Form tables, 10 Jan 2017
It’s been a while since I last updated the form graphics (explained here) so, in advance of the full domestic league schedule starting up again this weekend, here are the latest versions for the top four divisions, along with some observations.
Man Utd look pretty comfortable at the moment, having dominated in five of their last six wins (the odd one out being a relatively close-run affair at West Brom) and ranking top for both chances created and allowed. While Chelsea have restricted opponents to an identical extent, they haven’t been able to match United’s attacking output.
While Burnley are in the top half of the form table at the moment, their last six matches have seen a very similar level and balance of chances to those of less fortunate Swansea and Stoke in the lower reaches.
Middlesbrough‘s investment in a new striker isn’t difficult to understand given the lack of chances they’ve created recently: the lowest of any club during the period covered here.
Leeds and Barnsley are in fine form at the moment but they’ve actually allowed better chances overall than they’ve created themselves, which suggests that their fortune may be temporary unless performances improve. Mind you, I’ve been saying that about Reading for ages now.
Fulham‘s attacking output remains prodigious and the best in the division by some way, with their defensive performances far from terrible either. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the limp efforts of QPR and Wigan, with the former’s the more concerning given how many goals’ worth of chances they’ve allowed their opponents.
At the bottom, Bristol City‘s dire run of form is slightly mysterious – they’ve given almost as good as they’ve gotten and only been overrun in one of their last six matches but haven’t anything to show for it. With performances stable it feels like a problem that will solve itself with patience.
Sheffield United‘s rampage continues apace: they are destroying all in their path to an extent that nobody can match. Resurgent Bradford – early fancies of the model this season – aren’t far off though, having also dominated with regularity and starting to finally turn some of those draws into wins.
Worryingly for Scunthorpe their form has cooled significantly, with opponents narrowly out-creating them over the last six games. They’ve never ridden that high in the E Ratings – some unsustainably clinical finishing was previously turning good performances into great results – so it’s not a great shock to see them stumble.
It’s unsurprising to see managerial changes wrought at Port Vale and Chesterfield, both of whom have put in almost identically poor performances during their last six matches.
The top four slots in the form table features clubs who began the season badly but are now flying, with Cambridge and Exeter joining Wycombe and Colchester among the upwardly mobile.
Table-toppers Doncaster and second-placed Plymouth have been subsisting on far finer margins, which suggests that there will be yet more twists in the title and promotion races. Their form may dip similarly to Carlisle‘s – who had been operating a worryingly loose defence behind their impressive attack – while highly-rated Portsmouth continue to impress despite their recent reverse.
Both Accrington and Yeovil look like they should be getting better results overall: however in recent weeks Stanley’s performances have been improving while the Glovers’ have gotten worse.
At the bottom it’s understandable that Crewe and Notts County have dispensed with their managers, while at Newport the new manager bounce looks to have been very short-lived for Graham Westley.