Retrospective Scores: Are Liverpool doing better in the Premier League this season?
Managers analyse and study results on a game-to-game level, and supporters always talk about how their team performed in the respective result from last season ahead of the next Gameweek, hoping for a similar or better result. Going back to old stomping grounds and picking up a result is a feel-good factor, and managers want to sustain that consistency. The Hype Train will assess respective team performances to judge if teams are doing better or worse than last seasons respective results. All aboard.
The race for the top four will be the primary focus of this examination, and clubs of popularity in the Fantasy Premier League, to see if clubs are doing better in respective fixtures and if there are myths and patterns with team’s results. It must be stressed that this only looks at results in identical fixtures from the last season, and if it is good enough for managers to chart their progress it is good enough for us to use to see if we can make assured predictions for the rest of the season.
The club we are focusing on in our debut study is Liverpool, a team mired in years worth of of sustained inconsistency. Are they doing better than last year in the Premier League?
The measurements are simple to understand, we deduct or add points based on the difference of result from last season. For example; the only time a maximum of three points on either positive or negative swing can be attributed to a total reversal of a previous result, and a neutral result means that the points did not change. Two examples are:
Liverpool 2-3 Swansea (16/17) | Liverpool 5-0 Swansea (17/18) = +3
Liverpool 0-0 Man United (16/17) | Liverpool 0-0 Man United (17/18) = 0
Here are the stated parameters:
Win to Win (W > W) = 0
Win to Draw (W > D) = -2
Win to Loss (W > L) = -3
Draw to Win (D > W) = +2
Draw to Draw (D > D) = 0
Draw to Loss (D > L) = -1
Loss to Win (L > W) = +3
Loss to Draw (L > D) = +1
Loss to Loss (L > L) = 0
Relegated & Promoted Clubs
Keeping the same focus on respective results we are aware that clubs are relegated from the Premier League, and promoted, so to keep true to the expected results of any team the golden rule is that every team in the league is expected to beat a promoted team. We have equivalency teams to benchmark results from last season, and in the results table, these respective results are marked with an asterisks (*). For example, Liverpool were expected to beat Hull City away from home last season, but they ended up losing. Safe to say that Liverpool would expect to improve their results against all the promoted clubs.
Hull City (18th) = Newcastle (1st Place)
Middlesbrough (19th) = Brighton (2nd Place)
Sunderland (20th) = Huddersfield (Play-off Promotion)
Liverpool have dropped points from respective fixtures six times this season.
Liverpool have gained points from respective fixtures eight times this season.
Liverpool have repeated the same score in respective fixtures twice so far, both draws at home to Manchester United (0-0) and Chelsea (1-1).
Liverpool this season have not had one instance of dropping an entire three points from a win in 2016/17 to a loss in 2017/18.
However, Liverpool have turned around five losses to wins. Three of these three wins have occurred in the past five gameweeks (Bournemouth, Swansea, and Burnley).
Furthermore, all of Liverpool’s six defeats of the 2016/17 campaign have been turned around into positive results in 2017/18, with five wins and a draw. The Reds key concern is dropping points in other fixtures, highlighting their inconsistency. Last season the Reds drew with both Spurs and Man City, and this time round lost on the road. During this current stage of the season, these are the only two losses blotting Liverpool’s record this season.
Here are the comparisons between the progress made between the respective scores this season Goals scored 16/17: 36
Goals scored 17/18: 52
Goals scored difference: +16
Goals conceded 16/17: 28
Goals conceded 17/18: 25
Goals conceded difference: +3
Liverpool: Next Five Matches
GW23: Man City (16/17 Score: LIV 1-0 MCI)
GW24: Swansea (16/17 Score: SWA 1-2 LIV)
GW25: Huddersfield (16/17 Score: SUN 2-2 LIV*)
GW26: Spurs (16/17 Score: LIV 2-0 TOT)
GW27: Southampton (16/17 Score: SOU 0-0 LIV)
Liverpool picked up 11pts from these respective fixtures last season, and not losing a single game. The previous fixtures this season saw losses away to Spurs and Man City, but wins over the other three teams.
Based solely on the respective fixtures already played from last season, Liverpool have improved across the board. The number of goals scored at this stage of the season may be lower, but in the respective fixtures the Reds have scored more, conceded less, and picked up more points than they did last season. The positivity of these figures highlights legitimate progress for Jürgen Klopp, and it could be argued that if they keep up consistently bettering their results from last season then Liverpool will do even better than they did last season. Anything can change in football, but the short of it is that Liverpool are performing at a higher level than last season even with Champions League competition being played. The Reds greater squad strength this season, and acquisition of Virgil van Dijk could only see even more development. Should Jürgen Klopp quickly replace Philippe Coutinho in the January transfer window then it is most likely that Liverpool will once again finish in the top four at the end of the season.
The foresighted prediction is that Liverpool will exceed their points tally of last season when the Reds acquired 76pts. Currently sitting on 44pts in the table the Reds are 34pts off achieving the same points tally, which is twelve more wins from the remaining sixteen matches, which is achievable with Liverpool not losing many matches this season. The likelihood is that with the competition in the race for the top four, 76pts might be more than enough to secure another season of Champions League football.
We will follow up at the end of the season to examine Liverpool’s progress.
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