With the news that Manuel Pellegrini will be fired if Manchester City fails to earn a Champions League place this season (if not sooner), I wanted to look and see what the odds were of that actually happening.
The Method: I calculated the predicted probabilities for each of the top 8 teams’ remaining games, and then simulated 10,000 seasons based on those probabilities. I added the predicted points for each game to the teams’ current totals, then ranked the teams based on those totals. Finally, I calculated the proportion of times each team ended in each position 1, and then added up the probability of finishing in each of the top 4 spots to calculate the likelihood of finishing in the Champions League positions. 2.
As of today, my simulations are showing Manchester City has an 86% of keeping a top 4 spot (assuming they win the tiebreaker). However, if they fail to defeat West Ham where they are a 56% favorite, their likelihood drops to 73%. And more troubling, if they lose on the road to a desperate QPR team where they are a 62% favorite, their likelihood drops below 50%.
The good news is that if Manchester City can win the next two games, they’re pretty much guaranteed a Top 4 spots. The results of the simulation are here:
However, City fans shouldn’t panic if they lose the next game against West Ham. If they win a very winnable game against QPR week 34 they’ll have an over 80% chance to keep a Champions League spot.
All of this depends on other results, but the next two games are crucial for Manchester City. They’ll need to shake off this bad form, especially because the next two games are against relative minnows who Champions League caliber teams should have no problems defeating. Two big weeks coming up for Pellegrini if he wants to have any hope of surviving through the season.