This weekend’s fixtures saw the completion of the 13th round of Premier League matches.
A notable feature of the alt-3 league table right now is that Chelsea and Arsenal are in 2nd and 3rd places, ahead of Manchester United — despite the fact that United have got more ‘points in the bag’.
The reason is simple: United have enjoyed a remarkably soft start to this season, so far, whereas both Chelsea and Arsenal have faced much tougher schedules.
Of the 13 matches played by United to date, seven were played at Old Trafford; and only three were against teams that are in the current top 8 of the Premier League.
Chelsea and Arsenal, on the other hand, have each played 7 of their 13 matches away from home. And they have both played all or nearly all of the other top-8 clubs. (Chelsea have played all 7 of them, and Arsenal have played 6 out of 7.)
This all translates into positive alt-3 schedule-strength points for Chelsea and Arsenal (they both are on schedule strength +2.1 at present). For Man Utd it’s the opposite: schedule strength −2.3. That’s more than enough of a difference to bridge the gap between United and the two London clubs, leaving United narrowly behind both Chelsea and Arsenal in the current alt-3 table.
Man Utd face a substantially tougher fixture list than either Chelsea’s or Arsenal’s, in the coming weeks up to the halfway point of this season — so United still have a lot to prove!
Current schedule-strength charts:
(For other clubs’ charts, just click on the club name in the alt-3 league table.)