one year ago by Sporting Life


Palace and Brighton the xG darlings with Leicester set for struggle

Using Infogol’s expected goal (xG) data, which provides a rating for every Premier League club, Sporting Life can use a model can simulate every game of the season tens of thousands of times to get the most likely finishing position for each team.
That gives us two tables to compare: fan opinion and xG data, or as we’re calling it ‘Heart vs. Head’.
At the very top, they look extremely similar. The top four is identical, with the the first discrepancy Manchester United and Arsenal being the opposite way around: fifth and sixth with Infogol, sixth and fifth with the Fan Hope Survey.

It’s then that we get a few surprises - although any xG followers won’t be shocked by the following two sides being forecasted to finish seventh and eight respectively.
CRYSTAL PALACE and BRIGHTON performed very impressively according to the underlying numbers last season, and appear to be being underrated by many this term.
On the opposite end of the scale are LEICESTER, who provide the biggest disagreement when it comes to Heart vs. Head.
The Foxes are eighth in the Fan Hope survey table but we put them way down in 14th - for context they ranked as the third-worst team in the Premier League last term according to Infogol’s performance-based table.
Brendan Rodgers’ side require major improvement in all areas if they are to finish in the top half again.

At the bottom, both the fans and Sporting Life-Infogol have Nottingham Forest propping up the table, but the fans have established top-flight clubs SOUTHAMPTON and EVERTON being relegated - in disagreement with the Infogol model.
Forest’s fellow newly-promoted sides Fulham and Bournemouth are tipped to join them in making a swift return to the Sky Bet Championship according to the data, but we’re certainly not miles apart.
Southampton and Everton could be in for a season of struggle, with Saints’ forecast is for 17th place and the Toffees’ 15th.

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