Every season pundits and fans alike talk about the cut throat nature of the EFL Championship, as always the focus is always on just how difficult of a league it is to get out off and how any of a half dozen teams or sometimes even more can have promotion hopes.
This season the Championship is no different as the likes of Leeds and Middlesbrough are eyeing up a return to the English top flight while upstarts such as Brentford and Bristol City look to also reach the promised land of the Premier League for the first time.
At the time of writing just 1 point separates those four clubs mentioned, while one cannot forget the likes of Swansea and West Brom who were relegated last season and will be looking to make an incredibly quick return, especially as the longer you stay in this division the harder it is to get out. Just ask clubs such as Aston Villa for evidence of that.
As you will know if you visit this website, one of the central statistical themes is to look at how efficient teams are in front of goal, so for the first time this season I’m going to look at how the clubs in the Championship fare. As always stats come from whoscored.com
First here is the data table from the first seven weeks of Championship action:
|Team||GF||Total Shots||Shot Efficency|
|West Bromwich Albion||16||98||6.1|
|Queens Park Rangers||5||77||15.4|
But as always it is probably a bit more user friendly if we present it in a graph, one that we will do so now
Here you can see how many shots a team needs on average before finding the net in the Championship, however I have also added in their league positions for extra context. This means that we can just who is under or over performing in front of goal.
It probably comes as no surprise that Leeds are not only the most efficient team in front of goal, but also the league leaders. They need 5.9 shots on average before scoring, however when we go to Brentford who lie second in the Championship they are only the fifth most efficient team in the division.
Where we see the most interesting spikes are with struggling Stoke and Reading, they lie 20th and 22th respectively but at the same time lie in the top half of the table in terms of efficiency, this would indicate that of the fewer chances they are creating they are at least finding the net.
However their league placing obviously shows that they are being massively let down by their defence, which for Gary Rowett’s Stoke is a huge concern considering they would have been banking on getting promoted at the first time of asking since their relegation last season.
At the opposite end of ranking are Ipswich and Birmingham who find themselves as the least efficient teams in the Championship while also currently languishing in the bottom three, therefore we can draw the conclusion that not only are they not creating much they are shipping goals as well.
Darren Moore’s West Brom side are the second most efficient side in front of goal, however they are only eighth in the division at the moment. This would suggest that their efforts in the final third are not quite matching the end result.
At the same time it is still very early in the season, so there is going to be a lot more fluidity in terms of comparing the two metrics, as the season progresses then the graph should become a lot more stable so that it something that we will definitely have to consider as this Championship campaign progresses over the weeks and months ahead.
That will conclude this first offering from the division for this season, but there will be plenty more analysis to come. Thanks for reading.
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If you have any requirements then please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Football Data”
I am also available via twitter at @dantracey1983 – again feel free to get in touch to discuss any work. Thanks, Dan