Empty football stadia are causing upsets to the pattern of football results, as shown by the number of away wins. For the first time ever in the Premier League there have been more away wins, 114 to be precise, over 108 home wins. This has never happened before.
In the last four seasons combined only five teams Southampton 19/20, Crystal Palace 18/19 Burnley 17/18, Manchester United 16/17, and Crystal Palace 16/17, have been better away from home, than they were at home.
This season there are now seven teams that have a better away points tariff than at home an increase from 6% to 35% in one season. Half of the teams in the Premier League are not doing better at home than away.
Over the past eight seasons 46% of home gains are wins, but this season it is 37%.
Not having the fans at home is having an effect, fans spur on the home side, no doubt about that. The home teams according to BBC analysis are expected, by fans, to be dominant in the game, so they push harder. But if you are expected to do that every three to four days because of the congestion of the list, pressing becomes harder, especially without fans, and that is shown in the results.
The classic away team is Leicester City 22 home points 34 away points. Best in the business at away play is Jaimie Vardy home goals 3, away 11 goals. Man Utd home points 24, away points 33, Pat Nevin at BBC sport, puts this down to the attacking speed and skill of Marcus Rashford who excels on the break from defence in away matches.
Then we come to Liverpool. People travel the world over to savor the atmosphere at Anfield. But not this year, and the results are for all to see. Home and away points both at 23 points.
Then we have the referees. Pat Nevin suggests that the absence of fans causes referees to make decisions they would not do so if there were 50,000 fans baying for blood, telling the ref every decision he got wrong. So, when a decision has to be made that’s tight with a full stadium he just might err toward the fans. With an empty stadium referees are more confident so the penalty a player thought he might get just will not happen.
Nevin also believes that the home side, coming out of the tunnel, and into a deathly quiet empty stadium has a bigger effect on the home team than the away team. The home team knows it will not get the lift from the fans, the away team knows they are better off without the fans.
The twelfth man this season has been proven to be a factor.
By Warwick Bartlett