Burnley v Tottenham: the predictions and the psychology

Tottenham Hotspur may be third in the league, with only the most optimistic of their supporters thinking they might overtake both of the clubs above them to win the league in colour (as their manager suggested the other day), but when it comes to away form, they are supreme.

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 14 8 2 4 27 19 8 26

Over two goals a game away from home scored, and only two matches all season that they have not won.  It is quite a remarkable record.

This form hasn’t come completely out of the blue (they were second in the away league last season) but it is an improvement.  Last season they had four away draws and five away defeats by the end of the season.

Burnley at home however are in the lower part of the league

Home games only

14 Fulham 13 4 3 6 17 26 -9 15
15 Leicester City 12 4 2 6 13 13 0 14
16 Burnley 12 4 2 6 15 22 -7 14
17 Crystal Palace 13 3 4 6 9 12 -3 13
18 Newcastle United 13 4 1 8 12 18 -6 13
19 Southampton 13 2 6 5 15 21 -6 12
20 Huddersfield Town 14 1 2 11 6 22 -16 5

15 goals scored at home and 22 conceded.   On the basis of home and away form this looks very much like Tottenham’s game.

The only thing that might work in Burnley’s favour is Tottenham’s champions league game (this preview being written before that is played).  But other than that there is not too much to unsettle the team.  There have been three defeats in the last seven games, which is unusual, but the last three have been won.

13 Jan 2019 Tottenham H v Manchester United L 0-1
20 Jan 2019 Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur W 1-2
24 Jan 2019 Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur LC L 2-1 (4-2)
27 Jan 2019 Crystal Palace v Tottenham H  FAC L 2-0
30 Jan 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Watford W 2-1
02 Feb 2019 Tottenham H v Newcastle United W 1-0
10 Feb 2019 Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City W 3-1

Burnley however are having a tougher time of it

19 Jan 2019 Watford v Burnley D 0-0
26 Jan 2019 Manchester City v Burnley FAC L 5-0
29 Jan 2019 Manchester United v Burnley D 2-2
02 Feb 2019 Burnley v Southampton D 1-1
09 Feb 2019 Brighton and Hove Albion v Burnley W 1-3

The draw with Manchester United game them some hope but otherwise it looks like Tottenham all the way.  I can’t see any psychological factor that will be likely to get in the way.

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.

Huddersfield Town v Arsenal: how Town can get a point – or maybe three.

This ought to be a simple walkover, what with Huddersfield being at the bottom of the league and looking certain to go back down to the Championship…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD
Pts
16 Southampton 25 5 9 11 27 42 -15 24
17 Burnley 25 6 6 13 26 46 -20 24
18 Cardiff City 25 6 4 15 22 46 -24 22
19 Fulham 25 4 5 16 25 55 -30 17
20 Huddersfield Town 25 2 5 18 13 46 -33 11

So what makes us pause even for a second?

The answer of course is Arsenal’s away form…

Away games only

Pos 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
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 5 3 4 14 14 0 18
7 Leicester City 13 5 3 5 17 18 -1 18
8 Watford 13 4 5 4 17 16 1 17
9 Arsenal 12 4 3 5 23 25 -2 15

Arsenal needed to up their away form this season if they were going to improve on their sixth placed finish last season, but have so far only won 4 away games, and having a goal difference of -2.  So when we come to the psychology, this is where worries might start to occur.

But even with Arsenal’s poor form, they have managed 23 goals away from home, almost double Huddersfield’s entire home and away total.

However the psychology twists back the other way as the Town players contemplate their current run of form…

01 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Brighton and Hove L 1-2
04 Dec 2018 AFC Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town L 2-1
08 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town L 1-0
15 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United L 0-1
22 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Southampton L 1-3
26 Dec 2018 Manchester United v Huddersfield Town L 3-1
29 Dec 2018 Fulham v Huddersfield Town L 1-0
02 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Burnley L 1-2
05 Jan 2019 Bristol City v Huddersfield Town FAC L 1-0
12 Jan 2019 Cardiff City v Huddersfield Town D 0-0
20 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Manchester City L 0-3
29 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Everton L 0-1
02 Feb 2019 Chelsea v Huddersfield Town L 5-0

That is 13 games and all they have to show for it is a single point with an away goalless draw against Cardiff.

Of course a draw would be a great result for the club at the moment and if Arsenal fail to score early on they certainly could begin to get the nerves in the second half.   But Arsenal are the fifth highest scoring away team in the league.  Indeed if we look at the away form table on goals scored we find…

Away games only, by goals scored

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
3 Manchester City 13 8 2 3 25 9 16 26
2 Liverpool 13 9 3 1 24 8 16 30
4 Manchester United 13 7 2 4 24 19 5 23
9 Arsenal 12 4 3 5 23 25 -2 15

Arsenal have scored only one goal fewer than Liverpool and Manchester Utd away, and only two fewer than Manchester City.  A single goal from them on Saturday will mean Huddersfield will have to open up in order to attack.  And here is Arsenal’s hope.  Only three teams in the league have a worse away form in defence than Arsenal: Huddersfield, Bournemouth and Fulham.

If they can hold their nerve, Huddersfield ought to attack Arsenal, aim to get an early goal, and then try and hold on.  It is going to be tough, but it might just unnerve Arsenal and get Huddersfield an unlikely point.  Or three.

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.