Defensive stats (first 11 games)


Following on from my Amount of Minutes Leading stats for the first 11 games https://www.celtictrends.com/post/minutes-leading-first-11-games-of-the-season and my Passing Stats for the first 11 games https://www.celtictrends.com/post/passing-stats-first-11-games I've produced below a table based on some defensive stats from the first 11 games.


The above table is ranked on NP xGA and Celtic are at the top conceded just 0.65 xGA per game which is down from last season's 0.89. Rangers are second on 0.7 which is not far away from last seasons 0.72. St Mirren are bottom of the table on 1.73 xGA per game which is a big decline from last season's 1.34.


Surprisingly Celtic top the aerials won at 58% with Livingston at the bottom of the table and it is no major surprise given some have talked about the lack of height and physical presence in the Livingston team this year. Motherwell have the most interceptions per game at 10.7 and Ross County have the most clearances per game at 24.6 with St Mirren blocking the most shots at 5.6 per game.


NP GA (Goals Against minus Penalties) has Celtic top on 0.64 per game which is very much on par with expected goals against at 0.65 per game. The two biggest variances are Dundee Utd who have 0.55 NP goals against per game against an expected 1.0. Maybe great goalkeeping (or defending) or bad finishing by their opponents or maybe just good luck. Ross County are at the other end of the scale with a variance of 0.56.


If you look at PS xGA (Post Shot expected goals) then it would look like Dundee Utd's opponents have had bad finishing but Hearts opponents haven't. Therefore Dundee Utd's positive variance maybe down to opponent's finishing or luck whereas Hearts positive variance could be attributed to good goalkeeping.


For Open Play expected goals Celtic are again top with 0.45 per game. For Set Play expected goals Celtic are top with only 0.20 per game however looking at it another way 31% of Celtic's NP xGA is coming from set plays. The worst is Hearts with 0.42 being 37% of their total NP xGA. Dundee's 0.23 is only 13% of their NP xGA.


Looking at expected goals per shot Aberdeen are the worst at 1.2 and allowing an NP xGA of 1.05 per game from an average of only 9 shots against per game. Aberdeen just allowing too good an opportunity when their opponents get that shot off. Dundee Utd are best for keeping xGA per shot low at 0.082 per shot and this is maybe a reason they are gaining that positive variance of goals against from shots faced.


The above is just an alternative way of looking at performances and doesn't take into account the amount of home games versus away games and rank of opposition at home versus rank of opposition away etc. At least after 11 games every team has played every team.



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