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A good week for Arsenal
Arsenal have played just once in the last 22 days but the team's outlook has improved massively.
After the disappointing Burnley draw Arsenal were still in the Champions League Places hunt but they were just one of many teams still in the fight. On January 23rd, Arsenal were 27% to finish in the top four by my model, with an average of 63.4 points. Things were a little more bullish at FiveThirtyEight with Arsenal at 34% and 64 points.
Arsenal picked up an important victory against Wolves. That was a match where Arsenal were favorites but not overwhelmingly. In that match, Arsenal were defending 1.7 expected points with a 48% chance of winning.
Arsenal's main rivals for top four all dropped points. Manchester United's draw against Burley saw them lose 0.6 from their expected points. Tottenham's loss at home against Southampton saw them lose 1.9 expected points.
After round 24 this is how my simulation looked:
This weekend saw the good news continue for Arsenal with more dropped points from rivals.
Southampton continued to help Arsenal with a big draw against Manchester United where they lost another 0.6 expected points. Tottenham continued to meltdown, failing to beat the same Wolves team that Arsenal beat losing a further 1.9 expected points. West Ham even joined the point-dropping party, drawing against Leicester where they lost 0.3 expected points.
All of this happened while Arsenal had the weekend off and will be helpful because the match Arsenal would have faced was a tough one against Chelsea (1.05 expected points for Arsenal).
This is how my simulation looks now:
Looking at a couple of other sources for Top Four odds, FiveThirtyEight now has Arsenal at 54% with the betting odds still taking a more bearish opinion with Arsenal at 42% but they are now the favorite moving ahead of Manchester United.
Arsenal have two more matches in February and will be defending just under 4 expected points with a very real possibility to get 6 and further help themselves in the race for Champions League.