Quick Statistical Preview for Fulham vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Richard Heathcote

I've crunched some numbers, and I have some meetings to get to, so this will have to be a quick hit. TL;DR: Fulham have terrible stats, Spurs likely to win.

Fulham have fired manager Martin Jol and replaced him with René Meulensteen in advance of Tottenham Hotspur's match at Craven Cottage today. This happened because Fulham have been absolutely abject, one of the worst couple teams in my database from 2009-2013. They have allowed more than twice as many shots on target from inside the box as they have achieved (58 to 26). Fulham have taken 31 shots from the Danger Zone and allowed a ludicrous 95. I have their expected goal difference at -16 or so.

As a comparison, last year when I repeatedly remarked on the terribleness of Reading, they had a Team+ rating between 50-55. They were about half as good as the average Premier League club. Over 13 matches this season, Fulham's underlying stats give them a Team+ rating of 40. So far this year, Fulham have been about 20-25% more terrible than Reading, the gold standard for terriblosity.

Now, we should expect some regression to the mean here. Fulham probably aren't this bad, and perhaps bringing in a new manager will help, too. But the reason I project Spurs to win this match is because Fulham have been truly and historically terrible so far this year.

Projections for Fulham-Spurs

TOT W D FUL W
MCofA Projection 64% 23% 13%
Bookie Projection 58% 26% 16%
Top 4% 41% 29% 24%

Because my numbers hate Fulham and like Spurs a bit more than the bookie consensus, my numbers project a win to be slightly more likely than they see it. Because Spurs are so likely to win, this is a match where there isn't a lot to be gained in the projections with a win, since I'm already projecting about 2.2 points on average for us. But dropped points would be very, very bad.

I hope we win.

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