Premier League GW5 xG Stats Review: Spurs and Leicester ice-cold

Premier League GW5 xG Stats Review: Spurs and Leicester ice-cold

Who is HOT?

Liverpool

Liverpool are playing like legitimate title contenders.

The way in which they swatted aside a Crystal Palace side who were riding high after a 3-0 success over Tottenham was a statement, with the Reds creating an abundance of chances once again (xG: LIV 3.30 – 0.87 CRY).

No team has a better attacking process through five games than Jurgen Klopp’s men, with their 3.20 xGF per game a sign that they are firing on all cylinders after star players were given a summer off.

Defensively, they have allowed less than 1.0 xGA in all of their last four league games, so are looking good at that end too.

The Reds should be feared, and while Brentford’s solid defence will make it tough this weekend, if Liverpool continue creating in the same way they should have little issue.

Chelsea

In Thomas Tuchel, it could be argued that Chelsea have the best tactical manager in the Premier League.

His substitution at half time against Spurs made a huge difference and turned the tide of the game, in which Chelsea went on to dominate (xG: TOT 0.78 – 2.49 CHE).

They limited Spurs to just 0.05 xG in the second half, again showing their defensive prowess, with the Blues having kept four clean sheets in five league games – Liverpool being the only team to breach the European champions.

After a few games of struggling to find an attacking groove, they looked extremely threatening at Spurs, which is good news as they host Manchester City this weekend. Chelsea are simply a well-balanced team.

Who is WARM?

Manchester City

Well, City have a ‘defining week’ on the back of a disappointing goalless draw with Southampton last weekend.

Pep’s side did create enough to deserve the victory, but no where near the amount they had been racking up. City travel to Chelsea this weekend before a trip to Paris in the Champions League to face PSG, with their testing week rounded off by a visit to Anfield in GW7 of the Premier League.

There have been some unsettling off-field issues in the past week, notably Guardiola riling City fans after asking them to attend matches, but also Pep saying his team are ‘tired’. That is worrying ahead of this massive week.

While their attack didn’t click against Saints, their defence looked solid once again, and in total the champions have allowed just 0.56 xGA per game in the Premier League this term.

Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge will pit the two best defensive teams in the league against eachother… A low-scoring game anyone?

Manchester United

It seemed like a get out of jail free card last weekend for Manchester United, with David De Gea saving Mark Noble’s last-gasp penalty to ensure all three points for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

They remain in the WARM category though, as the Red Devils again won the xG battle and created plenty of good chances (xG: WHU 1.69 – 2.13 MUN).

Allowing just 0.89 non-penalty xG to a strong West Ham attacking team shouldn’t be sniffed at, and that was the fourth league game of five where they have allowed less than 1.0 non-penalty xGA.

Defensively they are improving, while their early attacking numbers are also on the up. A home game against Aston Villa provides another decent test, with Villa looking solid at the back while looking dangerous on the counter attack.

Who is COOL?

Leeds

Leeds are struggling currently, winless through five league games with their attacking process not up the levels we saw last season.

They have averaged 1.15 xGF per game thus far, way down on last season’s 1.63, and they have struggled to create against Burnley and Newcastle – two teams expected to be in the bottom six/eight.

Defensively, Bielsa’s side have remained as vulnerable as last term, and so their drop off in attacking numbers is evident due to their lack of results.

Last season Leeds’s attack bailed out their defence – which ranked fourth worst in the division – but has yet to show signs it can do the same again this season. A hosting of West Ham will prove another stiff test for Leeds.

Burnley

You may look at Burnley and think ‘how are they not in the COLD category?’ having lost four of a winless five to start the season, but the underlying numbers tell a different story.

Sean Dyche’s side have scored just three goals in five games, but have created chances equating to 7.43 xGF, so a lack of clinical finishing and/or good goalkeeping has cost them in the early stages of the season.

All of their matches have been very close bar Liverpool away (-1.83 xGD) according to xGD (+0.20, +0.18, -0.13, +0.12), showing how they just haven’t had the rub of the green in tight contests just yet.

Sooner or later that will turn the other way, and they will start getting results their performances deserve, perhaps starting with a road trip to Leicester this weekend.

Who is COLD?

Leicester

Leicester suffered their third defeat in five league games at Brighton last weekend, a game where VAR played it’s part, but also another game in which the Foxes underwhelmed at both ends of the pitch.

Brendan Rodgers’ side have lost the xG battle in all five Premier League matches so far, and in their sole Europa League outing, and that is not a what we would have expected from the team who have finished fifth the past few seasons.

Their current position of 12th flatters them, with the Foxes third bottom on xPoints, but more worryingly, only Tottenham (who we will get on to shortly) and Norwich have generated fewer xGF than Leicester (1.02 xGF per game).

A home game against Burnley could be their most crucial game of the season. A poor performance and result yet again would leave serious question marks surrounding the Foxes.

Tottenham

Ooofffttt… Where to start with Spurs.

They have been in the COOL category for some time with results not reflecting their poor performances, but their last two displays have been a joke. Tottenham have been swatted aside by Crystal Palace and Chelsea without really threatening.

Nuno’s side have averaged 0.84 xPoints through five games – Tottenham averaged 1.43 under Mourinho when things were ‘turgid’.

Spurs fans probably though things couldn’t get any worst after Mourinho’s tenure, but the early signs are that they have.

They have averaged 0.99 xGF and 2.06 xGA per game through five matches – both figures that are majorly concerning. As is the use of Harry Kane – or lack thereof.

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Kane has taken just four shots in 312 minutes of action, hitting the target three times while racking up a total of 0.56 xG – equating to 0.17 xG/95.

Over the previous six seasons, Kane has averaged 0.64 xG/95, so the early signs are that their talisman and goalscorer just isn’t seeing any decent chances. He’s a passenger.

Defensively they are too easily exposed, which is surprising given its Nuno on the touchline, but all of the above doesn’t bode well heading to the Emirates for a North London derby on Sunday.

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