Disclaimer: stats can be misleading and context is important.
- Which Premier League teams have started well and who looks like early relegation candidates?
Total shot ratio or TSR is a simple statistics that can show how a team is performing. Shots are necessarily far more common than goals, so over a small number of games they are less affected by luck. Of course, not every shot is equal but averaged over a number of games it’s still a useful measure.
Below is the TSR (shots for / (shots for + shots against)) for the Premier League after the first seven games (data taken from http://www.football-data.co.uk/). A higher TSR indicates more dominant performances:
There are some surprises here. It doesn’t make good reading for Spurs fans with Arsenal top and Tottenham down in 14th. However, with the team still learning Pochettino’s style I would have expected a slow start.
Other surprises include how high QPR and Newcastle’s TSR is. From the raw numbers they appear to have been rather unlucky. Maybe Mike Ashley should hold off on firing Pardew.
On the other hand, Hull, Swansea, Leicester and Villa look to be fortunate to have got the points that they have.
- Who’s had the toughest schedule so far?
After just seven games, teams performance will be affected by which opponents they have faced so far. I calculated each side’s opponents’ average position in last year’s Premier League table (promoted teams count as 18, 19 and 20 based on their Championship finish).
The lower the number, the tougher the schedule.
Again it looks good for our rivals Arsenal, having the third hardest schedule so far, They should have some easier games coming up, although a looming injury crisis might temper their excitement somewhat.
Aston Villa and Leicester have an excuse for their low TSR, having faced the toughest opponents of any teams.
The Merseyside pair of Liverpool and Everton have had difficult starts and with their relatively high TSR values, could be expected to move up the table as the season progresses.
Spurs have had an average to easy run, while Manchester United have had the softest opponents of all.
I was a guest on the ByTheMin Spurs podcast this week. If you are interested in listening you can find it in the sidebar, on SoundCloud and on iTunes.
Who do you think has looked good this season and do these stats back it up? Let me know in the comments below.
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