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.

Newcastle v Watford (FA Cup) Predictions, injuries, psychology

Newcastle are having a tough time of it at home this season…

Pos Club P W D L F A GD
Pts
16 Fulham 11 3 3 5 13 21 -8 12
17 Southampton 11 2 5 4 13 18 -5 11
18 Newcastle United 12 3 1 8 10 17 -7 10
19 Crystal Palace 11 2 3 6 6 11 -5 9
20 Huddersfield Town 12 1 2 9 5 19 -14 5

Just three wins and one draw with eight defeats.  And indeed only 10 goals scored at home in 12 games.

Watford away from home however are a top half team…

3 Manchester City 11 7 2 2 22 7 15 23
4 Chelsea 11 7 1 3 19 10 9 22
5 Manchester United 12 6 2 4 23 19 4 20
6 Leicester City 12 5 2 5 16 17 -1 17
7 Watford 11 4 4 3 16 14 2 16
8 Arsenal 11 4 3 4 22 22 0 15

But even so it is just four wins and four draws.  However they have scored 16 goals away from home – more than Newcastle have managed at home.

After a stream of games without a win Newcastle have come good just recently.

26 Dec 2018 Liverpool v Newcastle United L 4-0
29 Dec 2018 Watford v Newcastle United D 1-1
02 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Manchester United L 0-2
05 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Blackburn Rovers FAC D 1-1
12 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Newcastle United L 2-1
15 Jan 2019 Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United FAC W 2-4
19 Jan 2019 Newcastle United v Cardiff City W 3-0

So two wins in a row, but neither against top ranking teams.   However the away game to Watford on 29 December did suggest there was not much between the two teams.

And when we come to look at it Watford have not been in shining form of late either…

26 Dec 2018 Watford v Chelsea L 1-2
29 Dec 2018 Watford v Newcastle United D 1-1
02 Jan 2019 AFC Bournemouth v Watford D 3-3
06 Jan 2019 Woking v Watford FAC W 0-2
12 Jan 2019 Crystal Palace v Watford W 1-2
19 Jan 2019 Watford v Burnley D 0-0

Yes they beat Palace away and only just lost to Chelsea, but the goalless draw with Burnley was not that brilliant a performance.

Newcastle are showing six injured or unavailable players at the present, but several of them look like they could be ready for return for the match and in the best of circumstances they could be suddenly down to just one player missing.  Data from Physioroom.

PLAYER CONDITION EXPECTED RETURN
 Kenedy Illness January 26, 2019
 F Fernandez Illness January 26, 2019
 K Sung-yeung Hamstring Injury No Return Date
 J Shelvey Thigh January 26, 2019
 M Diame Hip Injury January 26, 2019
 P Dummett Hamstring Injury January 26, 2019

Watford are curiously showing the same sort of situation.

PLAYER CONDITION EXPECTED RETURN
 K Femenia Hamstring Injury No Return Date
 A Doucoure Knee Injury January 26, 2019
 C Cathcart Knee Injury January 26, 2019
 W Hughes Conussion January 26, 2019
 S Prodl Knee Injury January 26, 2019

The psychology

Quite possibly how many players come back for each team will determine who gets through, but I suspect both sides will be nervous and this will remove any gung ho attitude on either side.   Newcastle will probably be happy for a draw as anything other than a defeat is to be welcome.  Watford will accept a draw feeling they could win the replay.

I’m going for 1-1.

Chelsea v Newscastle United: the predictions, the psychology, the injuries

We would expect Chelsea, a top four contending club, to be strong at home, and so they are…

Home games only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 11 10 0 1 37 10 27 30
2 Liverpool 10 9 1 0 27 3 24 28
3 Arsenal 11 8 2 1 24 10 14 26
4 Chelsea 11 6 4 1 19 8 11 22

But not quite as strong as we might expect with four draws and a defeat in the 11 games.

Newcastle United have a reputation of being very poor this season, but actually their away form isn’t that bad…

Away matches only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 12 10 0 2 28 12 16 30
2 Liverpool 11 8 2 1 22 7 15 26
3 Chelsea 10 7 1 2 19 8 11 22
4 Manchester City 10 6 2 2 19 7 12 20
5 Manchester United 11 5 2 4 22 19 3 17
6 Leicester City 11 5 2 4 13 13 0 17
7 Arsenal 10 4 3 3 22 21 1 15
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 10 4 3 3 11 10 1 15
9 West Ham United 10 4 2 4 13 14 -1 14
10 Watford 10 3 4 3 14 13 1 13
11 Crystal Palace 11 4 1 6 14 17 -3 13
12 Newcastle United 10 2 5 3 8 12 -4 11

Yes only two wins away but they have had five away draws.   So Chelsea knocking up home draws and Newcastle getting away draws; that could be a strong clue.

Chelsea’s home draws have come in these games

29 Sep 2018 Chelsea v Liverpool D 1-1
20 Oct 2018 Chelsea v Manchester United D 2-2
11 Nov 2018 Chelsea v Everton D 0-0
02 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Southampton D 0-0

And what is interesting is that these are not just draws against other top six clubs but against a variety of teams, spread across the season.

18 Aug 2018 Cardiff City v Newcastle United D 0-0
22 Sep 2018 Crystal Palace v Newcastle United D 0-0
27 Oct 2018 Southampton v Newcastle United D 0-0
05 Dec 2018 Everton v Newcastle United D 1-1
29 Dec 2018 Watford v Newcastle United D 1-1

A propensity for 0-0 and 1-1 draws.

The psychology

Chelsea know they have to keep winning to ensure they get the craved for top four place to avoid another Europa League season, although like Arsenal they have a fall back of winning the Europa to gain entry to the Champions League next season.

Newcastle know that they just need to keep picking up points to ensure they don’t get relegated.   But they also know that the clubs below them are liable to keep on losing games.

Here’s the bottom of the league table.

Pos Club P W D L F A GD
Pts
15 Newcastle United 21 4 6 11 15 29 -14 18
16 Burnley 21 5 3 13 21 42 -21 18
17 Cardiff City 21 5 3 13 19 41 -22 18
18 Southampton 21 3 7 11 21 38 -17 16
19 Fulham 21 3 5 13 19 47 -28 14
20 Huddersfield Town 21 2 4 15 13 37 -24 10

As for injuries Chelsea and Newcastle are each shown with five players injured by Physioroom although they are still showing Fabregas as a Chelsea player, while in fact he has gone to Monaco.  Morata and Hudson Odoi are possibly recovered enough to play today.  Diame and Fernandez could be back for Newcastle.

This could well be a draw, which would look like a surprise if one didn’t check the home and away ratings.   In which case 1-1 seems the most obvious score.  Second choice would be a 2-1 win to Chelsea.

Newcastle v Manchester United: the predictions

This is a game where perhaps it is best to start with recent form rather than the home and away records that we normally use.

The results for Manchester United in December may be put down to the tactical abilities of the old and new managers, or maybe their man management, but also I suspect psychological issues are involved.  A sense of relief at the end of the old regime, followed by a growing confidence – factors that may not be as important as raw talent and training, but still have a major part to play.   “We can’t win a game” changes into “We can’t lose”.

01 Dec 2018 Southampton v Manchester United D 2-2
05 Dec 2018 Manchester United v Arsenal D 2-2
08 Dec 2018 Manchester United v Fulham W 4-1
12 Dec 2018 Valencia v Manchester United Champ Lge L 2-1
16 Dec 2018 Liverpool v Manchester United L 3-1
22 Dec 2018 Cardiff City v Manchester United W 1-5
26 Dec 2018 Manchester United v Huddersfield Town W 3-1
30 Dec 2018 Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth W 4-1

That stuttering collection of results through the first five games of December was indeed followed not just by three straight wins but three straight wins scoring 12 goals.

So there is momentum there – but momentum always comes to an end at some time.  And there is a bit of a way to go to get an away form for Manchester United that is comparable to the norm for clubs in the European places.  This table shows away results only

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 11 9 0 2 25 12 13 27
2 Liverpool 10 8 2 0 21 5 16 26
3 Chelsea 10 7 1 2 19 8 11 22
4 Manchester City 10 6 2 2 19 7 12 20
5 Arsenal 10 4 3 3 22 21 1 15
6 Wolverhampton W 10 4 3 3 11 10 1 15
7 Manchester United 10 4 2 4 20 19 1 14

There is in fact a significant gap opening between the away form of the top four in that list and the rest.   But Manchester United did knock five past Cardiff, so things are starting to change.

What undoubtedly makes Manchester United’s position easier in this match is Newcastle’s home form…  Here is the foot of the home form league table

16 Burnley 10 3 1 6 12 20 -8 10
17 Crystal Palace 10 2 3 5 5 9 -4 9
18 Southampton 10 1 5 4 11 17 -6 8
19 Newcastle United 10 2 1 7 7 15 -8 7
20 Huddersfield Town 10 1 2 7 4 14 -10 5

This table which as I say, just shows home games, reveals Newcastle with just two wins in 10, scoring less than one goal a game on average and conceding over twice the number they score.

For December the Newcastle results look like this…

01 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v West Ham United L 0-3
05 Dec 2018 Everton v Newcastle United D 1-1
09 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers L 1-2
15 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United W 0-1
22 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v Fulham D 0-0
26 Dec 2018 Liverpool v Newcastle United L 4-0
29 Dec 2018 Watford v Newcastle United D 1-1

There is just won win in there and that against fellow strugglers Huddersfield who seem to be doomed to relegation already.  Newcastle’s last home point was a goalless draw against fellow relegation contenders Fulham.

Unless suddenly the magic of the new manager at Manchester United wears off or Newcastle find some incredible magical way of turning things around, this looks like another easy win for Manchester United.  They might knock in another hatload but I would think that 0-2 is more likely, given the way the goals have gone in, in the past.

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