How Premier League teams have been affected by playing without fans – ranked

How Premier League teams have been affected by playing without fans – ranked

Bar a handful of matches in December, the Premier League has been played entirely behind closed doors since football returned from lockdown in June 2020.

Teams have responded differently to playing without fans, so we’ve taken the 17 teams that have been in the top flight for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons and compared their home form pre and post Covid.

Let’s take a look at who has coped best and worst with playing behind closed doors, ranked by points per game.

David MoyesDavid Moyes
Moyes has overseen West Ham’s upturn in fortunes | Pool/Getty Images

Before Covid
P14 W4 D3 L7
Win Rate: 28.6%
PPG: 1.1

After Covid
P20 W10 D5 L5
Win Rate: 50%
PPG: 1.8

West Ham have fared best behind closed doors, with their win rate soaring by 21.2% and their points per game going up by 0.7. There are plenty of outside factors at play for the Hammers, with Manuel Pellegrini overseeing a large chunk of their pre-lockdown form, before being replaced by David Moyes in December 2019.

Still there is a theory that the players have also felt freer away from the fans.

Thomas Tuchel, Jurgen KloppThomas Tuchel, Jurgen Klopp
Tuchel has been partially responsible for Chelsea’s improved home record | Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

Before Covid
P15 W7 D3 L5
Win Rate: 46.7%
PPG: 1.6

After Covid
P18 W11 D5 L2
Win Rate: 61.1%
PPG: 2.1

Chelsea‘s win rate has increased by a huge 14.4% and points per game has gone up by 0.5 since games have been played behind closed doors – but the Blues do have a lot of other variables at play, with the lifting of their transfer ban, a heavy summer of spending and Thomas Tuchel replacing Frank Lampard in January 2021.

Moussa Djenepo, Takumi Minamino, Danny IngsMoussa Djenepo, Takumi Minamino, Danny Ings
Southampton’s home form has improved without fans | Pool/Getty Images

Before Covid
P15 W4 D2 L9
Win Rate: 26.7%
PPG: 0.9

After Covid
P18 W7 D3 L8
Win Rate: 38.9%
PPG: 1.3

Southampton have improved on last season’s woeful record at St Mary’s since football moved behind closed doors, with their win rate upped by 12.2% and their points per game increasing by 0.4. The Saints were one of a handful of Premier League clubs who briefly welcomed a limited number of fans back in December.

Kevin De BruyneKevin De Bruyne
City have enjoyed a stunning 2021 | Miklos Szabo/Getty Images

Before Covid
P13 W9 D2 L2
Win Rate: 69%
PPG: 2.2

After Covid
P22 W18 D2 L2
Win Rate: 81%
PPG: 2.5

Manchester City‘s win rate has increased by 12% and their average points per game has increased by 0.3 since matches have been played behind closed – although this has also partially coincided with a net spend of £104m in the 2020 transfer window, which included the instrumental signing of Ruben Dias.

Ollie WatkinsOllie Watkins
Villa’s home form has remained steady with and without fans | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Before Covid
P14 W5 D2 L7
Win Rate: 35.7%
PPG: 1.2

After Covid
P18 W7 D2 L9
Win Rate: 38.9%
PPG: 1.3

Aston Villa‘s fortunes have improved massively since lockdown, with the Villans moving from second bottom to 10th since Covid. However, this has largely been thanks to their away form, with Villa’s home form only improving marginally in the absence of fans.

FBL-ENG-PR-NEWCASTLE-WOLVESFBL-ENG-PR-NEWCASTLE-WOLVES
Wolves win rate has gone up without fans | OWEN HUMPHREYS/Getty Images

Before Covid
P15 W5 D7 L3
Win Rate: 33.3%
PPG: 1.5

After Covid
P19 W8 D4 L6
Win Rate: 42.1%
PPG: 1.5

Wolves’ win rate at home has gone up by 8.8% in the absence of fans – but their loss rate has also increased, meaning their points per game has remained the same. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side got off to a slow start during the 2019/20 campaign as they juggled domestic and European football – something they have not had to contend with post-Covid. However, they have been without talisman Raul Jimenez since November.

Mikel ArtetaMikel Arteta
Arsenal’s home form has hardly been affected by no fans | Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Before Covid
P15 W7 D5 L3
Win Rate: 46.7%
PPG: 1.7

After Covid
P18 W9 D4 L5
Win Rate: 50%
PPG: 1.7

Almost no change at Arsenal with or without fans – their win rate has increased by 3.3%, but their loss rate has also increased by 7%, so points per game wise it’s all even. There are extraneous factors to consider with the Gunners, with Unai Emery in charge until November 2019, and Mikel Arteta in charge from December onwards.

Jose MourinhoJose Mourinho
Tottenham’s home form has remained consistent | Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images

Before Covid
P14 W8 D2 L4
Win Rate: 57.1%
PPG: 1.9

After Covid
P19 W11 D4 L4
Win Rate: 57.9%
PPG: 1.9

Perhaps counter-intuitively, Tottenham are figures of pure consistency with or without fans, with their win rate going up by just 0.8% since playing behind closed doors. Mauricio Pochettino was responsible for just under half of their pre-lockdown form, before being replaced by Jose Mourinho in November 2019.

Bruno FernandesBruno Fernandes
Fernandes has been with United for all of their post-lockdown home fixtures | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Before Covid
P15 W8 D5 L2
Win Rate: 53.3%
PPG: 1.9

After Covid
P18 W9 D5 L4
Win Rate: 50%
PPG: 1.8

Manchester United have seen a marginal drop off in home form since lockdown, with their win rate decreasing by 3.3% and their average points per game decreasing by 0.1. In contrast, they are yet to lose away in the Premier League since the pandemic.

Sean DycheSean Dyche
Burnley’s home form has been hit without fans | Pool/Getty Images

Before Covid
P15 W7 D2 L6
Win Rate: 46.7%
PPG: 1.5

After Covid
P19 W5 D8 L6
Win Rate: 26.3%
PPG: 1.2

Turf Moore has become less of a fortress in the absence of fans – or maybe it’s just since Jeff Hendrick left. Burnley‘s win rate has decreased by 20.4% without supporters (the second most in the top flight), although their loss rate has also decreased slightly, meaning the Clarets average points per game has dropped by a slightly less drastic 0.3.

Steve BruceSteve Bruce
Newcastle’s home form has worsened without fans | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Before Covid
P14 W5 D6 L3
Win Rate: 35.7%
PPG: 1.5

After Covid
P19 W5 D6 L8
Win Rate: 26.3%
PPG: 1.1

Newcastle‘s win rate has decreased by 9.4% in the absence of the St James’ Park faithful – but their loss rate has nearly doubled, soaring from 21.4% to 42.1%. There’s always something to be happy about if you’re a Newcastle fan.

Brendan RodgersBrendan Rodgers
Leicester’s home form has been worse since lockdown | Pool/Getty Images

Before Covid
P15 W9 D3 L3
Win Rate: 60%
PPG: 2.0

After Covid
P18 W9 D2 L7
Win Rate: 50%
PPG: 1.6

Leicester‘s win rate has gone down by 10% and they’re picking up 0.4 points per game fewer at the King Power Stadium without fans. However away from home, no team has won more Premier League games than Leicester in 2020/21.

FBL-ENG-PR-SOUTHAMPTON-BRIGHTONFBL-ENG-PR-SOUTHAMPTON-BRIGHTON
Brighton have fared worse at home since lockdown | GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

Before Covid
P14 W4 D6 L4
Win Rate: 28.6%
PPG: 1.3

After Covid
P20 W3 D8 L9
Win Rate: 15%
PPG: 0.9

Brighton beat Arsenal 2-1 in their first post-lockdown match at the Amex without fans. They have since won two of their last 19 home league matches, with their win rate dropping by 13.6% and their average points per game reducing by 0.4. Play nice football though!

Roy HodgsonRoy Hodgson
Palace had a poor finish to the 2019/20 season | Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Before Covid
P15 W6 D4 L5
Win Rate: 40%
PPG: 1.5

After Covid
P19 W5 D6 L8
Win Rate: 26.3%
PPG: 1.1

Palace have seen a 13.7% decrease in their Selhurst Park win rate in the absence of fans, largely thanks to the Eagles’ torrid run of initial post lockdown form, where they picked up just four points from a possible 27 home and away to conclude the 2019/20 season.

Ollie NorwoodOllie Norwood
Sheffield United have suffered without supporters | Pool/Getty Images

Before Covid
P15 W7 D3 L5
Win Rate: 46.7%
PPG: 1.6

After Covid
P19 W6 D1 L12
Win Rate: 31.6%
PPG: 1.1

Sheffield United won their first three home games back following lockdown – and have won just three of their next 16 at Bramall Lane to leave them rooted to the bottom of the Premier League. It’s their home loss rate that has really hit the Blades, going from 33.3% with fans to 63.2% in their absence.

Carlo AncelottiCarlo Ancelotti
Everton’s home form has been poor this season | Pool/Getty Images

Before Covid
P14 W7 D4 L3
Win Rate: 50%
PPG: 1.8

After Covid
P19 W6 D5 L8
Win Rate: 31.6
PPG: 1.2

Everton have moved from 12th to 8th since lockdown – but their home form have deteriorated. The Toffees’ win rate has gone down by 18.4%, and they are averaging 0.6 points fewer per game. There are other factors at play for the Merseysiders beyond fans, with Marco Silva responsible for a large amount of Everton’s pre-Covid form, prior to being sacked and replaced by Carlo Ancelotti in December 2019.

Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier LeagueLiverpool v Chelsea - Premier League
Liverpool’s home form has dramatically decreased without fans | Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

Before Covid
P15 W15 D0 L0
Win Rate: 100%
PPG: 3.0

After Covid
P19 W10 D3 L6
Win Rate: 52.6%
PPG: 1.7

Inevitably, the only way was going to be down for Liverpool after their flawless pre-Covid home form, but it has been quite the drop off for the Reds. Their win rate has decreased by whopping 47.4% and their average points per game has lowered by 1.3. Jurgen Klopp’s side have been ravaged by injuries – but the Anfield crowd is often heralded as among the Premier League’s best.

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