A football prediction system that works??? Let’s try with Arsenal Newcastle

By Bulldog Drummond

On the left is a pic of Lacazette, for the very simple reason that we need goals and he is currently our top goal scorer with nine.  Aubameyang has six.

Third come Nicolas Pépé with five, along with Eddie Nketiah.

Lacazette also has the best conversion rate with 29%.

Anyway, we all know that is where the problem rather than with the defence (we actually have the fourth best defence in the league and we are only behind Villa on that account because they have played so few games.

But back to the game: and if you are a regular reader you may recall that we ran a couple of tables before the Arsenal v Palace game – tables which pretty much predicted a very low scoring draw.

Just to remind you here they are.  First the home and away chart.

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
15 Arsenal home games 8 3 1 4 9 11 -2 10
13 Crystal Palace away games 8 3 1 4 11 14 -3 10

Our second table also suggested a similar situation in which both clubs were mid-range for tackles, fouls yellow cards and getting penalties.

So I thought it might be worth trying my luck again and see what such an analysis might do this time.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts PPG
13 Arsenal home 9 3 2 4 9 11 -2 11 1.22
16 Newcastle United away 8 2 2 4 8 12 -4 8 1.00

I’ve added PPG – points per game simply – because we have played one more home game than they have away.   We have a slight advantage there, but it is slight.

What is particularly telling here is not just the similarity of results – we have played one more home game than Newcastle away, and won that one more home game, but there is also a similarity in the goals scored.

If Newcastle beat Arsenal by 0-1 then their away record will equal our home record in almost every regard.  Not something we really want.

Now let’s have a look at the tackles, fouls, cards and penalties chart which has been giving us quite an insight into how clubs are performing.

Club Tackles Fouls Tackles per foul Yellow cards Fouls per yellow Penalties for Penalties against Lge pos
Arsenal 218 170 1.28 27 6.30 3 4 11
Newcastle 229 177 1.29 32 5.53 4 7 15

As with the Crystal Palace match what we have here are two teams that are very close together in the statistics – the one rare advantage Arsenal have is that we are able to commit more fouls before getting a yellow card than Newcastle.  There is also a propensity for Newcastle to commit tackles that lead to penalties and that again might give us an advantage.

But what is most interesting is that the two charts both suggest a very close game.

On the other hand what is particularly running in our favour is Newcastle’s recent form.  After consecutive wins in late November and early December against Palace and West Bromwich Albion they have been having a very poor run.

Date Match Res Score Competition
16 Dec 2020 Leeds United v Newcastle United L 5-2 Premier League
19 Dec 2020 Newcastle United v Fulham D 1-1 Premier League
22 Dec 2020 Brentford v Newcastle United L 1-0 League Cup
26 Dec 2020 Manchester City v Newcastle United L 2-0 Premier League
30 Dec 2020 Newcastle United v Liverpool D 0-0 Premier League
3 Jan 2021 Newcastle United v Leicester City L 1-2 Premier League
9 Jan 2021 Arsenal v Newcastle United L 2-0 FA Cup
12 Jan 2021 Sheffield United v Newcastle United L 1-0 Premier League

Of course as we well know, all such runs come to an end, but the failure to beat Sheffield United must have sent despair running through the management and the team.  After 17 games it was Sheffield United’s first win of the season.

Although the result in our last match was disappointing, even if it was what we predicted from the stats, we are on a decent run…

Date Match Res Score Competition
26 Dec 2020 Arsenal v Chelsea W 3-1 Premier League
29 Dec 2020 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
2 Jan 2021 West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal W 0-4 Premier League
9 Jan 2021 Arsenal v Newcastle United W 2-0 FA Cup
14 Jan 2021 Arsenal v Crystal Palace D 0-0 Premier League

All in all the statistics point to a narrow Arsenal win, or a draw.  The gap to West Ham in ninth is now five points, and unless we make that up soon, we will be heading for an even worse league position than last season.  The days of endlessly coming in fourth seem so far away.

The one thing to note however is we have the fourth best defence in the league.  If only we could get the attack going.