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Premier League Betting and Odds

Southampton v Arsenal: how the refs treat each team, how the managers have done

By Bulldog Drummond

As we saw yesterday there are huge variations in the ways that referees treat different teams in the Premier League when it comes to tackles, fouls and yellow cards.  Now it is time to focus just on this weekend’s opponents, Southampton, and their differences from Arsenal.

Those differences are modest but are largely in Arsenal’s favour for this weekend’s game.  Compared with Southampton, Arsenal can put in more tackles before one is called as a foul, can put in more tackles before one is called as a yellow card, and are on a par with Southampton when it comes to how many fouls they can get away with before a yellow card is pulled out.

Tackles per foul Tackles per yellow Fouls per yellow
Arsenal 1.50 9.62 6.42
Southampton 1.40 9.04 6.46

So with no obvious bias there, let’s check the home and away records. And here again we see a balance between the clubs – except for the fact that Arsenal have played two fewer away games than Southampton have played home games.  Because of this I’ve added a points per game (PPG ) column to allow for the difference in games played.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts PPG
Southampton home 16 5 7 4 20 20 0 22 1.38
Arsenal away 14 7 1 6 20 22 -2 22 1.57

So an advantage to Arsenal based on this season’s results but not much of one.

In terms of the head to head Arsenal have won 53 of the games against Southampton, drawn 28 and lost 22, although as the home and away results above show that historic difference between the two sides has now been set aside a little this season.

However, looking at the last ten league games between the two sides we can see there has only been one Southampton victory which is encouraging.

Date Match Result Score
10 May 2017 Southampton v Arsenal W 0-2
10 Dec 2017 Southampton v Arsenal D 1-1
08 Apr 2018 Arsenal v Southampton W 3-2
16 Dec 2018 Southampton v Arsenal L 3-2
24 Feb 2019 Arsenal v Southampton W 2-0
23 Nov 2019 Arsenal v Southampton D 2-2
25 Jun 2020 Southampton v Arsenal W 0-2
16 Dec 2020 Arsenal v Southampton D 1-1
26 Jan 2021 Southampton v Arsenal W 1-3
11 Dec 2021 Arsenal v Southampton W 3-0

This suggests that the dark days of 2014 to 2016 when in a run of seven league and cup games we only won two matches against Southampton, are well and truly behind us.

And although Southampton sit just below mid table in the league their recent form has been pretty awful.

Date Game Res Score Competition
5 Mar 2022 Aston Villa v Southampton L 4-0 Premier League
10 Mar 2022 Southampton v Newcastle United L 1-2 Premier League
13 Mar 2022 Southampton v Watford L 1-2 Premier League
20 Mar 2022 Southampton v Manchester City L 1-4 FA Cup
2 Apr 2022 Leeds United v Southampton D 1-1 Premier League
9 Apr 2022 Southampton v Chelsea L 0-6 Premier League

Their overall position in the table however does not bring any serious concern about relegation, but a win against Arsenal could lift them into the top half of the table.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
10 Crystal Palace 31 8 13 10 43 40 3 37
11 Brighton and Hove Albion 31 8 13 10 28 37 -9 37
12 Aston Villa 31 11 3 17 42 46 -4 36
13 Brentford 32 10 6 16 39 48 -9 36
14 Southampton 31 8 12 11 37 52 -15 36
15 Newcastle United 31 8 10 13 34 54 -20 34
16 Leeds United 32 8 9 15 38 68 -30 33
17 Everton 30 8 4 18 33 52 -19 28
18 Burnley 30 4 12 14 25 44 -19 24
19 Watford 31 6 4 21 29 60 -31 22
20 Norwich City 31 5 6 20 20 63 -43 21

Between 2013/14 and 2016/17 Southampton were looking like a club secure in the Premier League mid-table coming between sixth and eighth in the league each year.

But then their rather extraordinary habit of changing managers virtually every season undermined them and they have since finished between 11th and 17th in the last four seasons.

Indeed it is interesting that there are multiple examples of clubs changing managers over and over again and then suffering as a result.   And this managerial merry-go-round really does need a mention as Southampton have had five managers in the past six seasons although Ralph Hasenhüttl does look to have steadied the ship a little by lasting since 2018, having come from Leipzig.

Indeed we might remember that his first ever win as Southampton’s manager was on 16 December 2018 in a 3–2 win over Arsenal which ended our  22-match unbeaten run.

However what Southampton have done is found themselves a manager that they can hang on to (or want to hang on to) for more than a season or so.   A list of their recent managers shows how things have been going: seven managers in five years up to 2018!  Still if you must appoint Mark Hughes… 

Name From To P W D L Win%
Nigel Adkins 2010 2013 124 67 25 32 54.03
Mauricio Pochettino 2013 2014 60 23 18 19 38.33
Ronald Koeman 2014 2016 91 44 17 30 48.35
Claude Puel 2016 2017 53 20 13 20 37.74
Mauricio Pellegrino 2017 2018 34 8 13 13 23.53
Mark Hughes 2018 2018 27 5 10 12 18.52
Kelvin Davis 2018 2018 1 0 0 1 0.00
Ralph Hasenhüttl 2018 Present 151 54 37 60 35.76

Clearly their top manager was Nigel Adkins, who interestingly has not worked as a manager since being kicked out of Charlton in 2021 after a poor start.  Ralph Hasenhüttl has however been kept longer than anyone since Chris Nichol who left in 1991.

By comparison Arsenal’s managerial win percentages etc are

 
Name From To P W D L Win %
Arsène Wenger 1996 2018 1,235 707 280 248 57.25
Unai Emery 2018 2019 78 43 16 19 55.13
Mikel Arteta 2019 Present 121 66 22 33 54.55

Mr Wenger was twice as successful as Mauricio Pellegrino in terms of wins.  What a surprise.

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