This is a special, World-Cup break, installment of our weekly CHIP update. If you are not up to date with the Comin Home Index of Power or need an introduction to it before going ahead with this article, you can always check our introduction by following this link.
At the broadest explanation, the CHIP attempts to objectively weigh the value of match outcomes. The CHIP table (you can find the most updated version at the bottom of this column) provides a reasonable “adjustment” of the EPL table considering factors such as the quality of opposition and where the matches were played. This allows for the creation of a more “apples-to-apples” table.
As matches continue to be played, the expectation is that the CHIP and EPL tables will align closer to one another. As you review the CHIP after each match day, you may trust this “normalization” is occurring and simply be informed by the chart.
With the ongoing World Cup break, the following peek into the details of what is being normalized is provided for the “Big 7” teams part of the Premier League.
ARSENAL - CHIP (as top team) at 100%
Teams yet to play: West Ham, Brighton, Newcastle
Make-up matches to occur: Everton, Man City
Arsenal have clearly generated their CHIP by simply not losing or drawing matches. However, the teams they have yet to play make for one of the most difficult slates with three in the top ten. This is both an opportunity to slip up but also an opportunity to further separate off the front end of the table by winning against many strong opponents. The Gunners’ best result was their win at Stamford Bridge two matches before the break.
NEWCASTLE UNITED - CHIP is 88% of Arsenal
Teams yet to play: Leicester, Leeds, Arsenal
Make-up match to occur: West Ham
Newcastle have their one major opportunity on the horizon against Arsenal. Otherwise, they are near their peak CHIP as wins over lower-table teams will not add much. Newcastle have generated their power by not losing and via their best win, the match away against Tottenham.
MANCHESTER UNITED - 73% CHIP
Teams yet to play: Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Bournemouth
Make-up matches to occur: Leeds, Crystal Palace
Manchester United have played all of the top 10 teams. Therefore they are the greatest threat to adding actual EPL points although those points would not have much impact in the CHIP leaderboard. This is one of the starkest examples of where the CHIP and EPL positions are likely to come back together as the match results roll in. The Red Devil’s best result is a win at home versus Tottenham.
MANCHESTER CITY - 72% CHIP
Teams yet to play: Leeds, Everton, Chelsea
Make-up matches to occur: Arsenal, Tottenham
Man City also have one of the strongest slate of matches for teams yet to have come up against with three of the “Big 7” still yet to have played. This provides the opportunity for their CHIP to rise up and match their EPL position. Their best win was a home victory over Man United but their most recent loss against Brentford is the second worst CHIP outcome from any single match by a “Big 7” squad.
LIVERPOOL - 58% CHIP
Teams yet to play: Aston Villa, Leicester, Brentford
Make-up matches: Wolverhampton, Chelsea
Unsurprising to anyone tracking the season, Liverpool have the most volatile set of results of any of the “Big 7”. The Reds match NUFC with their best win being an away victory against Tottenham. However, the loss against Nottingham was well below their average and the loss at Anfield versus Leeds is the worst loss by any “Big 7” side. Liverpool’s remaining slate of opponents is about equal to NUFC’s but they have one more game which adds on to their already full schedule.
TOTTENHAM - 54% CHIP
Teams yet to play: Brentford, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace
Make-up match: Manchester City
Tottenham joins NUFC as the only “Big 7” side with only one make-up match. However, with all the squads remaining to play in the top 12, they have the most difficult set of teams in total yet to go. The Spurs’ best win was the victory at the AMEX versus Brighton. They have no wins against other “Big 7” sides, which explains why their CHIP is lagging behind their EPL ranking. They do not have any embarrassing losses but also no impressive wins.
CHELSEA - 37% CHIP
Teams yet to play: Bournemouth, Nottingham, Manchester City
Make-up matches: Liverpool, Fulham
Chelsea are in the running for the most difficult run of teams yet to meet on the pitch this season so they will have some chances to generate more CHIP power. However, they haven’t proven any ability thus far. The Blues’ best victory was their win at Selhurst Park over Crystal Palace. This is a respectable win but still underwhelming in terms of it being the best coming from a team that is part of the “Big 7”. Their loss at St Mary’s is their worst CHIP outcome to date.
For reference, here are the most-recent CHIP ranks through MD16.