I’ve used data from each team’s last six matches (effectively the Christmas period of games) to analyse how well teams performed and who has the best fixtures going forward. I’m not going to go into depth on my methodology in this article but if you’re interested then feel free to message me.
One of the main problems with xG is that it doesn’t take in to account the quality of the other team, therefore I have scaled teams xG from each game to how the opposition has performed over the Christmas period to see if a team over or under performed
From the chart above it can be seen that Liverpool are the best attacking team in the league by some distance. Leicester and Manchester City are the next best teams, again by some distance. Wolves, Manchester United, Watford, Sheffield United, Chelsea and Southampton round out the best teams. An obvious caveat is teams with new managers,
West Ham have only played one game but there attacking performance was greatly improved. Arsenal and Everton’s attack has improved looking at just the last three games which would place them in the “Good attack, few clear-cut opportunities” quadrant.
Once again Liverpool are the best team in the league. Defensively there are a lot of decent teams but no obvious second-best team – Southampton may be the team to go for though.
Watford, Sheffield United and surprisingly Tottenham, Arsenal and Bournemouth round out the best defensive teams, West Ham are easily the worst team in the league defensively so I would suggest avoiding any of there defensive players other than Fabianski who many rack up save points due to being so busy.
Poor defences that limit big opportunities may be good for goalkeepers as the keepers will be busy but may keep a clean sheet. Chelsea, Man United and Everton would be the teams to go for. Once again teams may see performance changes with a new manager; Arsenal and Everton have been worse with new managers so far, but the sample size is small. West Ham were improved in Moyes’ first game.
Team Attacking Projections
Using the attacking data for each team, I created an attacking ratings system from 1 to 100. I did the same for each team’s defensive data and then used these ratings to assess which teams have the best fixtures separately for attacking and defensive output. If you want more information on how I’ve worked this out feel free to contact me.
I plotted each team’s rating against its fixture rating then plotted lines in order to split the teams into different bands. The different bands can be seen below:
Looking at the team distributions, the number of higher band attacking teams is lower than the number of higher band defensive teams. This may suggest that double Liverpool attack for the double gameweek and potential double ups on Leicester and Man City attack may be the way to go. Leicester were lower than expected and Arsenal were higher (in my opinion anyway).
It is important to remember that this looks at how teams should have performed using xG against a team, so teams may not have performed particularly well against a team, but this result would have been expected. A higher band means a combination of teams being better defensively and having better fixtures.
If you want information on my methodology or want to discuss the results shown feel free to message me. If you have any feedback on this article, I would love to hear it.