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The Battle for 7th


Giselle

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By just browsing the tables from the past 5 or 6 seasons, it seems that roughly 60 points is the target if you want to get 7th, which I think is a realistic, if slightly ambitious, target for us.

 

I think we'll be competing with teams like Everton, Sunderland and Villa, so I'll be tracking their results here as well.

 

Anyway, what I'm going to track is basically the actual points a team gets vs the expected points the team is supposed to get. I think the Premiership table at certain points of the season doesn't tell the full picture. Many times, teams that have good or bad starts only do so because the quality of the opposition, and it's not a true reflection of the quality of the team, so if you know how you're performing against how you're supposed to perform, then it can be comforting (or not). Chelsea, for example, started last season very well because they faced quite a lot of shit teams.

 

Anyway, to get 58 points in a season - why 58? because the formula works better - you can lose all your matches against the top 6 away from home and draw against them at home. That gives you 6 expected points from 12 matches.

 

Then against everyone else, you're expected to win all your home games and draw all your away games, which is (13x3 + 13x1) = 52.

 

52 + 6 = 58. If any of Villa, Everton, Sunderland or us gets 58 points, I think that it'd be good enough for 7th place.

 

So, so far, we got one point against Arsenal, which was expected. Villa got a point away at Fulham, which was expected, Everton haven't played, while Sunderland actually got a point away at Liverpool, which is one more than was expected for them. Bolton won away from home, so they're at +2, Stoke got a point at home against a top 6 team so they're at 0.

 

Season: Up to Gameweek 21

Newcastle (+4)

Stoke (0)

Fulham (-7)

Everton, Sunderland (-8)

West Brom (-10)

Villa (-11)

Bolton (-15)

 

August results - GW 1 to 3

Newcastle, Stoke (+2)

Bolton (+1)

Everton (-1)

Sunderland, Villa (-2)

Fulham, West Brom (-4)

 

Actual Table after August

Newcastle (7)

Stoke, Villa (5)

Bolton, Everton (3)

Sunderland (2)

Fulham (1)

West Brom (0)

 

Even though West Brom have zero points so far, they are actually all right because of the tough set of fixtures that they've had - edit, actually they've had a real shit run to start the season, they're already -4 behind the target. We're top of this little table so far, and doing better than we're expected to do. And although Bolton have only three points, they're still only one behind what they're expected to do, so they have some easy fixtures to come. It's still early doors so neither table is settled, but it gives a good indicator of the difficulty of the early fixtures so far, with Fulham having a completely miserable start to the season.

 

September results - GW 4 to 6

Stoke (+1)

Newcastle (0)

West Brom (-1)

Everton, Villa, Sunderland, Fulham (-2)

Bolton (-4)

 

Actual table after September

Newcastle (12)

Stoke (9)

Villa (8)

Everton (7)

Sunderland (5)

West Brom, Fulham (4)

Bolton (3)

 

We did well in September. We held our own, got the points that we were supposed to get and won the match that we needed to win, so we're still +2 in the table. Stoke had another good month, playing a few tough fixtures and getting one more point than expected. Even though they're 3 behind us in the actual table, they will have a bunch of easier fixtures. Comparing us and Everton is actually pretty interesting because they're actually 5 behind us in the actual table and in the expected table. At this point, both teams were expected to get 10 points, but Everton have only 7 while we have 12. So our 'ead over them is a strong lead which hasn't been boosted by easy fixtures. Looking ahead to GW 11, they're expected to get 1 point at home to Liverpool while we're expected to get 1 point away to Wolves. Both relatively difficult fixtures, but hopefully we come out with two more points from this weekend. Bolton had a miserable month but they've had many difficult fixtures so they will have the opportunity to make up the points in the actual table. They are interestingly tied with Everton in the expected table, which shows how tough their opening fixtures have been, although September was brutal for them. Fulham and West Brom have both had horrible starts, backed up by the actual table and the expected table.

 

October results - GW 7 to 10

Newcastle (+4)

West Brom (+1)

Everton (0)

Sunderland, Fulham (-2)

Bolton (-3)

Villa (-3)

Stoke (-4)

 

Actual table after October results

Newcastle (22)

Villa, Stoke (12)

West Brom (11)

Everton, Fulham, Sunderland (10)

Bolton (6)

 

It was a brilliant month for us. +4 is amazing, with the two away wins doing the job for us. We're flying high in this projected table and in the actual table as well. There's not much to say about us, really. Villa continue to drop easy points and now their position in the actual table is starting to reflect the amount of points that they've dropped so far. They also have a lot of difficult fixtures coming up so I wouldn't be surprised if they ended up near 15th by the halfway stage of the season. Most of the other teams did ok this month, and of course the fact that most teams dropped behind the target isn't a surprise since it's expected that only one team will come near 58 points.

 

Looking ahead, November is actually a pretty chilled month for us because we aren't expected to pick up that many points, but the Everton match is actually crucial because a loss will mean a 5 point swing; -3 for us, +2 for them, so hopefully we can win and have a lead of 10 points in the expected table, and 15 points in the real table.

 

I think it's also pretty noteworthy that we are +6 overall if we're targeting 7th, but we're +2 if we're targeting 4th (70 points - win all your home games, draw away against everyone but the top 6), and interestingly Liverpool are at 0 if they're targeting 4th. ;) It's just something that I don't think many expected before the start of the season.

 

November results - GW 11 to 13

Newcastle, Everton (+1)

Fulham (0)

West Brom, Villa (-1)

Bolton, Stoke (-4)

Sunderland (-5)

 

Actual table after November

Newcastle (26)

Villa, Everton (16)

Stoke (15)

West Brom (14)

Fulham (12)

Sunderland (11)

Bolton (9)

 

Projected Final Table (after November results)

Newcastle (65)

Everton (56)

West Brom, Stoke (53)

Villa, Fulham (50)

Bolton (48)

Sunderland (47)

 

It was another great month for us. It's the third time in four months that we have been the best team out of the 8 teams that I have in this mini-competition. We had 3 tough fixtures, and came out with one more point than what was expected of us. We have a good lead in the real table of 10 points, which although isn't much, is still quite substantial. And now our lead in the projected table is also 9 points, which mirrors our lead in the real table. It shows that we've gone through our tough fixtures well and gotten enough points out of them. From now on the difficulty of our fixtures is similar to Everton's, which means that the ten point lead will be tougher for them to bridge. Stoke are dropping back gradually, and I think we can already rule out Sunderland, Bolton, Villa and Fulham from the race to 7th because they are far, far behind us in the expected table, and most of them are far back in the real table as well.

 

Our rival is obviously Everton, and it's worth noting here that their last three months have been -2, 0 and +1, for a total of -1. They're on form. They're getting the points that they need to get to 58 points, but they have some catching up to do because they lost some easy points at the start of the season. If we lose form then they will catch up very quickly.

 

The interesting case here is actually Villa, who have 16 points, tied with Everton. But they're a massive 6 points behind Everton in the expected table, which means the table thinks that they've got a lot of tough fixtures to come. And what do you know, look at their next set of fixtures. Three of their next four are against Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool. Then they have two straight away matches to Stoke and Chelsea. I think they'll sink very soon.

 

I also included the projected table here for the first time. I think the 65 points that we're projected to get is actually quite feasible, and would easily get us 7th. Whisper it quietly, but 65 points would probably mean that we challenge for 4th for much of the season

 

This is up to November so far. Let's hope the table (real and projected) looks as beautiful as it does today in a month's time.

 

December results - GW 14 - 19

Stoke, Villa (+2)

Sunderland (+1)

Fulham (0)

West Brom (-2)

Everton (-3)

Newcastle (-5)

Bolton (-7)

 

Actual Table after December

Newcastle (30)

Stoke (26)

Everton (24)

Villa (23)

West Brom (22)

Sunderland (21)

Fulham (20)

Bolton (13)

 

Projected Final Table (after December results)

Newcastle (60)

Stoke (55)

Everton (53)

Villa (52)

West Brom (51)

Fulham (50)

Sunderland (48)

Bolton (41)

 

Disastrous month for us. Absolutely horrible. We fucked up two easy home games in a row, losing 5 points in the process. The away win at Bolton salvaged some points for the month for us but it was a really terrible month. Only Bolton had a worse month. Stoke and Villa made up seven points on us. But, we were lucky that we had a built a good buffer so we still ended the month with a good 5 point lead in the expected table, and a 4 point lead in the real table, which means that we're expected to get one more point in the second half of the season than Stoke. It's a way of saying that our fixture list is easier than theirs by 1 point in the second half of the table.

 

Looking at other teams, Everton made up a few points on us, but they're still 7 behind us in the expected table, and 6 points behind in the real table, which means - again - that their fixtures are harder than ours by 1 point in the second half of the season. It's interesting to see that by this definition, we have the easiest fixtures out of every team we're competing with in the second half of the season, even if it's only by 1 point. We're 9 ahead of Sunderland in the real table but 12 ahead of them in the expected table, which means that their fixtures are harder than ours by 3 points in the second half of the season.

 

And if you look at it carefully you will see that Bolton are projected to reach 41 points if they play like a 7th place team from now on in. That's going to be a tough ask. They might not even reach 30 points at this rate.

 

We still have a decent lead, and we're still expected to reach 60 points, which means we've had a very good first half to the season. We could have had an amazing half if our December was slightly more respectable, but anyway, everything is still going ok.

 

January results - GW 20 to 23

Stoke (+3)

Newcastle, Sunderland, Bolton (+2)

Fulham (+1)

West Brom, Everton (-3)

Villa (-5)

 

Projected Final Table (after January results)

 

February results

 

Projected Final Table (after February results)

 

March results

 

Projected Final Table (after March results)

 

April results

 

Projected Final Table (after April results)

 

May results

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:lol: :lol: Absolutely no chance man.

 

As it stands, if we dont get a striker in before the end of August, we'll be in a relegation battle for me like. Simply cant see where our goals are coming from.

 

Even if we don't get a striker (we will), we're going to be nowhere near relegation.

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Think it could be interesting to follow even if we drop out of contention.

 

I would include Stoke, Fulham, WBA, and Bolton as well. Teams can be eliminated if they get to -15 or something.

 

No surprise that an American is on board with a statistics-based thread :thup: :lol:

 

Yeah, I'll include those teams as well and will update the OP once every few weeks.

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:lol: :lol: Absolutely no chance man.

 

As it stands, if we dont get a striker in before the end of August, we'll be in a relegation battle for me like. Simply cant see where our goals are coming from.

 

Even if we don't get a striker (we will), we're going to be nowhere near relegation.

 

Absolutely

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while I wouldn't bet on us getting 7th its an interesting enough battle, theres a load of teams in the middle of the table which are similar enough in ability

If Everton scratch enough cash together for a decent striker they'll get it but my bets on Bolton (again need a striker)

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:lol: :lol: Absolutely no chance man.

 

As it stands, if we dont get a striker in before the end of August, we'll be in a relegation battle for me like. Simply cant see where our goals are coming from.

 

Even if we don't get a striker (we will), we're going to be nowhere near relegation.

 

:thup: As I say, I think you'll finish top 10. That said, I think getting Ben Arfa back soon-ish is key and getting plenty of games out of him.

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I see the 'rivals' like this:

 

Man U, Chelsea - Battle for the title

Man City, Arsenal - Battle for 2nd/3rd.

Liverpool, Spurs - Battle for 4th/more likely 5th

Everton, Fulham, Villa - Battle for 7th/8th

Newcastle, Sunderland, WBA, Stoke, Bolton - Battle for top ten/midtable

Blackburn, Wigan, Wolves, Swansea, Norwich, QPR - Battle to avoid relegation

 

 

Chopped and changed Villa - put them in the group above based purely on having a prolific goalscorer like Bent up top for them, but they could easily be in our group of rivals.

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Think it could be interesting to follow even if we drop out of contention.

 

I would include Stoke, Fulham, WBA, and Bolton as well. Teams can be eliminated if they get to -15 or something.

 

No surprise that an American is on board with a statistics-based thread :thup: :lol:

 

Yeah, I'll include those teams as well and will update the OP once every few weeks.

 

:lol:

 

If you could add some graphs that would be great. Oh, and weekly updates!

 

 

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I see the 'rivals' like this:

 

Man U, Chelsea - Battle for the title

Man City, Arsenal - Battle for 2nd/3rd.

Liverpool, Spurs - Battle for 4th/more likely 5th

Everton, Fulham, Villa - Battle for 7th/8th

Newcastle, Sunderland, WBA, Stoke, Bolton - Battle for top ten/midtable

Blackburn, Wigan, Wolves, Swansea, Norwich, QPR - Battle to avoid relegation

 

 

Chopped and changed Villa - put them in the group above based purely on having a prolific goalscorer like Bent up top for them, but they could easily be in our group of rivals.

 

Everton will be comfortable for 7th like they are most seasons. Villa team has got worse and 73 games against Eastern European part time farmers will knack Fulham.

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It's obvious that the final actual table will be the same as the final expected table, because all matches have been played. I think it'd be interesting to look at 10 games into the season, to see which teams are performing above expectations, even if their performance isn't reflected in the real table because of the quality of the opposition. I think I'll also do a 'form' table based on the last 8 matches to see how teams are doing against what they were expected to do over the last 8 matches.

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Think it could be interesting to follow even if we drop out of contention.

 

I would include Stoke, Fulham, WBA, and Bolton as well. Teams can be eliminated if they get to -15 or something.

 

No surprise that an American is on board with a statistics-based thread :thup: :lol:

 

Yeah, I'll include those teams as well and will update the OP once every few weeks.

 

:lol:

 

If you could add some graphs that would be great. Oh, and weekly updates!

 

 

 

I'll let thomas handle the graphs.

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