With Liverpool due to kick off their 20th season of Premier League football at home to Sunderland on Saturday, and with them also having started at home (to Arsenal) last season, I got to wondering which teams have been most favoured by the fixtures computer with a home start.
There are seven ever-present teams in the Premier League, and including this season’s opening day, how many home games will they have played on the first weekend?
Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton – 13
Manchester United – 11
Aston Villa – 9
Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur – 7
Liverpool and Spurs seem particularly hard done by, and even more so in Tottenham’s case, as the London riots have meant they will only have started six seasons at home following the postponement of their game with Everton this weekend.
Obviously I am approaching this from a Liverpool perspective, and when researching this I noticed that some clubs who haven’t been in the Premier League for every season have already had more opening fixtures at home than the Reds.
Bare in mind that Liverpool’s seven home openers equates to a 35% tally. Teams with superior averages include:
Coventry – 7 / 9 (78%)
Sunderland* – 7 / 11 (64%)
Southampton – 8 /13 (62%)
Leeds – 7 / 12 (58%)
Middlesbrough – 8 / 14 (57%)
Blackburn* – 10 / 19 (53%)
West Ham – 8 / 16 (50%)
Newcastle* – 8 / 18 (44%)
* includes this weekend’s fixture as currently in the Premier League.
Of course, every team has to play every other at home and away over the course of the season, and so maybe it doesn’t matter where you start your league campaign.
But when approximately 46% of league matches end in a home win, 28% in a draw and only 26% in an away win, it’s more likely you’ll get off to a flier with a home start. And that’s a luxury Liverpool have had a lot less than many other teams.
Make it count on Saturday please Reds!
Please take a look at my other articles, a list of which can be found here.
UPDATE August 2012: With the Reds being given a trip to The Hawthorns on the opening day of the 2012/13 season, they will have now had 14 out of 21 (66.7%) of their opening fixtures away from home. It’s not getting any fairer!