12 Nov 2013

CL or Title Challenge? - LFC First 11 League Games Comparison: 1993-2013

After a weekend of great results for the Reds, Liverpool are currently sitting pretty in the Premier League table, a mere two points behind leaders Arsenal, and surprisingly ahead of the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Spurs. Some say that ten or eleven games is a good early indicator how the season may ultimately pan out, but is that really true? Looking at Liverpool's first 11 games over the last twenty years versus final league position is an interesting exercise, and shows categorically than any talk at this stage of challenging for the Premier League is (arguably) massively premature.

Whilst it's great to see Liverpool in the top two, historically, league performance after 11 games is not really a reliable indicator of how the season is going to turn out, though overall, the results suggest that the Reds should be in with a great chance of finishing in the top four.


 photo ScreenShot2013-11-12at110056_zps1fcd7af0.png


* 23 points accrued in the first 11 games on 2 prior occasions, and each time, the club finished the season in the top four.

* 20+ points achieved in the first 11 games on 8 separate occasions, and the club went on to finish in the top four SEVEN times.

* The only exception to this is 2002-3: 27 points after 11 games, but ended up finishing 5th.

* The Reds are already 11 points better off than at the same point last year, when the team had accrued a pitiful 12 points in 11 games (!)

* On the two occasions the club finished 2nd (2002 and 2009), the team maintained a PPG average of over 2.0 for the entire season.

Make of the figures what you will, but based on past performance, a genuine league challenge seems like a remote possibility at this stage, but finishing in the top four appears to be a very strong possibility.



  1. I think 19 games would be a good indicator because this season we have had a lot of easier fixtures first up and have lost 2 of 3 against top 10 and drawn other 2. This being a tight season it will be imperative to beat our direct rivals for top 4 else those games could cost us eventually. I won't be confident till be put in a good performance against the likes of Everton, Tottenham and Man City in the coming fixtures. Of the next 8 fixtures till Jan, 4 are against bottom half and 4 are against top 8 teams. Going by our current form, I expect at least 10 from the 4 games against bottom half and a meagre 4 from the other 4. That leaves us with 37 from 19 which will certainly keep us 'in the conversation', but if we slip up against one of the bottom half teams then we could fall short. Hope we can step up and perform against the top teams as well.

  2. I wrote this in the other link, resending this.....as once again the problem (or no problem :) ) for LFC is this:LFC has 7 matches in Dec ...way too much to handle. 15,26 and 29 Dec
    (Tottenham, ManC & Chelsea resp.) At end of the month I pray &
    hope LFC would survive and stay at least top 3, as we don't have depth
    in squad and I hope everyone stays fit.Table would drastically change
    during this coming month.

  3. Come January we will have a better idea of whether a title challenge is possible but top 4 is looking really good for us.

    What is counting for us is not having to play matches on Thursday against some unknown team on the other side of the world. I have watched some of the Europa League matches this season and the gap between CL and Europa League is massive. They should have never changed the format of the old Uefa Cup which was a very prestiges competition. Now it is just overloaded with mediocre teams.

  4. Great stats Jaimie! The 23 points accrued after 11 games gives us a strong indication that we will be in the top four at the end of the season. Rogers stated that 2 points a game can get us in the top four - wins and draws so let's see. But a true indication of us being in the top four is after 38 games ;) YNWA

  5. Judging by some of the results this weekend, and generally over the season so far, its looking like another season of very inconsistent performances across the board. So with that in mind, top 4 is a genuine possibility. Title challenge is probably a bit much. But you never know.

  6. Good analysis and certainly encouraging for top 4. But like others I think the key lies in our performances/position by end of Dec; who joins to strengthen in Jan window; and if we have to face another circus about whether LS stays or goes (at least last time it was in the close season but any repeat in Jan could seriously derail BR and team's efforts).

  7. If anything the stats are mostly encouraging - Champions League is a very realistic possibility. Winning the title? Hasn't happened yet, but still a possibility. It is much easier to maintain form from the front than chasing from behind.
    From a confidence perspective, hopefully it will provide a boost - having CL and the title within reach serves as an excellent incentive to perform like a champion. When it's out of reach, or against impossible odds complacency will set in, players see themselves as doing a job to pay the bills, not needing to win anything.
    If BR gets his tactics and player selections right, and players play their best, no reason not to believe it is possible.

  8. A good time to judge if we actually are capable of putting a challenge for the title is on the first of February. If we're still up there and we've gotten quality players in...you never know it could be time to dream :)

  9. LFC has 7 matches, but Man U, Chelsea, Man City, and Tottenham have 9 matches in the same period, Arsenal has 8.
    Chelsea and Man City are the last two games of the year - we might be a little out of steam, but arguably be in better condition than these 2.

  10. I think it is absolutely imperative for this team to be no worse than 4th going into January 2014... not only because we don't want to have to make up ground, but also to show the owners that if they reinforce the team, we have an even better chance of maintaining or improving our position.

  11. Only in 5 of those seasons did the club drop places after the first 11 games. In those seasons the worst case scenario was to drop 4 places, from 1st to 5th. Otherwise we barely dropped 1 or 2 places. In most instances the club improved on their placing in the league and for me that's the most promising element. We've gotten better and better as a club since Rodgers has been in charge. Certainly the early schedule has been somewhat kind to us, but then it's also been the case that every team in the league is capable of an upset. We've played good teams so far and gotten solid results. City, Chelsea and Spurs might prove a bigger challenge but we've got improvements to make.

  12. We willsurely be in top 4, and with bit of luck and good signings we are champion contenders.

  13. And by the way, we will finish above manu this year..

  14. There is arguably more competition now for the top four spots than there has ever been. Also in other seasons we may have played more of those teams wanting on of those spots by this point in the season. I love the positivity and confidence but personally I was not getting too carried away. We are in a good position to get in the top four and I hope we maintain it. It will not be easy by any means. We are improving I think but to go from 7th to 1st is a little too dramatic a turn. Keep positive lads but keep your feet on the ground too.

  15. I hate the fact you can vote down someone's post anonymously without any explanation.

  16. Don't sweat it. No one cares anyway. I get voted down more than anyone (!) It means nothing. If I could turn it off I would but it's an automatic 'feature' of disqus.

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

    -------- Original message --------