Bournemouth punching above their weight
Lampard righfully under-pressure in relegation battle
1 - Arsenal (Actual position 1st): 29.4 xP
Mikel Arteta's side are fully deserving of being top of the tree at Christmas. They have been simply excellent this season, collecting the most expected points (xP), and their success has been built on their defensive solidity. The Gunners have been the best defence in the league this season according to xGA per game (0.85).
2 - Manchester City (2nd): 28.6 xP
City are rightly in second, having some issues heading into the World Cup break. Their defence is a major concern, as while they are posting a solid 1.10 xGA per game, which ranks second best, it's a figure that is up greatly on last season's figure (0.72).
3 - Newcastle (3rd): 26.5 xP
Arguably the talk of the town, or Toon. Eddie Howe's side are fully deserving of being third in the Premier League table heading into the break, ranking fourth for xGF per game (1.96), third for xGA per game (1.17) and third for xGD per game (+0.79). It's hugely impressive especially given they have already played at Tottenham, Man Utd and Liverpool.
4 - Tottenham (4th): 26.0 xP
It's not been an easy ride over the last few weeks for Tottenham, but they rightly occupy a top four spot. Their attacking process of 1.85 xGF per game is down on what we saw last season under Conte (2.17). Injuries have played a big part in that, and should Spurs get fully fit, don't expect them to slip out of the top four.
5 - Brighton (7th): 24.6 xP
It's been a great start to the season for Brighton, who are playing like a top eight team once again. The Seagulls have improved year on year, with their xGD per game of +0.61 up on last season's +0.14.
6 - Liverpool (6th): 23.9 xP
Liverpool have not been the Liverpool we expect so far, but that's nearly all down to their defence. The Reds actually boast the best attacking process in the Premier League (2.27 xGF per game), while their defence ranks only 15th best, allowing 1.66 xGA per game. If they were to tighten up, a top four finish would be a major possibility.
7 - Brentford (9th): 22.2 xP
The Bees have looked assured at this level yet again, capping off an excellent first half of the season with a win over Manchester City. While results away from home have been poorer than at home, 51% of their xP has come on the road - in one fewer game.
8 - West Ham (16th): 21.8 xP
One of the biggest disparities in the current xG table is West Ham, who sit 16th but ought to be up in the top half. David Moyes' men rank 7th for xGD per game with +0.20, suggesting that if they continue in the same manner, results will come and they will ascend the table.
9 - Manchester United (5th): 20.5 xP
Another team with a decent difference between actual and expected. Manchester United have been playing cagey football from a chance creation/limitation perspective which means the amount of xP they can collect on any given day is lower than teams who blow opponents out. The Red Devils have won the non-penalty xG battle in all of their last seven though.
10 - Aston Villa (12th): 19.2 xP
Unai Emery's new charges have lifted themselves into mid-table thanks to successive wins, though there is still room for improvement in process, which is currently negative (-0.31 xGD per game). The Villains do rank as the third worst away team though on the same metric (-0.97).
11 - Leeds (15th): 18.9 xP
Leeds should arguably be in a high position based on the metrics. They have been one of the most entertaining teams to follow for chances at either end though, with their games averaging 3.34 xG.
12 - Wolves (20th): 17.1 xP
Another huge underperformer according to the actual table is bottom side Wolves, who sit 12th on xP. Creating chances has been a major issue, with the Old Gold ranking 19th with 1.11 xGF per game, but a lofty 8th on xGA per game (1.45). Julen Lopetegui has a job on his hands to turn things around, but he really should just be focused on improving their attack.
13 - Chelsea (8th): 17.0 xP
Perhaps the biggest shock on this list is that Chelsea have been 13th best on xP this season. Graham Potter's side have put up an attrocious process since his arrival, averaging 1.07 xGF and 1.63 xGA per game - that is relegation worthy. A lot needs to be improved for the Blues to get back in the race for Europe. Like, a lot a lot.
14 - Fulham (10th): 17.0 xP
Fulham are fortunate to be in the top half at the break, with Marco Silva's side actually possessing the worst defensive process in the entire division, shipping 2.14 xGA per game - nearly 0.3 more than the next worst.
15 - Leicester (13th): 16.9 xP
After a sluggish start, the Foxes have picked up of late, mainly thanks to a defensive improvement. Across their first seven league games, Brendan Rodgers' side shipped 1.91 xGA per game, in the eight games since the 6-2 loss at Spurs, they have allowed just 1.22. Attack is still a problem though, with the Foxes ranking 18th for xGF per game (1.12).
16 - Southampton (19th): 16.4 xP
Southampton will be in a relegation battle this season, but are a tad unfortunate to be in the bottom three heading into the break. They rank 17th for xGF per game (1.15), 14th for xGA per game (1.65) and 16th for xGD per game (-0.50).
17 - Crystal Palace (11th): 15.9 xP
Patrick Vieira's side have been very fortunate at times this season, which is why they occupy 11th instead of 17th. They have surprisingly struggled in attack (1.17 xGF per game), and their away process is one of the worst in the division (-0.94). Palace will likely be fine, but overall they have gotten worst year-on-year.
18 - Everton (17th): 15.2 xP
Frank Lampard is under pressure after a poor run, and his Everton team are rightly around the relegation zone. While there was talk about them being more solid defensively, the numbers paint a completely different picture, with the Toffees ranking 18th having allowed 1.85 xGA per game.
19 - Nottingham Forest (18th): 15.1 xP
It has been a tough first half of the season for Forest, who deservedly occupy a place in the bottom three. They have struggled at both ends at various points this season, but there is reason for optimism. At home Steve Cooper's side have been good, ranking 14th for xGD per game (-0.12).
20 - Bournemouth (14th): 13.2 xP
The Cherries prop up the xP table heading into Qatar. Bournemouth have been the worst team in the league and by some way based on underlying metrics. Their attack has struggled hugely, being the only team in the top flight to have generated less than 1.0 xGF per game, while their xGD per game of -0.86 is nearly 0.2 more than next worst.