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How Manchester United don’t like Sundays and Tottenham really do

We trawl the record books for evidence of better betting value on Saturday or Sunday...

by Aidan Elder | December 4, 2014

Sunday Premier League matches – they’re not everyone’s favourite thing.

Whether it’s the overly dramatic Sky Sports pre-match promotional hype writing cheques that your run of the mill Super Sunday match can’t actually cash or the combination of hangovers/sleepiness that come from a big Saturday night, very often they can be damp squibs that make you yearn for the classic Saturday 3pm kick-off time. Back then, men where men, xenophobic views where just called ‘views’ and the name Lou Macari sounded impossibly glamourous.

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It just feels like sometimes, for whatever reason, even players don’t seem like they don’t fancy Sunday kick-offs much either. Like they’d rather be tucking into a Sunday roast or trying to quell the aftermath of another kiss and tell tabloid story. But do some teams perform better or worse on Sundays? The Paddy Power Blog has trawled through the record books to get an answer.

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The short answer is no. For the majority of the teams in the Premier League, their win rates on Sundays are different to their overall win rates by around +/-1%. Nothing significant whatsoever.

The slightly longer answer is, whether by fluke or some bizarre fondness or dislike for Sundays, some teams perform notably better or worse when they get a run out on the Lord’s Day.

Of the established Premier League teams, the two that stand out are Tottenham and Manchester United. Despite the evidence of the last couple of seasons, Spurs actually do quite well on Sundays overall, outperforming their usual Premier League win rate by about 6.4%. On the other side, Manchester United’s win rate drops 7% for games played on Sunday.

There are some potential explanations. In addition to major London derbies, Spurs often get non-major London derbies moved to Sunday (West Ham, Fulham, Palace etc) and for the most part, they tend to win them. For the most part, United’s Sunday games are either against (a) highly rated Top 4 competitors or (b) relegation battlers hoping to cause a shock. The former would certainly contribute to a lower rate while the latter may have an impact, particularly later in the season when the relegation hoofers get especially desperate.

Possibly due to similar reasons as United, Chelsea and Arsenal win rates on Sunday drop by 3.5% and 5% respectively versus their standard win rates. It’s not a huge amount, but worth remembering considering they will usually be short enough prices.

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It must be said that in the case of Premier League yo-yo teams like Leicester, QPR and Burnley and relative Premier League novices like Swansea, the sample size for Sunday games is small. Over time their win rates from Sunday games may well regress to their overall win rate, but the way some of them are playing, it could take a good long while before they build up a large body of Sunday games. The Foxes are probably happiest with this news because they have a reasonably sizeable chunk of Sunday games behind them (34) and that shows they win on Sundays 3% more often than they do normally.

Looking at this week’s Sunday games, it points towards a tasty decent double. West Ham’s win rate on Sunday is 3.7% lower than their normal win rate, but that pales in comparison to the 7% dip that Swansea suffer. In the other game, away specialists Aston Villa face the daunting prospect of a home game. The Villains record is largely the same whatever the day of the week, but Leicester improve to the tune of 3% on Sundays. It’s not conclusive, but the double comes in at a tasty 13/2. Given the Sunday form, it’s on more than just a wing and a prayer.

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