Last weekend’s meeting between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur may have been a huge fixture for both sides, but the result pales in insignificance as far as the title race is concerned, and supporters of both teams may want to look away now.
That’s because no side in Premier League history has ever overturned a 10 or 13 point deficit to go on to lift the trophy after 15 games.
And that’s the position Spurs and United find themselves in right now, with the latter somehow closer to the relegation zone than they are to the top of the table – despite being in sixth place.
In fact, only the Red Devils have managed to claw back a big deficit to win the title and that was in the inaugural 1992-93 Premier League campaign. United found themselves nine points adrift of league leaders Norwich City after 15 games. Aside from that gap, the biggest difference between league leaders and eventual winners after 15 games has been six points.
The history books suggest that Chelsea have a 50:50 chance of winning the league this year, with 12 of the previous 24 top-flight winners topping the table after this many games.
And that’s reflected in the odds, too, as Antonio Conte’s Blues are a shade of odds-on at 9/10 in the outright market.
As things stand, Mauricio Pochettino’s men find themselves in fifth-place on 27 points, while Jose Mourinho’s United side are just behind with 24.
But there is some hope for both sets of supporters, though, as the league has been won by teams with the same amount of points or less at this point of the season on four previous occasions.
You would, however, have to go back to the 2002-03 campaign to find the last time that was done.
Given the amount of sides currently above them in with a genuine shot at the title, it’s unlikely Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City will all crumble under the pressure in the coming months in conjunction with United and Spurs going on remarkable winning runs.
Stranger things have happened, but this year’s title race looks to be all but over for two of the top six.
Do fans agree, or can Mourinho and Pochettino turn things around this season?
Have your say in the comments section below!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing