I haven’t done this in a while, but since the season is winding down I thought it would be interesting to once again take a look at how things were shaping up one year ago today in the Premier League. In the past, I predicted that West Ham would win the league and that Portsmouth would win the league on two separate occassions based on their positions in relation to where Manchester United was at that point last season. Clearly, you shouldn’t gamble any money based on any of the information that I give you because those two teams are both headed for a downward spiral straight into the Championship (why is it called that anyways? Championship of what? It makes division one sound glamorous, when it really isn’t). Once again for your entertainment and pleasure, here you are:
14 Interesting Facts about the 2008/2009 Premier League season in relation to the 2009/2010 Premier League season that you may or may not find interesting depending upon your dorkiness for random, useless facts:
1. For some reason, as of April 3, 2010, teams have played 33 games as opposed to having played only 30 at the same date last year. I’m guessing this is somehow because of that little tournament in June called the World Cup.
2. Manchester United (65 points), Liverpool (64 points) and Chelsea (61 points topped the league with Arsenal (55 points) trailing behind for the last Champion’s League spot. This year, Chelsea (74 points), Manchester United (72 points) and Arsenal (71 points) lead the way in a bit of a tighter race, with Manchester City (59 points) occupying the coveted fourth place ticket to Europe (the real Europe).
3. The race to the Championship was being held between Newcastle (29 points), Middlesborough (27 points) and West Brom (24 points). They were all relegated. This year, Hull (27 points), Burnley (24 points) and Portsmouth (14 points) find themselves in the same positions; my money’s on all three of them getting relegated because Hull will desperately miss the acoustic range of one Phil Brown (but certainly not his managerial skills).
4. Blackburn found themselves clear of the relegation zone in 17th with 31 points. West Ham are clear of the relegation zone on goal differential with 27 points as of today.
5. Overall this season, the home team has won 166 times (51% of the time), the away team 78 times (24% of the time), and there have been 80 draws (25% of the time). At the completion of last season, the home team had won 173 times (46% of the time), the away team 110 times (26% of the time), with 97 draws (24% of the time).
6. Newcastle had drawn the most games with 11. This year, Stoke has paved the way to peace (ironically enough) with 12 stalemates.
7. Liverpool had scored a league-high 54 goals; Chelsea has smashed that with 84 goals forward this year.
8. Manchester United has had the best defence in the league this year, conceding 27 goals. Chelsea’s defence was more robust last year allowing only 17.
9. In contrast to the previous fact, the worst defence belonged to West Brom at this point last year (55 goals allowed, -29 on goal differential). This year, Burnley have been even lousier at the back allowing 71 goals, having scored 39 goals less than their opponents.
10. The road warriors this season have been Chelsea and Manchester United with 9 wins apiece away from home. Last season, Chelsea and Aston Villa each had 10 wins away from home at this point.
11. Blackburn have secured the most points when not scoring with 6 this season, while Fulham had 7 goalless points awarded to them last year.
12. No player scored 20 goals last season: Nicolas Anelka (19), Cristiano Ronaldo (18), Steven Gerrard (16), Fernando Torres and Robinho (14 each) lead the league in goals. The list involves four brand new names out of five this season (quick! guess who’s still in the list!). Wayne Rooney (26) leads the way followed by Didier Drogba (24), Darren Bent (20), Carlos Tevez (19), and (you cheated if you looked at this first) Fernando Torres (18).
13. Cesc Fabregas (13), Frank Lampard (12) and James Milner (11) have been willing to share the wealth this season by leading the league in assists. Lampsie and Van Persie shared the assist title (how fitting) last season with 10 apiece.
14. Fulham have the best discipline this year with only 37 yellow cards and 1 red card (compared to Sunderland who have the worst with 63 yellow cards and 6 reds). A year ago today, Fulham held the best discipline again (or before?) with 40 yellows and 1 red. Stoke earned their reputation as a rough team last season with 73 cautioned men and 5 men sent for an early shower.
Chelsea’s win over Manchester United seems to have put them in the pole position to take the league this year and the stats agree with that statement (much like they agreed with West Ham winning the league way back in October. Go figure). Just don’t forget about Arsenal back there.
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