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BBC Sport analysis suggests Newcastle United have massively ridden their luck so far

10 months ago

As we are set to move into 2020, BBC Sport have been analysing what has happened in the Premier League so far.

They have been looking at how various stats match up to the current positions of the 20 Premier League clubs.

In reality, which clubs have carried the most good and bad luck.

With their findings, one club stands out in particular, Newcastle United.

Amongst the statistics BBC Sport have used, is Expected Goals, the system which analyses every single move in every single game and gives information about the number and quality of chances the two teams have had in every match.

As you can see below, rather than the 25 points Newcastle have accumulated, the Expected Goals stats show that in the 20 games, the chances created by Newcastle and by the opposition at the other end, point to only eight points as being the realistic return.

This obviously backs up what we have seen with our own eyes, Newcastle very rarely have more than one or two decent chances in a game,whilst the opposition usually have far more at the other end.

Steve Bruce’s team having scored their 20 goals from minimal chances and indeed only two clubs have scored less goals.

Meanwhile at the other end, only three clubs outside the relegation zone have conceded more than the 30 goals that Newcastle have let in.

BBC Sport have also analysed which goalkeepers have been the biggest assets to their teams, as you can see below, only Hugo Lloris is showed to have performed better than Martin Dubravka and the Spurs keeper has only played in seven games compared to the Newcastle man playing in all 20.

As the BBC Sport analysis does also acknowledge, other factors of course also play a part, mainly luck!

However, if Newcastle United are to have a comfortable second half of the season then the stats overwhelmingly point to them having to play far better in terms of reducing chances for the opposition and in particular, creating more chances for themselves at the other end.

Recent performances and results back this up, with Newcastle losing three of their last four matches and the one they did win against Palace, was the result of Palace missing a number of chances and NUFC scoring with their only serious effort on target.

BBC Sport analysis:

BBC Sport analyses expected goals and other metrics to give an indication of which clubs may be over and under-achieving and what this might all mean for the second half of the campaign.

A table from football data experts Opta based on expected goals

(There are other factors to consider – luck, injuries, human error and a VAR system in its infancy have all contributed to results in the first half of the season and will continue to do so in the second.)

The biggest positional changes from the actual table put Southampton in fifth as opposed to their actual position of 15th and Newcastle bottom instead of 11th. Other big movers are Burnley (up five places to eighth), Crystal Palace (down six to 15th) and Watford (out of the relegation zone and up to 13th).

Of the teams not currently in or around the relegation zone, Crystal Palace and Newcastle look most at threat of being dragged in. The two have produced the lowest number of quality goalscoring chances and both are conceding more than two big opportunities per game so far.

As you can see above, their goalkeepers are two of the best performing against their expected goals on target conceded.


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