Premier League Review | October 2019 | Sporting Index
Sporting Index's Premier League October Review
The 2019/20 Premier League served up another intoxicating blend of pulsating games, shock results, wondergoals and controversial moments during an action-packed October. It proved to be a great month for Chelsea, Brighton and Leicester, but it was an unmitigated disaster for some of their rivals.
It is time for us to recap the drama that unfolded over the last month and take a look at how it has affected the Premier League spread betting markets.
Liverpool Continue to Impress
Liverpool remain top of the table after emerging from a difficult run of fixtures with their unbeaten record still intact. The Reds produced a strong performance to beat Leicester 2-1 at the start of the month and then they dropped their first points of the season with a 1-1 draw. Yet they bounced back with a 2-1 victory over Tottenham and then scraped victory over Aston Villa on Saturday to maintain a six-point lead over defending champions Man City.
Pep Guardiola’s men began October with a shock 2-0 defeat at the hands of Wolves, but they have since rattled off three consecutive victories. Gabriel Jesus and David Silva were on target in a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace, and they then breezed to a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa. They began this month with a 2-1 win against Southampton, and they are now gearing up for an enormous six-pointer at Anfield on Sunday.
Our traders are expecting an extremely close game, as Liverpool have been assigned a Win Index of 10.5-12, while Man City’s is 11.75-13. They took four points off the Reds last season, which might explain why they are favourites despite playing the league leaders in their own backyard.
Most pundits were anticipating another two-horsed title race this season, but Chelsea now look hell-bent on muscling their way into contention. The Blues won all three Premier League games in October, and they have now taken maximum points from their last five matches. That leaves them just two points behind Man City and they are surging with momentum at present.
Leicester are also in magnificent form under Brendan Rodgers. They shrugged off that 2-1 defeat to Liverpool by grinding out a victory over Burnley and then thumping Southampton in a record-breaking 9-0 win. The Foxes are now third, above Chelsea by virtue of goal difference, and they have been superb at both ends of the pitch. That could spell news for the final three members of the so-called Big Six. Arsenal, Man Utd and Tottenham are all in dire straits right now, and they will all be fearful of Leicester’s current form.
Arsenal remain fifth, but they have taken just two points from their last three games and fans are calling for manager Unai Emery to be axed. Man Utd are marooned in 10th after winning just three of their first 11 games of the season, while Spurs have an identical record and they sit in 11th place. Both teams are already 10 points behind Leicester and they will need to generate a tremendous improvement if they are to mount a serious challenge for a top-four place.
Sheff Utd are up in sixth after a sensational run of form that saw them beat Arsenal hands down at Brammal Lane. October was also a great month for Brighton, who are now up to eighth in the table after winning three of their last four games. The Amex is in danger of becoming a fortress and their form is making a mockery of pre-season projections of them being relegated. Bournemouth and Crystal Palace are also in the top half of the table, despite dropping plenty of points throughout August. Wolves remain the draw kings of the division, and they will need to become a lot more ruthless and clinical if they are to stand a chance of catching Leicester.
The relegation battle is shaping up to be a thriller. Watford, Norwich and Southampton are all languishing in the drop zone after suffering miserable form in October, while Everton are down in 17th after an alarming dip in their performance levels. Aston Villa picked up a couple of vital wins in October, but they remain 16th, while Newcastle are 15th despite a recent revival.
West Ham and Burnley both started the season in fine fettle, but they are being gradually sucked into the relegation battle too after seemingly forgetting how to win games. There are just five points separating 10th placed Man Utd from 18th placed Southampton, so the bottom half of the Premier League table looks really congested right now, and the battle to avoid the drop is sure to be every bit as gripping as the title race this season.
October’s Winners & Losers in the Premier League
Top Five Winners:
Jamie Vardy: Vardy is having an almighty party right now and the Leicester forward has banged in six goals in his last five Premier League games. He hit the winner against Burnley on October 19 and then fired in a hat-trick during the Foxes’ demolition of Southampton, leaving him as the outright leader in the Golden Boot race.
Frank Lampard: Chelsea boss Frank Lampard guided his team to the only 100% record in the Premier League during October. He has stamped his style on this team and the Blues’ blend of youth and experience looks extremely exciting at present.
Graham Potter: Brighton were superb in a 3-0 victory over Tottenham at the start of October, and they followed it up with a 3-2 win against Everton on October 26. It is still early days for Potter, but the Seagulls look more ambitious than they did under Chris Hughton, and they are no longer reliant on Glenn Murray’s goals.
Dean Henderson: No team in the Premier League has conceded fewer goals than Sheff Utd this season and Henderson’s strong presence between the sticks has been crucial for the Blades. He kept clean sheets against Arsenal and Watford in October and he could be in line for an England call-up soon.
Matty Longstaff: The 19-year-old Geordie made his Premier League debut alongside brother Sean in the Newcastle midfield during October. Man Utd were the visitors to St James’s Park, and Longstaff fired in the winner in front of The Gallowgate End to send his city into absolute pandemonium.
Top Five Losers:
Ralph Hasenhuttl: Where else could we possibly start? Hasenhuttl’s Southampton suffered a record-breaking 9-0 defeat to Leicester in October and they are now in the relegation zone. It was the heaviest home defeat in top-flight history and it also equalled the record for the biggest loss the Premier League has ever seen.
Granit Xhaka: Granit Xhaka ended up swearing at Arsenal fans after they jeered him following his substitution during a disappointing home draw against Crystal Palace. He said he reached boiling point after enduring a torrent of online abuse, but it was nevertheless unseemly behaviour from a club captain and his relationship with the supporters may be irreparably damaged.
Hugo Lloris: The Tottenham goalkeeper committed an absolute howler during their defeat to Brighton and he also suffered a horrendous injury in the process. He is now out for the rest of 2019 and he can only watch on as his team struggles for form.
Manuel Pellegrini: The Chilean manager has presided over an alarming slump in form at West Ham, who took just one point in three matches during October. They have not won a game since August and they are sliding precariously close to the relegation zone.
Teemu Pukki: The Finn banged in six goals in his opening five Premier League games to lead Norwich into the top half of the table. He has since gone well off the boil, and he has not scored in his subsequent six matches, while Norwich have fallen to 19th in the standings.
October’s Premier League Unfortunates
Watford are still searching for their first win of the season and they remain bottom of the table, with just five points from 11 games. Hornets fans will hope to see their luck improve in the weeks ahead, as they have been particularly unfortunate so far. Their expected goals (xG) statistic for the season stands at 13.93, but they have only managed six goals. Captain Troy Deeney has been out since August with an injury and they have really lacked cutting edge in front of goal. Their expected goals against (xGA) tally is 19.32, but they have actually conceded 23.
Southampton have also struggled to live up to the performance levels expected of them. The Saints have an xGA of 14.99, but they have only scored 10, and they xGA if 20.42 is not as bad as the 27 that they have actually conceded. They now have the worst defensive record in the league, and fans will be praying that their opponents grow less clinical in future. Everton’s actual goals tally is 4.67 below their xG, and they have conceded 4.65 more than their xGA.
Leicester have cemented their status as the most clinical team in the division. Their xG is just 14.29, but they have actually scored 27 times – the second highest tally in the league. Nine of those goals came against Southampton, but it is still extremely impressive. Leicester have also conceded just eight goals, whereas their xGA is 12.18, so they may have been riding their luck a little this season. Man City’s xG is an enormous 36.10, but they have only scored 34 goals, so they could perhaps grow a little sharper in front of goal. Chelsea have been somewhat unfortunate, conceding 3.24 more goals than they were expected to, while Sheff Utd have conceded 6.85 fewer than their xGA.
Premier League in October – The Numbers
12 – Leicester scored 12 goals in just three games during September, and that made them the top scorers of the month. Their 9-0 win against Southampton was outrageous, as both Vardy and Ayoze Perez grabbed hat-tricks. They only took six points in the month, but there is no shame in losing to Leicester, and Rodgers should be extremely pleased with the progress his team has made. Perez and Vardy became the first teammates to score hat-tricks in the same game since Jermaine Pennant and Robert Pires for Arsenal in 2003. The opponents that day? Southampton.
14 – Saints goalkeeper Angus Gunn conceded 14 goals in three games during October. It began with a 4-1 defeat against Chelsea, followed by a 1-1 draw at Molineux. They then had Ryan Bertrand sent off after 12 minutes of their match against Leicester and the floodgates opened. It is pretty remarkable that they only conceded twice when they took on Man City at the start of November.
1 – Sheff Utd conceded just once in three games during October, as they held Watford to a stalemate at Vicarage Road, beat Arsenal 1-0 and then picked up a 1-1 draw on the road against West Ham. Goalkeeper Henderson now has five clean sheets in 11 games, which is the joint highest in the league along with Man City’s Ederson.
292 – Man City have now overtaken Liverpool as the team that have played the most crosses into the box this season. They have put in 292 crosses, they have completed a league high 7,132 passes and had 240 shots, which is 53 more than any other team. Yet they still trail Liverpool by six points.
9 – Liverpool extended their unbeaten streak against Tottenham to nine matches when they beat Spurs 2-1 in October. Mohamed Salah has scored nine times during that run and he hit the winner last month.
11 – Spurs extended their winless streak to 11 consecutive away games in October. They have since drawn away at Everton to take it to 12, piling even more pressure on manager Mauricio Pochettino.
2,000 – Man Utd became the first Premier League club to reach 2,000 goals when Scott McTominay scored the opener in their 3-1 win against Norwich. Eighty-five percent have come from inside the area, while more than half came at Old Trafford. St James’s Park and Goodison Park have been their happiest hunting grounds on the road.
How have the Premier League Betting Markets Moved?
Our traders assigned Premier League champions Man City a points tally of 90.5-92 before the season began in the Premier League Points Index. Liverpool were assigned a tally of just 85.5-87, despite finishing just one point behind Guardiola’s side last term. It is really interesting to note that Liverpool now lead the way in this market with 91-92.5, while Man City have dropped down to 90-91.5 after losing two of their opening 11 matches. There are still 27 games left to play, but our traders now believe the Reds have what it takes to prevent Man City from winning a third straight title. Liverpool are now the 4/5 favourites in the Premier League winner odds, whereas Man City are 11/10 outsiders.
Before the season began, our traders thought Chelsea would struggle. We were offering a Points Index of 66-67.5 on them, which would have left them sixth in the table, but that has now shot up to 72-73.5. Right now, our traders predict they will finish comfortably third, with Leicester fourth, Arsenal fifth, Spurs sixth and Man Utd seventh. By then end of September, Chelsea were priced at 5/4 to secure a top four finish, and they are now 1/3. Spurs have gone from 4/7 out to 7/4 after they continued to struggle throughout October. Leicester’s pre-season points prediction was 52-53.5, it reached 60.5-62 by the end of September and it now stands at 65.6-67 after the Foxes’ strong run of form.
Everton are among the biggest fallers, as they have gone from a pre-season Points Index of 53-54.5 to 47-48.5 right now. Watford have gone from 43-44.5 pre-season to just 33-34.5 now. That is down from 35.5-37 at the end of September, and it reflects the fact that the Hornets are still winless after 11 games. Our traders assigned Sheff Utd the lowest Points Index before the season began after a seemingly underwhelming summer transfer window for the Blades. They were initially pitched at just 32.5-34, and that has now shot up to 44.5-46.
We initially predicted that Brighton and Norwich would end up in the bottom three along with Sheff Utd. Now our traders have Norwich finishing bottom, with Watford on 33-34.5 points and then three teams – Southampton, Newcastle and Aston Villa – all pitched at 38.39.5. It is shaping up to be an intriguing relegation battle. In the fixed odds markets, we now make Norwich the 4/9 favourites to go down, followed by basement dwellers Watford at 8/11. Newcastle and Southampton are priced at 2/1, while Aston Villa are now 9/4 and Burnley are 11/4. Brighton are now out at 11/2 after winning their last three games.
The Golden Boot battle also looks fascinating. Jamie Vardy now leads the way on 10 goals, and he is now the joint second favourite at 5/1 along with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Sergio Aguero is the 3/1 favourite after scoring nine goals, with the best goals per minutes ratio in the league. However, he is often rested and Gabriel plays up front instead, which opens up this market. Harry Kane is 6/1, in-form Tammy Abraham is 7/1 along with Mohamed Salah, and Raheem Sterling is priced at 9/1. You can get a quarter of the odds on the top four places if you go each-way on this market.
At the start of the season, our traders predicted that Kane and Salah would be the top scorers in the division, as both men were assigned a quote of 22-24 goals. Thus far they have scored six and five respectively. Spurs have not performed to their usual high standards and Kane has not been quite as lethal as he normally is. Liverpool are still in imperious form, but it is more of a collective effort and they do not appear as reliant on the Egyptian as they once were.
Aguero was quoted at 20.5-22.5 in the Individual Player Goals Index at the start of the season. He has now surged to the top of this market, with a new price of 24.5-26.5, after terrorising Premier League defences whenever he has featured. He has scored nine goals in 10 matches, despite rarely completing 90 minutes. Vardy is the biggest climber in this market. The Leicester forward began the season at just 15.5-17 and he has already scored 10 times. He is now priced at 22.5-24.5, which leaves him joint second in this market along with Aguero's teammate, Raheem Sterling. Abraham has also shot up to 21.5-23, which leaves him slightly ahead of Aubameyang.