By Brian Sears
24 November 2011
The natural home advantage we expect is slightly diminished this season in the Premier League, with only 56 per cent of all points so far being won by the home teams.
This is a 20-year low; last season the figure was 63 per cent.
Hence picking up points at home could be more decisive than ever, at both ends of the table.
The current Premier League table is certainly being shaped by those who are doing best at home: as our table below shows, the six teams with the best home form fill six of the seven top places in the table, and there is a strong correlation through the table between home form and overall position.
How poor is most clubs’ home form, relative to normal? Have a look at the table below and see that only nine clubs have gained more than half the home points available. That’s not great.
Manchester City are the only team with a 100 per cent record on their own turf, followed by next-best Manchester United and Arsenal (83.3 per cent of home points) and Tottenham (80pc), while Newcastle (77.8pc) and Liverpool (a middling 55.6pc) are the only other clubs but City without a home defeat.
The three clubs in the relegation zone have the poorest records in gathering home points – Blackburn and Bolton have already lost five home games each.
Arsenal and Swansea are relying most on home advantage for their current league placings, whereas QPR’s home form is actually a hindrance to them.
And another thing …
Stoke will be hoping to give their own home tally of points a boost on Saturday when Blackburn visit. In their three completed Premier League seasons to date, Stoke have beaten Blackburn every time at the Britannia Stadium (1-0, 3-0 and 1-0). Blackburn will be looking for their first Premier League goal there let alone their first point.
The only other club over which Stoke have this kind of home record is Sunderland. Our table below shows the complete Stoke home Premier League record. In their 63 games they have only lost 17 and have gained 104 points.
But Stoke have lost their last two home games (1-3 to Newcastle and 2-3 to QPR).
Stoke have lost consecutive Premier League home games three times before – once in each season – but they have never gone on to concede a hat-trick of home defeats. Over to Rovers …