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The strongest team in the Premier League? Introducing CHIP: Coming Home Index of Power

Determining who is the legitimate top team in England’s top-flight division

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It is natural for the fandoms of different clubs to compare and argue about how their season is going and to celebrate or bemoan where they are on the table. Yeah, Arsenal is 5-0-1 but... have they played the toughest competition? Simply put, no, they have not.

Manchester City has the pedigree of being arguably the toughest opponent in football. How does their season compare so far to Brighton or Brentford on normalized terms, though?

In an effort to either resolve these types of dilemmas—or pour fuel on them, you be the judge—I’ve created the Coming Home Index of Power, or CHIP for short.

Teams are awarded fixed, scaled points based on wins and ties based on the position of the opponent on the table and whether the outcome occurred at home or away. Teams are deducted fixed, scaled points for losses also based on the opponent's position on the table and whether the match was home or away.

This does not consider how the outcome occurred… whether the score was 9-0, a goal should or should not have been awarded, or if the final goal occurred 8 minutes into the five minutes of injury time. It is not measuring potential morale or momentum. The top power team is set at 100% and other squads are indexed off of them.

The greatest points toward power would be earned by having a win away against the top team on the table. Wins at home are more powerful than ties earned at away grounds. Ties on home soil are better than losses away and a loss at home to the team sitting in 20th generates the most negative impact on a club’s power rating. There is some overlap in the points between the point tables so a tie against a top team would add more power than a win at home against a bottom-of-the-table squad. If a squad mostly loses, they will show as net power emitters and have a negative power number.

Manchester United v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

As clubs move up or down the table, past outcomes will change in value. As a simple, recent example, everybody perceived that Brentford’s opening week tie away at Leicester was impressive. It is looking much less impressive since every other opponent of the Foxes has beaten them.

The top three power teams through MD6 are Manchester United, Brighton, and Fulham. Man. Utd’s opening two losses were against teams in the top half of the table and their wins include Liverpool and, of course, their most recent win against top-of-the-table Arsenal at home. Brighton is right behind in power with their only dents being the home “sister-kisser” with Newcastle and an away loss to the Cottagers. Wins against the Red Devils away and Leeds at home add much to their power total.

Manchester City have four wins over teams from the bottom half of the table and two ties on top of that. They have not really had the chance to earn big power points and have not maxed their possible output in the games available to them.

Most importantly, the Magpies—clearly and negatively impacted by the neglecting VAR reviews—are down in the power rankings because of their unfairly dropped points. This has put a damper on the power points Newcastle have earned through the first six games of the season. The home tie against Man City adds the most power points with the away tie at Brighton adding strength, too. The loss away at a top-half team does not subtract much from the power index.

Here are the full CHIP ranks through MD6.

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