Premier League review – OPTA statistics

In this article, I will present a detailed review of the first five teams of the English Premier League for the first seven rounds. The stats are taken from as provided by OPTA, and some of them are from Well, let’s get to it!

The first graph presents the expected goals (x-Goals) and the actual goals for the first five teams of the Premier League.

We can see that Chelsea and Man United scored more goals than expected, while Man City scored almost two goals less than expected. The Man City doesn’t have a classic striker like Romeo Lukaku, which makes a huge difference for Chelsea.

The next graph presents expected goals conceded (x-Goals conceded) and the actual goals conceded for the first five teams of the Premier League.

Well, that is very interesting! Chelsea conceded five goals less than expected, and that is huge! Of course, they have Mendy, a great goalkeeper, but that difference isn’t normal. I think luck played a major role here, 2-3 goals at least. But luck disappears from time to time, so I expect that Chelsea will concede more goals in the future.

Liverpool conceded almost two goals less than expected; that’s OK; they have a great goalkeeper and an amazing defense line.

So, let’s see how those previous facts convert to precious points vs. expected points for the first five teams

Chelsea again, four points more than expected in the first seven games! Man City is almost 2,5 points down. I think Man City will always have fewer points than expected because of the lack of a great striker. They must correct this error by making a transfer in December.

The next graph presents the number of shots needed for every team to score a goal.

As you can see, Chelsea is the king; it needs only 4,3 shots to score a goal when the other three contesters need almost six. That’s a huge advantage for Chelsea; I think Lukaku makes the difference here.

When it comes to shots on target, though, Man City is doing a very good job. We can assume that the passing game of the citizens creates many long-shot chances, with a small conversion rate, but when it comes to quality chances, they are doing fine.

Man United and Liverpool are somewhat superficial; they create many opportunities to score, but the outcome isn’t the expected.

Next, we will examine the playing style of the teams. The following graph shows the passes per game for each team and the long passes to passes ratio.

Well, as expected, the “tiki-tika” playing style from Pep dictates many short passes, but we can see that Everton’s playing style is very different. A very low number of passes and a very high ratio for the long passes. Everton doesn’t like to keep the ball and tries to exploit their strikers’ speed and strength by quickly moving the ball from one half to the other.

The next graph presents the passing behavior for every team.

Well, that is a big surprise here. The four teams, as expected, are trying to press their opponents by taking action in the attacking half of the field; great numbers for Man City and Man United!

Chelsea likes to play at its half, not a playing style suitable for a team that wants to win the championship. But, of course, the numbers here include the unfortunate game with Man City, so we have to wait until the next evaluation.

The next three graphs present the take-on (dribbles) attempts, the aerial and ground duels, along their success rate for the first five teams of the Premier League.

The low numbers for Liverpool are unexpected for a championship contester; as we saw in the previous graphs, Everton prefers to play with long balls, so no surprise here. Man United and Man City have high numbers along with Chelsea which follows at third place.

The last two graphs point out Chelsea’s balanced behavior, Everton’s and Man United’s weaknesses in both duels, and the (surprisingly?) Liverpool’s weakness in ground duels.

The last graph presents the number of shots and shots in the target needed to concede a goal.

Man City needs one shot on target to concede a goal, but they do not allow their opponents many chances; we have to wait and see here. Man United may be in trouble with these numbers, and Chelsea looks pretty solid.

Well, that is all for our first review for the Premier League! I will try to post a similar analysis for every major league in the next few weeks.

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