Predicting tonight’s result: Everton v Newcastle

By Tony Attwood

This game which will take place today, on 5 December 2018, is selected as a way of exploring how our system of predictions works.  The game is only a few hours away, so there will be an immediate chance to see how well or badly the process works.

A quick look at the league table suggests this should be a straightforward Everton victory:

Pos Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 15 13 2 0 45 7 38 41
2 Liverpool 14 11 3 0 27 5 22 36
3 Chelsea 14 9 4 1 30 11 19 31
4 Arsenal 14 9 3 2 32 18 14 30
5 Tottenham H 14 10 0 4 25 15 10 30
6 Bournemouth 15 7 2 6 25 22 3 23
7 Everton 14 6 4 4 20 16 4 22
8 Manchester Utd 14 6 4 4 22 23 -1 22
9 Leicester City 14 6 3 5 20 17 3 21
10 Brighton 15 6 3 6 19 21 -2 21
11 Watford 15 6 2 7 18 21 -3 20
12 West Ham Utd 15 5 3 7 20 23 -3 18
13 Wolverhampton 14 4 4 6 13 17 -4 16
14 Newcastle Utd 14 3 3 8 11 19 -8 12

Everton have ten more points than Newcastle.  But let’s check on the home and away form.  Here is Everton at home

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Man City 8 8 0 0 30 5 25 24
2 Liverpool 7 6 1 0 15 1 14 19
3 Chelsea 8 5 3 0 17 7 10 18
4 Arsenal 8 5 2 1 16 8 8 17
5 Everton 7 5 1 1 13 6 7 16

As we might expect a solid home performance, scoring almost two goals a game, and conceding just under one.

In terms of away form we need to look at the lower reaches of the table for Newcastle

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
14 Newcastle Utd 6 1 3 2 5 6 -1 6
15 Everton 7 1 3 3 7 10 -3 6
16 Huddersfield T 7 1 2 4 7 16 -9 5
17 Burnley 8 1 2 5 6 17 -11 5
18 Southampton 7 1 1 5 6 16 -10 4
19 Cardiff City 7 0 1 6 3 15 -12 1
20 Fulham 8 0 1 7 5 20 -15 1

Interestingly Everton are actually worse away from home than Newcastle – but there is one pointer here that suggests that this might not be quite as easy a game as we have imagined.  Everton are winning 2-1 at home on average.  But Newcastle are averaging around 1-1 away from home.  That still edges the prediction towards Everton, but not by as much as we might have thought.

To give a final insight we might consider recent results:

Everton’s last home defeat was against West Ham – not a team renowned for ripping their way through defences away from home

16 Sep 2018 Everton v West Ham United L 1-3 Premier League
29 Sep 2018 Everton v Fulham W 3-0 Premier League
02 Oct 2018 Everton v Southampton L 3-4 League Cup
21 Oct 2018 Everton v Crystal Palace W 2-0 Premier League
03 Nov 2018 Everton v Brighton and Hove Albion W 3-1 Premier League
24 Nov 2018 Everton v Cardiff City W 1-0 Premier League

And if we look at the last couple of away games (to Chelsea and Liverpool) we find a 0-0 draw and a 1-0 defeat – that in a game in which they conceded a goal in about the 7th minute of added on time.   At home however a very solid performance of late.

Is there anything in Newcastle’s record to convince us of an upset?

22 Sep 2018 Crystal Palace v Newcastle U D 0-0 Premier League
29 Sep 2018 Newcastle U v Leicester City L 0-2 Premier League
06 Oct 2018 Manchester United v Newcastle L 3-2 Premier League
20 Oct 2018 Newcastle United v Brighton L 0-1 Premier League
27 Oct 2018 Southampton v Newcastle U D 0-0 Premier League
03 Nov 2018 Newcastle United v Watford W 1-0 Premier League
10 Nov 2018 Newcastle U v Bournemouth W 2-1 Premier League
26 Nov 2018 Burnley v Newcastle United W 1-2 Premier League
01 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v West Ham L 0-3 Premier League

Newcastle did have three successive wins against Watford, Bournemouth and Burnley, but only one was away from home – the only away success on this list, and the final game was the 0-3 home defeat to West Ham.  To bet on Newcastle you’d have to be banking on a bounce back to that home defeat.  I suspect we are safe with the 2-1 prediction.

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