Everton and West Ham were the most-improved sides in the Premier League in March, taking six more points from their three fixtures than they (or in West Ham’s case, Wolves) did last season.
While the Toffees gained an impressive win against Manchester City, it was actually their wins at home to Reading and Stoke that has seen them improve, having suffered ‘shock’ home defeats to Bolton and Stoke last season. West Ham, meanwhile, secured two victories in three fixtures which Wolves lost last season, with their other fixture being an arguably expected defeat at Chelsea.
QPR also enjoyed a relatively good month, taking six points from four fixtures in which they took only a single point last season – though their wins at Southampton and at home to Sunderland were dampened by defeat at Aston Villa.
March was a volatile month in terms of repeating results from last season, with only Manchester United, Manchester City and Norwich taking the same number of points from their fixtures and only the two Manchester clubs repeating the exact same result in each fixture.
Swansea suffered something of a Carling Cup hangover, as defeats away at West Brom and at home to the two North London clubs – offset slightly by victory over Newcastle – saw them take four points fewer from their fixtures than last season.
Of all the Premier League clubs, Sunderland and Stoke deteriorated the most in March, taking five points fewer from their four fixtures than they did last season – a deterioration that ultimately saw Martin O’Neill lose his job.
We can see how the results in March affect the overall improvement table below:
After being the two most-improved sides in the Premier League going into March, Swansea and Chelsea drop down three places after a relatively poor month. Liverpool are now the most-improved side in the Premier League, having taken eight more points from their 31 fixtures so far than last season.
As it stands
To show how clubs’ performances to date might impact on their final league position, if they were to repeat their results from last season in their remaining fixtures, the final Premier League table would look like this:
Note: To separate clubs on same amount of points, current league position is used.
After taking the maximum nine points from their three fixtures in March, Manchester United remain on course to finish with a Premier League record 96 points. Manchester City are still set to finish with 83 points, assuming that they repeat their win at Old Trafford this month.
Tottenham and Chelsea are still on course to finish in the Champions League places, though with them deteriorating in March and Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton all improving, their lead in the race for the top four has been cut from 13 points to nine and eight points respectively.
The relegation battle remains as close as before, with only three points separating Wigan from bottom club Southampton. However, with regards to the Saints, Blackburn didn’t take any points from their remaining seven fixtures, so it is likely that they will finish on a higher points total than currently predicted. Despite sitting on just 23 points as it stands, QPR and Reading remain on course to finish with 36 and 35 points respectively, as QPR and Bolton took 13 and 12 points from their remaining seven fixtures respectvely last season.
To see how each club has performed over the course of the season so far, go to the ‘Season Comparison’ links at the top of the page and select a club from the drop-down menu.