Is This Premier League Campaign The Season of Comebacks?
The Premier League returns with a bang this week with 10 days of consecutive action scheduled.
The league took a break with the third round of the FA Cup taking centre stage last weekend.
Five top flight teams were dumped out of the cup at the first hurdle with Leeds' 3-0 defeat at Crawley making most of the headlines – the odds on the League Two side winning by that scoreline were an almighty 300/1.
Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, West Brom and Newcastle will convince themselves their cup exits are blessings in disguise as they can now focus their attention on their league form.
The break for the cup after the busy Festive fixtures gave supporters time to reflect on the opening four months of the season and wonder how the league table might look if events had panned out differently.
The table looks great for Manchester United supporters as their side are joint leaders with Liverpool and the standout fixture in the next seven days sees United travel to Liverpool on Sunday.
Both sides were locked on 33 points before their FA Cup wins at the weekend, but United could make the trip to Anfield with a three-point lead if they can get the better of Burnley in Tuesday's rearranged fixture which was moved from the opening day of the season as the Red Devils were given time to recover from their run to last season's Europa League semi-finals.
Sevilla stunned the Old Trafford side to come from behind to book their place in the final against Inter which the Spanish side won by again coming from a goal down to win 3-2.
In this season's league, United have been the comeback kings, winning 18 points from losing positions which is the most in the league and all have come away from Old Trafford.
Without those comeback wins, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side would be four points clear of the relegation zone on 15 points.
Points Won From Losing Positions:
Next on the list of comebacks is defending champions Liverpool. The champions' title defence has not gone exactly to plan lately and their 1-0 defeat at Southampton before the FA Cup third round weekend meant the Reds have now dropped seven points in their last three games.
Ten of Liverpool's 33 points have come after they have fallen behind in games. Had the Reds not recovered like the champions they are, Klopp's side would be in mid-table on 23 points.
Leicester ended Gameweek 17 third in the table and they have their own comeback stories to thank for that. In two of their last three league outings, the Foxes have rallied to rescue a point from their draws with Manchester United and Crystal Palace.
Earlier in the season, Leicester fell behind to Burnley and Manchester City, but came away with wins to establish themselves as a top four contender.
Next up for Brendan Rodgers' side is a home game with Southampton who won the corresponding fixture last season 2-1 after the Saints conceded the opening goal. Leicester will hope they won't have to rely on a comeback to get anything from this fixture.
Fulham and Burnley are the only sides yet to claim a point from a losing position. On the flip side, there are teams that have left a number of points out on the pitch after failing to see games out from winning positions.
Brighton are the biggest culprits of throwing away points with 12 lost from winning positions.
Those 12 points would have the Seagulls on 26 points which would be enough to see Graham Potter's side sit comfortably in mid-table.
Points Lost From Winning Positions
Brighton have dropped four points in their last three league games and if they are to avoid a battle to stay in the league, they will need to be more precious with the points they have.
Sheffield United sit bottom of the table with just two points next to their name after their first 17 games which is the worst return in the league's history.
The club has stuck by manager Chris Wilder who has watched his side throw away 11 points. Had they held on to those 11 valuable points, the Blades would have 13 on the board which would have boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation.
Southampton fans will be happy with the season that is unfolding in front of them even if they cannot attend matches because of Covid-19 restrictions. Their 1-0 win over Liverpool was an emotional victory, especially for their boss Ralph Hasenhuttl who fell to his knees in tears immediately after the final whistle.
The win moved the Saints up to sixth place before the break for the FA Cup, four points behind the joint leaders Liverpool and Manchester United. However, their season could be so much better had the Saints not been sinners in games in which they have led.
Southampton have squandered 10 points from winning positions which would have seen them sit top of the table with a very healthy six-point lead ahead of the league's resumption.
If Hasenhuttl can improve that side of their game, the St Mary's side could secure a top four finish in the Premier League for the first time.
Aston Villa and Leicester are the only teams yet to drop a point after scoring the first goal this campaign.
Football would be a boring game if teams failed to come from behind to win. Comebacks make football one of the most exciting sports to watch and in terms of betting, winning from losing positions can be a profitable market.
Already this season we have seen 20 come from behind wins in the 164 Premier League games played so far.
That works out to be a comeback win every 8.2 games and if that rate continues, then the league will be on course for the most comeback wins (46) since the 52 wins during the 2012/13 campaign.
Most Comebacks Wins Per Premier League Season
- 2019/20 - 45 (1 every 8.4 matches)
- 2018/19 - 41 (1 every 9.3 matches)
- 2017/18 - 43 (1 every 8.8 matches)
- 2016/17 - 44 (1 every 8.6 matches)
- 2015/16 - 35 (1 every 10.9 matches)
- 2014/15 - 40 (1 every 9.5 matches)
- 2013/14 - 44 (1 every 8.6 matches)
- 2012/13 - 52 (1 every 7.3 matches)
Of the four major leagues in Europe, only the German Bundesliga has seen comeback wins more frequently with one every 7.9 matches (17 in the 135 fixtures) and that includes Borussia Monchengladbach's dramatic comeback from 2-0 down to beat the German champions and the champions of Europe Bayern Munich 3-2 on Friday night.
With 16 fixtures scheduled to be played before the end of play next Monday (January 18), the number of comeback wins in the Premier League will surely increase.
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