Are Burnley Really Our Bogey Club?

As we approach the big match against Burnley this week it reminds that Burnley are somewhat regarded as one of our bogey clubs. Half the time its unexplainable and we simply just say, yeah they are our bogey clubs. But is there any truth?

We all have that association between knowing that sometimes we will just beat a team, like we are often other team’s bogey teams. I remember when I was a kid Wimbledon seemed to have a hold over us, but then everyone struggled at Plough Lane. In a more modern context Walsall are oft cited as being a bogey club, as well until more recently Doncaster Rovers.

You could argue of course, especially in recent lights Blackpool are of course one, they just beat us, there was that playoff semi final, it just feels like they always win, but Burnley for me is just one of those teams who seem to win all the time. It’s a hard place to go, and they quite often give us a good game or a beating down at the City Ground (I remember them singing is there a fire drill 2 years ago or so as we limped to an insipid defeat under Cotterill)

Are Burnley Our Bogey Team?
I have decided to try and run some Excel jiggerypokery to it all. The results may well be interesting. For the interests of a cut off point I decided use our re-arrival in the Championship as a neat point.
We ran a matrix of results and then ran three tests against those. Namely who beat us most often, who we scored the least points against, and who we had the least wins against.

There were 38 teams we have played in that period. I cut off Cup Games and Playoff matches because well these pressure games stand alone from the usual range of a normal season. Also we have ignored the games this season as it's unfair to compare teams we have played this season and those we haven't, It'd skew the data

Teams We Lost Most Against.

A simple measure would be counting who we lost most often against.

Top 10 Losses
Burnley 5
Cardiff 5
Derby 5
Hull 4
Watford 4
Birmingham 3
Doncaster 3
Leeds 3
Leicester 3

So even on a first pass we can see Burnley is a thorn in the side, alongside Derby and Cardiff. But that isn’t a true picture. We have played some times more than others.
A simple percentage of games we lost show the following

Top 10 % Losses
West Ham 100%
Hull 66.67%
Burnley 62.50%
Birmingham 50%
Blackburn 50%
Cardiff 50%
Derby 50%
Leeds 50%
Newcastle 50%
Norwich 50%
Portsmouth 50%
Southampton 50%
WBA 50%
Wolves 50%

Which isn’t too accurate because, well, we only played West Ham twice in the Championship? So breaking that down by removing teams we played for only 2 seasons of fixtures against shows this.

Top 10 % Losses Frequently played)
Hull 66.67%
Burnley 62.5%
Birmingham 50%
Cardiff 50%
Derby 50%
Leeds 50%
Watford 40%
Doncaster 37.5%
Leicester 37.5%

We lose a higher percentage of games against Hull than we do Burnley. But they remain our biggest foe in this division at present. But that’s only one type of illustration. There is the also the following.

Points Scored Against OppositionFor this it’s simple a case of dividing the games played against the points scored to get a true picture of how we do in addition to defeats. (PPG means points per game)

Top 10 Lowest PPG
West Ham 0
Blackburn 0.5
Hull 0.67
Brighton 0.75
Birmingham 0.83
Burnley 0.88
Blackpool 1
Bolton 1
Norwich 1
Sheff Utd 1

Again like before this is without removing teams we hardly ever played, but yeah West Ham and Blackburn seem to have holds on us.
In terms of teams we played more often

Top 10 Lowest PPG (frequently)
Hull 0.67
Birmingham 0.83
Burnley 0.88
Blackpool 1
Sheffield United 1
Cardiff 1.1
Derby 1.1
Doncaster 1.13
Leicester 1.13

Hull and Birmingham are far worse bogey clubs in a simple points scored ratio. We just seem to draw a lot more against Birmingham than lose. If we factored in this season Brighton would now be removed, but it’s unfair to include teams we have played this season against teams we haven’t.
Finally, how about how many times we beat teams.

How Often We Beat Teams
These are the teams we have the least wins against. It’s just a simple count so yes, is skewed.

Top 10 Least Wins
Blackburn 0
Bolton 0
Brighton 0
West ham 0
Birmingham 1
Blackpool 1
Huddersfield 1
Hull 1
Newcastle 1
Norwich 1
Sheff Utd 1

Represented as a percentage it looks like this

Top 10 Least Wins %
Blackburn 0%
Bolton 0%
Brighton 0%
West ham 0%
Blackpool 12.5%
Birmingham 16.67%
Hull 16.67%
QPR 16.67%
Sheffield United 16.67%

When we remove the teams we played less than 5 times it looks like this

Top 10 Least Wins Frequent
Blackpool 12.5%
Birmingham 16.67%
Hull 16.67%
QPR 16.67%
Sheffield United 16.67%
Burnley 25%
Doncaster 25%
Leicester 25%

So actually Blackpool and Birmingham are the teams we win least against. Burnley for that matter we do get wins against (and tellingly at home) Birmingham are a surprising one in those stats.

If you factor all 3 together, Burnley pound for pound seem to be the biggest bogey club currently in the division, but Birmingham and Hull have been problems. Thankfully Hull got promoted, and Birmingham has started having serious problems so in that regard aren’t the force they always were. It’s interesting that considering other teams that Doncaster appear a few times in these lists and Derby and Leicester too. The likes of Reading and other big teams we play at this level don’t appear to be the problem you’d think they are, and Ipswich for instance are a team we have extremely good record against (incidentally the best team for scoring points against is Peterborough)

So yes, Burnley are a bogey club, and add to that their form, we can expect astern challenge on Saturday. However 2 out of the last 3 seasons we have beaten them at home, so that’s on our side. But for once fan opinion is accurate for once.