Leeds United were the dominant force in the Championship last season.
The Whites romped home to the league title, finishing 10 points clear of West Bromwich Albion in the end, but if xG were to be believed, the Yorkshire club should have been 23 points better off than they were at the end of the season.
Now, xG isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is a great indicator of how well teams are playing and how much they’re riding their luck.
Just look at how well last season’s Championship table accurately reflected the final standings, barring a few outliers, it’s pretty much spot on, predicting the top three accurately, but in a slightly different order, while also having a good record in predicting the relegation scrap, with four of the bottom eight being in and around the right places.
Leeds may have been dominant in this metric last season, but this time around, they’re not doing so well.
Indeed, their xG difference is the fifth-worst in the Premier League, which indicates that Leeds are currently over-performing in certain areas, which makes a nice change from last season’s underperformance.
Unfortunately, it’s hard for a team to consistently sustain these numbers, and with Patrick Bamford, Leeds’ top scorer, having a historical tendency to massively underperform his xG – finishing 18 goals below where he should have been last term, it may not be long until United come crashing back down to earth.
Momentum and confidence are massive things in football, and there’s no doubting that Marcelo Bielsa’s side are riding the crest of a wave at the moment, but their current good form may not be sustainable for much longer, especially if Bamford goes back to his old ways.
It will be interesting to see if Leeds’ results do dip in the coming weeks, because if xG is to be believed, they should be in the midst of a relegation battle at the moment, not on the periphery of the European places.
There is certainly work to do for Bielsa.