With only one home win in the Premier League so far this weekend, is home advantage suffering due to the lack of spectators?
Saturday’s four games brought three away wins and a stirring comeback from Chelsea to draw at West Brom, having trailed 3-0 at half-time.
Newcastle were handed a late equaliser at Tottenham on Sunday and Leeds and Leicester both won away – the Foxes stunning Manchester City 5-2 – before West Ham finally struck a blow for the home teams as Jarrod Bowen inspired a 4-0 rout of Wolves.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how this season’s results compare to the historical figures in the Premier League.
Is home advantage dead?
This weekend’s away-dominated results are not unique this season, with the opening round of fixtures producing just two home wins from eight games.
There were five in 10 games in week two but overall, eight home wins out of 26 equates to just a 30.8 per cent win rate for home teams.
That is a long way down on the average of 46.2 per cent in the Premier League era as a whole and, with the Government delaying plans to reintroduce spectators into stadia, it is only natural to wonder about the effect on home advantage this season.
However, the games played in June and July after last season resumed showed no such pattern – 43 out of 92 were won by the home team, or 46.7 per cent.
There were still more away wins than is typical – 29, or 31.5 per cent compared to 27.7 per cent historically – as the proportion of draws fell from 26.1 per cent to 21.7 per cent. The latter pattern has certainly continued this season, with no draws at all through two weeks before this weekend’s late drama at West Brom and Tottenham.
Early fixture list plays a part
Away teams have won 61.5 per cent of Premier League games this season – but looking at the fixtures so far, it seems more likely to be a short-term blip than the start of a trend.
Leicester and Everton have started the season in flying form with three straight wins apiece and are the only teams with more than one win away from home. Each have claimed a notable scalp along the way, with Everton beating Tottenham and Crystal Palace while the Foxes have won at West Brom and Manchester City.
Each of the traditional ‘big six’ have contributed to the away win total. Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge but, with the possible exception of City’s win at Wolves, the other results in that group were largely predictable.
And of the remaining six away wins, only Palace’s win at Manchester United would be viewed as a significant shock. Leeds and Wolves both won at Sheffield United, while Brighton beat Newcastle, the Magpies themselves won at West Ham and Southampton saw off Burnley.
Newcastle’s last-gasp draw at Spurs took another home win off the board but West Brom would not have been expected to beat Chelsea – indeed, despite having let a 3-0 lead slip away, forward Callum Robinson admitted: “Before the game if you get a point against a Chelsea team like this then you probably would’ve taken it.”