By Bullldog Drummond
Having remained resolutely outside of any discussion about the fixtures different clubs have for the rest of the season Football London has suddenly jumped into the topic with an interesting if somewhat confusing chart.
In this they take the average league position clubs’ opponents. I think this means the average league position through each season, so it is not taking into account how each team is doing of late, which seems to me to be an interesting point – as I was trying to show in earlier analyses.
But even so, although a little late in the day, it is an interesting table. And in reading it what we have to remember is that the higher the number, the easier the games are going to be – providing the team in question is not itself having a good run in.
(This chart is taken directly from Football.London – you may note that having printed every other team’s name correctly they suddenly turn Wolverhampton into Wolves, for reasons that are not clear.)
So as we can see, Arsenal do not just have the easiest run in based on the average league position of clubs they play, but the easiest run in by quite a way. For Arsenal are not just theoretically having the easiest ride in, but have that with a difference between them and Wolverhampton W of 1.3 places – by far the biggest gap.
However, I do think this is slightly misleading because teams do rise and fall in the league, and I remain sure that it is the last six or 12 games that is the best indicator of a club’s current strength.
So with Liverpool we have the team in sixth (Arsenal) against the team in 16th (Liverpool) when measuring the last six games. Even if we measure the last 12 games Liverpool are in 15th while again Arsenal are in sixth.
But Liverpool have not won a single one of their last eight home games, drawing two and losing six. And unfortunately the game this weekend is at Arsenal’s stadium.
Staying with the last three and comparing home and away results what we find is that the teams are very evenly matched.
Indeed if we look at the home season we can see the balance is maintained
All of which suggests that Liverpool have the slightest of edges.
Arsenal’s last ten games gave us defeats just to Manchester City and Olympiakos
|14 Feb 2021||Arsenal v Leeds United||W||4-2||Premier League|
|18 Feb 2021||Benfica v Arsenal||D||1-1||Europa League|
|21 Feb 2021||Arsenal v Manchester City||L||0-1||Premier League|
|25 Feb 2021||Arsenal v Benfica||W||3-2||Europa League|
|28 Feb 2021||Leicester City v Arsenal||W||1-3||Premier League|
|6 Mar 2021||Burnley v Arsenal||D||1-1||Premier League|
|11 Mar 2021||Olympiakos v Arsenal||W||1-3||Europa League|
|14 Mar 2021||Arsenal v Tottenham Hots||W||2-1||Premier League|
|18 Mar 2021||Arsenal v Olympiakos||L||0-1||Europa League|
|21 Mar 2021||West Ham United v Arsenal||D||3-3||Premier League|
While Liverpool’s run of late has seen defeats to Manchester City, Brighton, Leicester, Everton, Chelsea and even Fulham.
|3 Feb 2021||Liverpool v Brighton and Hove A||L||0-1||Premier League|
|7 Feb 2021||Liverpool v Manchester City||L||1-4||Premier League|
|13 Feb 2021||Leicester City v Liverpool||L||3-1||Premier League|
|16 Feb 2021||Red Bull Leipzig v Liverpool||W||0-2||Champions League|
|20 Feb 2021||Liverpool v Everton||L||0-2||Premier League|
|28 Feb 2021||Sheffield United v Liverpool||W||0-2||Premier League|
|4 Mar 2021||Liverpool v Chelsea||L||0-1||Premier League|
|7 Mar 2021||Liverpool v Fulham||L||0-1||Premier League|
|10 Mar 2021||Liverpool v Red Bull Leipzig||W||2-0||Champions League|
|15 Mar 2021||Wolverhampton W v Liverpool||W||0-1||Premier League|
Looked at this way it seems as if Arsenal have a chance, although maybe the long run of poor Liverpudlian results has ended with the two games against Red Bull and Wolverhampton.
What is extraordinary however is that seven of their last ten games have been at home and they have done very badly, only beating Red Bull.
So we may take it that getting away from the Mersey might well be just what they need (in fact if stuck there it is what most of us need) and they will fancy a win. And let’s not forget they have scored eight more goals away from home in the league than we have scored at home in the league this season.
I think this is not going to be easy.
The Arsenal video collection: free
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- Who is Arsenal’s best player, and who should definitely be sold? The stats?
- Bournemouth v Arsenal: the team news, Jesus’ problem, and winning records
- Bournemouth v Arsenal: injury update, and the record between the clubs
- Bournemouth v Arsenal and Tottenham’s yellow card bonanza
- Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the dirtiest team of all?
- The great injury conundrum: how can Arsenal cope, and how are other clubs suffering?