The Premier League is seven games old, just enough to start looking at how teams are performing statistically.
Expected Points vs Actual Points
I have created an Expected Goals measure to analyse games (see here for an explanation). This can be used to make an estimate of how many points you would expect a team to have earned based on the shots they have taken.
The graph below compares a team’s “Expected Points” based on shots against the real points.
Teams above the line are overperforming the shots they have created / given away, those below are underperforming. This could be because they are much better / worse at finishing than average or doing something clever that’s not showing up in the statistics. Or more likely it could be that luck has played a big part in their early season points total.
The two Manchester teams are way ahead in both real and simulated points. Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool follow on as you would expect.
Newcastle’s early form seems based on solid foundations.
The most obvious outliers are Crystal Palace and Burnley. Palace are massively underperforming their shot numbers. Could this be just very poor finishing? Or maybe they have been a touch unfortunate so far, to Frank de Boer’s detriment.
Burnley are quite the opposite. They are currently riding high in sixth spot in the division but they have the worst shot numbers in the league. In fact they sit second bottom in terms of pure shots to Swansea, and have allowed the most shots against them of all 20 teams.
Is Sean Dyche doing something clever that is not showing up in the statistics, or are they in a false position?
Leicester look better than their 17th spot which is as you would expect. They may not be title contenders any longer but they are surely better than many of the teams around them.
Maybe most surprising is Chelsea who look flattered by their fourth position. Is this a mixture of Conte’s tactics and top class finishing, or are the champions weaker than they appear?
Will these trends continue? Will Burnley fall back towards the relegation zone? Will Palace finally score a goal? As the season progresses it will be interesting to find out.