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Premier League Run-in: The Stats for Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal’s Last 5 Games

April 8, 2010

The last 5 games of the League are going to decide the season, here we attempt to make sense of the stats from the past 4 years to understand the run-ins for Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal.

My previous statistical analysis of Arsenal’s run-in predicted that we would take something like 16 points from our last 8 games, or 65.7% of the points available.

So far we have played 3 of those games, taking 7 points out of a potential 9 – that is 77.7%. Continue that sort of form over the last 5 games and we will end on 83 points.

This means Chelsea must gain no more than 8 points from 15 for us to lead with a 1 point gap, and Man Utd no more than 10 from 15. From 5 games that is a big ask.

Arsenal really cannot afford to drop any points - that much is obvious to anyone. What this post aims to do is follow up the analysis with a breakdown of Man Utd and Chelsea’s record for the final 5 games.

Scores for each fixture from a Chelsea and Man Utd perspective:

08/09 07/08 06/07 05/06
Chelsea
13 April Bolton H 4-3 1-1 2-2 5-1
17 April Tottenham A 0-1 4-4 1-2 2-0
25 April Stoke H 2-1
01 May Liverpool A 0-2 1-1 0-2 4-1
09 May Wigan H 2-1 1-1 4-0 1-0
Points 9/15 4/12 4/12 12/12
% Taken 60% 33.3% 33.3% 100% Av 40.2%
Man Utd
11 April Blackburn A 2-0 1-1 1-0 3-4
17 April Man City A 1-0 0-1 1-0 1-3
24 April Tottenham H 5-2 1-0 1-0 1-1
01 May Sunderland A 2-1 4-0 3-1
09 May Stoke H 5-0
Points 15/15 5/12 9/9 4/12
% Taken 100% 41.6% 100% 33.3% Av 68.7%

This table shows a fascinating variety of results in these ties over the past 4 seasons. In total Chelsea averaged taking just 40.2% of the available points, whilst Man Utd averaged 68.7% in from these 5 ties. Just for comparison, Arsenal average 75% against their last 5 opponents over the last 4 years.

Interesting reading, and something that might give hope to any Arsenal fans, of course these are just statistics, but they show the chance of slip ups are high in the last 5 games, for example Chelsea’s results show just 1 win in 4 at White Hart Lane, and the same at Anfield, with none in the last 3 years.

If Chelsea really did just take 40.2% of their points they’d have something like 6 points out of 15 – leaving them on 79, whilst Man Utd taking 68.7% would give them about 10 – leaving them on 82. Arsenal with 75% would take about 11 – putting us on 82 as well – crazy stuff.

In the last post I also looked at the actual points taken over just the last games of the season. So now lets compare the points totals for the run in each season for the 3 clubs.

Last 5 Games Points Total 08/09 07/08 06/07 05/06
Chelsea 15/15 11/15 5/15 9/15
100% 73.3% 33.3% 60% Av 66.7%
Man Utd 13/15 10/15 8/15 8/15
86.6% 66.6% 53.3% 53.3% Av 65%
Arsenal 10/15 12/15 9/15 13/15
66.6% 80% 60% 86.6% Av 73.3%

This shows considerable improvement on the part of Chelsea, whilst Man Utd remain similar. The Arsenal data is based on my earlier post. Again Arsenal are stronger, with 73.3% – a correlation with the 75% from the first bit of analysis. These would give Chelsea 84 pts, Man Utd 82 pts and Arsenal 82 pts (points to nearest whole number). Either of the two averages for Arsenal and Man Utd put them level.

What we can deduce from this is that Chelsea’s results from the games against their remaining 5 teams are quite random, mistakes are very possible, but the data from the final 5 games of every season still shows that they can be consistent. 10 to 12 points is a realistic target for the run in – the team that goes above this will take the title.

These results and the previous analysis also show that Arsenal are performing above the level the data predicted for our last 3 games – if we can continue that then we have a real chance.

This data obviously doesn’t predict any certainties, but I think it gives us an indication of what can happen. The continuity of matches will be important, for example Arsenal having played Barca away now face Spurs and Wigan away and it is very tough to get results over 3 hard away games.

In reality I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chelsea finish very strongly, with Man Utd it will depend on their reaction to the Bayern defeat, and whether Rooney is fit. Arsenal are the underdogs, and like United our reaction to defeat in Europe will be crucial.

The past statistics put us and Man Utd neck and neck on points, with Chelsea either 3rd or 1st – goal difference would keep Arsenal down in either scenario. It could end like that, and it would be very exciting, but then again it could be completely random.

On this basis I think the title will be won with around 85 points –  Arsenal have to win every game. Liverpool and Man City are the best chances for the others to drop points.

This has proved an interesting exercise, the remaining games will show whether these teams buck the trend. This season has had many twists and turns; there is every likelihood that there will be a few more yet.

Update: In this season’s reverse fixtures Chelsea’s run was  WWWWL – 80% and Man Utd’s was WWWDW – 86.6%. Expect something close to this.

Read more articles from our excellent Football Data section.

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10 Comments
  1. timhilluk permalink
    April 8, 2010 10:27 am

    arsenal is the best team in europe,we know arsenal can do anything with the new transfer to buy krancjar from tottenham..he the best player for control te midfields situation.,he can break record either fabregas record… eto is the best striker ever to break a defenders of a team, we can play wit a team to score as much as he can such as FERNANDO TORRES……. the last words that i wan to say is…..ARSENAL WONT DIE ALONE, remember that

  2. Kays aeron permalink
    April 8, 2010 12:01 pm

    I think the trophy may go 2 arsenal if they win their remaining matches.

  3. Christian Bleeker permalink
    April 8, 2010 12:42 pm

    Great work with the stats… however… An interesting variable would be if the teams had anything to play for… if, say, arsenal had less to play for, there is less pressure…

    • April 8, 2010 1:37 pm

      Yes, over the past 4 seasons Arsenal have either been playing for 4th place or 1st, and Man Utd and Chelsea have been going for the title for most.

  4. Austino permalink
    April 8, 2010 2:34 pm

    You have come again with this unreliable stats of yours. If i may ask,what makes you believe Arsenal will not drop points? What makes you think its only Man u and Chelsea that will drop points,and Arsenal will not(irrespective of whom they play)? If anyone had told you Arsenal will drop points against Birmigham,would you have believed it? This is a game of football were the unthinkable can happen.

    Other top four clubs talk about the match to be played,and how it can be executed to gain a favourable result but u are here killing urself with statistics.Where was this ur stats when you were spanked by messilona(not even Barca)? Rubbish!! wait until u drop yet another point;then ur eyes will be opened.

    • April 8, 2010 2:39 pm

      I have never ever said that Arsenal will not drop points – especially not using these stats. If anything it is the opposite.

      I have only used the data to suggest league outcomes. In addition I have never tried to use this on knock-out games.

      If you look you will see the points taken over the last 5 games is pretty consistent.

      You obviously have read neither article, but commented randomly nonetheless. Please read properly in future.

  5. April 8, 2010 2:36 pm

    well, the only chance to win the title this year is if we win all 5 games. thats it.

  6. Austino permalink
    April 8, 2010 3:18 pm

    If you win all five games,chelsea and man u will equally win theirs.If its not possible that they will win all the five games,then its not possible with urs too simple.

    • April 8, 2010 3:41 pm

      I see what you mean – why should Arsenal have any more chance of winning 5 than Man Utd or Chelsea.

      It is a point – but that is why I looked at the statistics for the last 4 years – to see what the pattern is.

      Not to predict what will happen – but to see what the variability is. And there is a lot of variability.

      I then applied that to this season just to see what it would look like.

      Anyway – I only said that Arsenal have to win all their games, not that they would win all their games

Trackbacks

  1. The Results – Run-in predictions for Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea: Did they work? « ArseSpeak

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