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By Bulldog Drummond
There was a moment last season (19 October to be exact) when Chelsea looked to be doing rather well, sitting as they were in fourth place, just two points behind Tottenham in third.
They maintained their challenge with a draw on 22 October 1-1 with Manchester United. and got an away win on 25 October against Red Bull Salzburg.
Then it all went rather wrong, as in the next 17 league and cup games they won just three, going out of the FA Cup and League Cup in the process. It was a run that defined their season which saw them miss relegation by just 10 points, while missing a Champions League spot by 27 points, and finish no less than 40 points and 50 goals scored, behind Arsenal. It was quite a decline. Here’s the end of season table extract
This season Chelsea are nine points behind Arsenal after eight games. If things continue in the same vein through the campaign, Arsenal will end up 42 points ahead of Chelsea – so one better than last season, although this seems unlikely. I mean, they can’t really collapse as they did last season, two seasons running. Can they?
Looking toward this weekend’s game, Arsenal come into it having played three away games, while Chelsea have already had four at home. The comparative results show Arsenal getting three points per game while Chelsea are picking up one point for each game at their venue. (Data from 11v11) PPG = points per game.
These figures are not too far away from last season’s grand averages. Arsenal averaged 2.05 points per match away from home and Chelsea 0.6 points per match at home.
But is Chelsea’s poor run of form at home down to the fact that they have played teams that are tough to beat. Well, actually no. They managed to beat Luton Town, as everyone does, but not Nottingham Forest or Aston Villa at what is interestingly still called “Stamford Bridge”. No one, it seems wants to sponsor it.
The home games for Chelsea…
|13 Aug 2023||Chelsea v Liverpool||D||1-1||Premier League|
|25 Aug 2023||Chelsea v Luton Town||W||3-0||Premier League|
|02 Sep 2023||Chelsea v Nottingham Forest||L||0-1||Premier League|
|24 Sep 2023||Chelsea v Aston Villa||L||0-1||Premier League|
Perhaps we might also remember just what a dismal run Chelsea had at at the end of last season. In their last 11 games in the Premier League, running from 1 April through to 28 May, Chelsea won just one – an away win at AFC Bournemouth. They did draw with Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle, but the remaining seven games were defeats.
But we must remember, all runs come to an end. So have Chelsea improved of late?
We are now far enough into the season to return to one of our favourite charts of recent campaigns, which did indeed tend to give us better forecasts than most other metrics we tried: we are back with “the last six games table” provided by TheFishy.net group
What we have found over the past couple of years is that the last six games table can be quite a decent indicator of what is going to happen. That table above of course includes home and away games. If we do a similar table for the last six Chelsea games at home and the last six Arsenal games away, we get this picture… and it is a much clearer prediction of an Arsenal victory.
So on this season’s form, last season’s form, and home & away form, this is looking to be Arsenal’s match. More information on this forthcoming match shortly.
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