By Bulldog Drummond.
As our recent analyses of games from the perspective of fouls and cards has suggested there are reasons to believe that some games in the PL are edged in favour of certain clubs. Not all of course, and not every game for certain clubs, but the various articles published here do push the conclusion in the direction of thinking something is not right.
As we have said many times, such a suspicion is not the same as saying there is match fixing going on, but rather it is a suggestion. In the same way that because of the highly secretive way in which PGMO and the League work hand in glove, with the tiny number of referees, the geographic imbalance of referees, and the strange statistics that all this produces, we have reason to think that the Premier League might be fixed.
Yesterday’s piece made the argument that Arsenal get many more yellow cards than one might expect giving their level of fouling, which gives reason to suggest that things are not right. And it is interesting that the media makes nothing of this, never once reporting on these statistics which are hidden by the League – not being reported on their own statistic-heavy website.
But let us move on…
Physioroom has Arsenal listed with eight injuries and suspensions – the second highest in the league. Burnley are more mid-table with just four. However it may be that their accounting software has gone a little awry, (or of course it could be me) because they have Aubameyang listed as suspended for this game.
The refereeing actions that got Auba sent off with a straight red came against Palace, and since then we have played Sheffield U, Chelsea, and AFCB, which using the abacus and double checking against the infamous “supercomputer” which predicts match results, makes three games missing. Which was what he got.
I likewise think that David Luiz is now able to play again, but again Physioroom has him out due to a red.
So I’m counting them as back with us which leaves the injured as…
|Calum Chambers||Knee Injury||Ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee.||29/08/2020||None|
|Kieran Tierney||Shoulder Injury||Back in March or April||14/03/2020||None|
|Reiss Nelson||Thigh Injury||Jan 20: “Hoping to return to full training in the winter break period.”||16/02/2020||None|
|Cedric Soares||Knee Injury||Jan 23: “Cedric is out for three weeks maybe with a ligament injury in the knee.”||15/02/2020||None|
|Shkodran Mustafi||Ankle/Foot Injury||Possibly recovered; late fitness test||02/02/2020 50% chance||Late Fitness Test|
|Sead Kolasinac||Thigh Injury||Jan 20: “Hoping to return to full training in the winter break period.”||02/02/202 25% chance||Late Fitness Test|
And in terms of players out on loan, here is the list for the second part of the season:
- Ben Sheaf (Doncaster)
- Emile Smith Rowe (Huddersfield)
- Tyreece John-Jules (Lincoln)
- Konstantinos Mavropanos (FC Nürnberg)
- Deyan Iliev (Jagiellonia Bialystok, Polish top division)
- James Olayinka (Northampton)
If we look at both clubs’ results since Boxing Day (on which both sides played) we get a run of eight games in each case. Here is Arsenal’s …
|26 Dec 2019||AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|29 Dec 2019||Arsenal v Chelsea||L||1-2||Premier League|
|01 Jan 2020||Arsenal v Manchester United||W||2-0||Premier League|
|06 Jan 2020||Arsenal v Leeds United||W||1-0||FA Cup|
|11 Jan 2020||Crystal Palace v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|18 Jan 2020||Arsenal v Sheffield United||D||1-1||Premier League|
|21 Jan 2020||Chelsea v Arsenal||D||2-2||Premier League|
|27 Jan 2020||AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal||W||1-2||FA Cup|
So we can take a positive – just one defeat in the last eight. Three wins and four draws, and scoring one or two goals in every game.
Burnley’s last eight games are less positive with five defeats and three wins – but no draws.
|26 Dec 2019||Everton v Burnley||L||1-0||Premier League|
|28 Dec 2019||Burnley v Manchester United||L||0-2||Premier League|
|01 Jan 2020||Burnley v Aston Villa||L||1-2||Premier League|
|04 Jan 2020||Burnley v Peterborough United||W||4-2||FA Cup|
|11 Jan 2020||Chelsea v Burnley||L||3-0||Premier League|
|19 Jan 2020||Burnley v Leicester City||W||2-1||Premier League|
|22 Jan 2020||Manchester United v Burnley||W||0-2||Premier League|
|25 Jan 2020||Burnley v Norwich City||L||1-2||FA Cup|
However when it comes to home games, Burnley are a top ten team, quite possibly because of the uniquely difficult situation that away clubs face at the ground. Or perhaps the unusual refereeing situation. (Tables below as at 5pm yesterday)
|10||Brighton and Hove Albion||12||4||5||3||16||13||3||17|
Against this we have to pitch Arsenal’s away record… The goal difference is the same, but Burnley have picked up the points by winning six, as opposed to our winning two. They’ve got no draws and we have had seven.
So there must be some hope given that Burnley have lost six home games… And indeed three of the five defeats recorded in the chart since Boxing Day were home games – against Man U, Aston Villa and Norwich City.
However the fact that Burnley lost against Villa and Norwich – both relegation candidates but beat Leicester shows that there are indeed curious issues happening. I would suggest that the issue is a refereeing one – but I don’t have the statistics to prove that either way. Just a feeling.
We are going to need a tough defence that gives the referee absolutely no excuse to cave into the baying of the home crowd. In short, a few goals early on and then utterly shut up shop and hold the ball on the half way line.
But as yesterday’s figures show, the ref is very likely to pile on the yellow cards against Arsenal.
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