The chase for top four places in the league is heating up and Liverpool has recently closed the gap on teams above us. We are at the moment in 7th place and there is still just an outside chance to finish at least three places higher up. But the Reds can take heart from the fact that we often perform better in the second half of the season. On the other hand, from time to time the opposite occurs.
Premier League has been around since 1992/93. I have examined how Liverpool has fared in the second part of all 22 seasons to establish if we can finish the campaign in the Champions League places. As the saying goes, a great predictor of future behaviour is previous behaviour.
In 22 PL seasons Liverpool has gained more points in the last 19 matches than in the first 19 on eleven occasions. We have amassed less points in the last half six times and in five campaigns the points result is the same for both halves of the season. So 50 percent of the time we perform better in the last 19 games and in just 27 percent of the seasons we perform worse in the latter part.
Encouraging facts and they get even more upliftning if we only take the last 14 seasons into account. The numbers then read: Eight seasons when we had better showings in the last 19 games, four with an even record and just two seasons when we collected more points in the first half.
The four seasons prior to that is the ones dragging us down. From 1996/97 to 1999/00 Liverpool performed better everytime during the first half of the season. During the first four PL seasons we gained more points on three occasions in the last 19 games. In the remaining campaign it was all square.
Here are some more comforting details. In the last five seasons Liverpool has picked up more points in the last 19 matches four times. The odd one out is our dismal season 2011/12 when the total points sum was a meagre 52 and just 18 of them was gained in the last 19 fixtures. This is the largest margin in our PL history, 16 points, between the first and the second half of the season. The biggest difference when gaining more in the second half came last season when we picked up 36 points in the autumn and 48 in the spring.
If we add together all points during the 22 seasons then the second halfs prevails, but not by much. In 22 seasons Liverpool has claimed a total of 725 points in the first 19 games and 752 in the last 19. It means that we on average accumulate 33 points in the first 19 games and 34 in the last 19.
Since we this season collected just 28 points during the first half and if we amass the average in the latter part then we land on just 62 points, a total not by a long chalk enough to make us end up in top four. But historical statistics are one thing, present reality something else. Now Liverpool must defy the odds and take a trip down Route Winning leading to Champions League heaven. I think it´s possible when:
We Go Again.