Form tables, 19 Feb 2017
Here’s the latest update of my form graphics (explained here), which visually rank each team in the top four English divisions based on both their results and underlying performances over the last six league matches.
Everton have scooped the most points of any team in the last six rounds of fixtures, but the two Manchester clubs have looked a lot more dominant overall.
Interestingly Swansea‘s impressive form looks to have more to do with resilience than dominance, with the Swans having been out-created by their opponents on average.
Runaway leaders Chelsea have been pretty quiet lately, although they’ve kept their opponents even quieter.
Liverpool have created chances of identical quality to Man City over the last six matches but allowed over twice as much in return, which goes some way towards explaining their dip in form.
Huddersfield have looked genuinely impressive during their recent winning streak, with a similar balance of chances to Newcastle.
Both Cardiff and Brentford have created opportunities of similar quality, but the Bees haven’t been able to make theirs count. Bristol City have also underachieved despite out-shooting their opponents lately.
After promising surges up the table, Norwich and Fulham have started to look a lot more ordinary, allowing similar chances to those they’ve been creating.
Aston Villa look as though their poor run may have contained an element of bad luck, given that they’ve slightly out-created opponents overall.
Shrewsbury are undoubtedly improving, although they sit atop the form table despite having been marginally out-created in their last six matches.
The likes of Millwall and Sheffield United have looked a lot more convincing, with the Blades and a regularly-frustrated Bradford the only two sides not to have been out-created in their last six games.
Scunthorpe‘s promotion challenge is stalling worryingly, with a similar balance of chances to Gillingham: creating a respectable amount but allowing far too much in return.
Rochdale are another promotion hopeful whose bubble looks to be bursting, with their poor recent form reflected in the extent to which they’ve been out-created lately.
Leaders Doncaster and underachieving Portsmouth are the only two clubs to have out-created opponents by more than double in their last six matches but neither have been able to make their dominance count week in, week out.
While Exeter‘s fine recent performances haven’t gone unnoticed, it’s interesting to see Crewe – another side whose campaign didn’t start as well as hoped – out-creating the Grecians, although few sides have allowed as many opportunities in return.
Carlisle remain difficult to assess, having ground out some decent results without consistently dominating matches – the combination of strong attack and weak defence looks to be a chaotic one.
Cambridge and Barnet look to have been a bit hard done by lately, having out-created opponents overall but still registering just one win apiece in the last six rounds of games.