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Premier League Squeaky Bum Time

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Title Race Intensifies

As the Premier League season heads into its thrilling final stretch, predicting the champion becomes as daunting as ever. At the forefront, we have Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, led by arguably the best manager in the world and boasting a roster packed with world-class talent. Having clinched the title for the last three seasons, it’s easy to see why many might favour City to continue their dominance.

However, they face stiff competition from Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who are gearing up for a poignant farewell to their vibrant and influential manager this summer. Klopp, who has already tasted Premier League success, is undoubtedly aiming to end his tenure on a high note. Not to be overlooked, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal is also in the mix, seeking their first league title since the 2003-2004 season. Under Arteta’s guidance, Arsenal is crafting a resurgence, but the question remains: Are they poised to topple Guardiola’s seasoned ensemble?

To add depth to our analysis, we turned to historical data from Transfermarkt to determine which teams typically excel in the latter stages of the season, often referred to as “Squeaky Bum Time“. We examined the results of the final 12 games over the past ten seasons to see which teams thrive under the pressure and can navigate the challenges of fatigue and mental strain.

The Dominant Force
The data reveals that Manchester City has been the top performer over the last decade, scoring an impressive 296 goals while conceding only 94, amassing 88 wins out of 120 games. This performance translates to a formidable 73.33% winning percentage. Close behind is Liverpool, with 249 goals scored, 125 conceded, and 78 wins.

The Pursuers
Arsenal, now spearheaded by Arteta but previously under the stewardship of Unai Emery, ranks third. The Gunners have found the net 219 times, conceded 141 goals, and accumulated 66 wins, which equates to a 55% win rate. Chelsea, despite a few challenging seasons, matches Arsenal in both wins and win percentage, with 207 goals scored and 134 conceded.

The Strugglers and Dark Horses
Manchester United rounds out the top six, navigating through managerial upheavals under Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ralf Rangnick, and Erik ten Hag to secure 64 wins from 120 games, scoring 180 goals and conceding 121, reflecting a 53% win rate. Meanwhile, Tottenham, despite scoring more goals than Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United with a total of 230, has struggled defensively, conceding 151 goals and securing 63 wins.

Season's Grand Finale
As we countdown to the end of what has been an unpredictable and exhilarating Premier League season, the battle at the top promises to be both intense and captivating. Can Manchester City extend their reign, or will Klopp's Liverpool or Arteta’s Arsenal write a new chapter? The stage is set for a memorable conclusion to the season.

Overview

This project aims to analyse the performance of certain Premier League teams during the critical final 12 matches of the season, a period colloquially known as "Squeaky Bum Time." The study focuses on teams involved in the title race (Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool) and those fighting relegation (Sheffield United, Burnley, Nottingham Forest) over the last 10 years. The primary objectives include evaluating winning percentages, goals scored, goals conceded, and the ratio between goals scored and conceded, to understand how pressure impacts team performance.

Data Collection

Source and Selection of Data

Data was meticulously gathered from Transfermarkt, renowned for its accuracy and comprehensive coverage of football statistics. This source was chosen to ensure the reliability of the analysis.

Teams and Timeframe

The selection of teams was based on their involvement in either the title race or relegation battles in this season. The analysis spans a decade to capture a broad spectrum of performance under end-of-season pressure.

Data Points

Key data points included:

Total Wins

Total Matches Played

Goals Scored

Goals Conceded

Data Analysis

Tools and Techniques

Python, with its vast array of libraries for data manipulation (e.g., Pandas, NumPy), was employed for the initial data processing and analysis. Google Sheets played a pivotal role in data storage and organisation, facilitating the ease of data handling.

Calculation Methodology

The winning percentage was calculated using the formula: 

Winning Percentage=(Total Wins / Total Matches Played) × 100 This key metric served as the cornerstone for comparing performances across different teams and seasons.

Comparative Analysis

An in-depth comparative analysis was undertaken to discern patterns of performance among the selected teams, focusing on how each team's winning percentage varied during the intense final matches of each season.

Data Visualization

Looker Studio was harnessed to transform the analysed data into intuitive visual formats. By employing various chart types and visualisation techniques, the study aims to present findings in a manner that is both accessible and engaging for the audience, facilitating a clearer understanding of complex patterns and trends.

Conclusion

This methodology underscores a structured and rigorous approach to examining the phenomenon of "Squeaky Bum Time" in the Premier League. Through a combination of reliable data, sophisticated analytical tools, and clear visualisation methods, the project endeavours to shed light on how the impending end of the season influences team performances, providing insights that are both informative and relevant to enthusiasts and scholars of football alike.

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