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Reviewing the Cartilage Free Captain 2017-18 Premier League table predictions

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We are not geniuses, but we weren’t that far off the end result.

Manchester City v Huddersfield Town - Premier League Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Can you believe it’s been nine months since the 2017-18 Premier League season kicked off? Back in August, the Cartilage Free Captain staff compiled our list of predictions on how we thought the season would end up. And then we asked you, our gentle readers, to do the same.

We’re not geniuses (well, we are, we’re just not perfect), but all of us think we know a fair amount about football. We’re pretty sure that you all think the same, or you wouldn’t continually argue with us in the comments.

So how did we do? Well, not too shabby!

2017-18 Premier League Final Table

Pos Team Played W L D GF GA GD Pts
Pos Team Played W L D GF GA GD Pts
1 Manchester City (C) 38 32 4 2 106 27 +79 100
2 Manchester United 38 25 6 7 68 28 +40 81
3 Tottenham Hotspur 38 23 8 7 74 36 +38 77
4 Liverpool 38 21 12 5 84 38 +46 75
5 Chelsea 38 21 7 10 62 38 +24 70
6 Arsenal 38 19 6 13 74 51 +23 63
7 Burnley 38 14 12 12 36 39 −3 54
8 Everton 38 13 10 15 44 58 −14 49
9 Leicester City 38 12 11 15 56 60 −4 47
10 Newcastle United 38 12 8 18 39 47 −8 44
11 Crystal Palace 38 11 11 16 45 55 −10 44
12 Bournemouth 38 11 11 16 45 61 −16 44
13 West Ham United 38 10 12 16 48 68 −20 42
14 Watford 38 11 8 19 44 64 −20 41
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 9 13 16 34 54 −20 40
16 Huddersfield Town 38 9 10 19 28 58 −30 37
17 Southampton 38 7 15 16 37 56 −19 36
18 Swansea City (R) 38 8 9 21 28 56 −28 33
19 Stoke City (R) 38 7 12 19 35 68 −33 33
20 West Bromwich Albion (R) 38 6 13 19 31 56 −25 31

We all thought Manchester City would steamroll the league. Nailed it.

Yes, yes, we’re all very smart. Shut up. But seriously, this was probably the easiest thing to predict, and both the masthead and the community predicted City to win the league by large margins. Let’s all give ourselves a hand, we correctly made the easiest call in prediction history.

We mostly got the top four and the trailing pack correct.

Sure, there was some variance in who actually finished where — the commentariat picked Chelsea second, the masthead third, and all of us thought Liverpool would finish in fifth — but for the most part we were pretty close. Kudos to the commentariat for correctly predicting Tottenham Hotspur’s final table position.

Everyone thought Arsenal and Everton would be especially lol and that proved to be accurate, with Arsenal finishing sixth and the Toffees eighth. The biggest surprise of the season was Sean Dyche’s Burnley, who finished seventh, but whom we all predicted would be hovering around the relegation zone.

The relegated teams were much harder to predict.

Speaking of the relegation zone, the takeaway here is that it’s much harder to say with certainty which teams are going to royally suck than which ones are going to be really good. Stoke finished dead last, but the masthead predicted them to finish 11th and the commentariat 14th. With West Brom, the masthead said 12th, the commentariat 15th. Only the masthead’s Swansea prediction actually happened.

It’s actually pretty unusual for all three promoted sides to stay up — this is the third time it has happened in Premier League history, after 2001-02 and 2011-12, so it’s not surprising that nobody called it.

The mushy middle was especially mushy.

Look, nobody nailed the middle of the table, but for the most part the clubs that we thought would be hovering around 10th were there. That’s maybe not saying much considering the difference between relegated Swansea and Newcastle in 10th was just 11 points.

Conclusion: Not bad!

Predicting things is hard, and predicting something as dynamic and mutable as a Premier League table is especially difficult. Nobody gets it right every time, but apart from the relegated teams nobody really screwed anything up that badly. Chelsea were more lol than we thought, Burnley a lot LESS lol. Nobody expected Stoke or West Brom to go down. But the mid-table was extremely meh as predicted and the teams expected to challenge for Champions League did exactly that. Let’s pat ourselves on the back: we did pretty ok!