There has been an explosive start to the 2012/13 Premier League season which has included all of the surprises, upsets and shocks that make the League arguably the best in the world.
The PowerTable 12 Game Report analyses each teams’ performance from the opening twelve Premier League games to give you unique footballing insight and an exciting new way to look at the game.
The Premier League is an unfair competition – the big clubs get to play smaller teams, and the smaller teams are supposed to lose!
The PowerTable creates a unique framework to give a true measure of team performance by grouping teams into Tiers and calculating the percentage
of points each club wins in all home and away games. A Tier 1 team (such as Manchester United), should take 100% of the points from Tier 4 opposition
(such as Norwich), but as we’ve recently seen this does not always happen!
Through this same framework, we are able to predict how the final league table should look and how well team’s get on against each other.
The leading pack
The 3 top teams have struggled for consistency this season. Manchester City are top and remain unbeaten, but they are not performing as well as last season. Manchester United are in 2nd place and scoring goals freely, but they are showing uncharacteristic defensive frailties. Chelsea hadn’t lost in the opening 8 games, but a dip in form has fall to 3rd and sack their manager.
United have won the most League games this season, but have already lost 3 matches. Their attack has been strengthened by the signing of Van Persie who has
scored 8 goals already, but injuries to key defenders and uncharacteristic mistakes have resulted in conceding goals
City are top of the table and unbeaten this season, but some key players are struggling to reproduce the form that won
the title last season. Mancini’s men have been knocked out of this season’s Champions’ League already meaning that retaining the League title is their top priority
Chelsea were the early leaders but have suffered a dip in form recently. Hazard, Mata and Oscar have introduced flair and creativity, but the goal scoring form of Torres is a concern. After failing to win in the last 4 League games and losing in the Champions’ League, Abramovich has replaced Di Matteo with Benitez – the man who signed Torres for Liverpool. Perhaps a last attempt to get the most out of the £50 million striker?
Last season, Everton finished above rivals Liverpool for the first time in 7 years and are currently outperforming them this season. Over the past 5 years, Liverpool’s final League position has been declining, whilst Everton have consistently finished around the same position. Liverpool’s decline appears worse when looking at points accumulated in the opening 12 games as they are picking up fewer points each year. Everton have had their best start to a season in recent years; so good that they are currently 5 points and 6 League positions above their Merseyside rivals!
One of the key reasons behind the Merseyside power shift is that Everton are scoring more goals than in previous years. They have scored 22 goals this season after 12 games compared to last year when they had only scored 15. Everton are also sharing goals among the team rather than relying on an individual. They have had 6 different players score more than 2 goals this season compared to Liverpool who have only had 2. Liverpool are also reliant on Suarez for their goals as he has scored nearly 60% of their total. An injury or suspension to the Uruguayan would see Liverpool struggle further!
Managerial consistency may be another factor behind Everton’s rise above Liverpool. Rodgers is Liverpool’s 5th different manager in the last 10 years whereas Moyes has been the only Everton manager in this period. It appears that Everton are benefiting from the stability that the same manager brings, rather than Liverpool who have replaced their manager every few years.
Goals win games! Without players who have the ability to put the ball in the back of the net, teams are always going to struggle. PowerTable looks at
this season’s goals scored record of the Premier League teams for the opening 12 games, with a particular focus on those teams that are ‘firing blanks’.
Norwich have scored only 9 goals this season with Holt being responsible for 33% of them. The team are performing well in 13th place, but their inability to score goals, particularly in away matches, is surely a concern for fans.
Stoke’s defensive record this season is excellent, but their goalscoring record is poor as they have scored just 10 goals this season – leading scorer Crouch netting 4. Stoke average just 9 shots per game, the 2nd lowest in the League at this point.
Sunderland spent £12 million on striker Fletcher in the summer and he has repaid them with 6 goals – 60% of the team’s total. Sunderland average the least number of shots in the entire League with just 8 per game and have only scored 3 goals at home all season.
Aston Villa are currently in 18th position having won only 2 games and scored 10 goals with an inexperienced squad. Injuries and a lack of form has seen Bent dropped to the bench in favour of Benteke who is also struggling for goals – both having scored 2 goals each this season.
QPR are the joint lowest scorers in the league with 9 goals – 3 of those scored by Zamora who is injured for the next 3 months. QPR have more shots on goal (average 13 per game) and more shots on target (average 7 per game) than the other highlighted teams but still struggle to score.
A strong defence can make the difference between winning the Premier League, qualifying for Europe, being in mid-table mediocrity or suffering relegation. PowerTable looks at the defensive record of the Premier League teams for the opening 12 games and finds some surprising results.
Strong at the back:
Manchester City have the best defence in the League, conceding just 10 goals this season. This record is even better than last year when they’d conceded 11 goals in 12 games.
Stoke City have the most improved defence having only conceded 11 goals this season; half the number of last season. 7 draws though means they are in 14th, lower than their defensive record suggests.
Sunderland find themselves 15th despite a strong defensive record. They have conceded 12 goals this season, a slight improvement on last year where they’d let in 13 goals.
Man United have conceded 17 goals already this season, 5 more than this stage last season. Injuries to key defenders and mistakes at the back have not helped their record.
Tottenham’s defence has conceded 21 goals already this season, 6 more than last season. A switch in manager and playing style could be the reason for this leakier defence.
Currently 9th in the League, Fulham have conceded 22 goals this season – 7 more than at this stage last season. Despite having a better defence last season, they were in 16th place at this point!