Main Menu
No.1 2 3 4 5 6
In Association with
Play now at the William Hill Casino
  | Home   | Index   | Info   | This Week   | Poker   | News   | Email
09/03/2007 No.7
Kevin Pullein
Friday March 9, 2007
  Punters should not be swayed by the concept of the bogey team. Previous results are irrelevant

There is a widespread belief in football that certain teams will always play well against others, irrespective of their form or league position. But the bogey team is as much a figment of our imaginations as the bogey man. Past results in a fixture have no influence over future happenings. The teams who seem to have some sort of spell over their opponents have simply been lucky most of the time.

The best place to search for evidence of bogey teams would appear to be the Football League. In the Premiership teams, particularly those such as Manchester United and Arsenal, have good historical records against many opponents - not because they are bogey teams but because they are consistently the best. In the Football League, unlike the Premiership, the best teams leave at the end of every season, meaning clubs who stay within a division are likely to play at a similar level.

The figures that follow are from a study of Football League games played last season between teams who had met at least five times in the previous 10 seasons. If they had met that often, it would seem reasonable to assume that they were usually of a broadly similar standard.

Last season, 42% of games finished in home wins, 31% in draws and 27% in away wins. In fixtures that had not produced a home win on any of the previous five occasions they were played, the proportion of home wins was 42%. In fixtures that had not produced an away win on any of the past five occasions, the proportion of away wins was 27%. In other words, teams who had been doing very badly in a fixture did no worse this time round than everyone else, and vice versa. It is the best evidence that bogey teams do not exist. And, obviously, we should not bet on phantoms.

Middlesbrough are said to be something of a bogey team for their FA Cup sixth-round opponents Manchester United, because they have won three of the previous six meetings at the Riverside. Among this weekend's other fixtures, West Bromwich have a good recent record at Wolves, as do Bradford at Huddersfield, Hartlepool at home to Lincoln and Macclesfield at home to Shrewsbury. But past victories are irrelevant. Believers in bogey teams have all been deceived. Kevin Pullein is football tipster for the Racing Post


Register for Ltd email updates


play online poker