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How Well-Balanced Are The EFL Team's Offense/Defense? 4-Nov

Is your team 'expansive' in their play or do they tend to 'park the bus'?

Who has the best team? Rafa: 'Looks like I do.'
Who has the best team? Rafa: 'Looks like I do.'
Stu Forster/Getty Images

This is an update to the analysis I provided before the October international break.  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.
NUFC 2 4 4 2 2 0 1 7 5 2 1 0 0 0 2.133 0.800 1.333
Brighton 4 4 4 2 0 1 0 10 1 4 0 0 0 0 1.533 0.600 0.933
Brentford 4 6 3 0 1 1 0 7 4 2 2 0 0 0 1.400 0.933 0.467
Bristol 3 4 6 1 1 0 0 3 8 3 1 0 0 0 1.533 1.133 0.400
Birmingham 3 7 3 1 1 0 0 5 5 3 2 0 0 0 1.333 1.133 0.200
Barnsley 2 4 6 1 2 0 0 4 2 7 0 2 0 0 1.800 1.600 0.200
Fulham 4 6 3 0 1 1 0 4 6 4 0 1 0 0 1.400 1.200 0.200
Norwich 4 2 4 4 1 0 0 2 8 2 1 1 1 0 1.733 1.600 0.133
Leeds 4 6 5 0 0 0 0 5 7 1 2 0 0 0 1.067 1.000 0.067
Preston 4 5 4 2 0 0 0 5 4 5 0 0 1 0 1.267 1.267 0.000
Aston Villa 4 8 2 1 0 0 0 4 8 2 1 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 0.000
Huddersfield 4 6 5 0 0 0 0 4 9 0 1 0 1 0 1.067 1.133 -0.067
Sheff. Wed. 3 9 2 1 0 0 0 5 4 5 1 0 0 0 1.067 1.133 -0.067
Wolves 5 5 3 2 0 0 0 3 8 3 0 1 0 0 1.133 1.200 -0.067
Reading 2 9 4 0 0 0 0 6 4 3 0 2 0 0 1.133 1.200 -0.067
Burton 4 6 3 2 0 0 0 4 5 4 1 1 0 0 1.200 1.333 -0.133
Ipswich 8 4 2 0 1 0 0 7 3 4 1 0 0 0 0.800 0.933 -0.133
Wigan 6 6 1 2 0 0 0 5 6 3 0 1 0 0 0.933 1.067 -0.133
Derby 8 5 2 0 0 0 0 7 5 3 0 0 0 0 0.600 0.733 -0.133
Nottingham 3 6 2 2 2 0 0 0 4 8 3 0 0 0 1.600 1.933 -0.333
QPR 4 7 3 1 0 0 0 4 6 3 1 0 0 1 1.067 1.400 -0.333
Blackburn 6 5 3 0 1 0 0 1 8 4 1 1 0 0 1.000 1.533 -0.533
Cardiff 8 1 6 0 0 0 0 1 7 5 2 0 0 0 0.867 1.533 -0.667
Rotherham 5 4 6 0 0 0 0 1 2 6 3 3 0 0 1.067 2.333 -1.267

The score of an average game so far is 2.23 (up from 2.18 in October) to 0.5 (down from 0.54 in October).  As one might expect, if you can score two goals, your chances of winning the game go up significantly.

As with many of the other analyses I have been providing since the beginning of the season, this one helps quantify the dominance NUFC is exhibiting.  They are the only team averaging over two goals per game and the second place squad is not close.  They do not have the tightest defense in the league but at 0.80 goals against per game, they are still a close second best to Brighton.  As the best offense and second best defense, the combined metric of 'Goals For minus Goals Against' then leaves a sizeable gap to Brighton.

Almost as impressive, Brighton's results create a similar gap above third place as Newcastle's do over Brighton.  All the teams listed in the range from Brentford to Leeds would fit into the gaps between the Newcastle and Brighton and Brighton to Brentford.  Said a different way, whatever the average final score is of the third best team in the league (Brentford), you can add almost a full goal advantage into Newcastle's ledger.

That kind of statistical dominance of a first place team over the third place team in a league (much less the teams further down the table) must certainly be considered rare.  Can Manchester City claim such over Liverpool?  Real Madrid over Athetico?  Bayern over Hoffenheim?  Nice over PSG?

Brighton and Derby have not had more than two goals scored on them in any game.  Cardiff, Derby, Huddersfield, Leeds, Reading, and Rotherham have not scored above two goals in any game.

Cardiff, Derby, and Ipswich have all been shutout eight times in fifteen games.  Brighton has shutout their competition 10 times.

Newcastle, Norwich, and Barnsley have all had nine games where they have scored two or more goals.  Rotherham has had two or more goals scored against them in 12 of 15 games with Nottingham earning a dishonorable mention as a close second with 11 games having given up two or more goals.

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.