English Premier League Intra-Division Form Guides

EPL TableThe 2013/14 English Premier League season has been fantastic for the neutral, with numerous sides in contention for the title and an eleven-team bunfight to avoid relegation.

The season has quickly developed into a two-tier division, with nine teams fighting for European football next season and the other eleven battling to avoid the drop. A whopping nine points separates 9th placed Newcastle from 10th placed Swansea, while just eight points separate Swansea from 20th placed Fulham.

It has become apparent that some second tier clubs fare relatively well against each other but fail miserably against first tier sides. At the same time there are first tier sides that dominate second tier competition but struggle against fellow first tier opposition.

This article provides a breakdown of each team’s form guide, both home and away, against first and second tier opposition. This is followed by further analysis that splits the teams into three tiers. The results provide useful betting insights because they highlight who have been consistently beating, and losing to, certain tier opposition.

Two-Tier Analysis

The following section breaks down team form guides using two tiers of opposition: those ranked 1-9 and those ranked 10-20.

Win-loss records against first tier sides

The table below provides the win-draw-loss records for each team against sides currently ranked 1-9.

Despite sitting second on the table, Arsenal have just a 4-4-3 record against first tier sides as they have struggled in particular to pick up points against the top five teams. Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool have dominated fellow first tier opposition at home, although their records aren’t as strong on the road. In fact most sides have struggled away from home. Only Tottenham have more than two away wins against top tier opposition, although none of those wins came against sides ranked 6 or above. Southampton and Man Utd have struggled most against fellow top tier opposition, with 1-4-5 and 1-4-6 records, respectively.

Not surprisingly, most second tier sides have fared poorly against top tier opposition. An immediate stand out, however, are Stoke City, who boast a 2-3-1 record at home. Sunderland and Aston Villa have also fared relatively well, with four and three wins, respectively. West Brom have also been respectable, picking up seven draws. Crystal Palace and Fulham have fared the worst, with just a point each this season. Generally, road games against first tier opposition have been a nightmare for second tier clubs. Swansea, Crystal Palace, Norwich and Cardiff have yet to pick up a point against first tier opposition away from home.

Win-loss records against second tier sides

The table below provides the win-draw-loss records for each team against sides currently ranked 10-20.

Arsenal make up for their mediocre record against first tier opposition by dominating second tier opponents. Their thirteen wins from fifteen games is the best record in the league. Liverpool have also dominated, particularly at home. In fact, every first tier club has fared well at home, with only Newcastle conceding more than one home defeat. Arsenal remain undefeated on the road, as do Tottenham and Everton. Despite Man Utd’s well documented struggles this season, they’ve picked up points consistently against second tier opponents, with a 5-1-1 home record and 6-1-1 away record.

A stand out performer among the second tier clubs is Crystal Palace, who have eight wins against sides ranked 10 or below – six of which were at home. Palace started the season terribly, picking up three points from the first ten rounds, but they have gone 5-1-0 at home against second tier sides since then. Fulham is another team that has rarely featured in draws, with a 6-1-6 record. Many second tier clubs have struggled on the road, with Hull, Stoke City, West Brom, Sunderland and Cardiff having one or zero wins. Ironically, Sunderland have only picked up two wins against second tier opposition, compared to four wins against the top tier.

Three-Tier Analysis

Looking more closely at the league standings, less than three points separate each team from the clubs above and below it, with two exceptions. The first is the previously discussed nine-point gap between 9th placed Newcastle and 10th placed Swansea. The second is a five-point split between 5th placed Tottenham and 6th placed Everton. The following section breaks down the team form guides using three tiers of opposition: those ranked 1-5, 6-9 and 10-20. These will be called the first, second and third tiers, respectively.

Win-loss records against first tier sides

The table below provides the win-draw-loss records for each team against sides currently ranked 1-5.

Against the top tier sides Tottenham have struggled, with just a 0-1-4 record. Arsenal have yet to lose to a top tier side at home but have yet to pick up a point on the road.

The second tier sides have consistently struggled against top tier opponents, with only Newcastle picking up more than one win.

Of the third tier clubs, Aston Villa stand out for their two victories, while Crystal Palace and Fulham have yet to collect a point. Seven of the eleven teams in the third tier have failed to pick up a point on the road against top tier opposition (Sunderland have yet to visit a top 5 team).

Win-loss records against second tier sides

The table below provides the win-draw-loss records for each team against sides currently ranked 6-9.

Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham have fared well while Everton boast a perfect 3-0-0 record. Interestingly, Man Utd and Southampton remain winless against sides in this tier.

As expected, the third tier clubs have fared slightly better against second tier opponents than they did the first, with Sunderland in particular boasting a 3-2-1 record. Crystal Palace and Fulham have the worst records against this tier.

Win-loss records against third tier sides

The results are identical to the two-tier analysis discussed earlier due to this group consisting of the same teams defined as the lowest tier (11-20).


Please note that the above analysis uses the first 26 rounds of the 2013/14 English Premier League season. The results for some teams are skewed by the nature of the opposition they have played. For example, Sunderland are undefeated on the road against sides ranked 1-9, however they have yet to visit a team ranked 5 or better.

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