Each game played by a football club – be they Premier League, or your favourite local team – in a season gives them an opportunity to score the maximum three points. However, these points are sometimes more valuable in certain stages of the season. Although no win can ever be more or less important than the other, wins or losses in the early stages of the season can give you a fair idea how a team will be positioned in the later part of the Football League. You can further verify this fact by referring to the betting tips provided by popular services such as SBAT.
Although the set of first six games may seem like a very tiny sample to pay attention to, if you look at an entire football season, it can indeed tell you a lot about the teams’ league-end placements.
When teams do well in their first 6 games
Any team that performs exceptionally well during their first six games of the season, are most likely to come out on top of the table during the later stages, and can be safely considered a possible contender in the outright EPL betting market. Such team normally maintains their league position for the remainder of the season, over the 32 games that follow.
However, having said that, there are indeed examples of certain teams performing better than everyone’s expectations during the first six games, but then not doing so well over the remaining season. Who doesn’t remember Aston Villa’s decline from a solid sixth position to a dismal seventeenth during the 2014 – 15 season.
Quite interestingly, if you look at the Premier League history, it is only on three occasions since the introduction of the 38-game season format, in the year 1995 – 96, that a team outside of the top four, after the initial six games, won the championship – in the 2002-03 season Manchester United rose from the tenth position to first, while in the 2013-14 season Manchester City won the EPL despite being at the seventh position after the initial six games. Chelsea fought their way from eighth to first position in the 2016-17 season.
When teams don’t do very well in their first six games
In a similar way, on average, teams who don’t do very well during their first six games of the season often find themselves in the lower half of the table, and struggle over the remaining part of the season.
As expected, there are certain exceptions to this rule too.
For instance, Southampton rose from sixteenth position to sixth after playing their 38 games in the 2015-16 season. However, considering the fact that there is always at least one team from the bottom three (after the initial six games) that gets relegated, it can be broadly inferred that it does become very difficult to fight back after a poor start.
Furthermore, at least two of the bottom three teams (after first six games) get relegated on a regular basis. This has happened exactly 10 out of 22 times since the 95-96!