Football Manager 2015 Predicts The Final League Table

Posted by | January 23, 2015 | English Football | No Comments

Cover Art Courtesy of M&C SaatchiThe people at Sports Interactive – the team behind the best-selling Football Manager series – have used their acclaimed technology to simulate the remainder of the season and can now reveal how the Premier League and Championship could finish.

What’s more, to test how significant this month’s transfer activity could be, they’ve run the simulation twice – once with the teams retaining their ‘pre-window’ squads and again with a number of potential transfers having taken place. Will what happens in boardrooms across the country over the next two weeks have as much impact as what happens on the pitch?

Will Chelsea hold off Manchester City to win the Premier League? Who will take top spot in one of the hardest-to-call Championship tussles of all time? Who will be switching between the two leagues? Read on to find out.

How It Was Done

To ensure the simulations were as accurate as possible the team fully updated the Premier League and Championship seasons in Football Manager 2015 to reflect the events of the season so far in the real world.

To begin with, this meant adding in the full set of results in both leagues up to and including New Year’s Day as well as the fully accurate set of remaining fixtures. The real-life injuries and suspensions for each of the 44 teams were then added to the simulation so that the virtual Wengers and Mourinhos would have the same squad selection dilemmas as their real-world counterparts.

Next, all teams were updated with the loan and transfer deals that had gone through between Football Manager 2015’s release in November and January 1st. For the second ‘With Transfers’ simulation all confirmed loan and transfer deals up to and including January 16th were included, as were those potential transfers which have been heavily speculated about in national and regional media (see ‘Transfer Activity’).

Finally, adjustments were made to individual player and team reputations, morale and abilities to reflect how they have performed in real life thus far this season – so players like Harry Kane, for example, received a slight boost in their ability stats whereas Wigan, who have been performing below expectations so far, were given a slightly lower ratings for morale and reputation.

All this data was then loaded up into Football Manager 2015 and the season was run from January 1st in the ‘Without Transfers’ simulation and January 16th in the ‘With Transfers’ simulation. To ensure that the final league table was as accurate as could be, each set of fixtures was played through three times, with the most representative result taken for each game.

The final results from each set of fixtures, as well as the goalscorers in each, were then collated to form the basis of the simulation.

The Premier League 2014/15

Final Table – Without Transfer Activity

P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chelsea 38 26 6 6 82 33 49 84
2 Man City 38 25 6 7 82 38 44 81
3 Man Utd 38 21 10 7 71 48 27 73
4 Liverpool 38 22 5 11 62 44 18 71
5 Arsenal 38 19 9 10 63 41 22 66
6 Southampton 38 19 7 13 60 40 20 64
7 Tottenham 38 18 7 13 57 54 3 61
8 West Ham 38 15 9 14 51 42 9 54
9 Newcastle 38 13 12 13 51 60 -9 51
10 Stoke 38 13 9 16 46 49 -3 48
11 Everton 38 11 14 13 51 50 1 47
12 Aston Villa 38 12 9 17 33 49 -16 45
13 Swansea 38 12 8 18 45 61 -16 44
14 QPR 38 12 7 19 41 58 -17 43
15 Burnley 38 11 10 17 41 59 -18 43
16 C. Palace 38 10 11 17 41 56 -15 41
17 West Brom 38 9 8 21 33 57 -24 35
18 Hull 38 8 10 20 41 56 -15 34
19 Sunderland 38 6 16 16 36 60 -24 34
20 Leicester 38 8 9 21 33 60 -27 33

Key Points:

  • Despite back to back losses to Manchester City and Aston Villa, Chelsea recover to beat City to the title by three points.
  • City suffer defeats to Stoke, Liverpool, Southampton and – perhaps most surprisingly – to QPR as they miss out on retaining their title.
  • Manchester United finish third thanks to some improved performances in the second half of the season, despite losing to both Spurs and Liverpool.
  • Southampton’s form is not quite as stunning as in the first half of the season, particularly against teams in the bottom half of the table, but they still secure a European place.
  • At the bottom of the table, Leicester finish in bottom spot with Hull and Sunderland also finding themselves relegated to the Championship.
  • Other notable results include a 3-1 City win in the Manchester Derby and a convincing 4-1 Arsenal win in the second North London Derby of the season.

The Premier League 2014/15

Final Table – With Transfers

P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Man City 38 26 7 5 81 39 42 85
2 Chelsea 38 26 7 5 75 34 41 85
3 Man Utd 38 22 10 6 75 45 30 76
4 Arsenal 38 18 12 8 66 43 23 66
5 Tottenham 38 17 11 10 59 47 12 62
6 Liverpool 38 15 11 12 61 53 8 56
7 Southampton 38 16 7 15 56 42 14 55
8 Swansea 38 16 7 15 46 49 -3 54
9 West Ham 38 13 13 12 49 44 -5 52
10 Newcastle 38 13 13 12 51 57 -6 52
11 Stoke 38 13 10 15 44 47 -3 49
12 Everton 38 11 11 16 50 57 -7 44
13 Aston Villa 38 11 11 16 33 54 -21 44
14 Burnley 38 10 10 18 45 61 -16 40
15 QPR 38 10 10 18 42 57 -15 40
16 Leicester 38 9 10 19 51 60 -9 37
17 C. Palace 38 7 16 15 48 62 -14 37
18 Sunderland 38 7 16 15 44 65 -21 37
19 Hull 38 6 11 21 41 67 -16 29
20 West Brom 38 6 11 21 33 67 -34 29
  • Manchester City pip Chelsea on goal difference by just a single goal in the tightest finish in top-flight history.
  • Manchester United and Arsenal complete the top four.
  • Tottenham and Liverpool fill the European places.
  • At the bottom of the league, Sunderland agonisingly miss out on safety on goal difference after tying for points with both Leicester and Crystal Palace. West Brom and Hull finish below them, both tied on 29 points, but West Brom finish 20th on goal difference.
  • The major transfers have varying impacts. Bony’s presence might seem to propel City towards the title, but it is in fact Aguero who scores most of their goals with Bony only netting four times at his new club (although Bafetembi Gomis enjoys the freedom of playing as a lone striker and his nine goals lift Swansea to an eighth place finish).
  • Strootman provides a stabilising influence at United and Sissoko fulfils a similar role at Arsenal.
  • Berahino’s departure from West Brom consigns them to relegation as they struggle to replace the goals that he brings to the team but his arrival at Spurs give them fifth place after he scores six in ten.

The Championship 2014/15

Final Table – Without Transfer Activity

P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Bournemouth 46 27 9 10 91 49 42 90
2 Middlesbrough 46 21 14 11 67 47 20 77
3 Derby 46 20 15 11 75 54 21 75
4 Norwich 46 20 14 12 79 54 25 74
5 Wolves 46 19 16 11 56 61 -5 73
6 Ipswich 46 19 13 14 77 67 10 70
7 Blackburn 46 20 9 17 78 59 19 69
8 Watford 46 19 11 16 65 58 7 68
9 Brentford 46 18 13 15 74 73 1 67
10 Fulham 46 18 12 16 71 72 -1 66
11 Reading 46 17 14 15 60 66 -6 65
12 Birmingham 46 17 13 16 64 58 6 64
13 Huddersfield 46 16 12 18 67 73 -6 60
14 Sheff Wed 46 14 18 14 44 54 -10 60
15 Nottm Forest 46 14 17 15 61 68 -7 59
16 Cardiff 46 15 13 18 66 69 -3 58
17 Brighton 46 14 15 17 61 63 -2 57
18 Bolton 46 15 12 19 50 63 -13 57
19 Charlton 46 13 16 17 52 65 -13 55
20 Wigan 46 12 17 17 62 63 -1 53
21 Rotherham 46 9 18 19 49 67 -18 45
22 Leeds 46 10 14 22 48 68 -20 44
23 Millwall 46 9 16 21 50 74 -24 43
24 Blackpool 46 9 13 24 42 64 -22 40
  • Bournemouth are crowned champions and are promoted to the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history.
  • Middlesbrough finish second but are some 13 points adrift of the eventual champions.
  • Derby, Norwich, Ipswich and Wolves round out the playoff places with Blackburn, Watford and Brentford agonisingly missing out on the chance to jump into the top flight.
  • At the other end of the table, Blackpool find themselves in bottom spot with Millwall and Leeds also relegated.

The Championship 2014/15

Final Table – With Transfers

P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Bournemouth 46 26 7 13 103 61 42 85
2 Ipswich 46 22 15 9 71 48 23 83
3 Norwich 46 21 12 13 79 54 25 75
4 Middlesbrough 46 20 14 12 63 41 22 74
5 Watford 46 21 9 16 84 57 27 72
6 Derby 46 19 14 13 68 57 11 71
7 Blackburn 46 19 12 15 66 58 8 69
8 Cardiff 46 19 12 15 73 66 7 69
9 Birmingham 46 18 11 17 69 56 13 65
10 Reading 46 18 11 17 62 64 -2 65
11 Brentford 46 18 11 17 60 64 -4 65
12 Fulham 46 19 7 20 72 69 3 64
13 Bolton 46 17 13 16 54 57 -3 64
14 Brighton 46 15 17 14 60 60 0 62
15 Wolves 46 17 11 18 54 67 -13 62
16 Nottm Forest 46 15 16 15 62 64 -2 61
17 Leeds 46 15 13 18 56 63 -7 58
18 Sheff Wed 46 15 13 18 46 56 -10 58
19 Wigan 46 14 15 17 56 68 -12 57
20 Charlton 46 11 20 15 49 61 -12 53
21 Millwall 46 11 16 19 53 74 -21 49
22 Huddersfield 46 12 10 24 60 85 -25 46
23 Rotherham 46 9 14 23 40 71 -31 41
24 Blackpool 46 8 13 25 40 82 -42 37
  • Bournemouth are crowned champions with a two-point cushion over Ipswich.
  • Norwich, Middlesbrough, Watford and Derby complete the play-off picture with Blackburn and Cardiff coming closest to sneaking into sixth place.
  • At the foot of the table, Blackpool are rooted to the bottom of the league with Rotherham and Huddersfield joining them in League One next season.
  • None of the January transfers make a major impact at their clubs, although Ipswich’s Noel Hunt and Freddie Sears make decent cameo appearances to help their team into the top two.

Top Scorers

Without Transfer Activity

Premier League

  1. Diego Costa (27 goals)
  2. Sergio Aguero (24 goals)
  3. Alexis Sanchez (18 goals)
  4. Charlie Austin (17 goals)
  5. Eden Hazard (13 goals)

Championship

  1. Daryl Murphy (24 goals)
  2. Callum Wilson (19 goals)
  3. Britt Assombalonga (19 goals)
  4. Chris Martin (18 goals)
  5. Cameron Jerome (16 goals)

With Transfers

Premier League

  1. Sergio Aguero (26 goals)
  2. Diego Costa (26 goals)
  3. Charlie Austin (17 goals)
  4. Eden Hazard (17 goals)
  5. Alexis Sanchez (17 goals)

Championship

  1. Daryl Murphy (27 goals)
  2. Callum Wilson (23 goals)
  3. Chris Martin (22 goals)
  4. Troy Deeney (19 goals)
  5. Britt Assombalonga (18 goals)

Transfer Activity

Premier League

Arsenal – In: Moussa Sissoko, Kristian Bielik

Aston Villa – In: Scott Sinclair, Carlos Gil

Chelsea – Out: Petr Cech

Crystal Palace – In: Yaya Sanogo

Everton – None

Hull – In: Callum McManaman

Leicester – In: Andrej Kramaric

Liverpool – In: Petr Cech

Man City – In: Wilfried Bony, Out: Scott Sinclair

Man United – In: Kevin Strootman

Newcastle – In: M’baye Niang, Out: Papiss Cisse, Moussa Sissoko

QPR – In: Yakubu

Southampton – None

Stoke – Out: Peter Crouch

Sunderland – In: Jermain Defoe, Out: Jozy Altidore

Swansea – In: Papiss Cisse, Out: Wilfried Bony

Tottenham – In: Saido Berahino, Out: Paulinho

West Brom – In: Peter Crouch, Out: Saido Berahino

West Ham – Out: Winston Reid

Championship

Brentford – In: Bernardo Espinosa

Cardiff – Out: Javi Guerra

Derby – In: Raul Albentosa

Huddersfield – In: Ross Wallace

Leeds – In: Edgar Cani

Middlesbrough – In: Fran Merida

Wolves – In: Benik Afobe, Out: Bjorn Sigurdarson