After a well-earned rest from the stresses of last season, we are now just a few short days away from our first fixture of 2018/19, away at Fleetwood. So, I’ve crunched the numbers, and this is how history suggests we will fare against our 23 League One rivals this year.
The first thing of note is that we are playing 23 clubs this season – not 22 and an abbreviation.
Moving on from that, we can see from this table that, theoretically, we should have a pretty decent season. We are expected to achieve 45 points at home and 21 away, giving us an overall total of 66 points that would have put us, comfortably, in eighth place last year.
Last season, on the basis of the teams we were to play, we were scheduled to accumulate 64 points, but we only achieved 53 – 83 per cent of our projected total.
So why should we have confidence in these stats that this season might be better? Well, it’s the averaging process. Simply put, one bad season should be offset by a good one. Overall, we are pretty average since we got into the league: in fact, over the longest term, our average does come out at around 15 wins, 16 draws, and 15 defeats – a season total of 61 points. So you can see we are owed a bit in terms of getting the average back on track! Of course, that promotion season helped …
In terms of individual games, not a lot has changed for those teams we play this year compared to last. Even good results, like the 4-0 at Bradford, do not counter what has gone before too much; history still says we should lose that one but by a smaller amount!
The uplift in fortunes this season compared to last lies in the teams promoted and relegated. Will we face two teams this year that we have not played before in the league as AFC Wimbledon: Barnsley, and Sunderland. As it happens, we play them both in the first month!
As usual with these ‘new’ opponents, I have assumed a 1-0 win at home and a 1-0 defeat away. In some respects, these might be the most interesting games of the season, stat-wise.
So we start with:
- Fleetwood, which should be a loss;
- Coventry, a draw;
- Barnsley, a loss;
- Walsall: draw;
- and Sunderland, which goes down as a win.
If that pans out as predicted, we’ll pick-up five points from five games – only a point a game and not good enough over the full season at that rate. Sort it out, Ardley!!
We will see though, won’t we? And hopefully I will be checking our progress with updates during the season, if the podcast team lets me …
// Jim Potter – @JamPot44