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Down 1-0 Away at Half Time | How often does your team comeback to win?

I am always looking for Sporting trends and a good example is Trap 1 in the Greyhound Derby at Wimbledon where Trap 1 failed to win from 1985 till 2011. In 2009 the Hoodoo struck when Fear Zafonic (Trap 1) was backed into 1.01 on Betfair  just as it was caught on the line. Another good trend which was broken is Fulham did not score for 32 games in a row when 0-0 in the Premiership on or after 80 minutes. The run was broken when they beat the 10 men of Liverpool by scoring in the 85th Minute.

A trend that should continue and is growing stronger every season is the Half Time trend where the away team are losing 1-0 in the Premiership.

I opened my excel spreadsheets from 2008 and calculated how many times the current crop of Premiership teams have won in the sample to give a Win Ratio.

If you look at the table below you will see that Arsenal and Stoke have won the most games and 11 Premiership teams have won NONE including Liverpool, Man City and Spurs which I am sure will surprise a few people. Arsenal have the highest win ratio and that is 0.18 which means that they have won 18% of the away games when they are losing 1-0 at  Half Time which is not a very high win ratio and they are the best team in this sample in terms of the win ratio.

What is clear is that it is very difficult for a Premiership team to overcome the obstacle of losing 1-0 at Half Time because the sample of 256 games shows that only 4.6% won at Full Time.

Looking at the betting last season when Arsenal were losing 1-0 at HT and Bolton conceded a goal on 50 minutes, the betting market priced Arsenal at 1.8 indicating that Arsenal had a better chance then the toss of a coin to win the game and they did not because Bolton won 2-1 at Full Time.

If you followed the trend  when Fulham were losing 2-1 at  home after 72 minutes (Half Time 1-0)  to Everton and you backed the draw then you would have been rewarded when Steve Sidwell scored to keep the trend going.

  1. 20/20 1-0 at Half Time this season in the Premiership have ended zero wins by the away team.
  2. Everton have now gone 46/46 games dating back to 2000 without winning when down by 1-0 at Half Time. I would consider that a strong trend even if it is broken in their next game.

The question is why do Premiership teams struggle when they walk out onto the pitch for the second half?

I offer some suggestions;

  1. A team will play to a Pre determined tactic and the fact that they are losing may not change that.
  2. As the clock ticks in the second half and if the away team are still losing then they may become more adventurous and throw players forward and leave themselves exposed at the back which having watched 50 games a month around the world I  can confirm that happens quite often.
  3. If the away team do score first in the second half then often they will play a more conservative approach and this is confirmed by the data.

In the last three seasons (not including this season) there have been 36 games that have ended 1-1 Full Time when the Home team were winning 1-0 at Half Time and 29 games that ended 2-1 Full Time. There have been just 6 away wins which all ended 1-2 Full Time.

What I have identified through point 3 is that the goal expectation of the away team is suppressed when they are losing 1-0 at Half Time.

In order to give prices for a game between two teams the bookmakers will work out the expectation of both teams winning or the draw and they will also look at goal expectation.

In the case of Manchester United, which is a good example, if they win then they will need to score 2 goals or more to overcome the 1-0 deficit but we have already seen that this is going to be a difficult task and that this is less likely to happen than the odds that will be offered during the game.

Have a look at the odds of Manchester United winning next time they are losing at Half Time in an away game. It will certainly not be offering value and it does not matter if they are away at Reading or Arsenal.

Table showing the win ratio of Current Premiership teams since 2008 is below. Please note that some teams were not in the Premiership for all the seasons that were researched.

Table: Teams losing 1-0 Away from Home at Half Time – Results since 2008

You can sort the columns by clicking on the column headers.

[table id=86 /]

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Jonny Grossmark
Jonny Grossmark
My first taste of football in a stadium was Gillingham V Aston Villa 1971 and I still have the programme which cost 5p. I have been lucky to have seen a number of Cup Finals but missed the Sunderland goal in 1973 as I was in the toliet. I have recently been watching Margate and also watch around 50 other matches a month on my computer .
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