A few days ago I looked at the different element of Premier League data and created a piece on Premier League goal averages and their correlation between that and where a team sits in the table. After the midweek fixtures have been and gone I can now update my findings and see if there has been any change.
As always thanks to whoscored.com for all the necessary data.
Firstly here are the 20 Premier League teams ranked in order of goal averages
|West Bromwich Albion||14||12||0.9|
Once again to clarify because all the same teams have played the same amount of matches, this will just mimic of the Premier League table. But let’s have a look and who the goal averages compare to that of the league ladder.
|17||West Bromwich Albion||14||12||0.9|
Where this list differs is down to the fact that although they are still in order of goal average you can also see their league placing which is denoted by the LR column. With the numbers 1-20 not running in a clean order this means that there is definitely some fluctuation and thanks to some graphs we can map that below.
Again it is Stoke that have the biggest positional shift between where they sit in the Premier League table and where they sit in terms of goal averages. They may have slipped to 16th in the league but they are still the 10th highest scorers in the division at present.
Everton stay four places better off after their 4-0 win against West Ham but they are now the team with the second highest positive variance, ironically leapfrogging West Ham who themselves have slipped all the way back down to 9th after the shutout on Wednesday night.
The Hammers were some five places better off but that has now been eroded down to 1 after failure to score on Merseyside this week. Watford are the only other team to have more than a one place positive variance as they are 6th highest goal scorers in the Premier League while sitting 8th in the table.
Arsenal, Liverpool, Leicester and West Brom are all one place better off than their current league placing would suggest the Foxes though have lost their mantle as the team that has scored the most goals in the bottom half of the table by the simple fact that they have moved up to 10th.
Tottenham were in the negative numbers last week and this time around they break even, however this does not make for good reading by the simple fact they have slipped down to 7th, here you can say that neither metric is reflective on their on pitch talents.
Both Manchester clubs keep their spots of first and second respectively in both charts and therefore there is no difference and also no change when compared to last week. The top five clubs are represented as the top five goal scorers but in a different order.
Where Arsenal and Liverpool profit it is Chelsea that lose out as they are down to fifth, a negative variance of two places lower than their league placing. They are one of seven teams to be worse off with Burnley the big losers in this sense.
Although they are something of the anomaly here, due to the fact that they are sixth in the table and 11th in terms of goal averages. This points to a very solid defence for Sean Dyche’s men and it is quite obvious they would prefer being higher in the later and not so concerned about goals scored.
It’s interesting to see that of the nine teams that have a positive variance, five of them are in the bottom half of the table, while Stoke and Everton are two of the leakiest defences. This then points to the fact that they score lots but are obviously conceding more.
In terms of the latter, now that they have appointed Sam Allardyce you would imagine that their defensive record will improve and their league placing increases – therefore then bringing down the wild variation between league placing and goal scored.
In an ideal world the line would be flat as the teams in league order would then score goals in the same order but as we know there are many flaws in this plan as the graph above would suggest. The real acid test will be at the end of the season when we can then point to what teams were let down by bad defending.
I’ll be back with another raft of goal average data soon as the workload increases, the joys of being a Freelance Football Statistician
I hope this was of interest to you and if you have any football data work available then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org as I am always looking to undertake additional projects to the ones I already have. Thanks, Dan.