Now it does not need a genius to work out that in the beautiful game we otherwise call football that goals for a whole lot better than goals against. More of the former and less of the latter will calculate an ideal ratio and you will be well on your way to success come the end of not just any fixture but also over the course of a season.

While should the inverse happen we may well be looking at a relegation scrap in those final few weeks of the campaign, thankfully for teams that are currently struggling in the Premier League we are not quite there with still 23 weeks of the season left to play

So with 15 weeks of the Premier League season under our belts I thought it would be interesting to calculate the goals for vs goals against of each of the 20 teams in the division and with that we can highlight what aspect is letting a team down if at all.

Once again thanks to whoscored.com for all the necessary data.

Here is the Premier League table with just goals for and goals against, with a third column added showing the ratio of the first value over the second value

R Team P GF GA GF/GA Ratio
1 Manchester City 15 46 10 4.60
2 Manchester United 15 35 9 3.89
3 Chelsea 15 28 12 2.33
4 Liverpool 15 33 19 1.74
5 Arsenal 15 29 19 1.53
6 Tottenham 15 23 13 1.77
7 Burnley 15 14 12 1.17
8 Watford 15 25 26 0.96
9 Leicester 15 20 20 1.00
10 Everton 15 19 28 0.68
11 Southampton 15 15 18 0.83
12 Brighton 15 14 19 0.74
13 Stoke 15 18 30 0.60
14 Bournemouth 15 13 17 0.76
15 Newcastle United 15 14 22 0.64
16 Huddersfield 15 9 26 0.35
17 West Bromwich Albion 15 12 21 0.57
18 Crystal Palace 15 8 25 0.32
19 West Ham 15 13 32 0.41
20 Swansea 15 8 18 0.44

A good score is anything over 1 that means more goals scored than conceded, less than one and there are far too many goals against for a managers liking.

This will hopefully make more sense if we look at it from a point of view where we put the goals for vs goals against ratio in numerical order

1 Manchester City 15 46 10 4.60
2 Manchester United 15 35 9 3.89
3 Chelsea 15 28 12 2.33
6 Tottenham 15 23 13 1.77
4 Liverpool 15 33 19 1.74
5 Arsenal 15 29 19 1.53
7 Burnley 15 14 12 1.17
9 Leicester 15 20 20 1.00
8 Watford 15 25 26 0.96
11 Southampton 15 15 18 0.83
14 Bournemouth 15 13 17 0.76
12 Brighton 15 14 19 0.74
10 Everton 15 19 28 0.68
15 Newcastle United 15 14 22 0.64
13 Stoke 15 18 30 0.60
17 West Bromwich Albion 15 12 21 0.57
20 Swansea 15 8 18 0.44
19 West Ham 15 13 32 0.41
16 Huddersfield 15 9 26 0.35
18 Crystal Palace 15 8 25 0.32

In an ideal world this list would also run from 1-20 in terms of league places but as we know football is far from idea. So with that in mind what are additional findings?

The top three are unchanged in terms of order, so both Manchester clubs and Chelsea have got their houses in order at both ends of the park, after that though the next six clubs making up the top nine are jumbled up while Everton are sitting in the bottom half of the rankings while currently sitting 10th in the Premier League.

If we put this in a graph in order of the goals for vs goals against ratio

ratio

And for extra detail we also have the league places below so we can paint a better picture of where teams are falling short. As we said above there is little concern for the top three teams in the Premier League at present while Tottenham on the whole can be comforted by having a solid defence, although since Toby Alderweireld has been injured there has been little evidence of that.

The closer to the value of 1 that we get means that teams for a penchant for goal are also susceptible to conceded while the further we get away from the break even value means that managers have concerns at both ends at the table.

It is only natural that the teams at the top of the table have the biggest goals for vs goals against ratio as they are doing both things right in terms of scoring and defending so when we look at Liverpool and all the goals they have scored to have a ratio of just 1.74 reflects on the back line issues that they certainly had a start of the season.

The same can also be said for Arsenal who have conceded the same amount of goals as Liverpool this season but in turn have scored less therefore they are even closer to the break even value of 1 and have the sixth highest goals for vs goals against ratio.

Burnley sit 7th in the Premier League and also in this table, this can be explained by the fact that although they are not scoring a great deal in comparison to the half dozen teams above them, they are not giving away all that much either.

The same however cannot be said for Watford who have the opposite problem, for all their free flowing attacks this season they are being let down by a leaking back four. 25 goals this season but 26 conceded the most in the top 10 and therefore they sit below the break even value of 1.

But what about teams who have a far wider disparity, that is where things will get interesting and begin to explain teams deficiencies. Let’s take Everton, although they are going through something of a resurgence as of late it has been an awful start to the season for them.

They are 10th in the table but they are one of 12 teams who have conceded more goals than they have scored this season. Their goals for vs goals against ratio is at 0.68, however with Sam Allardyce now at the controls that will at least improve going forward.

Let’s now look at the two teams with the worst defensive records, Stoke are shipping goals at an alarming rate and are 15th in this list while West Ham are the worst Premier League outfit in terms of trying to keep the ball out this season, their ratio is just 0.41.

Swansea and Crystal Palace may both be the lowest scorers in the Premier League this season with just eight goals a piece but when you compare the two defensive units, Swansea are at least faring better but then again you could say it is all for nothing after they sit bottom of the table.

You can almost draw a line between the top six and the rest in this chart with just Burnley and Leicester on the right side of the goals for vs goals against break even marker. Does that perhaps lend credence to the best squad will be able to perform well across all areas of the park. This initial data certainly seems to point to that but like anything we will only really know the answer once all the prizes are handed out at the end of the season.

That concludes this piece and I think it is something I will return to in due course with a few additional charts to add a few more layers to proceedings, but I hope that this one has at least grabbed your interest. Thanks for reading.

 

I hope this was of interest to you and if you would like to discuss any potential work ideas with me then please feel free to email me at realfootballmanwordpress@gmail.com as I am always looking to undertake additional projects to the ones I already have. Thanks, Dan.