In this article, the analysts from the excellent Form Lab software analyse the current Premier League goal glut
Football pundits are falling over themselves to explain how the recent goal fest proves that the Premiership is the best league in the world. With eight goals in the recent London derby and seven goals at the Manchester derby, football fans have certainly been getting their money’s worth.
While many now point to this as being the start of a golden season, the reality is that this season is more likely to be simply…..average. Let us show you why.
The first 10 weeks…
In the 99 games seen so far in the Premier League, there has been an average of 2.97 Goals Per Game (GPG). This is comfortably above the 2.59 GPG average for this point in the season, but still below the record average of 3.00 GPG for the first 10 weeks in 2009/10.
The remainder of the season has historically been slightly higher scoring (average = 2.62) but can we expect the goals to continue to flow this term?
What goes up, must come down
There have been six previous Premier League seasons where the opening 10 weeks have been at least 0.1 GPG above the average. The 10 week average of these seasons was 2.81 GPG.
However for the rest of the season from week 11 onwards, the average GPG fell below the all season average to just 2.57 GPG.
Further evidence of a return to average can be seen in the number of matches going over the 2.5 goals marker (i.e. games with 3 goals or more), not just the average number of goals per game. In the six years with at least 51% ‘overs’ in weeks 1-10, just one has had more than 51% games go +2.5 goals for the remainder of the year.
Goals are increasing though…
While all this suggests the remainder of the year will revert to the average amount of goals it is worth noting that the past two seasons have seen a more general increase in goals.
- 2009/10 saw 3.00 GPG in weeks 1-10 and 2.69 in 11-38
- 2010/11 saw 2.59 GPG in weeks 1-10 and 2.87 in 11-38
These last two seasons have been greater than or equal to the average figures for goals. So, though goals will almost certainly decrease from here, the average may not have far to fall.
A look around the major European leagues produces similar results to England.
- In La Liga, 4/6 seasons that were above average in weeks 1-10 had fewer than average goals in weeks 11-38.
- The French, as they tend to be, are the exception, with their three highest scoring years in weeks 1-10 all having greater than average GPG for the rest of the season. Interestingly, goals have also been flowing in Ligue 1 this season, where they’ve only once averaged more goals in their opening 10 games than this season.
So in conclusion, we would take the first few weeks of this season as a confirmation that the long term trend for goals in the Premier League is increasing, but we’d be very surprised if we average 2.97 Goals Per Game for the remaining weeks of the season. There might even be more value in under 2.5 goals bets for the rest of the season if bookmakers or punters over react to this early trend.
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