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If Statistics Won Games: Ipswich 3-0 Charlton
Written by Kropotkin123 on Saturday, 27th Dec 2014 11:33

“You can’t do that!” enthused Feed The Bish. “It’s meant to be the feel-good blog: you write a home-truth here, spin a curveball there, but then it’s 2-0 Ipswich or a solid away point and we all leave happy that the stats Gods are on our side. And on Boxing Day no less, [you predict a defeat] against a side that has not beaten a team beginning with ‘I’ since 1956!”. Fresh from violating its own premise, it’s the renegade blog - If Stats Won Games!

[b]Last Match Prediction[/b]

Brentford 2-1 Ipswich: Incorrect

Brentford to score between 46-60mins: Incorrect

Ipswich to score between 61-75mins: Incorrect (Four goals and I couldn’t get the timings!)

Brentford to score between 76-90mins: Correct

Brentford to score two …against us: Correct

Success rate: 40%



In this week’s blog I distance myself from the recent aboulomanic predictions and boldly declare a decisive 3-0 victory! The last time I was presented with such conclusive statistics going into a game, we smashed Leeds 4-1. I told people to get down the ground then, and I’ll reiterate the same sentiment now. Get a ticket to watch this one!!

Portman Road welcomes Charlton as the first team we are playing twice this season, and they present the first opportunity we have to do the double over another team. In recent seasons, such an opportunity was usually a quirk of fate, but having beaten more than half of our opponents so far this season, it is something we can look forward to with pride.

Since we last played Charlton they have had a rough time of it. They have now lost four games (twice as many as when we last played them), and no longer hold the record for the fewest defeats this campaign. Another team now holds that record! Charlton sit in 21st in the six-match form table, with their downward trend highlighted by their 16th place in the ten-match form table.

We, in contrast, are second in both the six and ten-match form table, on goal difference. Additionally, we are undefeated in ten games and top of the eight-match form table, which includes games against Bournemouth (first in the league, second in form), Middlesbrough (fourth, seventh), Brentford (fifth, third), Watford (sixth, ninth) and Bolton (14th, fourth). To look back and realise that our recent form has been against the best the division has to offer is simply staggering.

Ipswich are also top of the home league table, having taken 26 points from a possible 33. For the purposes of perspective, Bournemouth and Brentford trail us on 24 points, having played one additional home game. We have the fourth best home goal difference and the joint best home defence.

Charlton’s are 13th in the away table, which is by no means disastrous, but does underline their impressive early season form that saw them on the edge of the play-offs. Charlton are without a win in six games, having last won away from home against Reading.

Having scored in 87% of their games (third best), and kept a clean sheet in 35% of their games (sixth best), Ipswich seem to be too strong for this Charlton side, which seem to have derailed. Facing Town at the moment must seem like scaling Mount Olympus to Charlton.

[b]Playing style[/b]

It wasn’t the nicest prospect to face Charlton last time, as they hadn’t lost at The Valley. But their away form is a much more enticing prospect. Charlton haven’t been an easy team to beat on their travels, as they have only lost three games, which is the same as Middlesbrough. However their recent form suggests they have come off the rails, and we are the type of team that can exploit this.

Primarily, Charlton’s statistical weaknesses are keeping possession of the ball, defending set pieces, and aerial duals. Our primary statistical strengths are attacking from set pieces, aerial duels and winning possession from the opposition. Our strengths are therefore matched to their weaknesses… even though none of these strengths or weaknesses were a factor in our 95th minute goal in our last meeting!

Still, above this Charlton have a worse problem, in view of their playing style against us. Charlton play a lot of their football in their own half, and consequently they are the fifth worst team for conceding shots. In contrast, we play a lot of our football in the opposition’s half.

Whilst it may set them up for draws against other teams, that rely on a more open set up from their opposition, it is a very dangerous tactic for them at Portman Road, as we don’t rely on the opposition’s movement to create our chances. For example, despite creating the seventh-highest number of chances in the league, we are the third worst team in the division for attempting to dribble past other teams.

In addition, Murphy and McGoldrick, are only behind Richie (from Bournemouth) in the number of shots they take per game. The fact that our strikers - the very people you want to be on the end of a move - are second and third in the number of shots taken is fantastic, and further underlines the vulnerability of Charlton’s tactics against us at home. It should also give Town fans confidence that Murphy is highly unlikely to drift out of his rich form.

Charlton offer little going forward, with the fewest shots taken per game, and the second lowest number of shots on target per game. The last team to visit us with such similar dreadful set-up was Leeds, who are the worst for shots on target per game.

Hence, due to their playing style, coupled with their recent form, it is hard for me to look lower than a 3-0 win. Maybe they will get a goal against the run of play, but I feel this is going to be one of the most one-sided games we see at Portman Road this season, in terms of dominance.


Ipswich score most of their goals in the period between 16-30 mins. So in a game with so many goals, we can expect to see this pattern continue against Charlton. Our second and third goals are cannot be predicted from a solely Ipswich standpoint, as all other goal scoring timings are tied on three.

Portman Road is likely to be celebrating even earlier than that though, if Charlton continue their habit of conceding in the first 15 mins of the game. Charlton have conceded four goals in the opening 15mins, which is their worst segment.

Speaking from a team timing perspective, I cannot provide an accurate segment for the third goal. All I can say is that it will be in the second half. Ipswich have scored three goals at home in each of the last 15-minute segments, and Charlton have also conceded three goals in those same sections. However, it would be a rather cheap prediction to deviate from my 15% chance to a 50% chance of getting it correct.

We can confidently say that with three goals being scored, Daryl Murphy will likely be on the score sheet again. Although he is fairly consistent, having scored three goals in three separate segments, his second half performance suggests he is most likely to score between 61-75mins.

In addition, David McGoldrick is also statistically due a goal at home. He has scored the majority of his goals between 16-30mins and 61-75mins. Again this improves the probability that Ipswich will score between 61-75mins.

Charlton fans may argue that 3-0 is a harsh prediction. After all, they have only conceded 25 goals and lay joint-sixth in the goals conceded table. But Middlesbrough turned up to Portman Road with the best defence in the division, and conceded two goals. So there is more to statistics than our most rudimentary indicators.

Happy New Year everyone, enjoy the game!

[b]In Summary[/b]

Ipswich 3-0 Charlton

Ipswich to score between 0-15mins

Ipswich to score between 16-30mins

Ipswich to score between 61-75mins

This blog is dedicated to Keno’s IPSWICH post after the excellent result against Brentford!!!!#129190

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

Hiltzkooler added 09:47 - Dec 28
Excellent Kropotkin...enjoyable as ever...after the euphoria of Boxing Day it's hard not to share the optimism for the Derby game, should there be a positive result, the cusp of "dare to dream?".....

horsehollerer added 02:56 - Dec 29
Great stuff as always.
The numerical evidence is overwhelming. Charlton shouldn't even bother to get on the bus. Ahem.
Happy New Year. COYB!

Upbeat added 13:48 - Dec 30
Haha that's more like it! Top stuff

ericclacton added 14:36 - Dec 30
Good effort that, I hope your right, full house and all.
Tonight will be like old times, with very few seats to spare, spare I'm going spare, fancy that. COYB.

jimsymBLUE added 15:41 - Dec 30
Great stuff Kroppers, excellent to the bookies now!!!!

GeoffSentence added 17:44 - Dec 30
I don't care how right or wrong you get it. I Just enjoy reading these.

jimsymBLUE added 21:45 - Dec 30

jayceee added 21:59 - Dec 30
lol - good one ;)

wkj added 22:25 - Dec 30
Well done Stats

Kropotkin123 added 22:34 - Dec 30
lol, finally got one right!!

and two scorers.

Great night

Kropotkin123 added 22:35 - Dec 30
oh, and did anyone notice that in the three main sections, the first letter of each paragraph spells out IPSWICH? That's commitment!! :P

1Finshefki added 23:07 - Dec 30
Journalism at its finest Kropotkin, deep respect! This is more fun than Christmas.

ericclacton added 23:14 - Dec 30
I found myself thinking of your blog during the game,
when DM scored I had a smile on my face, well done.
Oh and a huge one 2. fancy that.

carsey added 00:39 - Dec 31
These ramblings are definitely starting to grow on me even if I can't get my head around all the numbers I can understand the Summary and it was good to see you finally got a score correct even if the timings were a little out.
Keep up the good work.
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