Premier League & Championship Weekend Review

The weekend’s football was brought to an end with a very one-sided match at Old Trafford on Sunday, with plenty of shocks and talking points over the 22 matches.  Using expected goals (xG), Infogol’s Analyst takes a look at the action, assessing performances and not just results to paint a clearer picture of the week’s matches, including selecting a Team to Back from each division.

 

Premier League

 

Actual vs Expected Goal (xG) totals Premier League GW1 

(The fairness metric is a representation of how accurately the real score line reflects the underlying chance creation in the match. It is generated by comparing the probabilities of the home, draw and away outcomes based on actual goals against those derived from expected goals. The closer to 100 the final number is, the more aligned the two are and thus the actual score can be seen as ‘fair’ based on the chances of the match. As the number declines, the further away the real score line is from that expected by the shot based events of the game, i.e. the result was more ‘unfair’.)

 

There was a big shock at Stamford Bridge on the opening day of the season, as Burnley beat 9-man Chelsea 3-2. After Gary Cahill was sent off after just 14 minutes, Sean Dyche’s men were 3-0 up at half-time and hung on for a famous victory after Cesc Fabregas was given his marching orders in the second half. That result though, was the third most ‘unfair’ according to Infogol’s fairness rating, the main reason for this being how unlikely it was – just a 3.5% chance - that Burnley would score three goals from the chances they created.

 

Percentage chance of scoring (x) from chances created – Chelsea vs Burnley 

 

Southampton failing to beat Swansea (0-0) was the second most ‘unfair’ result, with the Saints picking up where they left off last season in terms of creating chances and failing to take them. Despite this, it was a promising display in Mauricio Pellegrino’s first game in charge, generating 2.33 xG, with Dusan Tadic and Maya Yoshida missing the best opportunities.

 

Huddersfield’s 3-0 win away at Crystal Palace was the most ‘unfair’ result of the weekend in the Premier League, in what was a similar story to Burnley’s victory, creating low-probability chances and taking them. They too were second best according to expected goals (xG), but Crystal Palace attacked with more intent once they were two goals down. Huddersfield played very well on the day, with Steve Mounie announcing himself on the Premier League stage with two well-taken goals.

 

Mounie and Ince combining well for Terriers 

 

There were impressive performances by Manchester United (4-0), Manchester City (2-0) and Tottenham (2-0), all of whom won without conceding. Liverpool and Arsenal both looked vulnerable in defence as they participated in high-scoring matches, 3-3 and 4-3 respectively, and there were narrow 1-0 home wins for West Brom and Everton, the latter thanks to a goal from Wayne Rooney on his return to Goodison Park.

 

Championship

In a repeat of the play-off semi-final, Reading hosted Fulham with the game finishing 1-1. This was the third most ‘unfair’ result in the Championship, with the Royals generating a lot more chances, though they were aided by Tomas Kalas of Fulham being sent off after just 30 seconds. From then on, it was backs against the wall for Fulham, who rarely ventured forward, but they gained an unlikely point thanks to a late Lucas Piazon goal.

 

Actual vs Expected Goal (xG) totals Championship GW2

(The fairness metric is a representation of how accurately the real score line reflects the underlying chance creation in the match. It is generated by comparing the probabilities of the home, draw and away outcomes based on actual goals against those derived from expected goals. The closer to 100 the final number is, the more aligned the two are and thus the actual score can be seen as ‘fair’ based on the chances of the match. As the number declines, the further away the real score line is from that expected by the shot based events of the game, i.e. the result was more ‘unfair’.)

 

The second most ‘unfair’ result was Birmingham’s home win over Bristol City. The expected goals totals from this match show Birmingham with just 1.00 xG, and Bristol City with 2.74 xG, with Infogol calculating that the Blues would win this game just 11% of the time. They scored from two long-range efforts, while Bristol City couldn’t take their much easier chances. This was the second good performance in two matches by Bristol City who are creating a lot of chances, and they can cause plenty of teams problems in the near future.

 

Ipswich Town’s 2-1 win away at Barnsley was the most ‘unfair’ result of GW2 in the Championship, with the Tractor Boys riding their luck. Ipswich created only 0.52 xG, having just a 9.6% chance of scoring two, and conceded 2.40 xG as Barnsley created plenty of high-quality chances. Infogol calculates that Ipswich would win this game just 6% of the time, showing just how fortunate they were to get the three points; they need to improve their process in the coming weeks.

 

Barnsley vs Ipswich Shot-map

 

Cardiff were very impressive in a 3-0 win at home to Aston Villa, as were Hull in their 4-1 defeat of Burton, both creating a lot of good chances. There were deserved away wins for Wolves (2-0) and Nottingham Forest, with the latter edging a seven-goal thriller at Brentford. Middlesbrough (1-0) and Sunderland (3-1) gained their first victories since relegation from the Premier League, while newly promoted pair Millwall and Bolton shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the Den in what was a match of very few chances. Sheffield Wednesday (1-1) and Leeds (0-0) were held at home after disappointing displays, suggesting there is plenty to work on for both.

 

Cardiff looking strong

 

Championship Team to Back Cardiff

Cardiff have been very impressive in their opening two matches, creating a lot of chances and conceding very few, as you would expected from a Neil Warnock team. They host one of Warnock’s old teams Sheffield United on Tuesday, and look a good price at 21/20 to make it three out of three.

 

Premier League Team to Back Southampton

Though Southampton failed to beat Swansea in GW1, they were very unfortunate, and should be given another chance in GW2. Their process continues to be very good, and if you keep generating good scoring opportunities, sooner or later they will be taken. They are playing a West Ham team that was thumped at Old Trafford, and at 7/10 look a fair price to get the win.

 

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