The team that finishes first in any given A-League season doesn’t always go on to win the title. With three games remaining in 2018/19, Perth Glory are closing in on their first minor premiership – but should we expect them to go all the way?

Of the 13 A-League seasons played so far, the minor premiers have failed to win the title six times. The team that finishes first goes on to win the league just over half of the time. This keeps the competition unpredictable and exciting in the finals series, as it’s not uncommon for the minor premiers to bottle it at the key moment in the finals.

The Central Coast Mariners have failed to win the league as minor premiers on two occasions (once in 2007/08 and also in 2011/12). No other A-League team has failed to convert a minor premiership to a title on two occasions.

Gap between first and second

The greater the gap between first and second, the more likely the minor premiers are to win the title. When the minor premiers go on to win the title, they finish in front of second place by an average of 7 points (Perth currently lead by 6).

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When the minor premiers fail to win the title, the average gap between first and second is down to 4 points. Last season, Sydney FC had the biggest gulf between first and second for a team who failed to win the title. Melbourne Victory are the only team to win the title and not come first or second.

Perth’s chances of doing the double

Perth Glory have been sensational this season and it would be a great achievement for them to win a major and minor premiership. The boys out west haven’t won a major or minor A-League premiership in their history, so there isn’t a great deal of historical data to work with.

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They lost a grand final in 2011/12, but other than that Perth are relatively sporadic players in the A-League finals series. They have three games left in the regular season and should land a minor premiership if they manage to avoid any serious hiccups.

If stats don’t lie (which they do), Perth are statistically likely to win the title if they can maintain a healthy gap between themselves and second. Right now they lead Sydney FC in second by six points, and if they maintain or extend this gap they should statistically win the league. Put your house on it and @ me if it goes wrong.

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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