Manchester City will win their third Premier League title in five seasons, according to a simulation run using Football Manager 2016.
The team at Sports Interactive, makers of the popular football management game, simulated the remainder of the season and factored in the signings made during the January transfer window.
Manuel Pellegrini will be given the perfect send-off before Pep Guardiola takes the reins in the summer as City pip Arsenal to the crown by just a single point.
Leicester’s fairytale season doesn’t have the storybook finish that many had hoped for as they end the campaign in third place. However, securing Champions League football next season will ease the pain of a disappointing finish.
Hot shot Jamie Vardy will add another eight goals over the remaining fixtures and is rewarded with a call-up to Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad while Riyad Mahrez continues his sparkling form from the first-half of the season and he just misses out on the Footballer of the Year award to Mesut Özil.
Leicester are well in the hunt with a month to go until successive defeats against Sunderland, West Ham and Swansea sees them lose touch with City and Arsenal.
At the foot of the table, Aston Villa can’t recover from their poor start to the season and finish in bottom spot, leaving just six clubs out of the original Premier League line-up that have never been relegated.
Sunderland will also be playing Championship football next season after a run of ten games without a win between January and the end of March seals their fate.
Jermain Defoe is inconsistent, scoring braces against Chelsea and West Ham but failing to find the back of the net for five games in Sunderland’s barren run.
Bournemouth are the final side to be relegated, finishing five points behind Norwich. Their big money January signings, Benik Afobe and Lewis Grabban, form a good strike partnership with twelve goals between them but loan signing Juan Iturbe is underwhelming. Ultimately, it’s their struggle to keep a clean sheet that sends them down.
Watford, on the other hand, enjoy the best season out of the newly promoted clubs as they finish in twelfth place. Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo continue to plunder goals for the Hornets and at the end of the season Manchester United declare their interest in bringing Ighalo to Old Trafford.
In the battle of the Merseyside teams, Liverpool pip Everton to seventh place and a Europa League spot.
The other Europa League places are occupied by two teams more accustomed to challenging for top spot: Manchester United and Chelsea.
Chelsea’s rise up the table is nothing short of spectacular. Hiddink continues his remarkable record at the club, having lost just once in his previous spell and they go on to only drop points to Norwich in their last fifteen games. Diego Costa, Oscar and Willian all impress under the Dutchman’s management while John Terry sees out his Chelsea career with a series of fine performances.
In the Championship, Hull and Middlesbrough will be celebrating promotion in early May according to the simulation. It’s the east-Yorkshire side who will be crowned champions as they edge out the Teessiders by three points.
Some familiar names make up the Playoff places as Burnley, Derby, Brighton and Cardiff will fight it out for the right to join Hull and Middlesbrough in the top flight and secure a share of next season’s lucrative TV rights deal.
At the foot of the table, a miserable campaign for Bolton is compounded with their relegation to League One and financial insecurity still hangs over the club as they head into the summer break.
Rotherham and MK Dons will join the Trotters in the third tier next season after failing to haul themselves to safety but there is better news for Blackburn, Preston and Bristol City as they all beat the drop by a single point.