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If Stats Won Games: Ipswich 2-1 Middlesbrough
Written by Kropotkin123 on Wednesday, 17th Dec 2014 09:29

Exclusive to TWTD! Filling the time when you’re at your most bored. 100% guaranteed to get the scoreline incorrect. It’s the blog you can trust to get it wrong. It’s the new Wednesday edition of If Stats Won Games.

[b]Last Match Prediction[/b]

Bolton 1-1 Ipswich: Incorrect

Draw: Correct

Ipswich score between 31-45mins: Incorrect

Ipswich score between 76-90mins: Incorrect

Success rate: 25%

Conclusion: “There is no such thing as a bad away point!”

I feel like I should make something clear before I start this blog properly. There is no room for jokes this week, and only a little room for running themes... because I can’t help myself. I certainly won’t be writing IPSWICHTOWN in the paragraphs like last week. This week it is a serious blog for a serious game!

Defensively, Middlesbrough are the least eleemosynary team in the division, conceding a mere 15 goals this season. This has translated into the best away record in the league with Boro picking up a massive 20 points so far this season.

With an average of two points for every away game, it is somewhat odd that Boro aren’t top of the league (outright). It is even more bizarre when you see that they had taken four points fewer at home than they have away prior to their game against Derby, when home and away games were all square.

I was expecting to just rave about Boro, but there is a statistical case that Middlesbrough are overachieving. This case explains their bizarre home vs away results trend. Seven out of their 10 away games have been against teams in the bottom eight. Prior to their visit to Portman Road, Boro haven’t played any of the current top nine teams away from home.

If Middlesbrough are being realistic about their chances this season, they should view the game against Ipswich as their first big test on their travels. However, to suggest Middlesbrough are aren’t a top-six side, would be a gross misrepresentation of this finding.

Middlesbrough are a very similar club to Ipswich, in the way they are performing this season. In the last six games Ipswich are second and Boro are fourth in the form table. In the last 10 games Boro are third and Ipswich are fourth.

Neither side has lost in the last eight games, whilst Town have lost one in their last 17 games, and Boro have lost one in their last 16. If we ignore August, when teams are still finding their feet, Boro are first and Ipswich are second, both with 33 points.

Both sides demonstrate impressive form, the sort of consistency that sees teams promoted. Perhaps only Bournemouth are showing similar consistency, with Derby falling like Watford, Wolves and even Norwich have before them.

The foundation of both teams is a strong defence. Boro, as I’ve said before, have conceded the least in the league. Ipswich have conceded five more, and have the third strongest defence in the league. In 43% of their games, Boro have keep a clean sheet, compared to Ipswich’s 33%

Neither side is shy of goals, Boro have scored 35 goals, and are the fourth most prolific in the league. Ipswich are three goals behind in eighth position. However, Ipswich have scored in 86% of their games, compared to Boro’s 76%. This says that Ipswich are slightly more consistent upfront, whereas Boro take advantage when they find an opening.

Last week, Ipswich were top of the home table, prior to Brentford climbing above us this week, having played an additional game. It is interesting to note that even our home form has been so good that Boro, having played one more game at home, are still four points behind us. On a points per game basis, this fixture pits the best home team in the division against the best away team.

Due to our more regular pattern of achieving this statistic, and due to their more irregular way of achieving their statistic, I believe the statistics point towards us getting a win.

The reason for this is that Boro cannot come to Ipswich with the same tactic they have gone to the bottom seven teams. This is the first time they are playing a top side away from home and this means they are lacking in experience. Experience means a great deal at this level.

This may seem like I am being biased, but statistical anomalies matter. How can I explain this better? Birmingham won 6-1 last week, yet this result has happened 0% of the time this season! This is the way I view their away record, the irregularity causes a distortion from the norm that is highly unlikely to remain until the end of the season. We are one of the most likely teams to break this irregularity, due to our more regular and highly impressive home form.

Context then, is what compels me to predict a home win. Town and Boro’s scoring records dictate it will be a close game. And in the only game that I am aware Boro played against a top six side away from home, at the time of their meeting, Boro conceded two goals. With this in mind, and the fact that town average closest to a 2-1 win at home, I am pretty confident, more so than the draw last week at least, that we will win 2-1.

*Let’s out a huge sigh of relief* It took a long time to conclude upon that score!

Daryl Murphy didn’t score last week, which makes him a prime suspect to get on target this week. Murphy scores most frequently between 31-45 mins and 61-75 mins, although he is pretty consistent across all six time divisions. Their top goalscorer (G Leadbitter) is not consistent across the six time zones, and is prolific between 31-45 mins and 61-75 mins.

At home we are now extremely consistent with our timings. If we turn all 15-minute sections into scorelines we have 3-1, 2-1, 4-0, 3-1, 3-1, 3-3. Considering the 31-45 mins is our most prolific time to score at home and Murphy is due to score. I predict our first goal will be here. The Murphy factor also dictates I will provisionally choose our second goal between 61-75 mins.

Boro’s influence dictates they will either score between 31-45 mins and 76-90 mins, and are most likely to concede between 76-90 mins. With this information I am forced to revise the scoring times to Ipswich scoring between 31-45 mins and 76-90 mins and Boro scoring between 76-90 mins, as this is the neatest correlation.

[b]In Summary[/b]

Ipswich 2-1 Middlesbrough

Ipswich score between 31-45mins

Ipswich score between 76-90mins

Middlesbrough score between 76-90mins

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

trncbluearmy added 09:49 - Dec 17
Brilliant ,..........I think

swarby_7 added 13:02 - Dec 17
2-1, i'll take that....just can't belive how many times Leadbitter has found the net this season!

ericclacton added 13:27 - Dec 17
Mmmm, Interesting read and the words you use are amazing, oh I do hope your right about the score, fingers crossed.

A90sblue added 13:28 - Dec 17
I look forward to these blogs! Keep up the good work

Kropotkin123 added 14:11 - Dec 17
@ ericclacton: Chucking in one esoteric word per blog was a tribute to MM, who seems to do it to have fun in interviews! I guess it was only a matter of time before that theme came out.

And thank you all

bigdave_blue added 14:20 - Dec 17
Six of Leadbitters goals were penalty's I think?

bugledog123 added 15:04 - Dec 17
great blog! thanks

warktheline added 17:00 - Dec 17
Very well written , and conclusions backed up with stats and facts. Will it be ok for me to put the
rent and Christmas shopping money on Town to win?

ArnieMsBigToe added 17:12 - Dec 17
What does eleemosynary mean? Is it a real word?
Having said that, an interesting blog. I do like bit of statistics myself.

Kropotkin123 added 17:15 - Dec 17
It means charitable :)

tractorgrl added 18:39 - Dec 17
Wow,what a great blog! I like how you reread to make sure it makes sense.I also liked 'playing a top side away from home' had to read that several times and pinch myself! However,you slightly disgraced yourself with the N word!

Kropotkin123 added 18:59 - Dec 17
ha ha, I'll make it up to you next week :P

Fatboy added 13:40 - Dec 18
This match will be between the team with the best home record against the team with the best away record, with the victors potentially being top at Christmas. Has the potential to be a great match, or else two teams just cancelling each other out.

bohslegend added 23:27 - Dec 18
Very good blog. All the right credentials:

-and Ipswich win in the end.

All good in my opinion

warktheline added 15:26 - Dec 19
Sorry bugledog, should have been a plus.

MVBlue added 23:04 - Dec 19
Two good defences then.


Palestine added 12:23 - Dec 22
Excellent blog mate. Love the big word (even if at first I thought it was a typo!

So after the game, that you got us winning and scoring 2, think you deserve much credit. And saying we'd score 31-45 and Murphy to score - you almost make it look like stats can predict games!
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