In this week's podcast, Jack and Rich talk about the amazing number of away wins there have been in the Premier League this season. West Ham have won away to Liverpool and Arsenal, Crystal Palace have won away at Chelsea and Manchester City have won both their away games, scoring five goals and conceding none! They also talk about the language of trends and statistics and offer some help with this vocabulary if you need to use it in an exam.
How much did you understand?
Manchester City have won both their away matches this season, 2-0 away at Everton and 3-0 away to to West Bromwich Albion.
We can talk about numbers increasing and decreasing in different ways. Take a look at the examples below and think about how you can change the words in blue with vocabulary mentioned in the podcast.
"...the number of away wins in the Premier League has increased this season."
" ....the number of home wins has decreased this season."
"..there has been a big increase in the number of away wins this season."
West Ham have had two amazing away wins, at Liverpool (3-0) and Arsenal (2-0), but have lost both their home matches so far this season.
Jack: Hello my name’s Jack and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast.
Rich: Hi everyone. I’m Rich and every week we talk about football and help you with your English.
Jack: This week, we’re going to talk about something strange that is happening in the Premier League and take a look at some Premier League statistics and the type of vocabulary we use to talk about them.
Rich: But, before we start: we recently had a comment from Anh Quan Chu from Vietnam on our Facebook page. He wanted to know what a box-to-box midfielder was.
Jack: A box-to-box midfielder is a midfielder who runs a lot and is good at both defending and attacking.
Rich: Here the word box means the penalty box or penalty area so you could easily see a box-to-box midfielder scoring a goal in one penalty area and later making an important tackle in the other penalty area.
Jack: Bastian Schweinsteiger at Manchester Utd is a great example of a box-to-box midfielder.
Rich: Remember if you need to know more football vocabulary check out our vocabulary pages. I’ve put a link on the side of this page.
Jack: And if you don’t find the word you’re looking for, leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you with an answer straight away.
Rich: What’s next Jack?
Jack: You said that something strange has been happening in the Premier League. What are you on about?
Rich: Ahh yes. What’s happened to home advantage? When playing at home, teams usually win but this season teams have been doing much better when playing away from home.
Jack: That’s true. Last weekend, Crystal Palace won away at Chelsea and West Ham beat Liverpool 3-0 at Anfield.
Rich: Thanks for reminding me. But it’s not just Liverpool that are losing at home. I’ve been looking into the statistics and of 40 Premier League matches this season, only 9 have been won by the home team.
Jack: Statistics is a tricky word and it means a collection of information shown in numbers. You can say stats if you prefer, it’s a bit more informal. Have you got any more stats Rich?
Rich: Yes, I do. Actually, the other day, I was talking to a student who is going to take the IELTS exam in a few weeks and he said that in one of the writing papers he has to look at some statistics and write about the trends that they show.
Jack: A trend is the general direction something is going. In football, you might say a general trend is that there are more red cards than in the past or there are more fouls than a few years ago.
Rich: Have you got any stats to show that this is happening?
Jack: No, so I can’t be sure. But I know that in the IELTS exam students have to use stats and identify main trends which means using vocabulary to describe numbers that are increasing, decreasing or staying the same over a period of time.
Rich: And I think it would be really useful for any student taking this exam or a similar one to take a look at some words that we can use in this situation.
Jack: So you can say the amount of away wins in the Premier League is increasing or going up.
Rich: Yes. 43% of matches this season have been won by the home team which is a huge increase.
Jack: So here we can talk about this in two different ways. We can use a verb or a noun to describe the change. We can say the number of away wins has increased or there has been an increase in the number of away wins.
Rich: And there are lots of verbs we can use to describe something that has increased. We can also say the number of wins has gone up, grown, climbed, or has risen. If we use a noun we probably just say there has been an increase or a rise.
Jack: But if we want to highlight that the numbers have increased very quickly or suddenly we can use verbs like jump or rocket.
Rich: Yes, I like this last one. You can even say the numbers have skyrocketed!
Jack: So if the number of away wins in the Premier League have skyrocketed or jumped then I suppose the number of home wins have decreased or gone down.
Rich: Yes, only 22% of matches so far have been won by the home team, which is a big decrease.
Jack: And again there are lots of words that you can use to describe numbers that are decreasing or going down.
Rich: Yes, you can say the number of home wins is falling or declining or that there has been a fall or a drop in the number of home wins.
Jack: And if you wanted to be more dramatic you could say numbers have plummeted which means numbers have decreased a lot.
Rich: Yeah that’s quite a difficult one. To make it easier you could use an adverb instead. For example you could say numbers have fallen rapidly or quickly.
Jack: Yes you can also say this when numbers go up. For example: the number of away wins has increased sharply in the Premier League.
Rich: Well that’s quite a lot of vocabulary for our listeners to think about.
Jack: We’ve put a couple of exercises and a quiz under the podcast if you want to practise.
Rich: Well, there are no Premier League matches this weekend but good luck to your country if they are in international action and we’ll be back next week with another podcast.
Jack: That’s all for now. Thanks for listening.
Rich: If you’re listening to this on itunes or elsewhere, come back to Premier Skills English for some language activities, a quiz and lots more. You can find us at www.britishcouncil.org/premierskillsenglish
Jack: Don’t forget if you sign in, you can score points to see if you can get your club, your country and your name to the top of our leaderboard.
Rich: Bye for now and enjoy your football.