Premier League GW4 xG Stats Review: Reds hot, Leicester now cold

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool are red hot, Leicester are stone cold

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...

"Last season's fifth placed finishers Leicester are unrecognizable. Yes, they have played two of last term's top six, but their performances in all four matches have been eye-catchingly poor."

Who is HOT?

Manchester City

It is highly likely that Manchester City will remain in this 'HOT' category for most of the season, and that is simply because they are playing exceptional football - both on the eye and the numbers.

While the scoreline against Leicester suggested the game was close, it really wasn't, with Pep's side winning the xG battle 3.02 - 0.81.

In total, City have averaged 3.04 xGF and 0.59 xGA per game so far - an admittedly small sample size - but the signs are ominous for the rest of the league. Best of luck on Saturday, Southampton...

Liverpool

While the Reds' win over Leeds was overshadowed by Harvey Elliott's injury, Liverpool's performance was exceptional, racking up 4.57 xGF.

Going forward they look incredibly dangerous, and more eye-catchingly, they look solid in defence, allowing less than 1.0 xGA in all of their last three - including against Chelsea.

If they continue in the same manner, it could be they who are City's closest challengers. A hosting of Crystal Palace on Saturday could prove another decent test.

Everton

The blue half of Liverpool also make the 'HOT' category for the first time this season, as they registered a third win in four with a come-from-behind victory against Burnley - without Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

While they looked more vulnerable in that game than they have in their other three, the Toffees again created a host of chances.

An average of 1.85 xGF per game is a solid start to the campaign, and while they are yet to play a so-called 'big' side, they have the opportunity to get points on the board before November - where their fixture list gets tough.

Who is WARM?

Wolves

Wolves got their first win and first goals of the season at Watford last weekend, again creating an abundance of chances while limiting their opponents to very little.

Bruno Lage's side have now won the xG battle in all four league games so far, with three of those coming against three of last season's top seven.

What is impressive is the fact that they are averaging 2.14 xGF per game, while allowing just 0.81 xGA per game - and 0.61 non-pen xGA per game.

A few more performances in this manner would see them jump into the 'HOT' category - though don't expect their game against Brentford at the weekend to be high-scoring.

Manchester United

While they are yet to face a decent opponent, United have impressed so far this season domestically, creating plenty of opportunities.

Their average of 1.80 xGF per game through four matches is slightly up on last season's tally (1.73), while defensively they have allowed 1.16 xGA per game which is an improvement on last season too (1.25).

However, they are yet to face an opponent who finished in the top eight last season, so it will be interesting to see how they get on away at West Ham on Sunday.

Who is COOL?

Tottenham

The underlying numbers suggested that Tottenham were in a false position through three games, with their expected points (xP) of 3.7 not reflected in their actual total of nine.

They now have 3.8 xP after four matches - an average of 0.95 per game. Last season they averaged 1.43 xP per game, so the signs aren't positive.

Crystal Palace took them apart after the red card last weekend, with Spurs non-existent in attack even before Japhet Tanganga was dismissed. They managed just one shot equating to 0.04 xG before the red card.

Process-wise, they have issues at both ends that need resolving, with averages of 1.05 xGF and 1.95 xGA per game relegation worthy. Up next? Chelsea...

Brighton

Another team who have won nine points from four games features in the 'COOL' category.

While Brighton were the xG favourites last term, finishing fifth in our xG table but 16th in the actual one, the Seagulls haven't yet shown signs that they are to replicate that level this season.

Perhaps it's some overdue regression, but Brighton are currently in a false position, sitting 11th in our xG table. Two of their three wins have been fortunate based on xG, including at Brentford where they generated just 0.17 xGF.

Their process screams 'mid-table team', averaging 1.13 xGF and 1.13 xGA per game, and they will be a tough nut for any team, but don't expect them to continue picking up points at the same rate.

Who is COLD?

Leicester

Last season's fifth placed finishers are unrecognizable. Yes, they have played two of last term's top six, but their performances in all four matches have been eye-catchingly poor.

They are having major struggles in attack, averaging just 0.92 xGF per game, while also struggling to keep teams out at the other end, allowing 2.22 xGA per game.

If they continue in the same manner, the Foxes will struggle to get anywhere near the top six again, and their defensive process in particular could make their game at Brighton on Sunday an interesting one.

Newcastle

Probably the coldest team in the Premier League currently are Steve Bruce's side. They aren't quite bottom of the table, that would be Norwich, but their schedule has been much kinder than the Canaries.

The Magpies have shown a capability to create chances and score goals, but with that openness they are leaving themselves wide open, and are becoming easy to play against.

No team has allowed more xGA than Newcastle this term (2.70 per game), and no team has a worst expected goal difference (xGD) than Bruce's team either (-6.2) - with xGD a good measure of a team's quality.

They play on Friday night against Leeds, and if they continue to be as open defensively, Leeds could score a fair few in front of the Newcastle faithful.

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