Thursday, 30 June 2011

Assessing the opening day performance of teams promoted to the English Premiership

The search for helpful statistics continues and today I have been analysing the past 7 seasons, looking at teams being promoted and relegated from the English premiership. My focus was on the first 2 fixtures played, to allow me to assess how teams start in a new League. Before looking at the numbers my impression was that teams coming up would start well as the players and staff would be on a high and fully motivated for life in a higher league, and those teams going down would struggle with life in a lower league where grounds are smaller, pay is smaller and a different style of football is played.

My findings showed that teams being promoted won only 8 of the 21 games played and of that 5 of those were won on the opening day, 5 draws and 11 defeats. We have to take into account that on occasions teams being promoted played each other and therefore these results just balanced themselves out. Last season we saw that only Blackpool won of the promoted sides in a 0-4 win at Wigan. Newcastle and WBA both lost away although they did play Manchester United and Chelsea!

Of teams playing at home on opening day, Wolves lost last season but we have to go back to 2005/06 to find a promoted team losing on opening day at home. That year Sunderland and Wigan both lost, we need to also be aware that Sunderland were also relegated in that season with the lowest points score ever seen on the Premiership of 15 points! There have been 10 home fixtures in the 21 fixtures looked at with 4 wins and 3 draws.

QPR are the only team at home on opening day and will play Bolton. Bolton have a poor away record on opening day, although for the past 5 seasons they have played at home on opening day. Their record is 3 wins 2 draws and 4 defeats on opening day in the past 9 seasons.

The current manager at QPR is Neil Warnock, when he brought Sheffield United up he started at home with a draw. Owen Coyle, the man at Bolton lost last season as Bolton manager and lost away when he brought Burnley up, making Mr Coyle a bad option on opening day!

QPR could be one to take a chance on during the first rounds of fixtures.

In my next blog I will be considering relegated teams in full and seeing if we can find a pattern and a option to go with QPR.

If you would like me to research a specific pattern please get in touch let me know.


  1. please keep up the great work with this football blog, I have bookmarked it and even set up a blogger account just so I could post comments. Keep it up, loved the preseason league discussion

  2. Hi, and welcome aboard! Its good to have another voice on the blog.