Liverpool, Arsenal or Manchester City? The underlying statistics providing the edge ahead of the title run-in.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds lead the way in his farewell tour, but Arsenal (two points behind) and Manchester City (three points behind) are hot on their heels with nine matches to play.

Opta supercomputer has named Liverpool favourites to be Premier League champions – 47.7% likely; the first time any team other than Pep Guardiola’s City have been the front-runner this term.

Creatively, the favourites hold the advantage after 29 games with 66.4  expected goals this season – 7.8 more than City and 8.3 more than the Gunners – accumulated over a league-high 96 big chances.

They’ve narrowly surpassed this tally scoring 67 goals, second only to Mikel Arteta’s side who have been clinical, netting 70 times in the Premier League. 

As the old cliche goes: goals win you football matches, but defence wins you titles and it is Arsenal who also lead the way in that regard, conceding 24 goals in the season’s opening three quarters.

Remarkably, goals conceded doesn’t give full credit to the defensive efforts of William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes’ brick wall, which has restricted their opposition to a combined expected goals conceded of just 20.8.

To put this into perspective Manchester City’s total stands at 28.5 and Liverpool’s at 35.2, a whopping 69% higher than Arteta’s dominating defence which could prove vital in the final nine matches.

As expected, it’s the team who have won four of the last five Premier League campaigns that command and control possession, averaging 65.5% and 612.4 passes per match – over a century more than each of their championship rivals.

Liverpool are attacking the title, Arsenal are persistently defending their claim to it and Manchester City’s tyrannical control of the football will have them hoping to extend their ownership over the trophy once again.

Statistically, the run-in has no obvious favourite; City’s opponents’ average league position is 10.67 and Liverpool and Arsenal face a similar 10.45 and 10.22 respectively.

With each factor split so minimally, the champion is almost impossible to call ahead of the season’s final two months and the points that divide them right now may prove critical.

Despite Liverpool’s attacking potency and Arsenal’s undeniable defensive dominance, I predict that the inevitability and authority of Guardiola’s Manchester City will reign again and that the Blue Moon will be crowned for the eighth time.