Stats and projections for Tottenham vs. Liverpool: A big game

Michael Regan

This is going to be A Big Game. Spurs and Liverpool stand fourth and fifth in the most recent projected table. "It's a real six-pointer" #footballcliches. But it kind of is.

Liverpool are coming off two dominant wins in the league, home to Norwich City and West Ham. In these two matches they attempted 17 shots from the danger zone, six on target, while allowing just six shots from close/central areas of the box, two of them on target. They added 16 shots from wide areas in the box, six on target, and allowed only six wide shots, none of which hit the target. The two huge victories, 5-1 and 4-1, were fully deserved.

While they're the form side in the league for last week, Liverpool were struggling a bit just in the weeks before. They lost away to Hull City in a match when Hull's goals were mostly lucky deflections, but Liverpool had only one DZ shot in that match and didn't particularly deserve points themselves. And their defense was unable to prevent Everton from notching eight shots inside the box on target in the match before that. It's hard to know what to say about Liverpool, as their performances have been up and down all season.

Probably the best thing to do is just take a simple sum, and by my numbers Liverpool are about 35-40% better than the average EPL club, very slightly worse than Tottenham Hotspur. Given the inherent error bars in any projection of this sort, I'd say we're probably looking at two clubs of roughly equivalent quality. Playing at home gives Spurs a good edge, but no result is at less than a 25% chance of occurring. If either Spurs or Liverpool come away with three points, it's a 20+ percentage point jump in their top four hopes.

Exciting, scary.

Projections for Spurs-Liverpool

TOT W D LIV W
MCofA Projection 45% 27% 28%
Bookie Projection 39% 29% 32%
TOT Top 4% 49% 35% 26%
LIV Top 4% 48% 58% 71%

Basically, Spurs climb above Liverpool very slightly in the projected table with a win, which makes sense since a victory would put the two clubs equal on points. Any other result is a huge missed opportunity for Spurs. Liverpool remain about 50/50 to finish top four with a draw, but the real value of them comes with a victory and the attendant three dropped points for Spurs.

For game scores, I have 1-1 as the most likely individual result (12%) followed by 2-1 and 1-0 Spurs (9%). That's kind of always the case, so, yeah.

Projections for December

I've updated my projections for the holiday fixtures after the victory last weekend. By my numbers, the most likely result of the next five matches is 7-10 points, but Spurs really want 11+ to get back into good position in the top four race. If you're interested in the numbers for any of the other clubs, I've posted a bunch of them to my twitter.

  • Points is the number of points, 0-15 with 14 excluded as impossible, that Spurs might take over the next four matches.
  • %Chance is the odds of Spurs taking that many points from the next four matches in my simulator.
  • %Top 4 is the odds of Spurs making top four after taking X points from the next six games, and %Title is the same but for the EPL title.
Points %Chance %Top 4 %Title
0 0.1% 3% 0%
1 0.4% 4% 0%
2 0.4% 4% 0%
3 1% 7% 0%
4 5% 12% 0%
5 7% 17% 0.5%
6 9% 22% 1%
7 14% 27% 1%
8 13% 34% 1%
9 12% 41% 2%
10 15% 48% 3%
11 8% 57% 5%
12 7% 62% 6%
13 7% 70% 9%
15 2% 81% 16%

I hope we win.

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