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If Statistics Won Games: Ipswich 2-1 Derby
Written by Kropotkin123 on Wednesday, 7th Jan 2015 10:06

As the residents of Hell continue to complain of frostbite, and pigs continue their post-flight feather preening, If Statistics Won Games returns from the uncharted waters of a successful scoreline prediction.

[b]Last Match Prediction[/b]

Ipswich 3-0 Charlton: Correct

Ipswich to score between 0-15mins: Incorrect

Ipswich to score between 16-30mins: So close! Incorrect

Ipswich to score between 61-75mins: Correct

Murphy to Score: Correct

McGoldrick to Score: Correct

Success rate: 67%

Conclusion: “Mind the Gap!”


There are big question marks over Derby’s form at the moment. Having only lost one game in their opening 13 matches, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking Derby would storm the league. However this was followed by four losses in eight games which saw them drop out of the top two, and nearly out of the top six.

Whilst seven points from their last three games have halted this slide, and catapulted them to third in the eight game form table, I am not convinced that they are the automatic promotion candidates they are widely perceived to be. I would put it out there that the statistics show Bournemouth, Ipswich and Middlesbrough are the frontrunners, despite Derby currently occupying third position.

Regardless, Derby are formidable opponents. They are the fourth best away team, which cannot be overlooked, even if they have lost two of their last three away games. Derby have won 50% of their away games this season, having scored the third most away goals and conceded the fifth least away goals.

Having drawn at Derby, we have a fantastic opportunity to take four points off our promotion rivals this season, and put the pressure on Bournemouth ahead of their game against Naridge. We remain top of the home table, four points clear of Derby in second place. Our defence is the foundation of this highly impressive home form; a mere seven goals conceded in 12 home games put our defence joint first with Boro.

Our unbeaten statistics just get more and more impressive. Undefeated in our last 11 league games. Undefeated in our last 10 home games. One loss in our last 20 league games. Victorious in our last three league games (which included Middlesbrough and Brentford!). On top of that we have scored in 92% of our home games and 88% of all our games. In contrast, Derby are unbeaten in three games. They are unbeaten in one away game. They have scored in 83% of all games and in 75% of their away games.

Despite Ipswich’s impressive home defence, it is highly likely that Derby will score a goal. But there is still too much in the stats to suggest they will get a point. 2-1 is the most likely score, which would be incredible for our automatic promotion campaign, particularly considering our recent results against Middlesbrough and Brentford.

Whilst I love doing this blog for the deliberate self-depreciating angle highlighted by my introductions and playful mockery that sometimes manifests in the comments, I feel that I should highlight that my unrelenting bias falls short of the actual performances and results Ipswich pull off. The somewhat arrogant prediction that Ipswich will beat a third promotion rival in four games is just a reflection of how well our team has done. For proof, the table below shows my predictions versus actual results.

[b]Playing Style[/b]

Derby play possession football and top that table with an average of 56.3%. Comparatively Ipswich’s average is 48.9%, as we aim to contain the opposition in their half and force them into mistakes. The different styles are reflected by Derby being top of the passing success table with 81.4% and Ipswich being bottom on 67%.

Ipswich have scored 13 goals from set-pieces, which is the most in the division, whereas Derby are 17th with seven. Derby have scored the second highest number of goals from open play with 36, whilst Ipswich are surprisingly high in sixth with 26 goals. Our high position reflects our lack of dependence on any one avenue to score.

78% of Ipswich’s attacking play comes down the wings, which is joint second. Whilst 75% of Derby’s play comes from the wings, this drops them down to joint 11th. Ipswich take 68% of our chances from the middle, which is joint second. In comparison, 63% of Derby’s goals comes from the centre, which puts them in 16th. This figure is a little deceptive, as they score more goals in general, meaning they are more threatening overall.

Statistically speaking, Derby have no stand-out weaknesses, but they also have comparatively few stand-out strengths. So overall, we can expect a solid all-round game, as well as a lot of build-up play in the centre, consisting of a lot of short passes, aimed at keeping the ball before spreading it out to the wings, where they are at their most dangerous.


Of our seven goals conceded at home this season only two have occurred in the first half. Of our goals scored at home this season, 12 have been in the first half and 11 have been in the second half. This dictates that we will be 1-0 up at half-time and 2-1 up at full-time. Derby’s half-time performances are pretty even, so they don’t affect these established times.

Six of our home goals have occurred between 31-45 mins, which cover our first-half goal. Our second goal is equally likely to occur between 46-60 mins and 76-90 mins. Of these two timings, Derby are most likely to concede between 76-90 mins, so this confirms our second timing.

Derby are most likely to score between 76-90 mins, which is also when we are most likely to concede. Whatever way those goals fall, it sets up a very tense finish to this six-pointer, whatever way it unfolds.

[b]Player Focus[/b]

This new section introduces the statistically best player on the pitch from the opposition. Sometimes this will be the same as the perceived best player, sometimes it won’t. It isn’t really supposed to influence the outcome of the game, just give a slightly different dynamic, which people can either choose to read, or skip to the summary.

For all Derby’s attacking plaudits, Craig Forsyth is statistically their best player. At 189cm, he is an imposing player for a left-back. He has scored one goal this campaign, and created four. For perspective that is the third most in the Derby team.

Unsurprisingly then, Forsyth is very strong at passing, with 74.9% of his passes finding their man. This is from a high average pass rate of 53.8 per game. For perspective, that is about a quarter of our teams passes per game.

Defensively Forsyth makes 2.6 tackles a game, 1.8 interceptions and 4.6 clearances per game. For perspective Mings, our primary left-back who is speculated to be worth £10m, makes 2.4 tackles, 2.8 interceptions and a massive four clearances. So statistically they aren’t too dissimilar, despite Forsyth’s limited recognition.


Ipswich 2-1 Derby

Ipswich to score between 31-45mins

Ipswich to score between 76-90mins

Derby to score between 76-90mins

Thank you to Callis for the Mind the Gap picture, and as always, enjoy the game!

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

Kropotkin123 added 11:06 - Jan 7
oops, I originally compared Forsyth to Berra, and put "a massive" in there as his was 11 per game. But thought it was unfair to compare Forsyth to a CB.

JohnStirk added 13:29 - Jan 7
Thanks for this but what happened to the thesaurus?!

boysinblue added 14:53 - Jan 7
Love these posts! I agree that Derby aren't all that, they like to play 'nice' possession football but that's what Brentford said!

ericclacton added 15:07 - Jan 7
Such a colourful blog Interesting and witty, very clever and informative.
I have to admit to being a bit nervy do 2 the unbeaten run, so hoping you are right again. Good effort.

Kropotkin123 added 15:45 - Jan 7
lol, I did forget to add in my "esoteric word for the week", sorry! It must f been the shock of a correct scoreline. I'll get back up to standard next game!

Thank you all, and particularly EC, with the kind words each week.

Letchworth_Blue added 17:28 - Jan 7
I think I actually like your blog more than Harry's! (Don't tell Harry).......keep it up and hope the prediction is spot on!

tractorgrl added 18:41 - Jan 7
Great blog -again, congrats on the ever improving predictions. I hope the senior members of our club read these informative and interesting blogs,as so much time and effort are used.These blogs, imo, contain valuable and relevant facts, that someone somewhere should be taking notice of. Derby? We're not scared!

Kropotkin123 added 20:04 - Jan 7
Thank you, although I don't think I'm on the same level as Harry!

I will definitely look to team up with more of the photoshoppers in the future, because I think Callis' "Mind the Gap" really adds life to the blog.

horsehollerer added 18:52 - Jan 8
Great stuff again. i like the K123 vs reality comparison table!

bugledog123 added 19:51 - Jan 8
i hope you're prediction is correct. COYB!


ozitfc added 21:00 - Jan 8
I'd just like to point out that the town of hell in Michigan is at this very moment frozen over!! I love these posts, keep up the good work!!

budgiebasher added 00:32 - Jan 9
I always enjoy reading your blogs and I reckon they are getting better by the week - thank you.

Upbeat added 16:05 - Jan 9
Top stattage and my favourite one yet!

It was especially pleasing to note the cold hard facts on our goal tally from open play, which juxtaposes nicely with the ill-informed arrogance plucked by Harry from one of their forums ("If we can defend set-pieces, we will draw or win"), while the surprise stat was perhaps that only 3% separates 2nd from 11th r.e. proportion of attacking play from the wings - seems remarkably close.

Kropotkin123 added 15:52 - Jan 10
*whistles, whilst walking away*

ericclacton added 20:17 - Jan 10
HEY!!! come back, you da best, you da 1.

paulthebluealien added 22:00 - Jan 10
Come on Kroptasauraus or whatever your name is.
This is slacking ;)

In all seriousness - always a good read! But stats have to predict a Millwall win surely!

Kropotkin123 added 12:36 - Jan 11
I can't give anything away, but based on our last result, we stand a 100% chance of losing! lol
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