Arsenal’s world cup benefit: how the top clubs will do from here on.



By Tony Attwood

In the last piece (see the link immediately above) we looked at what happens when clubs in the Big Seven (the traditional big six plus newcomers Newcastle) play each other.   Now we can take this a bit further.

And this turns out to be interesting, for if we look at the big seven clubs at home, we can see that there is a difference between the number of games played so far.  Three of the big seven have played six at home and the remaining four have played eight at home.  If being at home really is an advantage, that represents quite a benefit to the “8-game” clubs.

Because of this difference, to see what the form of the big seven is really like, we have to add an extra column measuring PPG, or points per game.  The table below is then calculated on this basis: points per game against other members of the big seven at home…

Home results


Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts PPG
1 Arsenal 6 6 0 0 19 7 12 18 3.00
2 Manchester City 8 7 0 1 30 9 21 21 2.63
3 Newcastle United 8 5 3 0 17 5 12 18 2.25
4 Tottenham Hotspur 8 6 0 2 21 11 10 18 2.25
5 Manchester United 6 4 1 1 9 4 5 13 2.17
6 Liverpool 8 5 2 1 21 8 13 17 2.13
7 Chelsea 6 3 2 1 10 6 4 11 1.83


Away results

Every one of the big seven has lost at least one game away from home.  Manchester United have lost three and Chelsea four.   Defences are very different too – Manchester United are letting in two goals a game on average for their away matches, and Tottenham and Chelsea are not far behind.   Arsenal on the other hand are doing four times as well as Manchester United, conceding on average 0.5 goals per away game.


Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts PPG
1 Arsenal 8 6 1 1 14 4 10 19 2.38
2 Manchester United 8 4 1 3 11 16 -5 13 1.63
3 Newcastle United 7 3 3 1 12 6 6 12 1.71
4 Manchester City 6 3 2 1 10 5 5 11 1.83
5 Tottenham Hotspur 7 3 2 2 10 10 0 11 1.57
6 Chelsea 8 3 1 4 7 11 -4 10 1.25
7 Liverpool 6 1 2 3 7 9 -2 5 0.83


It is particularly interesting quite how shocking Liverpool’s away form is especially given all the suggestions made by the media pre-season, about how Manchester City and Liverpool will march away with the league this season.  Liverpool’s one away win was against Tottenham and they have of late managed to lose against Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.

But can we use this type of simple analysis of the form of the big seven clubs to predict future results?   

Of course, there is no perfect way of predicting the outcome of games, but we can start making a few predictions based on past results.  I’m not saying my predictions will be right, but they could be a good indicator of the trends we’ll see.

So here are the upcoming games between top seven clubs with predictions based on this season’s results so far…


Home team Home PPG Away team Away PPG Prediction
Manchester City 2.63 Chelsea 1.25 Home win
Arsenal 3.00 Newcastle United 1.71 Home win
Manchester Utd 2.17 Manchester City 1.83 Draw
Tottenham H 2.25 Arsenal 2.38 Draw
Arsenal 3.00 Manchester Utd 1.63 Home win
Liverpool 2.13 Chelsea 1.25 Home win
Tottenham H 2.25 Manchester City 1.83 Draw
Newcastle United 2.25 Liverpool 0.83 Home win
Tottenham H 2.25 Chelsea 1.25 Home win


In terms of points from these games, this gives

  • Arsenal 7 points (from 3 games)
  • Manchester City 5 points (from 3 games)
  • Tottenham Hotspur 5 points (from 3 games)
  • Newcastle United 3 points (from 2 games)
  • Chelsea 0 points (from 3 games – all of which are away)
  • Manchester United 1 point (from 2 games)

But there is one more factor, which is how will clubs have been affected by the world cup?


Club Players in WC squads Minutes played
Newcastle United 4 players 453 minutes
West Ham United 4 players 1362 minutes
Brighton and Hove 7 players 1543 minutes
Arsenal 8 players 1699 minutes
Liverpool 7 players 1789 minutes
Manchester United 12 players 3585 minutes
Chelsea 9 players 3588 minutes
Tottenham Hotspur 12 players 3692 minutes
Manchester City 16 players 4628 minutes


The simple fact is that  Manchester City had twice as many players in Qatar as Arsenal, playing getting on for three times as many minutes.  Of course, they have a bigger squad than Arsenal, but even so, the effect might be seen.  

Tottenham had 50% more players out there than Arsenal playing more than twice as many minutes, and Manchester United with all their ups and downs at home can’t have been totally excited by 12 players again playing twice as many minutes as Arsenal players.

It may feel good that one’s club has a large number of players at the world cup, and maybe they will all start out well, buoyed up by their performances in Qatar, but ultimately with two-thirds of the season still left to play some of these players could start to feel the strain during the remaining 24 games.

Plus there are forthcoming league cup matches for Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Newcastle, plus FA Cup games, plus Champions League and Europa games.

This comparatively lower number of world cup minutes for Arsenal players, and an early exit from the League Cup, might all be  beneficial.

Premier League

7 Replies to “Arsenal’s world cup benefit: how the top clubs will do from here on.”

  1. Quite an interesting read, just to let you know that Arsenal had 10 players at the World cup; Ramsdale, Turner, White, Saka, Xhaka, Jesus, Martinelli, Saliba, Tomiyasu, and Partey

  2. Off topic

    Our Women play in the last of the Champions League group games later this afternoon in Zurich . We have already qualified for the knockout quarter finals but really could do with a win to end up as group winners

    The game kicks off at 17:45 UK time and is being streamed on the DAZN YouTube channel free of charge.

    Without our two leading scorers and assisters, both Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema have picked up ACL injuries in the last month, our remaining attacking players will have to rediscover their goalscoring boots.

    I would expect the following starting 11

    Manuella Zinsberger (GK)
    Steph Catley, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Rafaelle Souza, Laura Wienroither
    Lia, Walti, Leah Williamson
    Caitlin Foord, Frida Maanum, Katie McCabe
    Stina Blackstenius


  3. I nearly got the team right. Noelle Maritz starts instead of Laura Wienroither

    Game on in 10 minutes

  4. The stats are interesting but there is one element which has to be considered as well : what impact had the World Cup on the team.

    Wich players did we lose ? How many participated ? How many games ? Expected state of mind ? This is an important element as well.

    I mean, just read the other day that Bayern had 16 players (sixteen !!!) participating. Must be some kind of a world record….
    How do you integrate them back into the team ?

  5. 18 minutes in and we take the lead with a wonderful free kick from Maanum after Foord was blatantly pushed in the back just on the edge of the penalty area.

    Pretty much all Arsenal so far.

  6. 31 minutes in Switzerland and its game over. Three nil now. Maanum with her second of the game and Foord with a delightful finish from a Blackstenius cross. Still very much one way traffic.

  7. Final score was 9-1. A hattrick for Frida Maanum along with an assist made her the player of the match. Stina Blackstenius got a brace to end her goal drought, Caitlin Foord also had a brace, captain Kim Little scored from the penalty spot and Mana Iwabuchi got the last on one of her rare substitute appearances.

    The Zurich goal also came from the penalty spot when Leah Williamson lost her footing and inadvertently brought down a Zurich player. Both players had a good chuckle about the incident,

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