I have come across the expression game in hand in an article on England Premier League, as follows:

Third-place City has a game in hand but the surprise result against Sunderland, coupled with Sunday’s 3-2 loss at Liverpool, may be a setback too far in its bid for a second championship in three seasons.

I do not quite understand what game in hand means in this context. What would be the correct meaning?

  • here is a link : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_in_hand and below is the answer. – vickyace Apr 20 '14 at 7:11
  • Not to be confused with the game is afoot a la Shakespeare and ACD. – bib Apr 20 '14 at 14:15

The term game in hand is used in sport to indicate when a team has played fewer matches than other teams around them. This term is used to indicate that, whilst a team is in a particular position in a league, because they have played fewer matches than other teams around them they could potentially improve their position depending on the results in the differing games. hence, Manchester city have one extra game to play than the others, like Liverpool or Chelsea. here is a link


  • Please quote your source. Plus OP will be able to find more detail information from the source you used. – user66974 Apr 20 '14 at 7:23
  • Thank you for your answer. I think I got it. So it means City is still in a position to be able to win the cup if it wins all the remaining games, isn't it? – ragna_ravc Apr 20 '14 at 7:27
  • no, it means city still has to play one more game to equal the number of games played by others. by now if Liverpool has played x games then city has played x-1 games. (although they can win the cup if other contenders lose) – vickyace Apr 20 '14 at 7:31
  • 1
    Ok, so, 'a game' means 'x'-'x-1'= 1 game, I guess? – ragna_ravc Apr 20 '14 at 7:32
  • at the moment, Liverpool has played 34 gamss and Chelsea have played 35, while Manchester city has played 33. so when Liverpool is considered, Manchester city have 1 game in hand, and then it'll equal the number of games played by Liverpool. likewise, they have two games in hand when Chelsea is considered. – vickyace Apr 20 '14 at 7:36

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