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sgncfc

Next 5 Games

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So the defining point of our season has arrived. I'm not saying any game is straightforward, but after these next 5 games the fixtures are generally less testing, and if we are still in the top two on 11th February, then automatic promotion becomes much more likely.

How many points will keep us in the top two from these 5 games? I'm going for 3 wins and two defeats - winning our three home games and losing both away to WBA and Leeds - so 9 points to keep us in the mix, but perhaps drop us to 3rd or 4th. Not too shabby, and well placed for a run into 2nd.

 

 

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I'd be happy with 10 points from 5 games but could be a tough ask if we continue our bad run of injuries

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I feel we're a better away side than at home,  I'd be happier if Leitner was available but I think we can get a result at both Albion and Leeds. 

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Just not getting beaten by WBA, Leeds and Sheff U would be good.

I think out of the current top 6 the only team Norwich have beaten is Boro, so worry they struggle against the better teams. In the 6 games against the top 6 Norwich have conceded 13 goals (scoring 9). It really is crunch time, but luckily it looks like Leeds and WBA are also having issues - Sheff U are having a great time of it at the moment and a positive result against them could be key  

 

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2 hours ago, splendidrush said:

I feel we're a better away side than at home,  I'd be happier if Leitner was available but I think we can get a result at both Albion and Leeds. 

We average 1.92 points per game at home, 1.85 away., 13 games in each case. 

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25 minutes ago, westcoastcanary said:

We average 1.92 points per game at home, 1.85 away., 13 games in each case. 

Is there anything you don’t keep stats on ? 😉

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41 minutes ago, FenwayFrank said:

Is there anything you don’t keep stats on ? 😉

Oh yes, e.g. how many run ins FF has with Til ..............😜

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2 hours ago, Bethnal Yellow and Green said:

Just not getting beaten by WBA, Leeds and Sheff U would be good.

I think out of the current top 6 the only team Norwich have beaten is Boro, so worry they struggle against the better teams. In the 6 games against the top 6 Norwich have conceded 13 goals (scoring 9). It really is crunch time, but luckily it looks like Leeds and WBA are also having issues - Sheff U are having a great time of it at the moment and a positive result against them could be key  

 

Plus it would be really funny to put one over on Wilder again. 

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27 minutes ago, westcoastcanary said:

Oh yes, e.g. how many run ins FF has with Til ..............😜

That would be one hell of a spreadsheet 😁, how would you present it ? 

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1 hour ago, westcoastcanary said:

We average 1.92 points per game at home, 1.85 away., 13 games in each case. 

Another way of looking at it, though, would be that our home record of W8 D1 L4 has given the opposition 13 points. Our record away W6 D6 L1 has gifted just 9, and only 1 point difference between the respective records. We've conceded 22 goals at home, with a GD of +4; only 12 away with a GD of +10. We've lost 3 times to close rivals at home, and just once away. Let's see how some of the reverse fixtures go.  We're also top of the away league table for the season - on goal difference ahead of Leeds. Certainly those stats back up Splendid Rush's feeling. It'll be interesting how the home and away form pans out. We've certainly had less defensive issues away from home.

At least, we are playing these next five games with a week between each. That falls pretty nicely really for a tough set of fixtures. Avoiding defeat against the big 3 rivals would be great. Sorry  my posts are  pedantic. By the time I get around to checking the message board, the interesting stuff has usually already been said. 

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Sorry, don't get this next five games malarky. We have to win games from now until the end of the season and it doesn't matter who is next or whether they are at the top in the middle or at the bottom - we have to aim to beat them all and none of them will be easy. 

I was thinking about this yesterday and could feel myself getting tense at the thought of what we have to do to get promotion, but the last thing we want is getting tense because we are playing a Leeds  or a West Brom, or even Willy Wilder's mob, it really boils down to enjoying the ride and taking each game as it comes.

We will get promotion if we are good enough and if we play like we have been playing over the course of the season.  There is room for improvement of course and players to return from injury and other players to battle for a place in the first team - but the essence is to enjoy it.

Some of what I have seen this season has been absolutely brilliant from us - and we know we can play teams off the park, so there is every reason to look forward to the rest of the season...one game at a time! 😉

 

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I hear you Lakey, but it is understandable why people are looking at the next 5 games or so, because these are our rivals they really are potential 6 pointers, if we lose to someone down the bottom then it’s not like they’ll catch us, but losing to Leeds, Sheff Utd etc - you catch my drift. Come through these 5 games relatively unscathed, and we can start to dream, as they say.

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32 minutes ago, Alex Moss said:

I hear you Lakey, but it is understandable why people are looking at the next 5 games or so, because these are our rivals they really are potential 6 pointers, if we lose to someone down the bottom then it’s not like they’ll catch us, but losing to Leeds, Sheff Utd etc - you catch my drift. Come through these 5 games relatively unscathed, and we can start to dream, as they say.

I can agree up to a point, but what does "unscathed" mean?  Draws?  Chances are if we just draw these matches, we will be caught up by some of the rest. Lose and we defnitely will lose ground....so we  need to win our matches and it doesn't matter who it is against.  

 

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4 hours ago, Bethnal Yellow and Green said:

Just not getting beaten by WBA, Leeds and Sheff U would be good.

I think out of the current top 6 the only team Norwich have beaten is Boro, so worry they struggle against the better teams. In the 6 games against the top 6 Norwich have conceded 13 goals (scoring 9). It really is crunch time, but luckily it looks like Leeds and WBA are also having issues - Sheff U are having a great time of it at the moment and a positive result against them could be key  

 

 

That's a harsh comparison, considering all of these games were at the start of the season when we were still finding our feet.

We looked comfortably better than Derby and Forest for large periods of both matches. I know the results did not go our way, but had it not been for injuries and tiredness we would've won both by a clear margin.

 

 

 

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I think everyone is overlooking the fact that we have already been beaten by WBA, Leeds & Sheff U this season, and yet despite that we are currently 2nd in the League.

Therefore an identical set of results (i.e. 3 defeats) would not by any means be a disaster and it would not mean the end of automatic promotion.

Even if we took just one point from each of those 3 games we would have achieved a 3 point head to head swing in our favour versus each of those teams because we would gain 1 point and they would lose 2 points compared to corresponding fixtures at the start of the season.

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, makham said:

Another way of looking at it, though, would be that our home record of W8 D1 L4 has given the opposition 13 points. Our record away W6 D6 L1 has gifted just 9, and only 1 point difference between the respective records. We've conceded 22 goals at home, with a GD of +4; only 12 away with a GD of +10. We've lost 3 times to close rivals at home, and just once away. Let's see how some of the reverse fixtures go.  We're also top of the away league table for the season - on goal difference ahead of Leeds. Certainly those stats back up Splendid Rush's feeling. It'll be interesting how the home and away form pans out. We've certainly had less defensive issues away from home.

At least, we are playing these next five games with a week between each. That falls pretty nicely really for a tough set of fixtures. Avoiding defeat against the big 3 rivals would be great. Sorry  my posts are  pedantic. By the time I get around to checking the message board, the interesting stuff has usually already been said. 

The more pedantry the better; welcome to the ASP (Association of Stat-appreciating Pedants). At the end of the season, the only "better" that matters if promotion is the target is "have more points". In the context of the kind of football we would need to play if we get back into the EPL on the other hand, I too to think we currently play "better" football away than at home. But in the context of needing as many points as possible, averaging1.92 is better than averaging 1.85. Also, I think most would say that our season only got properly underway with Match 7 (v Middlesborough). That's when things of which we'd previously only had glimpses, really clicked. If you discard the first 6 results, W1, D2, L3 the home v away picture changes. 

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1.85 points for away games is more impressive than 1.92 at home, if we're going to average 2 points per game I would suggest that we need to improve our home form. 

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2 hours ago, splendidrush said:

1.85 points for away games is more impressive than 1.92 at home, if we're going to average 2 points per game I would suggest that we need to improve our home form. 

An average of 2 ppg over 46 games means we would finish with 92 points. We already have 49 points, and there are 20 games still to be played. So from those 20 games we need another 43 points, i.e an average of 2.15 ppg. From Match 7 onwards we have actually averaged 2.2 ppg, which means we don't need to improve on current form, either home or away; all we need to do is maintain the same form. The only reason we would need to improve our home form would be if our away form deteriorates. But, if we are "better" away from home than we are at home ............. 😉

What I think we probably have in common SR is the belief that we should play in exactly the same way home and away. The idea of there being some sort of onus on the home side to always take the game to the opposition is IMO dangerous nonsense. 

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As Lakey said the next 5 games have no meaning compared to the next 20..whether we are 2nd or 4th or 5th in 5 games time we will have won or lost nothing. Only stat that matters is where a team is at 46 games and just my opinion but think City will fall short of the top two, mainly through to many key injuries at the wrong moments, to guys like Mo Leitner. But a top 6 finish should be within us and i think most of us would have been more than happy with that after our opening 6 matches.

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Yes SJS; my prediction is 4th place. And I think most would have said they’d be happy with that after six games even if we’d had a better start than we did. As Lakey always says though, “Anything is still possible until mathematically impossible”! 

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It is also about confidence and spirit though. We have had a mini wobble of late by our standards but it is the resolve we have shown to score late or win matches from conceding first that has got us where we are. The sooner we get a win and another run going the better the better.

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good point Canary73 , I think that is the key too. We got away with one at Brentford (although we could've won it at the end (Srbeny)) and then there was the "Derby debacle" ... 

I think the injuries are getting to us and I feel we need a positive result to get it all going again. 

Doesn't matter who we are playing, the confidence has to grow again...

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Reality is, our first 5 games of the season were poor.  We then produced a sustained improvement and from game 6 onwards have been the best team in the division.  But it's been a concern for the last couple of months that we've been conceding a lot of goals and have given up leads too often, however good we've been at last-minute goals to over come the problems.

 

The last 6 games (including the cup) are a definite downturn and however good parts of the performances have been, the fact is that we've gone 3-0 down at home and have lost another home game after being 2-0 up.  To win promotion we need to overcome those sorts of slip-ups.

 

If we now lose several of the upcoming games against our direct rivals, the risk is a downturn turns into a slump.  Whereas if Farke can turn it around and we do come through "unscathed", we're very well setup for automatic promotion.  As for what "unscathed" means, there are loads of possible permutations so I wouldn't have time to give a precise definition.  But like an elephant, I think most of us will be able to recognise it when we see it.

 

So I think it's unquestionable the 5 games upcoming are crucial for our season.

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Also I'd say there is no doubt home advantage is a real factor in football.  The level varies from league to league and season to season but it is there.  For example looking at the Premier League, home sides win on average roughly 50% of the time, draws are 25% of games and away wins are around 25%.  The exact percentages vary a bit each season but a quick scout around the internet shows plenty of stats backing up these sort of levels applying widely.

 

Using 50/25/25 for simplicity and assuming home advantage in the Championship is the same level, would mean that the "average" team would get 63.25 points from a 46 game season, which I've calculated on 50% win rate at home, 25% draws for all games, winning away 25%.  Last season, 67 points gave Bristol City 11th place so the "average" team would indeed have come in at 12th place.

 

Obviously to get 1st/2nd, you need to out-perform the average team.

 

In terms of points per game, on my maths at home winning 50% and drawing 25% translates into 1.75 ppg.  Away, winning 25% and drawing 25% gives 1 ppg.

 

This is why our away performances this season are so impressive.  We're marginally better than average at home, 1.92 vs 1.75 translates into about 2 points above average at this stage of the season, which isn't anything to write home about.  Whereas our 1.85 ppg away from home is truly impressive as it comes in about 11 points above average.  It's our away form which has put us in 2nd place, our home form is hardly better than the average.  If you took away those 11 points, we'd be down in mid table (with Bristol City again).

 

Of course its important that we've maintained home form at a decent level.  If our home results were worse than average, it would be really difficult to overcome that by our away performances.  But it's not misleading to say our away results are the foundation of our success, so far, this season, because that's where we are performing better than average.

 

Going forward of course, what would be best would be to improve our home results (so they're significantly better than average), while at the same time keeping our good away performances....

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A point I made earlier ICF, you put it much better than I could and with the stats to back it up, it's as I said,  we're better away  and have nothing to fear from Albion or Leeds. 

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4 hours ago, It's Character Forming said:

Going forward of course, what would be best would be to improve our home results (so they're significantly better than average), while at the same time keeping our good away performances....

As I pointed out earlier, if we maintain the same current level of performance both home and away, we'll be promoted automatically anyway, no improvement needed. What I take from talk of needing to improve our home form is an underlying pessimism about our ability to maintain our away form. But if, as splendidrush says, we "have nothing to fear from Albion or Leeds", or presumably Stoke  who are the other team we are yet to play away who beat us at home (never mind the rest), what is the basis of that pessimism? If, on the other hand, the worry is that we are going to see our away form regress towards the mean, then I suggest we have plenty to fear from Albion, Leeds and several others.

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Really my comment was tongue in cheek.  And I did point out in my first post that since game 6 we’ve been the best team in the division so yes if we can maintain that form, we will be promoted ... if being the middle word in life.

 

But my concerns are covered in my first post above.

 

saturday is a very big game. Both the result and performance will tell us a lot about whether Farke can now get things back on track.

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Also on the comments that " we have nothing to fear"... I agree fully but this doesn't mean under-estimating the opposition.  It means we are fully capable of going to any of our away games for the rest of the season and winning.  Our style of play suits playing away at good teams IMO.

 

If you look at the top end of the table, so far we've only played away at Sheff U, Derby,and Notts F.  Those games were a defeat to Sheff U with a 95th minute goal, a draw at Derby where they equalised towards the end, and a pretty comfortable win at Forest.  If we get our defensive cohesion back, we are fully capable IMO of doing better than those results in the upcoming games.

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