Loyal fans of Manchester City will need no convincing, as in their eyes, there is no better football club in the entire world. No matter what the TV and radio pundits might say, regardless of rival supporter opinions, there’s only one truth that counts whenever we are cheering on our favourite team.
But it always helps when there are reputable studies, undertaken with scientific precision and mathematical emphasis, which can back up our own beliefs. This has been the mission of FiveThirtyEight for several years now, which is part of the ABC News network, creating predictive models for the ‘beautiful game’ since 2017. They have focused on producing a regularly updated rankings system, comparing more than 600 clubs around the globe.
At the core of the FiveThirtyEight rankings model is an enhanced version of the ESPN Soccer Power Index (SPI), based on club football data going all the way back to 1888, accompanied by refined performance data via Opta since 2010. Further data is used from Transfermarkt, which assigns monetary value to players in each team, alongside a variety of complex match forecasting and predictive models.
While certain sections of the media are keen to gripe about Manchester City, rather than offer any praise for what the club has managed to achieve over the last decade or so, nobody can take away the magnificent achievements during that period of time. The numerous trophies won can pretty much speak for themselves, which is the fruit of excellent management at the club from top to bottom, irrespective of also being financially powerful.
All of this counts towards the latest FiveThirtyEight rankings, where Manchester City sit proudly at the top of the list, regardless of their Champions League history in recent years, including the semi-final defeat against eventual winners Real Madrid last season. Interestingly, the side managed by Pep Guardiola continues to rank higher than Real Madrid, regardless of Carlo Ancelotti leading them to continental success.
Just as pleasing from the perspective of our local rivalries, Man City are comfortably ahead of Liverpool in these rankings, largely thanks to having won four Premier League titles in the last five seasons. Those triumphs were also accompanied by impressive success in the domestic cup competitions, including one FA Cup win and four consecutive EFL Cup triumphs. Indeed, only the Merseyside club comes anywhere close in English football, during this period.
As for the ‘other’ team within our neck of the woods, well, Manchester United aren’t even in the top 20 of the latest FiveThirtyEight rankings, even if they have climbed some 10 places since the last rankings were published. This is apparently based upon Soccer Power Index (SPI) weighting and predictions, formulated around the higher expectations following the arrival of Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford. Only time will tell if he can improve their fortunes.
Backing the Data
Whenever looking into rankings and their associated information, how the data is analysed and sourced can be very important, particularly given that many people put great faith in what the numbers can show. Considering how much statistical data is available these days, covering a huge and broad range of metrics, fans who enjoy wagering on football matches have a fantastic array of information at their disposal.
Rather than simply rely on gut instinct or be swayed by our fandom, we can readily access data and statistics to aid our betting decisions, whenever deciding which teams or players to back during matches. But along with having all that great information to hand, just as important is making sound use of that knowledge at the most appropriate places. After all, we are often spoilt for choice when it comes to bookmakers and betting sites, all keen to get our business.
To help us make informed choices, the latest SBO betting guide aims to cut through all the noise and provide genuine insights, accompanied by detailed reviews covering what all the leading betting sites have to offer. This includes highlighting where the best value odds and offers can be found, alongside their own rating system based on expert oversight and user feedback, carefully evaluating the overall quality of service at each site.
Looking ahead to the 2022-23 campaign, having already strengthened the squad with Erling Haaland and Kalvin Phillips, there is no doubting that Manchester City will be tough to beat in English football. Likewise, their own particular ‘Holy Grail’ remains conquering the Champions League, which is bound to be the priority objective for Pep Guardiola and the team this season. If they can achieve that, nobody will have cause to doubt their status in world football.