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If Stats Won Games: Small Victories
Written by Kropotkin123 on Monday, 8th Apr 2019 17:08

If you think the Premier League is over analysed with meaningless stats by meaningless contributors, have I got a treat for you! With six games to go and a 44% chance of relegation even if we win all six, my attention has turned to more realistic, less fruitful objectives.

In many ways, I’m disappointed I didn’t write this last week. Following our win at Bolton, Bart narrowly avoided having his own personal task – winning a game.

Incredibly, our three-time player of the season recorded his first win of the season in Town’s 39th game. It was Bart’s 26th game of the season and including last season it meant Bart played 27th league and cup games in a row before winning (Is this a record?).

This achievement wasn't broken because it was inevitable, but because we are doing better and so is he. Our form over the season is 0.68 points per game (ppg). Over the last eight we have 1ppg, which is +47.1% better. We’ve only lost two in our last nine, and we’ve played some decent opposition, taking points off Derby (seventh), West Brom (fourth), Bristol City (sixth) and Nottingham Forest (ninth).

With six games left, here are my six objectives for Town.

Keep a Clean Sheet Away From Home

Away from home, we have conceded three goals three times, two goals twelve times, one goal five times. It sounds bad, but hey, what were you expecting, we are bottom of the table!

The good news is that in the last for games away from home we have conceded one in each game. Clearly, we are getting better then. But with Sheffield Utd (fourth in the goals scored table), Brentford (sixth) and Preston (eighth) to play this is a really tough one.

Difficulty Rating: 4/5

One Goal Per Game at Home

So far this season we have scored 0.8 goals per game (gpg). In our last eight we have 1gpg. At home, this increases to 0.9gpg. This leaves us with five goals to get from our last three home games. Our home games include Leeds (third), Swansea (13th) and, courtesy of their pointless points deduction, Birmingham (17th).

At first glance, this is a really tough one. I wouldn’t bet on us achieving it. But a little bit more optimistic searching sees that we score two against Birmingham, three against Swansea and none against a spy-assisted Leeds team.

In other words, when we were a worse team we scored five, at their grounds, when dubious techniques were used against us.

Difficulty Rating: 4/5

Do the Double

No season is complete without doing the double over a team. Even though we have only had four wins this season, Swansea’s impressively bad defensive display against us earlier in the season means we still have the opportunity to record the double over a team.

Note down the 22nd April for this season-defining game. Honestly, at this point, this one feels like a cup final. This has to be one of the easiest tasks on the list. They are the only team to concede three or more against us, they have nothing to play for and we are at home.

Difficulty Rating: 2/5

Beat a Team in the Top Half of the Table

Back to the most difficult one here. It would be a massive source of pride and a huge point of encouragement if we were to record a victory over a top half team, playing good football.

The thing that makes this difficult is that if we beat Preston (10th), Swansea (13th) or Brentford (14th), we may well contribute to them not making the top half.

This leaves Sheffield Utd (second) away and Leeds (third) at home. Two very difficult games. With this one, our best chance may be if Swansea went on a run.

Difficulty Rating: 5/5

Don’t Lose More Than We Win and Draw

Nine games ago you might as well have called time on this one. At that point we’d lost 19/31 games. Now we sit at 21/40. If anyone stat shows the progress we have made, it is this.

The tough thing about this one is consistency and when we play each team. I expect to lose against Leeds (third) and Sheff Utd (second), and you should too! They are there for a reason.

Okay, Leeds are there for spying, and have fallen away since they got caught. But they are still a top-six side and we have no right to a point, given our position.

The other games are all in a row. The longest unbeaten run we’ve had is three (three times), this would mean going five in a row unbeaten… 66.6% more! Still, we have shown we can take points off the top six now.

Difficulty Rating: 2/5

Don’t Finish Last

A quick look at Bolton shows that the lowest placed team they play is Blackburn (17th), so not an easy set of games. But they’ve won 100% more games than us and won two in their last eight games.

Essentially, we can’t count on them to fail. One win and this is probably over for us really. It would be a tall order to finish 23rd.

Difficulty Rating: 5/5

I know what you optimists are thinking, we’ve gone through this entire piece and not one mention of a late play-off push. So quickly, to reach the play-offs we currently need to get 5.83ppg, that’s not accounting for the teams currently in the play-offs picking up points.

Whilst we are up to 17th in both the six and eight-game form tables, it would probably require an unfathomable amount of sustained cheating to get there - Looking at you Leeds.

Stats courtesy of SoccerSTATS and Chris Rand.




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pablovian added 18:53 - Apr 8
Some additional goals:

Win two more games this season. (We would then have an average of at least a point per game over the last third of the season, tangible evidence of improvement.)

Score more goals than Bolton. (The defense avoids the wooden spoon!)

Concede fewer goals than Bolton. (The attack avoids the wooden spoon!)
1

pablovian added 18:55 - Apr 8
The wooden spoons got mixed up ...
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