We are now eight matches into the Premier League season and the division is starting to take shape.
It appears we are in for the best title challenge in many years with Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea all stuck level on points at the top of the table, while drama can also be found in the lower reaches with relegation contenders Cardiff, Huddersfield and Newcastle all yet to win a game.
Manchester United’s inconsistent form has seen them swap the upper and lower halves of the table on an almost weekly basis, and their place in the top four has been taken by an exceptional Bournemouth side at this early stage of the season.
One of United’s biggest issues this term has been keeping goals out, with the Red Devils already conceding 14 times – more than just three sides in the division.
But just which team has been the worst at defending so far this term?
The statistic expected goals (xG) has grown in prominence in football circles over the past few years, and is now used widely to determine if a team is getting results at the level at which they are actually performing.
The basic usage of expected goals is that every shot taken in a match is given an xG value based on the difficulty of the shot.
Should a team end with a higher xG than actual goals scored, it is probable they were wasteful in front of goal due to poor finishing or an in-form opposition goalkeeper. If the real goals scored is higher than the xG, the team may have been lucky to score so many in that match, or come up against a poor defence.
So, which teams have been the worst defenders in the Premier League so far this season? We reveal the worst 10 sides based on xG, below
10. Watford – 11.01 expected goals against
9. Crystal Palace – 11.56 expected goals against
8. Newcastle – 12.86 – expected goals against
7. Huddersfield – 13.26 expected goals against
6. West Ham – 13.32 expected goals against
5. Cardiff – 13.68 expected goals against
4. Southampton – 14.02 expected goals against
3. Burnley – 14.11 expected goals against
2. Brighton – 14.71 expected goals against
1. Fulham – 18.00 expected goals against