Here’s a preview for Round 30 of the Premier League, which we’ll be played over different weeks.
Norwich City – Manchester City (actually only Man City info)
Manchester City, although having thrown a away a lot of points in February, are still in the title race. They are 10 points behind leader Leicester City but do have a game in hand. City are one of the best home teams in the 2015/16 Premier League (2,067 per game, only Leicester do better with 2,071). You could say they have basically wasted their (real) title chances away from home, where they have won only 1,46 points per game (6th).
Against Norwich they probably will not have a problem: City got 41 points from 15 games against the bottom half, that is 2,7 per game. And this might actually be the most important factor for City’s disappointing season: they get the points against the smaller teams but play terribly against top opposition. They only got 3 points (3 away draws) from 10 games against the current best 7 teams in the table.
Liverpool – Chelsea
Both teams are in fine form. The home side have won their last 3 Premier League games (West Ham is the only other team that are currently able to say that) and Guus Hiddink set a new record as the first manager to maintain his team unbeaten in his first 12 games in the Premier League. Including Mourinho’s last game that is 13 games in a row without defeats for the blues (6 wins and 7 draws).
An interesting graph can be made when averaging Chelsea’s shots over the last 5 games. In the graph Chelsea’s shots are taken against each opponent per week considering the average of shots that opponent concedes per game in the given condition (home/away).
If Chelsea shoots 20 times against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge and Arsenal concede on average 15 shots per away game Chelsea’s shot rate for the game is 20/15 = 1,33.
In the shot numbers there is not so much that has changed since game 18, when Hiddink took over. The points per game, on the contrary, are rising quickly.
The same graph can be drawn for Liverpool:
Jurgen Klopp took over in week 9 and since then shots and points per game have been going up quite a bit. Shots on target have stayed quite the same except for the last couple of games.
It will be the 48th game between the two in the Premier League and differences are small:
Liverpool seem to have a preference for february/march: the last two times they won 4 Premier League games in a row where both with the fourth game being won in March. Another Liverpool stat in favor of March:
- Manchester United are 1 goal away from 1000 goals at Old Trafford in the Premier League era.
- West Ham United need 1 more win to reach 250 victories in the Premier League era.
- Crystal Palace are without wins for 12 consecutive Premier League games. The last time they had a worse streak in the highest division was in the 1997/98 season. This season only Aston Villa went over 12 games without a win (19). Last season there was only one team to have a 12 winless run: current leaders Leicester City.
- Leicester City have never won a Premier League game refereed by Craig Pawson: 2 draws (vs City and United) and 2 defeats (vs Arsenal and Villa)
- In none of the last 15 games that were refereed by Pawson the away team won (7 home wins, 8 draws).
- West Ham United are one win away from 4 straight victories, something they did not manage since February 2014 (in total 5 times in the Premier League era).