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July 2021
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Arsenal v Liverpool, and Liverpool’s bizarre home/away record this season

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.

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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.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Arsenal home 3 2 0 1 6 4 +2 6
Liverpool away 3 2 0 1 4 3 +1 6

Indeed if we look at the home season we can see the balance is maintained

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Arsenal home 14 6 3 5 18 15 3 21
Liverpool away 14 6 5 3 26 18 8 23

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

Date Match Res Score Competition
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.

Date Match Res Score Competition
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.

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