Premier League GW8 xG Stats Review: Liverpool red-hot, Norwich sub-zero

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool are red hot entering Old Trafford

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...

"Is there any stopping Liverpool's attack? They put five past Watford last weekend before scoring three against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, and their xGF per game average domestically is a frightening 2.85.

Who is HOT?

Manchester City

It was another stroll to victory for Manchester City, swatting Burnley aside while only in second gear.

They continue to create plenty of good chances in matches, while boasting the league's best defence according to expected goals, allowing just 0.68 xGA per game.

City are on course to better last seasons 0.87 xGA per game, and the rate at which they are conceding chances currently would go down as the best defensive season in the league since Infogol started collecting data (2014).

They visit Brighton on Saturday, the team who ranks third based on xGA this season, so it could be another low-scoring City win, but the bottom line is that they are looking imperious.

Liverpool

Is there any stopping Liverpool's attack?

They put five past Watford last weekend before scoring three against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, and their xGF per game average domestically is a frightening 2.85.

xgf-per-game-in-pl.png

If they carry on in the same manner, they will be extremely difficult to stop, even with a few defensive question marks.

They travel to Old Trafford this weekend, and will be licking their lips at the thought of playing against this Manchester United defence that looks exceptionally vulnerable.

Who is WARM?

Wolves

Wolves are starting to deliver on their promising data.

Bruno Lage's side have now won three in a row in the league following a late - but deserved - come from behind win at Aston Villa in which they again racked up the chances (xG: AVL 1.08 - 2.03 WOL).

Overall this season, Wolves are averaging 1.76 xGF and 1.05 xGA per game this season - figures we would expect from a team that finishes in the top six.

Even in their best seasons under Nuno, Wolves weren't hitting these - admittedly early - data heights, meaning the future looks bright for the Old Gold.

A trip to a struggling Leeds, who we will come onto shortly, looks a good game to get a fourth straight win.

West Ham

West Ham got back to winning ways in the Premier League at Everton on Sunday, a hard-fought win and a result they fully deserved (xG: EVE 1.00 - 1.85 WHU).

The Hammers have won the xG battle in five of their eight league games this term, but impressively, their xG process is getting better.

David Moyes's team have averaged 1.89 xGF and 1.38 xGA per game so far, seeing an uplift on last season's figures (1.64 xGF, 1.41 xGA per game).

They are getting better and that should worry Tottenham, who visit the London Stadium on Sunday.

Who is COOL?

Aston Villa

Aston Villa deservedly blew a 2-0 lead against Wolves, losing the xG battle and again struggling to generate chances in attack (xG: AVL 1.08 - 2.03 WOL).

That has been a serious issue for Villa this season since the sale of Jack Grealish.

Only Norwich, Watford and Crystal Palace have averaged fewer non-pen xGF per game than Dean Smith's side (1.01), which is a huge concern for them moving forward.

Defensively they have looked ok, middle of the pack, but their overall negative xG process means it will be a topsy-turvy season for Villa. What will we get from them at the Emirates on Friday then?

Leeds

Leeds could be in serious trouble this season - and that statement hasn't been made as clickbait.

Last season, their defensive process ranked as the fourth worst in the league, but their attack ranked sixth best.

This season, their defence has remained at a similar level, but their attack has nose-dived - not helped by injuries of course.

leeds-20-21-v-21-22.png

Unless something changes, they could realistically be looking over their shoulders. In form Wolves visit Elland Road at the weekend.

Who is COLD?

Norwich

Norwich have now accumulated two points this season following successive goalless draws, again creating very little in the way of chances.

Nothing much has changed from last week, where Norwich propped up every single underlying metric - both in attack and defence.

A trip to Chelsea is probably the last thing a struggling attacking team needs.

Watford

What a bad start to life as Watford manager for Claudio Ranieri.

Losing 5-0 to Liverpool can happen, but the manner of the defeat was shocking.

Usually you see some early spirit and fight, as players look to impress a new manager, but there was none of that on Saturday.

It looked the same if not worst than under Xisco Munoz, and if that is the case, with their underlying numbers remaining at the same level, a swift return the Championship is likely.

They visit Goodison Park on Saturday in what really is a game they have to get something from.

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