The theory is that the Premier League table starts to take shape after 10 games. If your target for the campaign is to claim the title, you should be looking to have 21 points at that juncture.
With the 10th matchday of the 2016-17 season upon us, News.Ladbrokes studied how many points the eventual champions usually have at this supposedly instructive checkpoint.
This research first brought bad news to Manchester United, as no team have ever finished first after accumulating less than 18 points from their opening 10 encounters. Even if Jose Mourinho’s men beat Burnley, they will be on 17, hinting that they won’t be able to overcome their 18/1 odds.
The next teaching is that the most common 10-match points haul of a league winner is 21, which has been achieved by five of the 24 prior success stories, including Blackburn in 1994-95 and Man Utd in 2008-09.
Joint-leaders Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool would all be on course to replicate their accomplishments if they draw at the weekend. The Citizens are 7/2 to do so at West Brom, the Gunners are 4/1 to share spoils at Sunderland and the Reds are 3/1 to be held at Crystal Palace.
Victories would lift them onto 23 points, which is a mark that has driven sides to the top on three occasions, the most recent of those being Man Utd’s 2007-08 triumph.
The second most encouraging tally historically is 19, which has been collected by four champions, including two of the latest three: Leicester last term and Man City in 2013-14.
Chelsea and Tottenham are on that total now, suggesting that respective defeats away to Southampton at 2/1 or at home to Leicester at 9/2 wouldn’t be the catastrophes that Monday’s newspapers would imply.
Equally, wins would put them in a statistically strong position too because, though the Arsenal squad of 1997-98 are the only ones to have topped the table after pocketing 22 points from their initial 10 fixtures, 22 points is the average haul over that period of the 24 Premier League-era title lifters.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.