Palace v Man City: An alternative Premier League preview

The final match of the 31st match round of the 2014/2015 Premier League takes place this evening between Manchester City, who went into the weekend in second place, and Crystal Palace from the bottom half of the Premier League table. Using the Euro Club Index to correct form for relative strength of the participating teams as well as home advantage during a sequence of results can help provide an alternative view of the match as can the Euro Club indices themselves. Add a simple measure like SCoRe (Seasonal Comparative Results) to the mix and a simple alternative view of the match can be produced without the need for any data more complicated than results.

Crystal Palace (Euro Club Index ranked 103rd) v Manchester City (9th)
Ten match form corrected for expected points produces an alternative view of this match to the league table as Crystal Palace are leading this table (see below) amongst all Premier League clubs whilst Manchester City are currently bottom of the same table.

Crystal Palace have amassed 19 points from those last 10 fixtures but should have expected to get just under 11 given the Euro Club Index odds. In contrast, Manchester City have managed 15 points from their last 10 Premier League matches but should reasonably have expected to get around 20.


The fact remains however that Manchester City, ranked ninth on the Euro Club Index, are a much stronger team than Crystal Palace this season. Palace are still improving and City are arguably on the decline but a Palace win this evening would still be a major shock even given the two clubs’ current adjusted form. City have of course been the victims of a number of surprise results this season, losing at home to Stoke City, failing to beat Burnley home or away and drawing at home to Hull City. Defeat to Crystal Palace would not be at quite the same shock level but may be a further indication of the club’s current decline which may even see them end the season in fourth position.

Comparing results this season with the equivalent fixtures last term, Manchester City are a point behind the 62 they managed in 2013/2014 from the 30 matches played so far. The eight fixtures that City have left were all won last season so this decline is likely to be more marked than the SCoRe of -1 that the club currently has.

Crystal Palace are two points down on their points haul last season from the 30 fixtures played so far in 2014/2015. Last term, the club took just seven points out of 24 from the eight fixtures they now have remaining and any positive result against City will improve on last season’s defeat. It does seem that Palace will end the season with a similar number of points to last term despite losing manager Tony Pulis on the eve of the season. That would be some achievement.

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