For football fans up and down the country, the weeks that make up March, April and May can be a gigantically stressful spell of the year. Whether it’s the dreams of glory or the nerve-jangling threat of relegation, most have a reason or two for angst.
Supporters of Crystal Palace have spent the months since Christmas watching their side slip closer and closer to the dreaded drop zone with each round of fixtures, encouraging the distant murmurs of discontent to intensify into audible calls for panic since the month of March began.
As has become the vogue in recent years, media organisations have ushered in the help of what they adorably describe as “super computers” to analyse each team’s chances of success or failure in the final weeks of a campaign. It is a tag which leaves me and I dare say countless others with images of mad scientists bedecked in lab coats hunched over a giant whirring mechanism in some dark and gloomy laboratory, and whilst the truth may be far less romantic, their analytical findings have become a source of major interest to many.
The whole idea of a computer predicting the twists and turns of any sporting event, let alone one as fantastically random as football is utterly ridiculous in practice, but even so, its presence brings a sense of order to the madness that comes with fanatical football fandom.
For all of our hopes, dreams and fears, there is something comforting about a probability of potential disaster being fed to us by an unemotional machine plonked in the corner of a magnolia painted office, even if its answer isn’t one that brings us pleasure.
It is with this thought in mind that I will draw your attention to the Premier League predictions for final league placings that have been calculated by TalkSPORT’s very own “super computer” via the link at the top of this article. As Palace fans, you may not want to look at its calculations for our final league position, nor more pertinently perhaps, the percentage chance it places on us being relegated by the time all is said and done in May, but I dare you, for your own sense of risk, to take a look.
It may be right; it could be painfully wrong, but there is undoubtedly a curiosity that exists within the human brain to peer quizzically at any analytical findings and prod for holes in the logic. I’d wager you are no different.