Premier League GW12 xG Stats Review: Seagulls and Whites frosty

Brighton manager Graham Potter
Brighton's attack is not firing

Infogol's Jake Osgathorpe returns to highlight teams who are hot and cold from an expected goals (xG) standpoint heading into the weekend. Have teams moved from the last edition? Read on to find out...

"Unlike last season, where they were creating the chances but failing to put them away, this season they are simply struggling to create opportunities at the same rate. Only Norwich are generating fewer non-pen xGF per game than the Seagulls through 12 games this season."

Who is HOT?

Manchester City

Manchester City swatted Everton aside with consummate ease last weekend, and their xG process now reads 2.23 xGF and 0.71 xGA per game, which mainly highlights that teams are finding it very tough to create opportunities against them.

What is more concerning is that, ahead of a home game against West Ham, City play their best stuff AGAINST the best teams.

In three games against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United - last season's top four finishers - they have picked up seven points and kept two clean sheets ON THE ROAD while posting xG averages of 1.51 xGF and 0.79 xGA per game.

man city v last seasons top 8.png

If we look at games against teams who finished in the top eight last season, their record reads W4 / D1 / L1, and their xG averages come out at an eye-watering 2.36 xGF and 0.77 xGA per game.

They remain the team to beat in the title race.

Chelsea

Chelsea are making a strong case to be City's closest challengers, and it's easy to see why.

After a slow start, the Blues are now firing on all cylinders from an underlying numbers standpoint, especially in attack.

Across their first six league games they averaged just 1.50 xGF per game, in their last six they've averaged 2.48.

Also impressively, their defensive process hasn't deteriorated as a result of them looking more of a threat in attack, allowing 0.89 xGA per game in that period.

They are streets better than the Manchester United team they welcome on Sunday, and that should be evident after the full-time whistle.

Who is WARM?

Liverpool

After losing for the first time this season against West Ham before the international break, Liverpool were simply incredible against Arsenal last weekend.

They played at full-throttle, dominating their visitors (xG: LIV 3.50 - 0.33 ARS), and that has been the case in all of their home games to date, with Klopp's side averaging a whopping 2.58 xGF and 0.84 xGA per game at Anfield.

They are the best attacking team in the league, and that will likely be on display again on Saturday against Southampton as the Reds look to keep pace with Chelsea and Manchester City.

Wolves

Wolves are on an excellent run of form, and their xG data tells us that it is highly likely to continue - they are deserving of their results.

While they were well beaten by Crystal Palace before the international break, their performance in victory against West Ham was excellent, especially in defence (xG: WOL 1.29 - 0.43 WHU).

That win moved Bruno Lage's side up to sixth in the table, but they occupy fifth based on xPoints, which isn't a surprise when we consider their xG process this season (1.58 xGF, 1.22 xGA per game).

away-xgd-in-pl (2).png

Wolves have a great opportunity at the weekend away at Norwich to get another win under their belts, especially when we factor in that they are one of only five teams this season to boast a positive xG process on their travels.

Who is COOL?

Brighton

Brighton are winless in seven league games after defeat at Aston Villa last weekend, and attack is their main problem.

Unlike last season, where they were creating the chances but failing to put them away, this season they are simply struggling to create opportunities at the same rate.

non-pen-xgf-per-game-in-epl-12.png

Only Norwich are generating fewer non-pen xGF per game than the Seagulls through 12 games this season.

Fortunately for the Seagulls, and the reason they aren't in the 'COLD ' section, their defence has been excellent, ranking as the fourth best in terms of non-pen xGA per game with 1.09.

A hosting of a Leeds team - who do sit in the COLD section - could prove a decent opportunity for Brighton to snap their winless run.

Leicester

Leicester are struggling. Chelsea simply dominated them last weekend in a 3-0 defeat that was their fifth of the season already.

What is most worrying is their performances warrant the results they are getting. Their league position of 12th actually flatters them - they sit 14th based on xPoints.

Their defence that is causing them serious problems, with the Foxes allowing 1.66 xGA per game - up from 1.36 last season.

That, coupled with an attack that isn't firing at the same level either (1.27 xGF per game this season, 1.63 last term), means they have an incredible amount of work to do if they are to replicate their finishes of the last two seasons.

On paper, a hosting of Watford should present a great 'get right game', but the Hornets's morale will be high after the thrashed Manchester United last weekend.

Who is COLD?

Newcastle

Newcastle remain winless in the league this season, the only team in England's top four tiers without a league success, following a 3-3 draw with Brentford.

They created plenty on that occasion, and will have new manager Eddie Howe in the dugout for this game, but defensively they have major problems (1.95 xGA per game).

Newcastle again looked easy to play against last weekend under the new regime, and that isn't going to be easy to fix, especially given Eddie Howe's track record with Bournemouth's defence.

Visiting Arsenal this weekend, expect the Magpies' wait for a first league win go on another week.

Leeds

While Leeds's non-pen xGF per game isn't catastrophically low, Marcelo Bielsa's side are having a huge problem creating 'big chances' (0.35+ xG) this season.

That was evident in their defeat at Tottenham, where they dominated the first half but struggled to get the ball into excellent scoring positions.

In total this season, only Norwich (3) have generated fewer non-pen big chances than the Whites (4).

On top of that, Leeds' defence is amongst the worst in the league too, ranking fourth worst based on non-pen xGA per game with 1.66.

Injuries to key players have played a part in the downturn of their process, but if they don't turn it around soon, we could be seriously talking about them in a relegation battle.

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