DOES being top at Christmas mean you’re destined for the title? Can being in the relegation zone when Santa comes down the tree leave you doomed? Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) explores…
The 2016 Premier League Christmas Report
With Christmas just a few days away and the Boxing Day bonanza coming our way, you can put your mortgage on hearing about the ‘Christmas Curse‘ in the Premier League – only three teams (13%) have survived relegation having been bottom of the table on Christmas Day.
So I decided to have a look for any other trends throughout the four divisions of English football to see if there were any other standout stats for us to be aware of…
Premier League Title
Six of the last seven teams to be top at Christmas have gone onto finish top of the pile with only Liverpool (2013/14) failing to make the most of their festive position.
The Reds were the first side since umm… Liverpool in 2008 not to win the title having been top of the tree on the 25th December with nine of the last 12 league leaders at this stage going the distance.
That’s good news for table-topping Chelsea – the Blues have an excellent record when it comes to converting Christmas number one into the title, doing so in each of their four previous chart-topping positions at Christmas.
Antonio Conte’s charges are just 4/5 (Matchbook) to take top honours this term and punters looking to oppose the capital club may be encouraged by the fact, since Premier League football began, 12/24 (50%) teams have failed to win the Premier League after being top at Christmas.
Meanwhile, Only one side has failed to finish in the top-four when top at Christmas – Aston Villa in 1998/99. And the lowest a championship-winning side has been at Christmas was Arsenal, who were sixth in 1997/98.
Premier League Relegation
Only three clubs to be bottom of the Premier League at this point have survived – of the 21 (88%) have ultimately suffered demotion, 15 (63%) finished rock-bottom.
Over the last seven years, 11 (52%) of the 21 teams in the bottom-three when the turkey’s been cut have failed to claw themselves out and suffered relegation.
Hull to finish bottom (11/10 Bet365) represents the best value but with a 48% survival rate for bottom-three clubs, it might be worth looking at the Staying Up market and supporting Sunderland at 6/5 (Ladbrokes).
The Black Cats are masters of escapology and only six sides have accrued more points since November (W4-D0-L3) – two of those defeats came against Chelsea and Liverpool.
In the last 7 seasons:
- 6 (86%) Christmas leaders have claimed the title.
- 5 (71%) teams bottom at Christmas have been relegated.
- 11 (52%) sides in the relegation zone at Christmas have been relegated.
- 2 (29%) sides bottom at Christmas have finished bottom.