Stats suggest that away to Man City, Arsenal might indeed have some hope

by Bulldog Drummond

A look at the league table shows something very odd going on

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 29 27 1 1 66 21 45 82
2 Manchester City 28 18 3 7 68 31 37 57
3 Leicester City 29 16 5 8 58 28 30 53
4 Chelsea 29 14 6 9 51 39 12 48

The gap at the top is vast, Manchester City who have dominated recently have lost seven games and conceded more goals than Leicester City.

We know from recent research published here that the way Premier League refereeing is organsied is very different from that in other major European leagues and may well be having an impact on matches.  (If not, why organise in this way that is out of step with everyone else?)

We know that issues like this are not being commented upon in either the fringe or mainstream media, and that many fans prefer to ignore such matters and instead continue booing Arsenal players on the grounds that (as one commentator on this site put it) if we don’t boo, how will the young players know they have had a rotten game?

We also know that the number of fouls that need to be committed for a yellow card is massively different from one team to another, while the number of tackles that need to be committed for a club to get a foul given against them, is very similar from one club to the next, with the single huge notable exception of one club: Leicester City.

Those two sets of figures are weird.  They can be explained by saying that some clubs commit multiple gentle technical fouls which simply don’t individually or collectively amount to much, while others, when they foul, they foul big time and immediately deserve a yellow.  I’ve been watching matches with this in mind since this research was published, and I simply don’t see that.  Yes of course there are differences, and of course some clubs employ cloggers whose prime task is to kick and maim, but not that many (and refs tend to yellow them early on).

Likewise I’ve been watching films of Leicester, and I just do not see a team utterly and totally out of step with the rest of the league when it comes to tackling.  They are only set apart when it comes to the way the referees hand out (or in Leicester’s case do not hand out) the yellows.

In short, a prime reason for Leicester being third is because they commit 9.48 fouls per yellow – a figure totally out of line with everyone else.

For this game away to Manchester City we can expect the following – and rather curious it is too.

Lge Pos Team Tackle/ Fouls Fouls/ Yellows
2 Manchester City 1.43 5.21
9 Arsenal 1.61 4.32

Manchester City will be given fouls against them for tackles slightly more readily than Arsenal, but Man City have to commit 20% more fouls than Arsenal before they get a yellow.

If Arsenal wanted to use the tactics operated by certain clubs, then they would use these figures to go down and feign injury at every tackle, in the hope of getting the referee to give out the yellows more often.

Moving on to the Man City home form, since the start of the year we see Manchester City have just played five consecutive away games, and indeed have not played at home since 19 February.  Here are the home games before that…

Date Game Res
Score Competition
01 Jan 2020 Manchester City v Everton W 2-1 Premier League
04 Jan 2020 Manchester City v Port Vale W 4-1 FA Cup
18 Jan 2020 Manchester City v Crystal Palace D 2-2 Premier League
26 Jan 2020 Manchester City v Fulham W 4-0 FA Cup
29 Jan 2020 Manchester City v Manchester United L 0-1 League Cup
19 Feb 2020 Manchester City v West Ham United W 2-0 Premier League

But as we might expect they have done fairly well at home, winning four, drawing one and losing one of the last six home games.

As we noted yesterday Arsenal have now gone 11 away games undefeated.   The results in the last six (that is to say the six games played away this year) show three wins and three draws.

Date Game Res
Score Competition
11 Jan 2020 Crystal Palace v Arsenal 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
02 Feb 2020 Burnley v Arsenal D 0-0 Premier League
20 Feb 2020 Olympiakos v Arsenal W 0-1 Europa League
02 Mar 2020 Portsmouth v Arsenal W 0-2 FA Cup

What might give us a little bit more hope is the fact that leaving aside Man City’s two games against lower league opposition, they, like Arsenal, are only scoring a maximum of two goals a game.

More tomorrow with the teams.


6 Replies to “Stats suggest that away to Man City, Arsenal might indeed have some hope”

  1. Headline: The Lineup this Fan Wants to see Against Man$ity

    Article: The lineup chosen by the manager, Mikel Arteta.

  2. Cue a whole bunch of medja and blogs to start saying that these players in self-quarantine will be sold off in the summer.

  3. Any manager with a poor record as Mour’ s , would have been sacked . Will Levy set a new record of a third manager in a season ?
    Well at least the would beat Arsenal at that !

    St.Totteringham’s Day anyone ?

  4. The odds on Mourinho being sacked have fallen from 25/1 to 6/1 in a week. Ex-Spurs managers have some of the best-kept gardens in the land.

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