Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

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stu1
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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by stu1 » Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:07 am

The next 7 games are crucial to whether we have a realistic chance of top 4 or top 6. If we want to finish top 4 then I think we need to be 4th and preferably with a small cushion 3-4 points to have any chance of maintaining it.

Our next 7 games include home games against Norwich, Leeds, Watford, Newcastle and Wolves. We need a minimum of 12 points from those games.

In amongst those we have two difficult away games at Man U and Leicester. Although the way Man U are playing I’ll be disappointed if we lost to them, Leicester fairly similar story but arguably our toughest game. I’d hope we can pick up one win from these games.

If manage to get 15 points from the next 21 that would put us on 49 points with 27 played and hopefully have us in fourth.

We’d then need roughly 18 points from our final 11 games which include some tricky games away at Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and home games against Arsenal and Man City as well as an away game against our perennial bogey team Brighton.

If we want a chance of 4th we’ll need a buffer going in to those games, which is a tough ask and why I think 6th is more realistic.

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by Georgee Paris » Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:23 am

Unfortunately it seems Arsenal are going to pay their way into the top 4 - I have a feeling they may even catch 3rd place and we will be left to rue not investing heavier. We can’t rely on our players to not get injured again and we can’t change the managers mind set - he is happy to work with a smaller squad. We have done well to be in the running for 4th - but to stay there, so much depends on luck for us.

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by funky chicken » Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:32 am

Georgee Paris wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:23 am
Unfortunately it seems Arsenal are going to pay their way into the top 4 - I have a feeling they may even catch 3rd place.
No chance! :D 4th place, maybe. 3rd place, not a chance. They get d*cked by just about any team in the top 7. The moment they play one of those sides, or physical team like Brighton and Wolves they always get found out.

Wait and see when they play the Spuds away on the 16th. They’ll probably sh*t their pants and lose like they always seem to do when they go there.

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by paulhs1 » Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:59 am

What we need is someone to come in and inject us with the same amount of impetus as Lingard did last January.
Ideally we need Lingard!
We also need to stop conceding the amount of goals were letting in.
Last edited by paulhs1 on Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by sendô » Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:06 am

Our primary issue at the moment is conceding too many goals. 2 vs Palace, 3 vs Soton, 2 vs Arsenal, 2 at Spurs in the cup. We typically need to score 2 or 3 a game to win. It's a good job we're scoring going forwards again but shipping a couple a game every game is not maintainable.

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by Crouchend_Hammer » Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:46 am

We concede a lot of goals because we usually play 4 attacking players
This is pretty unusual - lots of teams, including Spurs, only play 3

Personally i prefer how we do it as it makes for more exciting football

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by bubbles1966 » Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:05 am

The important thing at this stage is that we are in the mix and we have the opportunity to fix. Some of what's important in the next two weeks is down to the money men as much as Moyes.

I perceive a need for up to four arrivals , with similar numbers leaving. They should not wait until the summer to fix the replacements for Noble, Kral, Yarmolenko - it should be done now.

I don't think we'll finish below all three of Spurs, Arsenal and Man U. Odds of 5/1 for us to finish fourth are probably a little bit generous.

Arsenal are doing fantastically well to avoid draws, but have lost seven league games already. They have settled on a style of high intensity pressing for an hour and hoping it blows teams away. Can they keep that up, week after week? What happens when teams play over the press and go for their suspect back line? They've also been injury free.

Spurs are grinding out results. They keep playing against ten men. I felt they were really poor in the main against us in the league cup.

Man United appear to be all over the place, unsettled by Ronaldo's presence, and the likes of Ronaldo and Pogba don't run if they're playing for fourth. If you're used to coming first, then fourth might as well be fourteenth.

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by paulhs1 » Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:36 am

Good piece here that gives a really good analysis of the top 4 race.

For me our problem is clear...we need to tighten up at the back just as spurs have done.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footb ... -look.html

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by bubbles1966 » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:19 pm

paulhs1 wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:36 am
Good piece here that gives a really good analysis of the top 4 race.

For me our problem is clear...we need to tighten up at the back just as spurs have done.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footb ... -look.html
Interesting that they have focussed on dropped points v Brentford, Wolves, Palace, Southampton, Brighton etc.

If they look in detail they will see this characteristic is not unique to us.

There are essentially three groups outside of the 4th-7th cluster.
  • Teams 1-3 (Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea) rarely lose to those below them so are usually games where points are dropped.
  • Then there is a difficult midtable cluster of around seven teams (Wolves, Brighton, Southampton, Palace, Brentford, Leicester, Everton) who will pick up points every other game against top 7 clubs
  • Then there are six (Villa, Newcastle, Leeds, Burnley, Norwich, Watford) who lose almost all the time.
Newcastle may be transformed by spending.

The reason Arsenal, Spurs, Man U and WHU are all within a point or two each other is because they are essentially the same standard and have been for eighteen months.

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by paulhs1 » Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:52 pm

bubbles1966 wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:19 pm
Interesting that they have focussed on dropped points v Brentford, Wolves, Palace, Southampton, Brighton etc.

If they look in detail they will see this characteristic is not unique to us.

There are essentially three groups outside of the 4th-7th cluster.
  • Teams 1-3 (Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea) rarely lose to those below them so are usually games where points are dropped.
  • Then there is a difficult midtable cluster of around seven teams (Wolves, Brighton, Southampton, Palace, Brentford, Leicester, Everton) who will pick up points every other game against top 7 clubs
  • Then there are six (Villa, Newcastle, Leeds, Burnley, Norwich, Watford) who lose almost all the time.
Newcastle may be transformed by spending.

The reason Arsenal, Spurs, Man U and WHU are all within a point or two each other is because they are essentially the same standard and have been for eighteen months.
What I find encouraging is that we have had so many games where we really should have got more out of it and perhaps this has not really been the case for Spurs and Arsenal.

Brentford, Man U and Southampton could quite easily had been draws and Burnley and Brighton the full 3 points.

You can see where we can make improvements.

If we can step up against the teams outside of the top 3 then we can really start to pile up the points.

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by stu1 » Wed Jan 05, 2022 1:44 pm

funky chicken wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 7:32 am
No chance! :D 4th place, maybe. 3rd place, not a chance. They get d*cked by just about any team in the top 7. The moment they play one of those sides, or physical team like Brighton and Wolves they always get found out.

Wait and see when they play the Spuds away on the 16th. They’ll probably sh*t their pants and lose like they always seem to do when they go there.
Unfortunately I think Arsenal are better than you are giving them credit for.

They were pretty decent at the back last season yet have strengthen considerably with Ramsdale (I’m shocked how good he looks), White and the new right back who’s name escapes me but he looks very decent.

The biggest difference however is their four youngsters behind Lacazette, they seem to have really clicked as we found out to our detriment. Arsenal are now capable of blitzing teams, which is something they’d lost since Wenger left.

If it wasn’t for Saka, ESR and Martinelli all coming through their youth at the same time I think Arsenal would have continued to slide into mediocrity, but with the addition of their decent summer transfer activity they’ve been thrown a life line to challenge for the top 4 again.

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by il_martello_di_genovesi » Wed Jan 05, 2022 1:59 pm

stu1 wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 1:44 pm
Unfortunately I think Arsenal are better than you are giving them credit for.
They are probably the 4th best team in the league tbh. Pitch theatrics and other questionable behaviour which have helped them aside of course.

Since Lacazatte has started they look better. The other players seem to play better with him and the likes of Saka are in great form. The signing of Tomiyasu has been another big one.

They made Man City look ordinary in that first half of their last game.

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by IronRhino » Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:33 pm

Spurs were so dreadful that first half against Chelsea. 30% possession, not one shot and only one corner. Let's hope they carry that form over into the Premiership

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by El brooko79 » Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:05 pm

il_martello_di_genovesi wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 1:59 pm
They are probably the 4th best team in the league tbh. Pitch theatrics and other questionable behaviour which have helped them aside of course.

Since Lacazatte has started they look better. The other players seem to play better with him and the likes of Saka are in great form. The signing of Tomiyasu has been another big one.

They made Man City look ordinary in that first half of their last game.
Yep think the same.
Plus they have a big squad and no European commitments.
We will need to beat them at home in a 6 pointer I think

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by sendô » Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:06 pm

IronRhino wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:33 pm
Spurs were so dreadful that first half against Chelsea. 30% possession, not one shot and only one corner. Let's hope they carry that form over into the Premiership
Don't forget, they've got two games in hand on us.

So plenty of opportunity for their GD to get worse.

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by stu1 » Thu Jan 06, 2022 6:44 am

bubbles1966 wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 12:19 pm
Interesting that they have focussed on dropped points v Brentford, Wolves, Palace, Southampton, Brighton etc.

If they look in detail they will see this characteristic is not unique to us.
That is our issue though is it not? Last season our strength was beating the bottom 12 clubs, whereas our weakness was against the historic big 6.

This season it’s flipped, we’ve won half our games against the big 6 but are dropping quite a few points against those below us, particularly those in the mid section.

Our points per game is actually lower against teams between 8th and 14th at 1.28 (9 points from 7), whereas we have 9 points from 6 against the historic big 6, including 6 point from 3 against the big 3!

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by bubbles1966 » Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:43 am

Yes, we've been less efficient against the sticky middle than last year, but have improved against top and bottom 6.

Top 7
2020/2021 P 12 W 3 D 2 L 7 Pts 11 (of 36) 31% of available points
2021/2022 P 6 W 3 D 0 L 3 Pts 9 (of 18) - 50% of available points

Middle 7
P 14 W 8 D 2 L 4 Pts 26 (of 42) - 62% of available points
P 9 W 3 D 3 L 3 Pts 12 (of 27) - 44% of available points

Bottom 6
2020/2021 P 12 W 8 D 4 L 0 Pts 28 (of 36) - 78% of available points
2021/2022 P 5 W 4 D 1 L 0 Pts 13 (of 15) - 87% of available points

By Contrast:

Top 7
Spurs P 6 Pts 4
Arsenal P 7 Pts 6
Man Utd P 6 Pts 10

Middle 7
Spurs P 6 Pts 13
Arsenal P 6 Pts 10
Man Utd P 6 Pts 7

Bottom 6
Spurs P 6 Pts 16
Arsenal P 7 Pts 18
Man Utd P 7 Pts 14

We've played 9 midtable games, whereas others are on 6 or 7; we've played the fewest against the bottom six. As that skew unwinds, it should work in our favour.

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by El brooko79 » Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:50 am

bubbles1966 wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:43 am
Yes, we've been less efficient against the sticky middle than last year, but have improved against top and bottom 6.
This is good data, thanks for sharing.

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by stu1 » Thu Jan 06, 2022 5:30 pm

bubbles1966 wrote:
Thu Jan 06, 2022 8:43 am
Some good stats there bubbles.

If we combine the mid 7 and bottom 6 it does however highlight the issues we’re having this season.

WHU (21): P 13 Pts 25 (60%)
WHU (20): P 26 Pts 54 (69%)
TOT: P12 Pts 29 (80%)
ARS: P13 Pts 28 (72%)
MAN: P13 Pts 21 (54%)

Other than Man U our success rate against those in the bottom 13 is lagging our competitors and our performance last year. The difference to Tottenham being particularly large, in fact so far we are proportionally dropping twice as many points as they are in these games.

You do make a valid point that we’ve played 9 games against the middle bracket, whereas our competitions results are more concentrated towards the bottom 6. However we still need Tottenham and Arsenal to drop quite a few points in those games for their record to fall in line with our own.

It will be interesting to see how these stats change by the team the season finishes.

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Re: Who Will Beat Us To Top 4?

Post by Shabu » Thu Jan 06, 2022 6:11 pm

If you look at the current form table we're in joint 6th with Chelsea & Leicester on 10 points.

Citeh obviously top with 18 points then it's Spurs (14), Man U (13), Arsenal (12) then Liverpool on 11.

That's the new Top Eight clubs battling it out although we'll see if Leicester pick up in the 2nd half of the season.

But Arsenal, Man U & Spurs all slowly catching Chelsea & Liverpool and hopefully we've got the blip out of our system.

Citeh aside it could be a very interesting run in.

https://thefishy.co.uk/formtable.php?table=1

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