Newcastle should top Premier League table | Liverpool above Arsenal and Man Utd in 11th | Football News

Newcastle should top Premier League table with 21 points, according to Opta Predicted Points; Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal complete top four; Chelsea surge into fifth spot, ahead of current league leaders Tottenham; Everton soar into a top-half standing; Man Utd slip into bottom half

By Adam Smith, Data and Analysis @AdamDatasmith

Who should top the Premier League table, based on the quantity and quality of chances in games?

Several games stand out as anomalies this season: Arsenal drew to Fulham, despite registering 2.64 more expected goals than their visitors. Everton lost to Luton, despite having 2.01 more xG. Chelsea lost to Nottingham Forest with 1.54 more xG.

In fact, teams registering a higher xG than their opponents have failed to take all three points on 41 occasions this term – with 21 draws and 20 defeats.

Of course, xG has two decimal places – which means draws are almost impossible. However, Opta has simulated each game’s xG scores 10,000 times to generate results and create a table with wins, defeats and draws.

So, which teams are punching above their weight and which have failed to live up to their potential?

As it stands

Tottenham are flying high atop the Premier League table on 26 points from eight wins and two draws – two points clear of Arsenal – the only other undefeated side – and reigning champions Manchester City.

Liverpool are just one result away from levelling with Spurs, while Aston Villa sit in fifth – just one point shy of Jurgen Klopp’s side. Newcastle have slipped nine points adrift from the summit after suffering three successive defeats following a 5-1 win over Villa on the opening weekend.

At the other end of the table, promoted clubs Sheffield United, Burnley and Luton sit in the relegation zone, with Everton down in 15th and Chelsea one point shy of the top half in 11th.

What the table should look like

The Expected Points model simulates the number of goals scored by each side in each match, based on the xG value of every shot taken. It then uses the simulated number of goals to determine the match outcome (win, draw or loss). Each match is simulated 10,000 times. The expected points for each team in each match can then be calculated, based on the proportion of simulations they win, draw or lose.

The table below reveals Newcastle should in fact be five places higher and four points better off, soaring into top spot in the xP table – edging Manchester City by 0.34 points.

Eddie Howe’s side outgunned Wolves and West Ham in the xG battle but only came away with a point in both of those games, while the Magpies should have also collected all three points against Liverpool but, instead, suffered a 2-1 defeat.

Indeed, Newcastle matched Brighton for xG when they lost against Roberto De Zerbi’s side in August, which means the only game they rightly dropped points in was against Manchester City – when they registered 0.72 fewer xG than their hosts.

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Behind Newcastle and City, Liverpool and Arsenal are on 20 points in the xP top four – less than one point behind the leading pair.

Chelsea soar six places into fifth, having outgunned nine of their 10 opponents for xG this term – only losing to Brentford on xG.

The defeat against Forest was the biggest upset, but the defeat against West Ham was not far behind – while the Blues also narrowly edged Arsenal for xG in their 2-2 draw last month.

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