Data guru’s table claims Canaries should be 16th in the Premier League

Norwich City were beaten 3-0 at Wolves on Sunday to remain seven points adrift of safety in the Premier League table 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Norwich City were beaten 3-0 at Wolves on Sunday to remain seven points adrift of safety in the Premier League table Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Norwich City should be five points clear of the Premier League relegation zone and Newcastle should be bottom, according to an alternative table which has been updated throughout this season.

Based on 'expected goals' metrics, the Canaries should be sat in 16th place on 24 points from their 27 matches, rather than the bleak reality of being on 18 points at the bottom of the table and seven points from safety.

The table is maintained by the Press Association's head of data analysis Ben Mayhew, for football analysis and visualisation blog experimental361.com.

With 11 games of the top-flight campaign remaining, the XG table is showing that the Canaries should be four places higher thanks to two more wins, eight more goals scored and one fewer conceded.

The big difference however is for the Canaries' rivals - emphasising why 'expected' statistics are taken with a pinch of salt by many football fans and pundits.

Expected goals (XG) are intended to reflect the quality of a team's performance through a statistical measure of the quality of chances created and conceded, with XG growing in popularity hugely in recent seasons, particularly for showing the quality of a team's play in the long term.

Understat.com is another website which specialises in XG, which shows City's 3-0 defeat at Wolves on Sunday as an accurate outcome, with the hosts' XG rated at 3.26 and the Canaries' at just 0.33 - reflective of a game when Daniel Farke's team were well beaten.

However, City's recent 0-0 draw at Newcastle was one most fans saw as a huge chance for three points missed and that's backed up by XG, rating the hosts at 0.93 but the Canaries on 2.40.

Football, of course, is not played out on statistical spreadsheets but the table illustrates the feeling which has so frustrated City supporters during much of the last three months - that Farke's team have not picked up as many points as they have deserved.

The table shows that Newcastle should be six places worse off in 20th at this stage, with a huge 22 points fewer on just nine points from 27 matches, with Bournemouth in 19th on 14 points based on XG, three places and 12 points worse than in reality.

The final spot in the relegation zone in the XG table sees Aston Villa swapping places with West Ham to slip into the bottom three, showing that Villa should have six points fewer - with five points fewer than Norwich.

XG Premier League table (bottom six)

15th - Crystal Palace - 26 points (-7 adjustment)

16th - Norwich City - 24 (+6)

17th - West Ham - 21 (-3)

18th - Aston Villa - 19 (-6)

19th - Bournemouth - 14 (-12)

20th - Newcastle - 9 (-22)

- Click here to view the full table at experimental361.com, where the XG methods are also explained in full

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