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Partizan vs Arsenal: Does the CL makes a difference?

by Walter Broeckx

Does the Champions league has an effect on the season or not?  A question that is often asked but has it ever been researched?

Now we shouldn’t be complaining about the extra pressure we put on ourselves when we play in the Champions League. We earn a lot of money by joining in this competition and like the saying goes: no pain, no gain. But playing in the champions league can cost you points in the Premier league. Do these games win you the title or make you lose the title? I will try to see how it affected the league last year and if there is any difference between playing at home or away after a champions league game.

There is no better way than just to check what happened last season. But I only checked it with the group stages as for the next round it depends a lot on how far you get. If you don’t  go further  after the first round you have not as many games and then it is more difficult to treat every team in the same way.

In fact there are some 15-16% of the points to be won in the Pl after games in the group stages of the CL. I also tried to calculate what it would have meant if we kept the same form for each team  after the CL games.

Last season Arsenal played 3 games at home and 3 away after a champions league match. We won two games at home and away, we played 2-2 at West Ham and lost one game at home to Chelsea. A total of 13 points on a possible 18. We won 6 points at home and 7 away. If we would have kept this form the whole season we would have made a total of 82 points. In reality we had 75. So we won more points after CL games than average.

Manchester United also played 3 games away and 3 at home. From the home games they won one, lost one and had one draw. From the away games they lost two and won one. So a total of 7 points on a possible 18. United won 4 points at home and 3 away. If Utd would have had this form running the whole season they would have ended with 44 points. In reality they got 85. United lost more points when playing the group stages than average.

The 3rd team in the CL was Liverpool and they also had 3 home games and 3 away. At home they won one, had one draw and lost one (to Arsenal) and away from home they won 2 and lost one. A total of 10 points on a possible 18. Liverpool won 4 points at home and 6 away from home. Liverpool on this form would have reached 63 points and that is exactly what they got. It didn’t matter for Liverpool if they played CL or not.

But what to think of Chelsea’s fixture list. They had 5 home games and only one away game which they won. They won 4 of their home games and had one draw against Everton. So a 16 points on a possible 18 points. Chelsea won 13 points at home and 3 away. If they would have kept that form the whole season they would have got 101 points. They got 86 points. So Chelsea won more points when playing in the group stages of the CL than they did for the rest of the season.

So this means that during the group stages Arsenal and Chelsea won more points than during the rest of the season. For Liverpool it didn’t matter but for United it was clear that they struggled during the group stages in the CL. Maybe this was the reason for Ferguson to put out a bit of a weaker team against Glasgow Rangers?

If we take the points of the three teams that played as many games at home as they did play away we get a total of  14 points won at home (from a possible 27) and 16 points (again from a possible 27) won away from home. So it looks that playing away from home could be an advantage.

And if we include the points from Chelsea we get 27 points on a possible total of 42 home points to be won. And we get a total of 19 points won on a possible total of  30.

In percentages you get a success rate of 64% at home and 63% away. So only marginally better but not that much difference between the points won at home and away. Not as much as one would expect at first thought. But then again we talk about top teams who should have a squad that should be able to deal with many games both at home and away.

When we compare United and Chelsea it is clear that United lost the title in the games after a CL games in the group stages. Or maybe better said Chelsea didn’t lose the title after the champions league group matches. United had by far  the worst record of the top 4 teams that played in the champions league. A very poor record if you compare it to the rest of their season.   If Chelsea also would have had a normal schedule (3 home/3away) then we could draw some more definite conclusions on being it an advantage of playing at home or not. But with the fixtures being so different it is hard to tell.

But also this season we will not be able to make a clear conclusion as the fixture list is very strange to say the least. Tottenham plays 5 home games after a CL game and one away. United have 4 home games and 2 away. Chelsea must travel 4 games away and 2 at home. And Arsenal will be like a rock band on tour this season as we have to play 5 games away from our home after a champions league game. The only game at home is against Newcastle when I will be in the Clock End.

So I guess we will have to wait for the season after this season when all the participants  have 3 away and 3 home games after a CL match to really have reliable evidence if it is an advantage to play at home after a CL match or not. So the EPL would do me a big favour if they could come up with a very balanced fixture list next time around.

Partizan vs Arsenal – an Untold Prediction

Partizan vs Arsenal – the injury index

15 comments to Partizan vs Arsenal: Does the CL makes a difference?

  • SchmidtXC

    I think it’s safe to say that without the Champions league money, none of these teams would realistically have any prayer at the league title (with the exception of Chelsea).

  • Dark Prince

    Well its hard to guess then who will win in Arsenal vs Chelsea match on sunday. Both are playing a CL match today. And both perform better after a CL match. Hmmmm….i’ll really be happy if we manage to get a point at Stamford Bridge.

  • Terence McGovern

    Interesting piece walter.

    The financial rewards of paticipation in the CL speak for themselves with a usual £30 mil plus being earned by the EPL teams concerned.
    that being said it would be fair to say that if you took any of the big Four/Five and removed ALL european commitments, that team would almost have to be a favourite of indeed clear favourite for the league.
    What most people do not consider is that it is a testament to how good the top teams really are that they compete to the later stages of this competition whilst maintaining their general stranglehold on the top league placings.

    It is my considered opinion that Spurs may find their inclsuion this year to be something of a poisioned chalice in that the deamds of the competition will have a detrimental effect upon their league preformance. To be honest it would be a surprise were they to maintain their top 4 placing of last year.
    One has only to look at the effect of gaining a Europa League place had on Ipswitch, who declined to the point of relegation as a direct result of the demands placed upon them by the dual front campaign, that their qualification demanded.

    Either way, Once those lofty heights are achieved, the bar has been raised forever in terms of fan & financial expectation. this itself is a huge testament to the achievements of AW who has kept us as perennial qualifiers despite the whole stadium move/finance thing.

  • Fedda

    In my opinion the effect doesn’t come till the knockout round for us. In the group stages we tend to have much less injuries, easier games and more rotations. When we reach the knockouts the season is halfway and AW often rest players in the PL / FA-cup and goes all-in for the CL. Plus we have a gazillion players injured after xmas.

  • walter

    Maybe I will try to do the same thing for the knockout stages. It will only include Arsenal, Chelsea and United and I will try to see how it affects both the games before and after the CL game.
    Like Fedda said AW sometimes rests people the game before. I will keep this in mind and watch this site in the next days/weeks.

  • Arsene Apprentice

    Walter,
    I also seem to remember Arsenal having a more challenging EPL fixture list at the run -in to the CL. It was unusually difficult compared to the other top 4… So much so I authored an article that I since have regretted due to my predictions being 83 points with an EPL trophy in hand.. Instead Arsenal finished 3rd with 75 points. The remaining games were pretty manageable in my opinion but it seemed that the EPL fixtures were to heavy up to March for Arsenal.

  • critic

    arsene do train his team very hard, doesn’t he???so what these fixtures mean is that arsene can go easy in training field, and rely on these midweek games for his teams to improve.

  • From the Arsenal site: Arsène Wenger has made six changes for the trip to Belgrade from the side that lost against West Brom at the weekend.

    Tomas Rosicky, Denilson and Jack Wilshere come into the midfield as Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Eboue drop to the bench.

    Kieran Gibbs starts at left back and Johan Djourou partners Sebastien Squillaci at centre half.

    Lukasz Fabianski starts in goal due to an elbow injury to Manuel Almunia.

    Arsenal team in full:
    Fabianski;
    Sagna, Djourou, Squillaci, Gibbs;
    Song, Denilson, Wilshere;
    Rosicky, Chamakh, Arshavin.

    Subs: Szczesny , Koscielny, Vela, Clichy, Lansbury, Eboue, Nasri

  • walter

    Fabianski has elbowed Almunia out of goal. Or was it the other way round? Anyhow, great result.

  • RedGooner

    Little shaky at times still on the defending badly needed confidence booster lets hope they wrap up the group early so we can rest players later on.

  • goonergerry

    Was a good result- and yes we did not look too comfortable at the back at times, but resting Koscielny and Nasri for most of the game, giving Djorou a run out was useful. Lets see what happens sunday.

  • wenger fan

    Well written article walter, and thanks for the computation.. One point which i felt will be hard to telly is the long term effect of the travels. Imagine spending hours traveling to an fo for a game to Russia, And when the players had just , you spend 2 tired day at training and immediately, pack the bag for afew more hours of away trip. There might be mental affect on the players, perhaps not immediately felt but maybe on a longer run. (just a thought, i aint too sure if its the case~~ ask wenger:)..

    Again judging from the crazy fixture last year where we play villa, chealsea, Utd and liverpool on a stright, and we have to play 5 away games this season after a CL game and none of them easy Chealsea, City, Villa, Utd and Suderland, (all away),,. its more than coincidence to me… any idea on how the PL fixtures are arrange?

  • walter

    Wenger fan, you last question has passed my mind but I left it out the article.
    The thing is that I can understand that the police will not allow Arsenal and Tottenham playing together at home on the same day.

    But the fact that the FA knows the dates of the CL and know which teams are in the CL they could arrange it to make sure that the games are more eveny spread. Or was there some thought like: list year chelsea had 5 home games and won the EPl, lets give Tottenham 5 home games and who knows…..

  • sunguti

    The guys had a wonderful game only that they have to improve pn their precision.,especially Arshavin.I feel he is suffering confidence crisis.all he needs to do is to score more goals.

  • Tottenham legend Graham Roberts says the club must not move from north London to the Olympic Stadium after 2012.