And so we arrive at the first six pointer of the season, as a stumbling Sunderland side take on a Burnley team that has had a couple of blips of its own recently. Goal difference separates the two in the Premier League table prior to this game and it is feasible that the same will apply at teatime on Saturday.
Welcome to the second edition of Insider's Premier League Forecaster, an end-of-season table projection fueled by ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI), a regression-based algorithm designed to predict soccer matches. SPI simulates the remainder of the season 10,000 times, using the odds of each projected match, with the end result presented in the table below.
If you missed the inaugural version two weeks ago, click here for a primer and the previous table. (Note: The previous table forecast was incorrect due to a projection error. Chelsea, not Manchester City, should have been the projected favorite to win the league leading up to matches Jan. 10.)
With a lull in Premier League action last week due to FA Cup and Capital One Cup matches, in this edition we break down table risers and fallers over the past few weeks and preview what promises to be one of the most important matches of the season: Chelsea versus Manchester City on Saturday.
Here's a look at the latest forecast for all 20 Prem teams, along with breakdowns of the title, Champions League and relegation battles.
Substitute Hugo Rodallega was denied an FA Cup giant-killing act by a post as Championship Fulham very nearly shocked 10-man Premier League outfit Sunderland.
The Colombia international blasted against the woodwork as time ran down with the Black Cats, who played the final 24 minutes without £10million midfielder Jack Rodwell after he was dismissed for a second bookable offence, teetering on the brink.
Until that point, the Black Cats had looked the more likely winners after emerging from their...
After the disappointment of a narrow defeat at Tottenham last Saturday, Sunderland now find themselves in one of those cup ties that seems to pass people by -- a home draw against competent but hardly inspiring Championship opponents.
Ticket sales have been sluggish and a crowd that has usually been around 40,000 is more likely to be half that, despite the reduction in prices which seems obligatory in the early rounds of the FA Cup. The visitors' section is not likely to be over busy either.