I am reprising an analysis I created at the end of last season for the Premier League teams and applying it to the English Championship teams through their first eleven games. The table below shows the number of times each team scored zero to six goals in a game (GF = goals for) and the number of times they had zero to six goals scored against them (GA = goals against). A simple review of these numbers shows which teams have tended be more expansive in their play and which ones apparently want to 'park the bus' and try to score on the counter-attack.
Secondly, by taking the number of goals scored on average per game and subtracting the number of goals on average that are scored against a team, a difference is created. I have force-ranked these. The higher the number, the more well-balanced and proficient the team is in total.
|Team||GF - 0||GF - 1||GF - 2||GF - 3||GF - 4||GF - 5||GF - 6||GA - 0||GA - 1||GA - 2||GA - 3||GA - 4||GA - 5||GA - 6||GF/gm||GA/gm||Diff.|
The score of an average game so far is 2.18 to 0.54. As one might expect, if you can score two goals, your chances of winning the game go up significantly.
Newcastle and Brentford are clearly helped out by having had blowout games. NUFC's 6-0 lashing of QPR and Brentford's 5-0 dismantling of Preston boost their numbers. However, it is interesting to note that if those games were treated as 'irregularities' and removed from the analysis, Newcastle's mix of offense and defense from the remaining ten games would reduce them to a 0.691 score which would still leave them ranked first. That is an important note to spell out for both their offense and their defense. Not only can a six goal win be removed but a clean sheet as well. Brentford drops from second to sixth (0.482).
A win is a win is a win. However, NUFC's recent 1:0 win at Rotherham leaves one scratching their head a bit. From the first eleven games, Rotherham has given up two or more goals in nine of those games proving to be arguably the leakiest defense at over 2.25 goals given up per game. Blackburn and Nottingham have some stake in that argument in that they are the only teams to not keep a clean sheet to date. Three points...move on.
Huddersfield is an interesting case. They clearly are well-organized in their defense and very efficient in scoring their goals. Huddersfield has not conceded over one goal in any game thus far but have not scored more than two goals in any game either. Their ability to manage low scoring games to the level of advantage that places them at the top of the traditional table is quite impressive. It will be interesting to see if they can maintain anything close to such efficiency throughout a long season.
Cardiff is the team most likely to get shutout and blown out while Aston Villa and Ipswich are competing to be the team mostly likely to play their opponents to a nil-to-nil or one-to-one draw.
One last team to expound upon...Norwich. They have shown to have arguably the most consistently high-scoring offense. Seven of eleven with two or more goals and only shut out twice, they have a nice cutting edge in their attack. However, they must attack at some modest expense to their defense. The ratio of goal-for versus against has them well-placed in the ranking but there is some 'buttoning up' necessary over the long season. Can they solidify their 'D' without losing the scoring punch?
What are your thoughts? Any surprises in the numbers from what you intuitively thought before? Disagreements? Do you think I blew the analysis? Let me know in the comments.
Please ignore the blank table below...