Your thoughts on the season to come - Prediction time

RedForever2014

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Interesting that we have won one match less than City, drawn four more than them, but lost three matches fewer.

Thinking back to the penalty decision the other night, and the non awarding of the Keita penalty against Leicester, very similar incidents in terms of contact but different outcomes, I wonder what influence penalty calls have had on results?

I don't know the answer, but wonder how many times matches that ended up as wins for City would have been draws without penalties.

Also, how many of our draws would have been wins if penalties had been awarded.

It kind of feels to me that we've been awarded penalties in matches we would have won anyway, i.e. were already leading, but that City have been awarded more penalties when scores have been level.

How many of our penalties were awarded when we were leading? How many City penalties were awarded when they were level?

Of course other factors play a part, we've had a few offside decisions go our way, the only one of note against us being the one at Arsenal.

But my gut feel is that on penalty decisions alone, we should be at least two points better off and City two points worse off.

I have expressed concerns about our squad and Klopp's team selections, but one of the biggest reasons I worry about the title outcome, is that in a very tight race a swing of four to six points due to penalty decisions could be very impactful.
 

sms1986

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This is from this site but it's interesting -

Strength of schedule
Liverpool and City have four common opponents still to play – Burnley, Cardiff, Fulham and Tottenham – but it is City who have the tougher assignment outside of those fixtures.

While Liverpool face more opponents in the top half, with Everton, Chelsea and Wolves in addition to Spurs, they also have bottom club Huddersfield and 17th-place Southampton on their remaining schedule, along with Newcastle.




City face just Manchester United, Watford and Spurs from the current top half but also tackle the teams currently in 11th, 12th and 14th – Leicester, Bournemouthand Crystal Palace – and nobody lower than 16th-place Brighton.


Liverpool’s remaining opponents have an average of 33.3 points so far this season, with City’s opponents two points better off at 35.3.

Key matches
Jurgen Klopp’s side face a crucial test of their league-leading credentials this Sunday, when they cross Stanley Park to take on derby rivals Everton at Goodison Park.

Their games against the other sides in Champions League contention both take place at Anfield, with Spurs visiting on March 31 and Chelsea a fortnight later.

By that point they will have played a game more than their nearest rivals, with the trip to Fulham falling on March 17 when City have the weekend off, but could also come under increased pressure as their six opponents are currently averaging 37.2 points – City’s five in the same period average just 29.2 and are all in the bottom half apart from Watford.

City, though, then face a significant week with tricky fixtures at home to Tottenhamon April 20 and away to their own local rivals, Manchester United, four days later.


If the title comes down to the final day, Liverpool have the tougher opponents on paper in the form of Wolves but will be roared on by the Kop. City face a long away trip to Brighton, who could still be battling for survival to add a touch of unpredictability.



What can expected goals tell us?
Expected goals (xG) seeks to measure the likelihood of a player or team scoring from the shots they create, based on an analysis of similar attempts in the past.

Data from analytics company StatsBomb shows that City have generated shots worth an average of 2.24 xG per game, noticeably higher than Liverpool’s 1.89. Both teams have over-performed those expectations, with City averaging 2.68 goals per game and Liverpool 2.29.

Both teams have given up similar defensive xG totals – City 0.76 per game to Liverpool’s 0.79 – and are thus averaging over a goal more than their opponents per game, though City’s extra firepower will give them hope of overhauling their one-point deficit.



Can Spurs still crash the party?
Defeats to Burnley on Saturday and Chelsea on Wednesday have seen Tottenhamslip nine points off the summit and left manager Mauricio Pochettino admitting it is now “impossible to fight Man City and Liverpool”.

They also face the toughest run-in of the trio, against opponents averaging 39.7 points.

The identity of those opponents is the one factor offering hope – Spurs still have both Liverpool and City to play, albeit both away from home, and wins in those two games appear to be their only hope of closing the gap.

Even before that, they host derby rivals Arsenal on Saturday knowing they must get back to winning ways if they are to prove their manager wrong.

 

SBYM

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Interesting that we have won one match less than City, drawn four more than them, but lost three matches fewer.

Thinking back to the penalty decision the other night, and the non awarding of the Keita penalty against Leicester, very similar incidents in terms of contact but different outcomes, I wonder what influence penalty calls have had on results?

I don't know the answer, but wonder how many times matches that ended up as wins for City would have been draws without penalties.

Also, how many of our draws would have been wins if penalties had been awarded.

It kind of feels to me that we've been awarded penalties in matches we would have won anyway, i.e. were already leading, but that City have been awarded more penalties when scores have been level.

How many of our penalties were awarded when we were leading? How many City penalties were awarded when they were level?

Of course other factors play a part, we've had a few offside decisions go our way, the only one of note against us being the one at Arsenal.

But my gut feel is that on penalty decisions alone, we should be at least two points better off and City two points worse off.

I have expressed concerns about our squad and Klopp's team selections, but one of the biggest reasons I worry about the title outcome, is that in a very tight race a swing of four to six points due to penalty decisions could be very impactful.
 

RedForever2014

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I guess he has to ‘have’ something to think about’,’ seeing as ‘we’ won on Wednesday. lol
Judging by the mistakes in your post, duly corrected and indicated, I’m guessing sms is a subliminal reference to your character limits (literally and metaphorically).
 

pass_and_move

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Haven't read any of the previous posts so I may be repeating what others have already said. This season has been awesome in that we are realistic challengers for the premiership despite not really playing at our best consistently. August to Dec we were winning ugly and hoovering up the points. Then, for a brief period, we were outstanding - I think the Napoli home game kick started this. Post New Year we have fallen a little short by our high standards, but the Watford win was pretty impressive. When we play our A game we are unstoppable, just like watching Holland of the 70's on speed. The question is whether we can sustain our A game over the final third of the season. Me thinks Jurgen has learned from the previous season where we were pretty burnt out and struggling for players by the end. This season we are fresher and we have more strength in depth. What I really like is that we now have a recognisable spine in Allison, VVD, Gini and Firmino. The first two have made a massive difference this season and all credit to them. When we factor in the talents of TAA and Robertson this gives us a world class back line, even without the world's greatest defender - Lovren.

Predictions - 2nd in the Premiership and Champions league final.
 

FilthyBloke

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I hope we win the title. Just so we can all look back on how amazing we have been. I think it’s being overlooked right now.
Only one defeat.
And have only dropped 4 points to teams outside the top 6.
Incredible really.
 

belldiouf

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As others have said, 90 points is typically the magic number to win the league. I think 95 this season might be the magic number, as I don't see City or ourselves getting 100 again this season. That means we need another 29 out of the 33 remaining . Hypothetically speaking, that would allow us to draw away to Everton and draw one out of Spurs/Chelsea at home, whilst winning the rest of the following fixtures:

Watford (H)
Burnley (H)
Fulham (A)
Southampton (A)
Cardiff (A)
Huddersfield (H)
Newcastle (A)
Wolves (H)

Southampton and Cardiff could be particularly tricky fixtures, as both will be scrapping to avoid relegation. Huddersfield will already be down, and Newcastle and Wolves should be safe with nothing to play for by the time those fixtures come around. I might be the most pessimistic person on this forum, but we are a real shout at the title here.

With all that said, we face the very real prospect of going out of the Champions League at the R16, along side our first round exits of the FA Cup and League Cup. If we don't push City all the way to the title at the very least, then I cant help but feel that it is ultimately a disappointing season.
Quoting myself, because I am THAT wanker. But this time last week I had us down to beat Watford, draw with Everton whilst still getting 95 points. We are still on for that. I think we will get back to winning ways next week.
 

RedForever2014

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I know we're not supposed to use any statistics to back an argument, or look at trends to identify issues, but the stats since January 3rd tell the story for themselves.

Nine PL matches played, nearly a quarter of a season, and in that time we've won four, drawn four and lost one. That's sixteen points from twenty seven, the eleven dropped turning a seven point lead two months to the day ago into a one point deficit, with City having lost one match in that time.

Worryingly, of three tough matches away from home at City, United and Everton, we took two points from nine.

We've drawn four matches of the last six, taking ten points from the last eighteen.

Our handsome wins against Bournemouth and Watford contrast with having scored two goals in four matches against Leicester, West Ham, United and Everton.

It seems we have a problem winning against top sides, or in derby matches, away from Anfield.

We'll have to see what happens, but it's clear there is now little margin for error. The trend of the last quarter can't continue, IMO we'll have to win at least eight of the last nine matches and draw the other.

The issue is clearly a lack of midfield creativity and in fact arguably a lack of consistent quality from our forwards. It's feast or famine with them. The lack of depth in that area of the park is also an issue.
 

Perth Red

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In the 2011/12 season United led City by 1 point, 70 to 69, after 29 games. Arsenal a distant third. City went on to win it with the last gasp goal against QPR on goal difference! They both got to 89, still the highest ever attained by a losing side.
If my Maths is correct that means United got 19 points and City 20 from their final 9 games... which proves that the run in for the title is anything but simple and there are dropped points no matter how motivated you are!
This is still alive, anything can happen!
 

Dane

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Win our next 3 games and we go into April with City playing catch up again.
They will have a game in hand, but it's at Old Trafford.
Better to have points in the bag than games in hand in my book.

Just checked, and City wont catch up on games played until April 24th.
Plus, if as expected they progress to the FA Cup semi final, they will drop a further game behind on April 6th.

Let's see how they deal with that before we all become suicidal.
 
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Dane

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I know we're not supposed to use any statistics to back an argument, or look at trends to identify issues, but the stats since January 3rd tell the story for themselves.

Nine PL matches played, nearly a quarter of a season, and in that time we've won four, drawn four and lost one. That's sixteen points from twenty seven, the eleven dropped turning a seven point lead two months to the day ago into a one point deficit, with City having lost one match in that time.

Worryingly, of three tough matches away from home at City, United and Everton, we took two points from nine.

We've drawn four matches of the last six, taking ten points from the last eighteen.

Our handsome wins against Bournemouth and Watford contrast with having scored two goals in four matches against Leicester, West Ham, United and Everton.

It seems we have a problem winning against top sides, or in derby matches, away from Anfield.

We'll have to see what happens, but it's clear there is now little margin for error. The trend of the last quarter can't continue, IMO we'll have to win at least eight of the last nine matches and draw the other.

The issue is clearly a lack of midfield creativity and in fact arguably a lack of consistent quality from our forwards. It's feast or famine with them. The lack of depth in that area of the park is also an issue.
You forgot the smiley.
 

Rambler

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Not going to be a popular opinion I guess but I suspect City will end up clinching the title before the last round of games. I think you have to take account of the psychological factors at play. City are on a run at the exact right time and team morale will be high....picked up one trophy and still in contention for the other 3. They will be buzzing in that dressing room.

I honestly can't see us picking up two more points than they will in the run in.

I fear what effect that outcome would have on Klopp and the squad.
 
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Red_Jedi

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Win our next 3 games and we go into April with City playing catch up again.
They will have a game in hand, but it's at Old Trafford.
Better to have points in the bag than games in hand in my book.

Just checked, and City wont catch up on games played until April 24th.
Plus, if as expected they progress to the FA Cup semi final, they will drop a further game behind on April 6th.

Let's see how they deal with that before we all become suicidal.
There are more twists and turns to come guaranteed!

Truth is, city lost to Leicester, palace and Newcastle (Chelsea Loss I understand) - which they should never have lost, and we took advantage.

Historically, united and Everton away are our 2 toughest matches. And we got 2 draws.

It’s a shame we didn’t kick on by beating Leicester and West Ham, and even getting a deserved draw against city - the table would look very different now.

Still has been an amazing season so far.... and more still to come.
 

FilthyBloke

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I think our lack of back up quality is starting to show.
When our front three are firing they are immense. But right now we have no option but to play them as origi and sturridge have become a goal a season players.
Our midfield has too many water carriers. Our creative players are out of form (or just not fancied by klopp) so we have to stay with the same out of form players.
Our centre backs are fine, but we have one left back and one right back. Again if they are out of form we have no option but to play them anyway.
Milner has run out of legs. His form has dropped as dramatically as ours has.

So unless we can somehow magically change our out of form players mindset, it’ll be another trophy less season.

My prediction at the minute is we will finish second. Reason being that whilst us and city are playing below par, they are scraping wins and we are not.
 

Iluvatar

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This only a few days since he was absolutely colossal against Watford?
He was but if he wasn't fit why bring him on yesterday? (Klopp said he was struggling mid-week). He looked a yard off the pace and Milner for the past 2 years has looked leggy and poor if played twice in a week. Milner needs his game time managing as when he gets overplayed he goes from the immense to a complete liability, there doesn't appear to be a middle ground for him.
 

Dane

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On Milner.
Very reliable and adaptable player, usually.
Yesterday wasn't one of those days.
 

FilthyBloke

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Burnley next up in league. They will park the bus and try go in hard for every 50/50.

Keita and Shaqiri should start. They are fresh. Well, they should be.

For the Bayern game, I hope we go for it. They are slow and old and we need to be adventurous. 0-0 and extra time is the last thing we need.
 



FilthyBloke

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On Milner.
Very reliable and adaptable player, usually.
Yesterday wasn't one of those days.

Aye. But I think when you need to change a game, when you need some flair, when you need a goal...... then Milner should not be coming on when you have other creativity players on the bench.
 

Dane

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Aye. But I think when you need to change a game, when you need some flair, when you need a goal...... then Milner should not be coming on when you have other creativity players on the bench.
Definitely not.
Milner was a 'let's not lose this game' substitution.
 

RedForever2014

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Win our next 3 games and we go into April with City playing catch up again.
They will have a game in hand, but it's at Old Trafford.
Better to have points in the bag than games in hand in my book.

Just checked, and City wont catch up on games played until April 24th.
Plus, if as expected they progress to the FA Cup semi final, they will drop a further game behind on April 6th.

Let's see how they deal with that before we all become suicidal.
When did we last win three on the run? That's the problem. Let's hope it changes.

The points return from the last 9 matches from the next 9 matches would leave us with 86 points, a great return for the season, but probably not enough and a disappointing second half of the season.

City might well win every remaining match, but we have to hope they drop something somewhere and a combination of injuries and fatigue might make that inevitable.

But it's no good unless we win consistently from this point.

Personally I think we're now in the situation whereby to have a chance of the title, going out of the Champions League is probably necessary, because we don't have the squad for must win PL matches between intense CL midweek matches.

Injury problems may be easing, but Oxlade won't be fully fit and on form early enough to make a difference. The returning defenders will help, but conceding goals hasn't been an issue the past half dozen matches, it's been scoring them consistently.

The issue remains that Bobby's having an off season in comparison to what we needed from him, Salah is hit one minute miss the next, there is no midfield creativity and the back ups aren't good enough.

Ultimately City's midfield and forwards are better than ours, we just have to hope that them competing for four trophies is a leveller.
 

Dane

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When did we last win three on the run? That's the problem. Let's hope it changes.

The points return from the last 9 matches from the next 9 matches would leave us with 86 points, a great return for the season, but probably not enough and a disappointing second half of the season.

City might well win every remaining match, but we have to hope they drop something somewhere and a combination of injuries and fatigue might make that inevitable.

But it's no good unless we win consistently from this point.

Personally I think we're now in the situation whereby to have a chance of the title, going out of the Champions League is probably necessary, because we don't have the squad for must win PL matches between intense CL midweek matches.

Injury problems may be easing, but Oxlade won't be fully fit and on form early enough to make a difference. The returning defenders will help, but conceding goals hasn't been an issue the past half dozen matches, it's been scoring them consistently.

The issue remains that Bobby's having an off season in comparison to what we needed from him, Salah is hit one minute miss the next, there is no midfield creativity and the back ups aren't good enough.

Ultimately City's midfield and forwards are better than ours, we just have to hope that them competing for four trophies is a leveller.
Therein lies the difference between you and me.
I'd rather look at the points tally from say our first 9 fixtures.
Those games gave us 23 points, and included games against Spurs, Chelsea and City. Given we have Spurs and Chelsea are at home, and we dont have to face City again, 25 or 26 is achievable. That would have us on anywhere from 93 to 96 points.

Each to their own though.

I'll deal with the misery if we fall short in May, you appear to try and deal with it on a daily basis.
 

redbj

hurry up, July 1st, let's get the show on the road
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Anybody like me and getting more and more upset with every passing day about that split second when Vincent Kompany assaulted Mo Salah....as the last fucking man?

I try and steer away from blaming referees or any external factors.....but that split second does get the conspiracy theory redbj out of his shell a bit.

I mean...seriously, and nothing seemed to linger about it.

Should be played on loop in the referees locker.