Form tables, 14 Mar 2019
Seeing as we’re getting to the business end of the season, I thought I’d switch an old graphic back on to see if it’s at all helpful in breaking down what’s going on. These are explained here in full, but put simply they visually rank each team based on both their results and underlying performances over the last six league matches. There’s quite a lot of detail in them, but hopefully they’re helpful in understanding whose form is likely to be sustainable.
Clubs are ordered based on their last six results (which are denoted by the colour of the six dots in their row) but the vertical position of the dots and the size of the two bars are dictated by the quality of chances they’ve created and allowed. The latter is also used as a tie-breaker for teams with the same number of points from their last six games.
Man City really aren’t messing around, are they? All of their last six games have ended in comprehensive wins, with their average attacking output per game exceeding the efforts of their opponents combined. Leicester have looked a bit unlucky lately, having out-created their opponents on average but only recording two wins in their last six matches, while Watford have been in reasonably good form despite apparently having a similar attacking output to Huddersfield.
It looks as though “safety first” is the mantra at Stoke, who have drawn five of their last six thanks to allowing their opponents few opportunities but creating even less for themselves. While Preston are in good form they’ve been out-created overall in recent matches so it’s not clear whether they can maintain their momentum. Three of the five lowest-ranked teams on current form – Blackburn, QPR and Birmingham – appear to have created better chances than their opponents overall, so perhaps their luck will change.
Wimbledon‘s recent form looks to have been borne out in their performances, with all four of their wins in the last six rounds seeing them out-create their opponents. After relying on sharp finishing and a stubborn defence for much of the season, Sunderland look to have found another gear and are now creating far better chances than their opponents. Doncaster‘s recent dip in form is eroding their promotion prospects and seems to be driven by steadily declining performances.
Bury and Lincoln continue to dominate matches, having created more than twice as much as their opponents over the last six rounds of games. Yeovil, Oldham and Macclesfield have all done the opposite, having faced chances around twice as threatening as those they’ve carved out themselves. Tranmere‘s recent good form may not be sustainable as they don’t seem to be getting better opportunities than the teams they’re playing.