Manchester City v Chelsea: the predictions and the psychology

Having a long winning streak can give a big boost to players, but ending a winning streak with a poor defeat can really knock a team back.

In the space of five days Manchester City lost to Crystal Palace at home and Leicester City away in December while Liverpool went on a winning run and extended their league at the top.

22 Dec 2018 Manchester City v Crystal Palace L 2-3
26 Dec 2018 Leicester City v Manchester City L 2-1
30 Dec 2018 Southampton v Manchester City W 1-3
03 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Liverpool W 2-1
14 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers W 3-0
20 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Manchester City W 0-3
29 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Manchester City L 2-1
03 Feb 2019 Manchester City v Arsenal W 3-1
06 Feb 2019 Everton v Manchester City W 0-2

The defeat against Newcastle suggested more wobbles but the two recent wins, combined with wobbles by Liverpool has given them a real boost.

Chelsea on the other hand have had more wobbles still…

02 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Southampton D 0-0 Premier League
12 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Newcastle United W 2-1 Premier League
19 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Chelsea L 2-0 Premier League
30 Jan 2019 AFC Bournemouth v Chelsea L 4-0 Premier League
02 Feb 2019 Chelsea v Huddersfield Town W 5-0 Premier League

Just two wins in five games this year, and both those against very beatable opponents.   5-0 against Huddersfield won’t wipe out the memories of the defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea and this fact alone makes a Manchester City win look very likely indeed.

Chelsea away are doing ok… seven wins in 12 games is a good return, although their overall goal difference is only five goals.

Away games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 13 9 3 1 24 8 16 30
3 Manchester City 13 8 2 3 25 9 16 26
4 Manchester United 13 7 2 4 24 19 5 23
5 Chelsea 12 7 1 4 19 14 5 22

But when we compare this to Manchester City’s home form we find that the chances of a Chelsea win are seriously diminished, not least by the fact that Manchester City score over three goals a game on average and concede only one, when at home.

Home games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 13 12 0 1 43 11 32 36
2 Liverpool 12 10 2 0 32 7 25 32
3 Arsenal 13 10 2 1 28 11 17 32
4 Chelsea 13 8 4 1 26 9 17 28

With Chelsea’s recent wobble and Manchester City’s revival – plus their home form – I can’t see this as anything other than a Manchester City win.

Tottenham v Newcastle: the psychology, the predictions

If you haven’t been following the home/away form this season this might come as a shock to you, but Tottenham are not that good at home.   In fact the predictions made to the effect that they would fail to make good in their new home have not yet been tested because of building delays.  But the poor form that was predicted has been shown to be as valid in their temporary home of Wembley

Home form only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 12 11 0 1 40 10 30 33
2 Liverpool 12 10 2 0 32 7 25 32
3 Arsenal 13 10 2 1 28 11 17 32
4 Chelsea 12 7 4 1 21 9 12 25
5 Manchester United 12 7 4 1 25 16 9 25
6 AFC Bournemouth 13 7 3 3 25 17 8 24
7 Tottenham Hotspur 11 7 0 4 20 11 9 21

What this means is that if the normal pattern applies – whiich shows that virtually every team runs into trouble when moving from one stadium to another – Tottenham are going to suffer a double blow.  A poor run at Wembley and a poor run at New White Hart Lane.

The one thing that can save them in this match is Newcastle’s away form

Away games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 12 9 2 1 23 7 16 29
3 Manchester City 12 7 2 3 23 9 14 23
4 Chelsea 12 7 1 4 19 14 5 22
5 Manchester United 12 6 2 4 23 19 4 20
6 Leicester City 13 5 3 5 17 18 -1 18
7 Watford 12 4 4 4 17 16 1 16
8 Arsenal 11 4 3 4 22 22 0 15
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers 11 4 3 4 11 13 -2 15
10 Crystal Palace 13 4 2 7 18 22 -4 14
11 West Ham United 12 4 2 6 13 19 -6 14
12 Everton 12 3 3 6 15 17 -2 12
13 Newcastle United 11 2 5 4 9 14 -5 11

Newcastle have only won twice away and have only scored nine away goals all season.  Tottenham have scored 20 at “home”.

But there is always a but, and here it is.  Let’s look at Tottenham’s last three home league games

29 Dec 2018 Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers L 1-3
13 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United L 0-1
30 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Watford W 2-1

Two defeats in three.  Indeed if we look at their last five games we find three defeats.

13 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United L 0-1
20 Jan 2019 Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur W 1-2
24 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur Lge Cup L 2-1 (4-2)
27 Jan 2019 Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur FAC L 2-0
30 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Watford W 2-1

What we are seeing is a club that is desperate to win something to stop the very long trophy drought, startting to get nerves.   In the space of three days the two competitioins that they had the most realistic chance of winning were lost to them (FA Cup and League Cup).

Are these nerves enough to give Tottenham another defeat?  Newcastle’s last four games suggest that maybe they are

15 Jan 2019 Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United FAC W 2-4
19 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Cardiff City W 3-0
26 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Watford FAC L 0-2
29 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Manchester City W 2-1

Yes Newcastle went down to Watford, but they then followed that up with a stunning win against Man City.  This could another Newcastle day, and another occasion on which Tottenham wished that they hadn’t chose this particuar route to getting a new stadium.

Arsenal v Cardiff; the form, the injuries, the psychology, the predictions

Arsenal at home have remained a very solid team, exactly as they were last season…

Home games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 12 11 0 1 40 10 30 33
2 Liverpool 11 10 1 0 31 6 25 31
3 Arsenal 12 9 2 1 26 10 16 29
4 Chelsea 12 7 4 1 21 9 12 25
5 Manchester United 11 7 3 1 23 14 9 24

Cardiff away look to be in a desparate situation

Away games only

17 Brighton and Hove Albion 12 2 2 8 10 20 -10 8
18 Huddersfield Town 11 1 3 7 8 21 -13 6
19 Cardiff City 11 1 2 8 6 21 -15 5
20 Fulham 12 0 2 10 8 30 -22 2

When we look at recent form however Arsenal in January have two defeats

01 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Fulham W 4-1
05 Jan 2019 Blackpool v Arsenal FAC W 0-3
12 Jan 2019 West Ham United v Arsenal L 1-0
19 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Chelsea W 2-0
25 Jan 2019 Arsenal v Manchester United FAC L 1-3

Cardiff in January however have no wins

01 Jan 2019 Cardiff City v Tottenham Hotspur L 0-3
05 Jan 2019 Gillingham v Cardiff City FAC L 1-0
12 Jan 2019 Cardiff City v Huddersfield Town D 0-0
19 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Cardiff City L 3-0
The FA Cup defeat of both teams has very different meanings – Arsenal were poor but playing a PL team in form.   Cardiff lost to Gillingham of League One.

Three wins two defeats for Arsenal and no wins three defeats and a drew to Cardiff tell Arsenal that no matter what they might feel about their poor performance against Manchester United they certainly are not in as bad a run of form as Cardiff.

Injuries show that Arsenal are now near the top of the league…

8

Liverpool

7

West Ham United

6

Arsenal

5

Newcastle United

Arsenal’s list of injuries prepared by Physioroom shows

PLAYER CONDITION EXPECTED RETURN NEWS
Sokratis Ankle Injury March 2, 2019 “Left ankle. Expected to return to full training by the end of February.”
L Koscielny Facial Injury No Return Date “Bruising and soft tissue swelling to face and jaw. Being reviewed on a daily basis.”
H Bellerin ACL Knee Injury No Return Date “Hector will undergo surgery to repair this in the coming days. The rehab process is expected to take between 6-9 nine months.”
H Mkhitaryan Metatarsal Fracture January 29, 2019 “Expected to return to full training in the next week.”
R Holding ACL Knee Injury No Return Date “He will undergo surgery to repair this in the coming days. The rehab process is expected to take between six to nine months” from the date of injury
D Welbeck Ankle Injury Out all season

So there is only one of those players possible to be available for the next game.

Cardiff  however have just tree players out but two could be back in the squad.

PLAYER CONDITION EXPECTED RETURN NEWS
S Morrison Appendicitis No Return Date “He had a procedure on Monday. I don’t think [he will play tomorrow], but if there’s any doubt I won’t play him anyway. We can’t gamble on anyone.”
H Arter Groin Strain January 29, 2019 “He tweaked his groin and we’re not sure what it is. It was one of them, although you want to play him, with 10 days until the next game you want to make sure you don’t aggravate anything.”
K Zohore Thigh Muscle Strain January 29, 2019 “He’ll be struggling to get back for next weekend. He might get on the bench.”

The psychology

Cardiff have had the humiliation of losing to a third tier team in the cup and they know they have to play well to get themselves out of trouble.  Arsenal might not be a top four team at the moment, but they are one of the six elite European clubs and even with multiple injuries can put up a fight.

Cardiff will try to deliver an early knock out blow to get the crowd with them.   Failing that it looks like Arsenal all the way.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 23 19 3 1 54 13 41 60
2 Manchester City 23 18 2 3 62 17 45 56
3 Tottenham Hotspur 23 17 0 6 48 23 25 51
4 Chelsea 23 14 5 4 40 19 21 47
5 Arsenal 23 13 5 5 48 32 16 44
6 Manchester United 23 13 5 5 46 33 13 44
7 Watford 23 9 6 8 32 32 0 33
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 23 9 5 9 27 31 -4 32
9 Leicester City 23 9 4 10 29 29 0 31
10 West Ham United 23 9 4 10 30 34 -4 31
11 Everton 23 8 6 9 34 33 1 30
12 AFC Bournemouth 23 9 3 11 33 42 -9 30
13 Brighton and Hove Albion 23 7 5 11 25 32 -7 26
14 Crystal Palace 23 6 4 13 23 32 -9 22
15 Southampton 23 5 7 11 25 40 -15 22
16 Burnley 23 6 4 13 23 43 -20 22
17 Newcastle United 23 5 6 12 19 31 -12 21
18 Cardiff City 23 5 4 14 19 44 -25 19
19 Fulham 23 3 5 15 21 51 -30 14
20 Huddersfield Town 23 2 5 16 13 40 -27 11

If Arsenal hold on through the first half they could knock up another of their 4-1 wins.

Wolverhampton v Liverpool: the predictions

Liverpool as we know are having an excellent season following their recent spending sprees in the transfer market.  I doubt that Liverpool management seriously think they will win the league but they are looking to put down a marker for next season, while trying to win a cup this season.

Wolverhampton meanwhile are looking simply to hold on to their status and gradually re-establish themselves as a Premier League club.

Before this weekend’s games Wolverhampton are sitting 7th in the league – a much higher position than many predicted.   But their home form has more of a mid-table look about it…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 9 9 0 0 33 6 27 27
2 Liverpool 8 7 1 0 18 2 16 22
3 Chelsea 9 6 3 0 19 7 12 21
4 Arsenal 9 6 2 1 17 8 9 20
5 Everton 9 5 3 1 16 9 7 18
6 Tottenham Hotspur 7 5 0 2 12 6 6 15
7 Manchester United 8 4 3 1 14 11 3 15
8 Watford 9 5 0 4 14 15 -1 15
9 Brighton and Hove Albion 8 4 2 2 13 10 3 14
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 9 4 2 3 12 11 1 14

Four wins, two draws and three defeats, with 12 goals scored and 11 conceded.  After a seven match winless run they have just put together three victories, a real bounce back from a defeat at the end of last month to Cardiff.

30 Nov 2018 Cardiff City v Wolverhampton Wanderers L 2-1 Premier League
05 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea W 2-1 Premier League
09 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers W 1-2 Premier League
15 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v AFC Bournemouth W 2-0 Premier League

All the more credit to Wolverhampton at home in that the first of these three games was against Chelsea.

Liverpool’s away form is beaten only by Tottenham who have been allowed to move fixtures around to try and accommodate the lack of, well, home accommodation.

Pos Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 10 8 0 2 19 10 9 24
2 Liverpool 9 7 2 0 19 5 14 23
3 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 15 4 11 17
4 Chelsea 8 5 1 2 16 7 9 16
5 Arsenal 8 4 2 2 20 15 5 14

Seven wins and two draws in nine Liverpool away games with just five conceded is impressive form by any standards.  A 2-0 average victory.

Thus if Wolverhampton are full of confidence so are Liverpool.  From 7 October onwards they have only lost twice and both of these defeats have been in the Champions League – which is interesting considering that some Liverpool fans consider this their natural chance of a trophy.

07 Oct 2018 Liverpool v Manchester City D 0-0 Premier League
20 Oct 2018 Huddersfield Town v Liverpool W 0-1 Premier League
24 Oct 2018 Liverpool v Crvena Zvezda W 4-0 Champions League
27 Oct 2018 Liverpool v Cardiff City W 4-1 Premier League
03 Nov 2018 Arsenal v Liverpool D 1-1 Premier League
06 Nov 2018 Crvena Zvezda v Liverpool L 2-0 Champions League
11 Nov 2018 Liverpool v Fulham W 2-0 Premier League
24 Nov 2018 Watford v Liverpool W 0-3 Premier League
28 Nov 2018 Paris St Germain v Liverpool L 2-1 Champions League
02 Dec 2018 Liverpool v Everton W 1-0 Premier League
05 Dec 2018 Burnley v Liverpool W 1-3 Premier League
08 Dec 2018 AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool W 0-4 Premier League
11 Dec 2018 Liverpool v Napoli W 1-0 Champions League
16 Dec 2018 Liverpool v Manchester United W 3-1 Premier League

So it is six wins in a row in the Premier League for Liverpool, but away from home these have been against Bournemouth, Burnley and Watford.   The last time Liverpool met one of the larger teams in the league away it was a draw.

However for all Wolverhampton’s progress one cannot put them in the category of a serious “top six” club, and this looks like a Liverpool victory all the way.   0-2 to Liverpool, but could be more if Wolverhampton let things slip in the last 15 minutes.

Arsenal v Burnley: the predictions

Arsenal currently possess the fourth best home record in the League

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 9 9 0 0 33 6 27 27
2 Liverpool 8 7 1 0 18 2 16 22
3 Chelsea 9 6 3 0 19 7 12 21
4 Arsenal 9 6 2 1 17 8 9 20

Six wins, two draws and one defeat – and that one defeat right at the start of the season.

Burnley away however is a totally different matter

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 10 8 0 2 19 10 9 24
2 Liverpool 9 7 2 0 19 5 14 23
3 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 15 4 11 17
4 Chelsea 8 5 1 2 16 7 9 16
5 Arsenal 8 4 2 2 20 15 5 14
6 West Ham United 8 3 2 3 11 11 0 11
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 8 3 2 3 7 8 -1 11
8 Leicester City 9 3 2 4 11 13 -2 11
9 Manchester United 9 3 2 4 15 18 -3 11
10 Newcastle United 8 2 4 2 7 7 0 10
11 Watford 8 2 3 3 9 10 -1 9
12 AFC Bournemouth 8 3 0 5 11 14 -3 9
13 Crystal Palace 9 2 1 6 9 15 -6 7
14 Brighton and Hove Albion 9 2 1 6 7 14 -7 7
15 Everton 8 1 3 4 8 13 -5 6
16 Huddersfield Town 8 1 2 5 7 17 -10 5
17 Burnley 9 1 2 6 6 18 -12 5

One win in nine, two draws and six defeats.  Not exactly setting the place alight.

Burnley’s away win came right back in September – against also low flying Cardiff.  Here are their away games since then…

30 Sep 2018 Cardiff City v Burnley W 1-2 Premier League
20 Oct 2018 Manchester City v Burnley L 5-0 Premier League
03 Nov 2018 West Ham United v Burnley L 4-2 Premier League
10 Nov 2018 Leicester City v Burnley D 0-0 Premier League
01 Dec 2018 Crystal Palace v Burnley L 2-0 Premier League
15 Dec 2018 Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley L 1-0 Premier League

They did however hold Tottenham to just one goal in their last game – but against this Burnley have not scored in their last three away games, and only scored two in their last five and six away goals all season in nine away games.

Arsenal on the other hand, having had 22 games without defeat have now suffered two in a row.   They will be anxious to recover the home fans’ support after losing to Tottenham in the league cup in midweek, and many is the time when we have seen such anxiety become the cause of a downfall.

But Arsenal have scored 17 goals in nine games at home, very much on a par with Liverpool and Chelsea, although admittedly a distance behind the home performance of Manchester City.

Burnley will undoubtedly put in an 11 man defensive display and Arsenal’s best chance is to get an early goal, to force Burnley to move forwards.  But early goals is what Arsenal are not good at this season, which suggests that this could be a difficult affair, possibly ending goalless (which would be a triumph for Burnley) or just 1-0 to the Arsenal, with the goal coming near the end.

On overall form, without taking nerves into account this should end 2-0 to Arsenal – possibly more if their forward line go on the rampage in the last 20 minutes, but much depends on when that first goal occurs.   It is going to be teious with a lot of timewasting from the off by Burnley as they seek to get a point at any cost.  Arsenal need to start scoring first half goals.

 

 

West Ham v Watford: the predictions

West Ham v Watford is one of those strange games that doesn’t always turn out as one might expect.

Here are the results since 1994 at West Ham’s ground…

08 Jan 1994 West Ham United v Watford W 2-1 FA Cup
11 Sep 1999 West Ham United v Watford W 1-0 Premier League
01 May 2004 West Ham United v Watford W 4-0 League Division 1
27 Nov 2004 West Ham United v Watford W 3-2 League Championship
27 Jan 2007 West Ham United v Watford L 0-1 FA Cup
10 Feb 2007 West Ham United v Watford L 0-1 Premier League
07 Mar 2012 West Ham United v Watford D 1-1 League Championship
20 Apr 2016 West Ham United v Watford W 3-1 Premier League
10 Sep 2016 West Ham United v Watford L 2-4 Premier League
As we can see, in the 1990s and early 2000s West Ham won four in a row.  Since then they have gone five with only one win.  Not what one might expect without looking up the record.
In terms of overall form the clubs this season have a very similar record…
Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Liverpool 17 14 3 0 37 7 30 45
2 Manchester City 17 14 2 1 48 10 38 44
3 Tottenham Hotspur 17 13 0 4 31 16 15 39
4 Chelsea 17 11 4 2 35 14 21 37
5 Arsenal 17 10 4 3 37 23 14 34
6 Manchester United 17 7 5 5 29 29 0 26
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 17 7 4 6 19 19 0 25
8 Everton 17 6 6 5 24 22 2 24
9 West Ham United 17 7 3 7 25 25 0 24
10 Watford 17 7 3 7 23 25 -2 24

In fact the only difference between their overall form is that Watford have scored two goals fewer than West Ham.  It is a remarkable link between the two sides.

So what of West Ham at home

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Manchester City 9 9 0 0 33 6 27 27
2 Liverpool 8 7 1 0 18 2 16 22
3 Chelsea 9 6 3 0 19 7 12 21
4 Arsenal 9 6 2 1 17 8 9 20
5 Everton 9 5 3 1 16 9 7 18
6 Tottenham Hotspur 7 5 0 2 12 6 6 15
7 Manchester United 8 4 3 1 14 11 3 15
8 Watford 9 5 0 4 14 15 -1 15
9 Brighton and Hove Albion 8 4 2 2 13 10 3 14
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 9 4 2 3 12 11 1 14
11 AFC Bournemouth 9 4 2 3 14 14 0 14
12 West Ham United 9 4 1 4 14 14 0 13

West Ham have four wins, one draw and four defeats, with goal difference of zero.

As for Watford who are away,  here is how their away form pans out so far

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 10 8 0 2 19 10 9 24
2 Liverpool 9 7 2 0 19 5 14 23
3 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 15 4 11 17
4 Chelsea 8 5 1 2 16 7 9 16
5 Arsenal 8 4 2 2 20 15 5 14
6 West Ham United 8 3 2 3 11 11 0 11
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 8 3 2 3 7 8 -1 11
8 Leicester City 9 3 2 4 11 13 -2 11
9 Manchester United 9 3 2 4 15 18 -3 11
10 Newcastle United 8 2 4 2 7 7 0 10
11 Watford 8 2 3 3 9 10 -1 9
A slightly worse record emerges: two wins, three draws, three defeats, and a goal difference of -1.
Looking at the goals scored so far we might go for West Ham 2 Watford 1 – if it were not for that habit Watford have of doing ok away to West Ham.  A second bet could be to go for a draw however.
West Ham have certainly picked up after their very dodgy start with four wins in their last five…
24 Nov 2018 West Ham United v Manchester City L 0-4 Premier League
01 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v West Ham United W 0-3 Premier League
04 Dec 2018 West Ham United v Cardiff City W 3-1 Premier League
08 Dec 2018 West Ham United v Crystal Palace W 3-2 Premier League
15 Dec 2018 Fulham v West Ham United W 0-2 Premier League

However these games have all been against clubs that are not doing particularly well this season.  Yes they have scored 11 in the last four, but against teams with very dodgy defences.

Watford’s results of late have been patchy to say the least.  Here are their last 10

06 Oct 2018 Watford v AFC Bournemouth L 0-4 Premier League
20 Oct 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Watford W 0-2 Premier League
27 Oct 2018 Watford v Huddersfield Town W 3-0 Premier League
03 Nov 2018 Newcastle United v Watford L 1-0 Premier League
10 Nov 2018 Southampton v Watford D 1-1 Premier League
24 Nov 2018 Watford v Liverpool L 0-3 Premier League
01 Dec 2018 Leicester City v Watford L 2-0 Premier League
04 Dec 2018 Watford v Manchester City L 1-2 Premier League
10 Dec 2018 Everton v Watford D 2-2 Premier League
15 Dec 2018 Watford v Cardiff City W 3-2 Premier League

Seven games with just one win – that recent result against Watford.  And their two wins before that were against teams also in difficulty at the time – Wolverhampton and Huddersfield.

Despite the draw against Everton and win over Cardiff, it is hard to see Watford getting anything out of this game unless lady luck really turns to smile on them.

Huddersfield v Southampton: the predictions

Huddersfield v Southampton – a battle to get away from the relegation area.

Huddersfield’s home record is the worst in the league

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
15 Southampton 8 1 5 2 9 12 -3 8
16 Crystal Palace 8 2 2 4 5 8 -3 8
17 Fulham 8 2 2 4 10 18 -8 8
18 Burnley 8 2 1 5 9 15 -6 7
19 Newcastle United 9 2 0 7 7 15 -8 6
20 Huddersfield Town 9 1 2 6 3 11 -8 5

Worse even than Southampton who prior to last weekend had not won a game at home, but then went on to end Arsenal’s 22 game unbeaten run.

Southampton’s away form is just as problematic

16 Huddersfield Town 8 1 2 5 7 17 -10 5
17 Burnley 9 1 2 6 6 18 -12 5
18 Southampton 9 1 1 7 7 20 -13 4
19 Cardiff City 8 0 1 7 5 18 -13 1
20 Fulham 9 0 1 8 6 24 -18 1

So what do we make of this.  A home team that has picked up one win and two draws on its own patch, and an away team that has got one win and one draw.

A home team with a goal record of three for and 11 against against an away team with a record of seven for and 20 against.

Huddersfield really ought to start scoring a few more goals at home.

Huddersfield have been having a difficult season but they then had a little relief with three unbeaten matches – a long run for them.   But as they started to get carried away the bad times returned with four successive defeats.

Date Game Res Score Comp
05 Nov 2018 Huddersfield Town v Fulham W 1-0 Premier League
10 Nov 2018 Huddersfield Town v West Ham United D 1-1 Premier League
25 Nov 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Huddersfield Town W 0-2 Premier League
01 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Brighton and Hove Albion L 1-2 Premier League
04 Dec 2018 AFC Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town L 2-1 Premier League
08 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town L 1-0 Premier League
15 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United L 0-1 Premier League
That victory over Arsenal brought to an end a very poor run for Southampton in the league
24 Nov 2018 Fulham v Southampton L 3-2 Premier League
01 Dec 2018 Southampton v Manchester United D 2-2 Premier League
05 Dec 2018 Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton L 3-1 Premier League
08 Dec 2018 Cardiff City v Southampton L 1-0 Premier League
16 Dec 2018 Southampton v Arsenal W 3-2 Premier League

But what is interesting is that leaving aside the Cardiff game, goals have been abounding.

I suspect the victory over Arsenal and the three goals scored will give Southampton a more gung ho attitude and they will go full on the attack.  If Huddersfield can find a way around Southampton’s defence which has already let in 20 goals in nine games they could well find they might get a point out of this.

But I would not go further than that.   A 2-2 draw perhaps simply because neither side know how to defend.

 

Arsenal v Tottenham (League Cup 19 Dec). The predictions

League cup games can be harder to predict because of the way that clubs can on occasion put out weaker teams but in the case of Arsenal v Tottenham we probably will see very strong teams from both sides because of the intensity of the competition.

Here is Arsenal’s home form

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 9 9 0 0 33 6 27 27
2 Liverpool 8 7 1 0 18 2 16 22
3 Chelsea 9 6 3 0 19 7 12 21
4 Arsenal 9 6 2 1 17 8 9 20
5 Everton 9 5 3 1 16 9 7 18

Tottenham this season are top of the away form table, although partly this is because of their propensity for playing more away games than home (after they predicted their stadium would open not in 2019 but in September 2018.

To adjust for this a final column is added showing the average points away from home so far this season.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts Av
1 Tottenham Hots 10 8 0 2 19 10 9 24 2.4
2 Liverpool 9 7 2 0 19 5 14 23 2.5
3 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 15 4 11 17 2.1
4 Chelsea 8 5 1 2 16 7 9 16 2.0
5 Arsenal 8 4 2 2 20 15 5 14 1.75

Tottenham’s ranking is still very good at 2.4 points per game, second only to Liverpool.

Using this method of average points, Tottenham might expect to beat Arsenal in the league cup match with their 2.4 points per game away from home against Arsenal’s 2.2 points at home.

The goals tally is very close.  Tottenham have 19 goals away from home, conceding ten.   Arsenal have scored 17 at home conceding eight.   So the goal difference is equal.  It looks like the match could come down to who is coping best with the number of injuries.  Both sides have been suffering this season in this regard.

Tottenham are top of the injury league with eight men out at present while Arsenal are on six men unavailable.  So both are suffering there, and I suspect the managers will not only look at the skill of any younger players they want to promote but also their ability to cope mentally with such a high tension occasion.  We may also note that Tottenham will be given a much higher number of tickets than normal.

Tottenham will be keen to avoid the storm Arsenal produced in the league game between the two when Arsenal came back from 2-1 down to win 4-2.   I think a tighter match will happen this time with the game ending in normal time 1-1.   What happens in injury time could be down to who is kicking who and how many players are left on the pitch.

Fulham v West Ham United: the match predictions

Predicting the result and score of Fulham v West Ham

The leage table spells out bad news for Fulham and indeed for Southampton this weekend.   We’ll come to Southampton shortly but for now looking at Fulham we can see they have only two wins thus far this season with two wins three draws and 11 defeats.    Their goal difference is shocking at 16 for and 40 against.  By far the worst in the League

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
15 Newcastle United 16 3 4 9 13 22 -9 13
16 Crystal Palace 16 3 3 10 13 23 -10 12
17 Burnley 16 3 3 10 15 32 -17 12
18 Huddersfield T 16 2 4 10 10 27 -17 10
19 Southampton 16 1 6 9 13 30 -17 9
20 Fulham 16 2 3 11 16 40 -24 9

Looing just at home games however Fulham are far from being the worst club in the league

14 Wolverhampton 8 3 2 3 10 11 -1 11
15 Fulham 7 2 2 3 10 16 -6 8
16 Burnley 8 2 1 5 9 15 -6 7
17 Newcastle United 9 2 0 7 7 15 -8 6
18 Southampton 7 0 5 2 6 10 -4 5
19 Crystal Palace 7 1 2 4 4 8 -4 5
20 Huddersfield T 8 1 2 5 3 10 -7 5

Both of Fulham’s league victories have come at home – and they have two draws as well out of the three they have secured.  In other words their home form is low to middling, and they have a new manager which usually results in some sort of “new manager bounce” in terms of results.

Now for the table based on away form

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Tottenham H 10 8 0 2 19 10 9 24
2 Liverpool 9 7 2 0 19 5 14 23
3 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 15 4 11 17
4 Arsenal 7 4 2 1 18 12 6 14
5 Chelsea 7 4 1 2 14 6 8 13
6 Manchester Utd 8 3 2 3 14 15 -1 11
7 Leicester City 8 3 2 3 11 12 -1 11
8 Wolverhampton 8 3 2 3 7 8 -1 11
9 Bournemouth 7 3 0 4 11 12 -1 9
10 Watford 8 2 3 3 9 10 -1 9
11 West Ham Utd 7 2 2 3 9 11 -2 8

West Ham away have two wins and two draws, just as Fulham at home have.  The goal difference however is in West Ham’s favour – they have -2 GD while Fulham are at -6, some of which is down to the hammering Fulham took at home from Arsenal.

Here are the last five Fulham home games (all games are Premier League matches)

22 Sep 2018 Fulham v Watford D 1-1
07 Oct 2018 Fulham v Arsenal L 1-5
27 Oct 2018 Fulham v AFC Bournemouth L 0-3
24 Nov 2018 Fulham v Southampton W 3-2
05 Dec 2018 Fulham v Leicester City D 1-1

There is a real improvement in the last two games (although one might argue it would have been hard for it to get any worse) – and this in part is caused by a certain stability in the team.

West Ham away have looked more solid than one might have expected

16 Sep 2018 Everton v West Ham United W 1-3
05 Oct 2018 Brighton and Hove v West Ham Utd L 1-0
27 Oct 2018 Leicester City v West Ham United D 1-1
10 Nov 2018 Huddersfield Town v West Ham Utd D 1-1
01 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v West Ham Utd W 0-3

Curiously then if we look at recent results we could argue that both sides have a slight run of form – although this is stretching the use of the word “run”.

At home Fulham overall get scores akin to 1-2 while West Ham away get 1-1.  Fulham unbeaten in two at home and West Ham unbeaten in three away suggests a draw, as does the fact that out of those last five games (two home for Fulham and three away for West Ham) three have been draws.

I’ll go for 1-1.

 

 

Huddersfield v Newcastle: predicting the outcome

 

Huddersfield’s home form this season is one of the worst in the league – in fact only Southampton and Fulham have picked up fewer points.

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
16 Crystal Palace 16 3 3 10 13 23 -10 12
17 Burnley 16 3 3 10 15 32 -17 12
18 Huddersfield Town 16 2 4 10 10 27 -17 10
19 Southampton 16 1 6 9 13 30 -17 9
20 Fulham 16 2 3 11 16 40 -24 9

And they are scoring well under one goal a game but letting in almost three per game.  Fairly poor for a home team.

Newcastle United have hardly been setting the world on fire but away from home there is a curious point about their results.   First here is the away games table…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 10 8 0 2 19 10 9 24
2 Liverpool 9 7 2 0 19 5 14 23
3 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 15 4 11 17
4 Arsenal 7 4 2 1 18 12 6 14
5 Chelsea 7 4 1 2 14 6 8 13
6 Manchester United 8 3 2 3 14 15 -1 11
7 Leicester City 8 3 2 3 11 12 -1 11
8 Wolverhampton W 8 3 2 3 7 8 -1 11
9 AFC Bournemouth 7 3 0 4 11 12 -1 9
10 Watford 8 2 3 3 9 10 -1 9
11 West Ham United 7 2 2 3 9 11 -2 8
12 Newcastle United 7 1 4 2 6 7 -1 7

They have indeed only won one game but they have drawn four and lost two.   Goals are scarce but much more balanced than Huddersfield, at six for, seven against, thus suggesting a 1-1 result for them is not impossibe.

Huddersfield’s record shows that the last five games have all been low scoring at home – one wonders how the home support put up with this.  Five games with a total of eight goals.

And also to be noted is that they have lost their last three games: twice by 1-2 and the third time by 1-0.

29 Sep Huddersfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur L 0-2
20 Oct Huddersfield Town v Liverpool L 0-1
05 Nov Huddersfield Town v Fulham W 1-0
10 Nov Huddersfield Town v West Ham United D 1-1
01 Dec Huddersfield Town v Brighton and Hove Albion L 1-2

There is however only one win in the last five home games, and that against Fulham, who are finding any sort of result other than a defeat hard to get anywhere.

Newcastle on the other had have been doing ok away from home with just one defeat in the last five.

22 Sep Crystal Palace v Newcastle Utd D 0-0
6 Oct Manchester Utd v Newcastle Utd L 3–2
27 Oct Southampton v Newcastle United D 0-0
26 Nov Burnley v Newcastle United W 1-2
05 Dec Everton v Newcastle United D 1-1

One win in five away games is not that good, but only one defeat too, and that by just 3-2.

This looks to me like a Newcastle win by 2-1 or 2-0.  Maybe even 3-1.

Other predictions for this weekend

 

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