By Bulldog Drummond
- Chelsea v Arsenal: the injuries and the transfer costs
- Arsenal / Chelsea Tackles, fouls, cards and why Chelsea are perhaps a little boring
- Chelsea v Arsenal: the augurs all look good for Arsenal
- Chelsea v Arsenal: the referee, his team, and what’s happening with yellow cards this season
If you are a regular reader you may recall that we take a look with some interest at the way in which some PGMO referees favour the home team and some favour the away team.
Chris Kavanagh, who we see in today’s game, is one of the referees who gives the lowest number of home wins and the highest number of away wins to his name last season, which may auger well.
His figures last season when he oversaw 13 games were for 30.8% of his games to end as home wins, 53.8% to end as away wins and 15.4% to end as draws. For referee stats in general see WhoScored).
The range that we see for referees with 13 games or more last season was
- Home wins: 72% (Attwell) to 29.4% (Gillett) to
- Away wins: 53.8% (Kavanagh) to 4.8% (Bankes)
- Draws: 33.3% (Bankes) to 15.4% (Kavanagh)
Using these figures one can get a clear idea of how each game is going to pan out before the game starts, once one knows which referee is in charge.
Of course, the stats are not definitive. Almost one-third of games that Kavanagh oversees in the Premier League do indeed end in home wins. It is just that this is very different from the results we see for many other referees. What’s more, with Kavanagh over half (a very large number in terms of this statistic) end as away wins.
However this season until now he has only refereed two PL games – one a home win and one an away win.
To explain what is going on here we have to return to research that we have considered many times on this site, concerning the impact of the crowd. This was revealed in the Covid-interrupted season in which many football matches were played without crowds present.and it was found that the results changed dramatically. (If you would like some background, you might like to start here).
Since then we have come back to the norm of most teams winning more at home than away. But curiously last season this did not apply to Chelsea and Arsenal
Quite what caused Chelsea’s demise at home I’m not sure, but the last home league game they won last season was on 4 March: a 1-0 win over Leeds United who went on to be relegated.
|18 Mar 2023||Chelsea v Everton||D||2-2|
|01 Apr 2023||Chelsea v Aston Villa||L||0-2|
|04 Apr 2023||Chelsea v Liverpool||D||0-0|
|15 Apr 2023||Chelsea v Brighton and Hove Albion||L||1-2|
|26 Apr 2023||Chelsea v Brentford||L||0-2|
|13 May 2023||Chelsea v Nottingham Forest||D||2-2|
|28 May 2023||Chelsea v Newcastle United||D||1-1|
They have been doing better this season – but leaving aside Liverpool in the league and Brighton in the league cup (with Brighton not having a particularly strong second string to play league cup games) the home form, although better, has remained patchy.
|13 Aug 2023||Chelsea v Liverpool||D||1-1||Premier League|
|25 Aug 2023||Chelsea v Luton Town||W||3-0||Premier League|
|30 Aug 2023||Chelsea v AFC Wimbledon||W||2-1||League Cup|
|02 Sep 2023||Chelsea v Nottingham Forest||L||0-1||Premier League|
|24 Sep 2023||Chelsea v Aston Villa||L||0-1||Premier League|
|27 Sep 2023||Chelsea v Brighton and Hove Albion||W||1-0||League Cup|
As we know Arsenal were the best away team in the league last season and this season have won all three away games, not conceding a single goal.
So what is the cause of Chelsea’s problems at home? One of the most common issues for clubs that do badly at home is the crowd, who get on the backs of players leaving the players happier to play away. But exactly what Chelsea’s home problem was last season one can’t be completely sure. However the final table confirmed that there most certainly was some sort of problem.
Home games only – Premier League final table 2022/23
Our final preview appears next, looking at the possible Arsenal team for the game.
- Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers: where will each team finish?
- Arsenal v Lens: what we found, what we felt, what they did
- Arsenal v Lens: the team, the home/away form and the strange coincidences
- Arsenal v Lens: they had a poor start but are now flying
- Where there is power, money and greed there is corruption