Who is HOT?
Manchester City’s defence
City were left shocked last weekend, losing 2-0 to Crystal Palace, but again their defence looked solid according to the data (xG: MCI 0.79 – 0.62 CRY).
With 10-men, they limited a talented Palace attack to very few chances and no big chances (0.35 xG+).
That means that over 10 games this season Pep’s side have allowed just 0.73 xGA per game – last season they allowed 0.87.
Those figures are excellent, and for perspective on this season’s, no other team are allowing less than 1.20 xGA per game.
While their attack has been hit and miss this term, their defence certainly hasn’t, and if they continue to limit their opponents in the same manner then don’t expect them to lose too many games – starting with Manchester United away on Saturday.
Yes, Liverpool were held by Brighton last weekend, but they again scored twice and won the xG battle in that game (xG: LIV 1.37 – 1.16 BHA).
The Reds have now scored two or more in 14 of 15 games in all competitions this season (before Atleti in midweek), that record is excellent.
In the Premier League, their attacking process is off the charts at 2.78 xGF per game, and that is the main reason they have have been winning football matches.
Defensively they are next best behind Manchester City, but in recent weeks they have started to look more vulnerable, not helped by key players getting injured.
Nonetheless, their attack alone is enough for them to stay in the ‘HOT’ category ahead of a visit to West Ham at the weekend – another team to have entered the top tier of this ranking.
West Ham are now a legit top four contender.
Their underlying process is currently the third best in the Premier League – behind only Manchester City and Liverpool – and they have improved greatly on last season’s figures.
Averaging 1.95 xGF and 1.25 xGA per game, David Moyes’s side will hang around near the upper echelons of the table for much of the season.
A tough test awaits on Sunday as they host Liverpool, but it is a test that will give us a good gauge as to just how much the Hammers can achieve this term.
Who is WARM?
Bruno Lage’s side have won four of an unbeaten five league games after winning against Everton on Monday, with that victory seeing them move up to seventh in the table.
After a sluggish start results-wise, things are picking up, but it was only a matter of time, as the Old Gold were posting underlying numbers of a top six team even when low in the table.
They occupy fifth in Infogol’s xG table, based on expected points (xPoints), with only City better defensively than Wolves (1.22 xGA per game) and only four sides better in attack (1.73 xGF per game).
Wolves travel to Crystal Palace at the weekend, another good test for this improving side.
Who is COOL?
Graham Potter’s side are looking incredibly good in defence once again this season, allowing 1.34 xGA per game, but going forward there are question marks.
They are averaging 1.20 xGF per game through 10 matches, a decrease on their 1.49 from last season.
If they continue to create in the same manner then wins may be hard to come by, but a hosting of a Newcastle side with a woeful defence could be a good get right game.
Leeds weren’t great yet again last weekend, as they scraped past bottom side Norwich, with Bielsa’s side continuing to struggle in attack (xG: NOR 0.99 – 0.83 LEE).
The Whites actually rank as the fourth worst attacking team through 10 games, having generated an averaged of 1.17 xGF per game – a hefty decrease on last season’s 1.63.
Leeds have only mustered two non-penalty big chances (0.35 xG+). That is the fewest in the league.
They host Leicester on Sunday, and an improvement is needed if they are to climb the table.
Who is COLD?
Aston Villa appear to be getting worst.
While they have lost their last four league games, all four saw them concede at least two goals, while their attacking struggles remain evident.
Over the course of the season so far, Villa have averaged 1.19 xGF and 1.73 xGA per game, and those are figures we expect to see from a team in a relegation scrap. Something has to change.
They play on Friday night away at Southampton, and are in need of a much better display if they are to get something.
Newcastle and Norwich
Newcastle and Norwich have been bunched together now as they have been in the same category for weeks now.
The Magpies have taken the ‘worst defence’ crown off of Norwich, with Newcastle now having allowed a huge 2.07 xGA per game this season. That is a worry.
Daniel Farke’s side were marginally better against Leeds, but are yet to score on the road as they travel to Brentford this weekend.
Away from home they are averaging just 0.46 xGF and 2.27 xGA per game in their away fixtures. More of the same here would likely lead to a defeat.