This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
West Bromwich Albion may currently top the Championship table, but one damning factor is holding them back from potentially running away with the league title.
The Baggies have amassed 33 points from 16 matches, which would see them on track to surpass a total tally of 92 – a number that in four of the last five seasons has been enough for automatic promotion.
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But such acclaim fails to take into account the form of Albion’s rivals or any injuries and suspensions the side may face, so it can’t be taken as gospel.
Slaven Bilic’s side have somewhat rode their luck too as they find themselves in an increasingly favorable position as the season rumbles on despite not playing to their absolute full potential.
Of all 24 teams in the Championship, the league leaders rank 18th for big chance conversion %, per MRKT Insights, which means they are failing to score what is perceived to be the easiest of chances.
Therefore, it would suggest that Albion would be doing even better than they already are if they had converted more ‘big chances.’
Per the same source, Bilic’s men rank first for total shots on target and second for average shots per game in the division.
While they are also second for the average number of big chances per game, which makes the figures above even more astonishing.
It further suggests that Bilic’s coaching on the training pitch is on the right path as they are creating opportunities, but then it comes down to the players to stick the ball in the back of the net.
Given the contributions of their wide players and the enigmatic playmaker Matheus Pereira – 14 goals and 11 assists combined – the brunt of their failings in this sense falls down on their impotent strikeforce.
Via WhoScored, the trio of Charlie Austin, Kenneth Zohore, and Hal Robson-Kanu have provided just 20% of their goal total this campaign, so that is undoubtedly where the fault lies as they haven’t been taking the easy chances handed to them.