If there was ever a good time to be playing Spurs . . .

Pre-match stats preview. Blades at Tottenham. 9 Nov 2019

Tottenham’s fortunes in the PL season so far have been pretty awful by their standards. They sit 11th with three wins, four draws and four losses, while Sheffield United breathe the air in the heady heights of 6th place.

Spurs’ troubles can be spotted in a couple of graphics.

The first is expected goals (xG) and expected goals against (xGA). These measure the number and quality of shots and shots against, and in these charts you really want your pink line to be above your blue one.

plot of chunk unnamed-chunk-40While the Blades are achieving some comfort in this regard, largely due to fantastic out-of-possession play, Spurs xG and xGA are digressing wildly.

In short their defences are leaky and they just don’t create enough chances.


Drilling down a bit deeper into this. We can take a look at the xG contribution of Spurs and Blades players. In previewing many games so far this season, it’s been usual to see the opposition’s forwards stretching chart off way to the right and hardly a Blades player in the top right quadrant.

plot of chunk unnamed-chunk-41

Obviously no disrespect to our players, but there haven’t been many of these graphs that looked like this so far this season. Yes, that’s right. David McGoldrick, Oli McBurnie and John Lundstram all with higher xG than Son Heung Min. Only Kane outdoes any Blades player.

Clearly they have a job scoring, and closing down the opposition too (165 shots against!). There’s no doubt they are a team full of quality, but something obviously isn’t clicking. Let’s hope tomorrow isn’t the day it does.

I think Blades fans can be quietly confident of bringing something back from the capital again.

team Sheffield Utd Tottenham
P 11 11
F 12 17
A 8 16
xG 13.5 11.1
xGA 12.8 17.3
shots 110 132
shotsAgst 122 165
passesPG 424 564
passSuccPG 0.719 0.805
ppdaPG 10.2 11.1
deepCPG 23.9 17.6
touchesInBoxPG 19.3 22.2
avgLinePG 48.3 46.7
opp3rd 0.290 0.251
directnessPG 0.552 0.445

An illustration below of justhow woeful Tottenham have been this season. This was their final third passmap against Watford (1-1 at home on 19 Oct) where they barely penetrated Watford’s danger areas. plot of chunk unnamed-chunk-42





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