This season so far we’ve seen 40 Premier League matches played out to some strange results – so far those games have produced just nine home wins.
It seems odd that so few teams are able to win at home, given that traditionally, the home team should have an advantage over their visiting opposition.
They know the pitch inside and out, and have the backing of the majority of the fans in the ground to create a loud and intimidating atmosphere – but this year very few teams using this to their advantage and winning games at home.
There are some clubs getting it right – but has the idea of the home side advantage had its day when it comes to the modern game?
After all, some teams have managed to win at home – and to do so more than once, where as other clubs are struggling to even amuse their home fans as they watch the away goals come thundering in.
Here’s a look at the winners, the losers and the wildcards when it comes to playing at home this season.
Manchester City have yet to lose a game at home. They also have yet to lose a game anywhere.
With the form City have at the moment, they could probably play on the moon and still win.
They are surely odds on early favourites to win the league, the World Cup, and perhaps the Superbowl also.
The Etihad Stadium is not a place any team wants to travel to at the minute, and for good reason.
The only other team who have won all their home games thus far is Swansea, who have made a strong start to the Premier League this season.
They’ve scored four goals in two games at the Liberty Stadium, comfortably beating Newcastle United and downing Manchester United, despite being one goal down initially.
It’s early days for Gary Monk’s home team heroes, but if they can keep this up a top ten finish surely beckons.
Relegation candidates Chelsea have had a dreadful start to the season for a team that holds so much promise and money.
Their two home games at Stamford Bridge will not have amused their Season ticket holders, after they drew 2-2 at home to Swansea and lost 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace.
Palace are not to be taken lightly this season – and are still running off the ‘Positve Pardew’ results that always come when he arrives at a club, like some bizarre Mary Poppins who comes in, wins a bunch of games, shags the players’ wives and then floats off elsewhere under a magical flying football umbrella.
Still, Mourinho is supposed to be the special one out of the two – and yet there’s been nothing special about Chelsea at home (or anywhere) thus far this season.
They really must find their magic again – and fast.
Stoke are yet to win home or away this season, which isn’t great in itself, but even worse, they have thus far failed to score a single league goal at the Britannia, after losing 1-0 to both Liverpool and West Brom.
Their away draws against Tottenham and Norwich have ensured they are (slowly) assembling a points tally, but they need to ensure they find the back of the net in their next home game – a game against a Leicester City who haven’t actually lost a match yet.
West Ham United can’t win at home to save their lives (hence poor performances and deserved wins for Leicester and Bournemouth).
That being said, tremendous and solid away wins against Arsenal and Liverpool have made them the most confusing team in the league this season.
Their 3-0 win at Anfield was their first in 52 years, and their 2-0 win at the Emirates means they’ve scored five on the road, and kept two incredible clean sheets with two different goalkeepers.
What’s even more interesting about West Ham’s away form is how soundly they’ve won their games with such low possession – in both the Arsenal and Liverpool away wins, their possession percentage in the wins was only 38% and 37% respectively. Strange.
The other surprise is Leicester City, who haven’t lost yet this season.
Wins against Sunderland and West Ham and draws against Tottenham and Bournemouth have all returned points for Claudio Ranieri’s high flying foxes.
The club are currently bossing it in a Champions League position in the table – early days – but could you imagine?
If the start of the season is anything to go by, this is the year for fans to have bought away season tickets – but is all the joy to be had on the road – will we see a return to the home team advantage – and does it even exist this year?
It might not – after all, West Ham’s last year at Upton Park has the fans in fortress mode.
Season ticket holders will verify that there’s a different energy running through the crowd under Bilic – but this loud, signing, jubilant and hopeful crowd hasn’t led to results.
Similarly, the amount of games on TV last year in which the seats at the Etihad were visible genuinely made people query why City don’t paint images of fans on their seats, to at least pretend the ground is full – yet their team don’t look likely to surrender home points any time soon.
Is the idea of the home advantage relevant to these two teams?
Probably not – but those fans not sitting in the home stands at the Etihad and the Liberty Stadium will be hoping that such a thing still exists; and that their teams get their house in order soon.