Utd (2)Chelsea (2)4
2007-08Man Utd (2)Chelsea (2)4
2006-07Chelsea (2)Man Utd (1)3

Away the lads

Percentage of away wins in the Premier League

Teams are loving an away day this season.

There have been 51 away victories from 150 Premier League games this term - that's 34% of fixtures.

Of the 9,130 games in Premier League history, 27.25% have ended with a win for the visitors.

New boys bucking the trend?

Promoted teams picture

The three promoted teams of Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich are all currently out of the relegation zone, which you might think is unusual.

Lately, it's not been that uncommon.

In fact, it has happened twice in the previous five seasons. Newcastle United, West Brom and Blackpool were above the drop zone at this point in 2010-11, as were QPR, Norwich and Swansea in 2011-12.

However, those are the only three times the feat has occurred in the past decade, and rarely do one of those sides beat the champions, as Bournemouth did when winning 1-0 at Chelsea on Saturday.

Gary Lineker
Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker is enjoying his former club Leicester being top of the table

Will Leicester win the league?

The team that's top in early December is most likely to go on to claim the title, right?

If history is any indicator, Leicester City have actually got almost a 50-50 chance of causing a massive shock and becoming champions.

Where does the team top after 15 games finish?
SeasonTeamFinal positionSeasonTeamFinal position
1994Man Utd1st2006Chelsea1st
1995Man Utd2nd2007Man Utd1st
1998Man Utd2nd2010Chelsea1st
1999Aston Villa6th2011Man Utd1st
2000Man Utd1st2012Man City1st
2001Man Utd1st2013Man Utd1st

In Premier League history, the team top after 15 games has gone on to win the title 47.8% of the time. And that rises to 72.7% over the past 11 seasons.

Manchester United have been top after 15 games eight times - and have converted that into a title on six occasions

But of the eight different clubs to be top at this stage, only three - Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea - have gone on to win the title.

Or is it same old, same old?

It's all very intriguing, but then again, a quick comparison of the table this year with how it ended last season suggests little has changed.

Current top six

Four of the current top six finished in the top six last season...

Last season's top six

And the current bottom three...

Current bottom three

Well they all just about survived last season...

Last season's three to avoid the drop

And even in mid-table...

Current mid-table

There's a familiar look to how it finished up last term, with four of the same six teams occupying the middle six positions.

Last season's mid-table

So maybe the world of the Premier League hasn't been completely turned upside down just yet.


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