We have a game preview up on Bitter and Blue now lets take a closer look at the respective home form and away form of Wolves and Man City
We know Wolves' home form has been poor. But just How poor? They have the worst home record in any of Europe'e major leagues this term.
Let's take a look at some numbers behind that poor form.
Wolves Home Form
Won 3 Drawn 2 Lost 12
Points per game 0.64
Scored 19 conceded 41
Average ball possession 48.47
Shots on goal per game 4.91
Shots on an goal against per game 6.93
Differential - 2.02
Shooting % 0.21
Shooting % against 0.32
These are poor numbers any way we look at them.
We know that scoring % (shots on goal/goals) in the EPL this season runs at 0.31, so only averaging 4.91 shots per game probably won't be enough to win games when the team is leaking 6.93 shots per game. It's basic maths that being out shot by that margin isn't a good thing. Coupled with the knowledge that over time shots on goal differential is one of the biggest indicators of team performance can only lead us to conclude that this isn't a very good EPL team.
Man City Away Form
Won 8 Drawn 4 Lost 5
Points per game 1.64
Scored 34 conceded 17
Average ball possession 57.05
Shots on goal per game 5.11
Shots on goal against per game 4.05
Differential + 1.06
Shooting % 0.39
Shooting % against 0.24
These are strong numbers and good for the 2nd best away record in the league, trailing only Man United's fantastic and probably unrepeatable away record.
We also know that Man City have struggled mightily in the last few away games, but not nearly as badly as Wolves have struggled at home.
Let's take a look at the last 10 games of relative home and away form for each club
Wolves Last 10 Home Games
Won 0 Drawn 1 Lost 9
Points per game 0.10
Scored 9 conceded 30
Shots on goal per game 4.9
Shots on goal against per game 7.9
Differential - 3.00
Shooting % 0.18
Shooting % against 0.25
Now these are just horrible numbers, Swindon and Sunderland-esque of seasons gone by numbers. I picked the line in the sand at 10 games because I wanted to emphasise how bad Wolves have been.
The first 7 home games of the season Wolves went 3-1-3 for 10 points. This is a respectable record good for 27 points at home over the seasons course. For whatever reason Wolves' form has been disastrous in the section of games shown above and it has cost them, in all likelihood, their EPL status.
Man City's Last 10 Away Games
Won 3 Drawn 1 Lost 5
Points per game 1.00
Scored 10 Conceded 8
Shots on goal per game 4.8
Shots on goal against per game 4.00
Shooting % 0.20
Shooting % against 0.216
These numbers are way down and good for middle of the EPL pack in terms of points per game. What makes these numbers stand out is the paucity of goals scored in the 10 fixtures. Low scoring games by tactical design from Mancini?
Whatever the outcome of this seasons title race I believe that strong questions need to be asked of Mancini regarding this spell of away form. What was the tactical thinking, were there issues regarding motivation, selection, game plan?
All told these numbers are down on the Away seasons average and down even more so in regards to the first 7 away games. Man City were scoring at 3.4 goals per game with 6.14 shots per game and averaging 2.42 points per game, good for 46 points from 19 away games.
These numbers were unsustainable
Man City had a shooting percentage of 0.59 which was driving the excellent results, and which given some context by the league average of 0.31 was wholly unsustainable, and it was to be realistically expected that a regression to the mean was coming.
The first 7 away games underlying numbers were out of this world, no one stopped to check that this was unsustainable and that recent away form, in a way is a correction. A punishment by the mathematical gods for being so other wordly in the first 7 away games.
No team can cheat the numbers for a whole season. The truth is, Man city's away form for next season will be a mix of the excellent with a dose of the recent mundane thrown in and mixed together.
Wolves home form with the club conceding 6.93 shots a game and Man City's high shots on goal per game coupled especially with the very high (for an away record) 0.39 Shot % for Man City spells trouble for Wolves on Sunday afternoon.
Wolves' recent home record of 0-1-9 just screams at a team that has lost it's way and despite Man City's recent away struggles, not withstanding the recent 6-1 victory, the numbers point to a Man City away win.