Can anyone stop Leicester City winning the Premier League?

Leicester City appear destined for one of the greatest upsets in football history in winning the Premier League. Yet, five points adrift Tottenham Hotspur still dream of glory and even Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger refuses to give up hope whilst there is still a mathematical possibility of a fourth Premier League title. So what does historical precedent tell us about each side’s claim on the Premier League history?

In the table below we look at the margin of difference between the team in first place in the Premier League and those in second and third place, where the leader ended up, who became champion and how many points they achieved.

Season Leaders at 31 games Points 2nd at 31 games Points Points Pts ahead 3rd at 31 games Points Leader’s final position Points Champions Points Pos. at 31 games Comments
1992-93 Manchester United 60 Aston Villa 59 59 1 Norwich City 53 Champions 84 Manchester United 84 1st 42-game season
1993-94 Manchester United 71 Blackburn Rovers 64 64 7 Newcastle United 54 Champions 92 Manchester United 92 1st 42-game season
1994-95 Blackburn Rovers 69 Manchester United 66 66 3 Newcastle United 57 Champions 89 Blackburn Rovers 89 1st 42-game season
1995-96 Manchester United 64 Newcastle United 64 (pl30) 64 0 Liverpool 59 Champions 82 Manchester United 82 1st
1996-97 Manchester United 63 Liverpool 57 (pl30) 57 6 Arsenal 57 Champions 75 Manchester United 75 1st
1997-98 Manchester United 60 Arsenal 54 (pl28) 54 6 Liverpool 51 (pl 30) 2nd 77 Arsenal 78 2nd
1998-99 Manchester United 64 Arsenal 60 60 4 Chelsea 59 (pl 30) Champions 79 Manchester United 79 1st
1999-00 Manchester United 70 Leeds United 60 60 10 Liverpool 59 Champions 91 Manchester United 91 1st
2000-01 Manchester United 70 Arsenal 57 57 13 Ipswich Town 52 Champions 80 Manchester United 80 1st
2001-02 Manchester United 64 Arsenal 63 63 1 Liverpool 62 3rd 77 Arsenal 87 2nd
2002-03 Arsenal 66 Manchester United 64 64 2 Newcastle United 61 2nd 78 Manchester United 83 2nd
2003-04 Arsenal 77 Chelsea 70 70 7 Manchester United 62 Champions 90 Arsenal 90 1st
2004-05 Chelsea 80 Arsenal 67 67 13 Manchester United 67 Champions 95 Chelsea 95 1st
2005-06 Chelsea 78 Manchester United 69 69 9 Liverpool 64 (pl 32) Champions 91 Chelsea 91 1st
2006-07 Manchester United 78 Chelsea 72 72 6 Liverpool 57 Champions 89 Manchester United 89 1st
2007-08 Manchester United 73 Chelsea 68 68 5 Arsenal 67 Champions 87 Manchester United 87 1st
2008-09 Manchester United 71 Liverpool 70 (pl32) 70 1 Chelsea 67 (pl 32) Champions 90 Manchester United 90 1st
2009-10 Manchester United 69 Chelsea 68 68 1 Arsenal 67 2nd 85 Chelsea 86 2nd
2010-11 Manchester United 66 Arsenal 59 (pl30) 59 7 Manchester City 56 Champions 80 Manchester United 80 1st
2011-12 Manchester United 76 Manchester City 71 71 5 Arsenal 58 2nd 89 Manchester City 89 2nd
2012-13 Manchester United 77 Manchester City 65 65 12 Chelsea 58 Champions 89 Manchester United 89 1st
2013-14 Chelsea 69 Liverpool 68 68 1 Manchester City 66 (pl 29) 3rd 82 Manchester City 86 3rd
2014-15 Chelsea 73 Arsenal 66 (pl32) 66 7 Manchester United 65 (pl 32) Champions 87 Chelsea 87 1st
2015-16 Leicester City 66 Tottenham Hotspur 61 61 5 Arsenal 55 (pl 30) ? ? ? ? ?

With the leader having played 31 games, in Premier League history, only twice has a team come from five points or more behind to win the Premier League. Arsenal was one of those teams when they overcame a five point deficit to defeat Manchester United in 1997-98. However, they had three games in hand on United at that point.

So Manchester City’s 2011-12 success offers the only historical precedent for a Tottenham win, given the current points difference.

For Arsenal, unfortunately for those who would like to shut up Piers Morgan and his band of #WengerOut disloyalists, the omens are even worse. This is particularly galling for Gooners as Arsenal are the side who most effectively countered Leicester’s tactics in beating them 5-2 at the King Power Stadium.

With no precedent for a Premier League team overcoming an 11 point deficit at this point in the season the only glimmers of hope for North London lie in mathematics and the lack of any historical record of success for Leicester who led the First Division league table with five games still to play on 19th April 1963 However, the Foxes only earned one more point in their remaining games, ending up in fourth place, behind Everton, Tottenham and Burnley.

As those, such as the chaps making Premier League predictions at thatsagoal.com know, past performance is no guarantee of future results – and football history provides a plethora of cautionary notes for those who think it’s all over, before it actually is.

Can anyone stop Leicester City winning the Premier League?

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