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Expected points – Liverpool and Newcastle United two of the stand out clubs in 31 European leagues

7 months ago
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Liverpool and Newcastle United mentioned in the same breath.

We are honoured.

A new report covering 31 European leagues and hundreds of different clubs, has both Liverpool and Newcastle United in the top 12.

The report is from the CIES Football Observatory and they have compared the points achieved by teams, with points expected according to a statistical model taking into account ball possession, as well as the number and distance of both shots taken and conceded as per InStat data.

Gap between points per match achieved and expected, season 2019/20

As you can see, Liverpool’s expected points is a very healthy 2.25 points but this analysis does suggest that as well as having been very very good, they have also carried a significant amount of luck to have dropped only two points from a potential 69. Which is common sense really, as to go on such a run does need luck as well, plus our eyes also tell us that in a fair few games there have been very fine margins for them. So in this table they are placed fifth with an average of +0.66 points gained, over and above the expected points.

As for Newcastle United, the stats of expected goals and expected points this season have been regularly flagged up. Those stats pointing to Newcastle United to be rock bottom of the Premier League based on those various chances created at both ends etc stats.

To see it in this even wider context shows how extreme the luck of Steve Bruce has actually been.

Newcastle might ‘only’ be 12th in this table of hundreds and hundreds of European clubs, with an average 0.69 expected points per game, compared to the average 1.26 points per game actually achieved, a difference of +0.57 points per game.

However, interesting to look at just how low the expected points (0.69) per game is for Newcastle United, of the top 21 clubs listed above, the next lowest expected points is 0.91, with most others far higher.

So Newcastle United’s base level of expected points is phenomenally low. A miracle we aren’t bottom three, thanks massively to Martin Dubravka and then the defence in front of him, defenders who have not only massively helped in their primary role at the back BUT have also scored 12 of our 24 Premier League goals (including the Lejeune double that won NUFC that ridiculous point at Everton), Shelvey hit a five goal hotspot totally out of the blue, meaning the entire forward line and midfielders (excepting Shelvey) have scored only seven goals between them!

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