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ATTACK-MINDED: WIGAN ATHLETIC AND BRENTFORD IN THE GOALS AND CHANCES

11 September 2018

Stats say not many teams are creating more chances in the Sky Bet Championship than Paul Cook’s Latics and Dean Smith’s Bees – with the two meeting at Griffin Park on Saturday.

  • Two of the Sky Bet Championship’s best attacking sides meet on Saturday when Wigan Athletic travel to Brentford
  • Latics’ xG of over 1.8 goals in the Sky Bet Championship is higher than any other side after six games
  • Stats based on quality of chances created and conceded suggest Latics and Brentford should be the Championship’s current top two [table here]

BRENTFORD v WIGAN ATHLETIC
SATURDAY 15 SEPTEMBER
SKY BET CHAMPIONSHIP
GRIFFIN PARK
KICK-OFF 3PM

Two sides with obvious attacking talent on paper and two managers who favour quality attacking football, Brentford v Wigan Athletic is a meeting that should excite the purists on Saturday afternoon in the Sky Bet Championship.

Latics head to Griffin Park knowing they are in for arguably their toughest test of the season so far; the Bees have lost just once so far this season – a 1-0 defeat at Blackburn Rovers (albeit xG had Brentford down as creating the better chances in the game).

Champ xG

This graph shows how teams in the Championship have performed in xG in 2018-19 so far. Latics have created the best chances but are equally conceding a similar amount of goal-scoring opportunities to Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End, Middlesbrough and Sheffield United.

Equally so, Brentford will be wary of their visitors, who – according to Stratabet xG statistics – should actually lead the Sky Bet Championship after six games [see table here].

xG is the number of expected goals (xG) created and conceded per game, based on the quality of chances created over the course of 90 minutes. To work out a team's “expected goals” (xG) for a match, every shot must be analysed and given an "Expected goal value" (EGV).

EGV is the probability that any given shot will end up as a goal.

Naturally, not every single chance will be taken, but an open goal from five yards out for a striker would rank at (0.9/1) as a chance whereas a chance to shoot from the edge of the area or 25 yards may be (0.1 or 0.2/1).

Latics’ Championship games to date judged by xG (according to experimental361.com):

Latics (2.2) – Sheffield Wednesday (1.1) [details here]
Aston Villa (1.7) – Latics (0.8) [details here]
Latics (3.1) – Nottingham Forest (1.5) [details here]
Stoke City (0.6) – Latics (1.8) [details here]
QPR (1) – Latics (1.2) [details here]
Latics (1.8) – Rotherham United (1.2) [details here]

Stand out points from our fixtures (xG to real):

  • Latics should have comfortably earned three points against Nottingham Forest (drew 2-2)
  • Latics’ defeat at Aston Villa was more comprehensive than the 3-2 score line achieved, suggesting Villa were wasteful with chances/Latics were clinical with their chances created (Nick Powell goal would be a low xG rating, for example)
  • At the very least, Latics deserved a 1-1 draw at QPR and slightly edged xG
  • Latics’ best performance in terms of chances created was the home match with Nottingham Forest.
  • Our win at Stoke – widely considered our best performance and result of the season so far – actually yielded fewer quality chances for Paul Cook’s side than the home matches with Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest.

An xG table

This table uses data not from experimental361, as above, but from @blades_analytic and @stratabet

After six games, Latics and Brentford, are top of the xG table [click here for full table on Twitter].

Something different…

Experimental 361 used the Fantasy Premier League points calculations to work out the best squad in the Championship this season.

Latics’ Nick Powell and Brentford’s Neal Maupay both made the cut…

FPL Champ Team

Brentford A


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