MOT Tactics: Leeds on right track but big chances still going begging
This article is part of a regular series from Leeds United Twitter account All Stats Aren’t We – the team also host a brilliant podcast that goes in-depth into the tactics of Marcelo Bielsa and a deeper look at the underlying stats
Time for an update on the big chances graphs, with an additional graph added in. For the record, ‘big chances’ are over .3 xG, when a player should ‘reasonably be expected to score’, often one-on-ones or close range. Leeds are the standout team when it comes to these chances.
As you can see from the graphs below – after 16 games Leeds are creating almost 2.6 of these chances per game, which puts them clearly ahead of their nearest rivals, Bristol City & Fulham who average two big chances per 90. As we know, Leeds’ issue comes with their conversion % of these chances.
However, they are only 5% away from being league average for conversion rate of big chances, so it’s not a major improvement that is needed and the last few weeks have seen Leeds move positively along this line compared to where they were.
It is worth noting that West Brom are the league’s second-highest scorers and they are beneath the median for conversion rate. This is because they are more clinical with their more difficult chances, including seven goals from outside the box.
A note on Preston as well, who stand out on the ‘big chances for v conversion rate’ graph. It is worth saying that penalties are included in this metric and Preston have had 8 in 16 games, which is three more than the next highest in the league. They have also scored every single one.
So whilst they might seem extremely impressive, if the penalties dry up, which one would think they must do being they’re currently on for a record-breaking amount, their chance creation & conversion % would be much lower.
Without penalties, they’d avg 1.38 big chances per 90, with a conversion rate of 11.5, which would be the lowest on this graph.
On the defensive side of things, again Leeds are the most impressive. Brentford are the only other team to average less than one big chance against per 90. However, Leeds have been far more fortunate with those chances, as Brentford’s opponents have converted double the amount.
In the final graph, we see that whilst all of the top six in the league are in the same quadrant as Leeds, with all of them being above average for big chances created and below average for big chances conceded, Leeds are leaving the rest in their wake.
If only Leeds’ finishing could match, the league table would show the same. Let’s hope it comes round to average very soon.
In other Leeds United news, Exclusive: ‘He’s never settled’ – Paul Robinson on Leeds 26y/o he played with in the PL