5 Sept 2011

Why Liverpool's great start to the season could be about to come to an end...

What is Liverpool's form like in domestic games that immediately follow international breaks? To find out, I've examined all of the club's post-international games since the 2005-06 season. Unfortunately, the results are less than encouraging, especially when it comes to away games, which is potentially bad news ahead of the game against Stoke City this weekend.

Since the 2005-06 season, 35 England games that have taken place during the league season:








  • Games after International Break (IB) – 35
  • Home - 17
  • Away - 18
  • Wins - 14
  • Draws - 14
  • Defeats – 7
  • HOME: 10 wins (58%) | 7 draws (41%)
  • AWAY: 7 draws (38%) | 7 defeats (38%) | 4 wins (24%)
  • 40% of games won after IB
  • 40% of games drawn
  • 20% of games lost
  • Overall: Failure to win in 60% of games after IB
  • Failure to win in 78% of AWAY games after IB
  • Last 5 games after IB (H + A): DLWDL
  • Last 5 AWAY games after IB: LDLLL
As you can see, Liverpool tends to do well in home games after IBs but when it comes to away games, the situation is pretty bleak:
  • 4 of the last 5 post-IB away games have ended in defeat
  • The club has not won a post-IB away game since 2007 (!)
On top of all this, Liverpool has never won a Premier League game at the Brittania Stadium, and as everyone will remember, last season's game there ended in a limp 2-0 defeat.

On the plus side, Liverpool battered Stoke 8-0 in a League Cup match in 2000, which is the last time the club won at the Brittania:

More of that, please!

Ultimately, if the club is serious about finishing in the top 4 this season then games against the likes of Stoke City must be won.

Let's hope post-IB away-day hangover ends this Saturday.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. That's a good analysis jamie of our recent troubles post IB's.  i would like to think/hope that our squas is a lot stronger this season than in most if not all of the other campaigns you have analysed.
    Stoke (a) is however a very tough game at any time, and if we factor in the the IB AND their new signings and the obvious lift that will give them, this will be a very good indicator of our progress and evolution as a team.  In fact, i think we will know a lot more about our realistic expectations as a team afetr the next 2 away games.  If we can manage to take 3 points from at least 1 of Stke or Spurs i would be very happy.
    We seem a lot more willing to open up games and attack teams, which has been evident in a number of home games under KK.  Having already won at Arsenal this season, i hope we are able to pick up a fair few victories on the road and i think that will ultimately determine just how successful a season we have this year.
    If anything, im just excited about the prospect of these 2 games because i do feel that 1 or 2 positive results from these games, will give us a superb platform for the remainder of the season.

  2. I despair the international break. We get a good run going, the team disappear for a couple of weeks and when they come back (often injured) our rhythm is disrupted and we struggle in the next match. Can we do away with international football?

  3. I would love to revamp International Football!

    I would start with massively reducing the number of participating teams so that we would be done with the shambolic games like we had on Friday (Holland 11-0 San Marino).  Why not have a pre qualifying tournament for these minnows so that we dratsically reduce the number of teams that are in the groups for qualification.

    Instantly we have fewer games!  I would also like to explore the option of not having International football throuhout the season, but instead have 'Blocks' of of around 4 weeks say where there are International training camps followed by a number of games.  So you would have maybe 2 weeks of training, followed by 2 weeks of games where you would play half of your qualifying games.

    That would benefit the International managers i believe because they would have players for a prolonged period of time as opposed to a week here and a week there.  Clubs would surely prefer it also as they would not be constantly distrupted. 

    Just a coule of ideas i have, but i would seriously like to revamp the International Football scene!

  4. Hi Mark - Like you say, the squad is stronger this year so there's no reason we can't go and beat Stoke.  It will be a tough game though, I agree, but if LFC has designs on a high finish this year then these games have to be won.

    If we can win the next two games, things will be looking sweet.

  5. Totally agree - International football is a drag, and it causes so much disruption. Revamp definitely needed.

  6. I think were going to demolish stoke.

  7. Playing teams like Stoke is like playing a lower league side in a cup tie. You know they will raise their game. You know they will be fired up for it. Liverpool players have to adopt that mentality also because any team with ambition HAS to get something if not all three points from this sort of fixture

  8. As for the Stoke game in particular, i am really looking forward to us adopting a different approach to all of other visits to the Brtiannia. 

    It's quite obvious to everyone that certain measures need to be taken when playing Stoke (particularly (a)).  that's all well and good, but i fell in previous trips we have been too pre-occupied in nullifying them and not enough focus on us hurting them, especially with the ball.

    I'm all for playing an experienced stong back-line, and fully expct to see Skrtel, Carragher Agger and Enrique line up at the back.  But if we have enough confidence in ourselves, and try to dictate the play with good quality possession football, then i think this would be the best way to nullify their obvious threats.

    It's almost impossible to go there and expect to not concede a chance or 2.  Which make our previous tactics very bizare, because we were basically always trying to win a game 1-0, but this left no margin for error at all.

    I think we may well see a shift in approach this time around, and if we do go there and try to open the game up, then we are more than capable of getting goals and putting them under serious pressure.  Winning the game 1-0 will be difficult, but trying to open up and score 2/3 goals means when they do inevetibaly create a chance, it might not be so fatal this time around.

  9. Im a bit worries as i have read Charlie Adam and Jordan Henderson are both out, hopefully with stronger depth in the squad we can get a good result. Maybe our new centre half would be good to put in against them with him being 6ft6. I agree that a point wouldnt be the worst result but i have faith that Suarez can again be the matchwinner?!! Fingers crossed

  10. Wonder if Kenny would go for the 352 formation again, worked well at anfield??

  11. Im not sure theres alot you could do because these games need to be played but perhaps a change in the days. Usually we play 1 on the sat then 1 on the wed and have 2/3 days to prepare for league game. Maybe they should change so engalnd play wenesday and then sat and a week to prepare for league. Its an advantage currently for teams with less international players.

  12. Stoke will do you 2-1 Crouchy to score winner FACT!!!

  13. I forgot about the Crouch factor! He'll be itching to score against us I'm sure...

  14. We made Stoke look very ordinary last year under Kenny - as they are.  They might get in your face, but good passing at pace will neutralise half of what they do anyhow.

    I think under pressure they will park the bus, and it will be difficult to break down, but there's enough creativity in the side to do it.

    good test for Lucas, and the others as Stoke try not to give you time on the ball.