Examining the weaknesses of the underperforming clubs in the top five leagues in the 2022/23 season – data analysis
Underperforming clubs in football are those that have failed to meet the expectations set for them based on their underlying statistics. In other words, these clubs have earned fewer points than they would be expected to based on their xPoints, which are calculated using the expected goals (xGoals) for and against the team.
XGoals are calculated based on various factors such as shot location, shot type, and the quality of the chance created. These clubs often struggle to convert their chances into goals or have defensive issues that lead to them conceding more goals than expected.
In this data analysis, we will figure out which clubs are underperforming in the top five leagues this season. With similar statistics, we already discovered clubs in the top five leagues that are overperforming so far this season in last week’s analysis.
West Ham United can be considered the most underperforming club in the English Premier League in the 2022/23 season so far. With only 30 points on the board, they have significantly underperformed according to their xPoints of 43.5. Their xGoals of 40.91 also suggest that they should have scored more than their actual tally of 27 goals, highlighting their struggles in front of the goal. Their defence has also been a cause for concern, conceding 39 goals, which is higher than their xGoals against of 35.41.
Looking at their performance metrics, West Ham’s possession rate of 41.6% is among the lowest in the league, indicating their difficulty in controlling games. Their reliance on crosses as a source of attack is evident from their high number of crosses per game at 15.57, but this has not translated into enough goals. Similarly, their dribbling numbers are low at 19.98 per game, which suggests a lack of creativity in midfield.
Defensively, their challenge intensity of 4.6 is lower than average, while their PPDA of 14.17 indicates that they have allowed the opposition more freedom to play.
Overall, West Ham will need to significantly improve their performances if they are to avoid being relegated from the Premier League this season. Improving their attacking and defensive numbers will be crucial, along with increasing their possession and creativity in midfield.
Southampton has been the second most underperforming club in the English Premier League in the 2022/23 season. Despite having scored 24 goals, their expected goals (xGoals) are much higher, at 32.72. Similarly, they have only gained 23 points from their matches, while their expected points (xPoints) are at 32.8. This indicates that they have been unable to capitalize on their chances and have been unlucky in some matches.
Southampton has also struggled defensively, conceding 51 goals while their expected goals against (xGA) is 45.2. However, the team’s age is relatively young at 24.9 years on average, which could be a mental disadvantage in the relegation battle. Southampton has also made 136 substitutions so far, which is the most in the league, indicating that the managers may be rotating the squad too much. The team also plays 42.32 long passes per game, suggesting they may rely on a more direct style of play.
Valencia CF has been one of the most underperforming teams in the Spanish La Liga during the 2022/23 season. The team has earned just 27 points, which is far below their expected points (xPoints) of 39.3 based on their performances in matches. Valencia has scored 30 goals, which is way lower than their expected goals (xGoals) of 38.69, but they have conceded 34 goals, which is lower than their expected goals against (xGoals against) of 36.81.
In terms of possession, Valencia has maintained an average of 54.6%, indicating that they have been able to control the ball for a significant amount of time during matches. However, the team has struggled to convert their possession into goals, and they have often struggled to defend against opposition attacks.
Valencia’s players have shown some promise in individual areas such as crosses and dribbles, with an average of 17.97 crosses and 26.18 dribbles per game. Also, the team’s challenge intensity of 6.5 and passes allowed per defensive action (PPDA) of 9.4 indicate that they try their best to regain possession.
Overall, Valencia’s underperformance in La Liga can be attributed to their inability to convert possession into goals and their defensive weaknesses. If they can address these issues, they may be able to improve their performances and move up the league table in the coming matches. They have the youngest squad in La Liga with an average age of 24.4 years.
Stuttgart is the most underperforming club in the German Bundesliga this season. With only 23 points, they are far behind their expected points of 34.7. Despite scoring 32 goals, they are underperforming their expected goals of 35.53, while conceding a high number of goals (47) compared to their expected goals against (39.24). Their possession rate is 49.5%, with an average of 11.66 shots per game and 29.59 dribbles per game.
In terms of defence, they have a low number of defensive duels (57.13) and a challenge intensity of 5.4. Their PPDA (passes allowed per defensive action) is 12.32. Despite having the youngest squad with an average age of 24.0 years, Stuttgart has struggled to perform this season and will need to improve their results to avoid relegation.
Hoffenheim has been identified as the second most underperforming club in German Bundesliga this season. Despite scoring 37 goals, which is a respectable tally, their xGoals of 43.39 suggest that they should have scored more. On the defensive end, they have conceded 46 goals which is also higher than their xGoals against of 41.59, indicating that they have been unlucky at times but also highlighting their defensive vulnerabilities.
In terms of playing style, Hoffenheim struggles to create chances with a low number of through passes, key passes and smart passes, which might explain their underperformance. Additionally, their possession-based style has not translated into a significant advantage, with a possession rate of 50.1%. Therefore, they tend to create chances more with crosses (13.13 per 90).
On a positive note, Hoffenheim’s Challenge intensity of 6.30 suggests that they have a high level of aggression and fight in their gameplay. They also have an impressive PPDA (Passes Per Defensive Action) of 8.74, which is the second best in the league. However, these factors have not translated into better results on the field.
Overall, it is clear that Hoffenheim has been underperforming this season, with a points tally of 28 compared to an xPoints of 38.4. While they have shown some positive aspects in their gameplay, their lack of creativity have hampered their results.
Sampdoria is currently the most underperforming club in the Italian Serie A, having accumulated only 15 points in the season so far. Their xPoints, based on expected results calculated from the xG data, stands at 28.4, which means they should have had almost double the points they actually have. Their xG of 39.38 shows that they are creating enough chances to score more goals, but their actual number of goals scored stands at only 18, which is a major factor in their underperformance.
Defensively, they have conceded 50 goals, while their xGA stands at 51.05, indicating that they have been somewhat unlucky in terms of their defensive performance. However, their possession rate of 46.9% and an average of 8.77 shots per game suggest that they need to do more to create scoring opportunities. With an average age of 29.4, they are the oldest team in the league, and their lack of energy and creativity may be contributing to their struggles.
Hellas Verona has been the second most underperforming club in the Italian Serie A during the 2022/23 season. Despite having 22 points, they should have earned around 34 points according to xPoints. This underperformance is mainly due to a lack of attacking efficiency, as they have scored only 24 goals against an xG of 30.47. On the defensive end, they have conceded 43 goals, which is close to their xGA of 38.86.
One of the reasons for their struggles is their low possession rate of 42.9%, the lowest in the league. However, they make up for this with their defensive intensity, ranking fourth in the league in defensive duels and third in interceptions. They are particularly dominant in aerial duels, ranking first in the league.
On the downside, their high number of ball losses at 104.37 per game is the highest in the league, which puts them under pressure and can lead to costly mistakes. Overall, Hellas Verona needs to improve their attacking efficiency while maintaining their strong defensive play to climb up the table and avoid relegation.
Angers SCO is currently the most underperforming club in the French Ligue 1, having accumulated only 14 points in the season so far. Their xPoints, on the other hand, stand at 31.7, indicating that they should have at least twice as many points as they currently have. In terms of goal-scoring, Angers has scored 23 goals so far, while their xGoals stand at 35.47, suggesting that they have underperformed in front of goal.
Their defence has been porous, conceding 64 goals, much higher than their xGoals against of 49.47, indicating that their defence has underperformed as well.
Regarding gameplay, Angers SCO has had possession for 46.9% of the time, taking 8.88 shots per game and making 11.11 crosses. Their challenge intensity is 4.90, which is very low, and their PPDA stands at 14.28, indicating that they are not pressing as high up the pitch and instead fall back into a low block.
Angers SCO has underperformed in multiple aspects of the game, including goals scored, goals conceded, and their overall gameplay. They have a lot of room for improvement in the rest of the season, but it seems too late to stay in the league.
In conclusion, the above analysis of the underperforming clubs in the top five European leagues reveals that underperforming is not limited to the clubs in the relegation zone. Teams such as West Ham, Valencia, Stuttgart, Sampdoria and Angers SCO are performing well below their expected levels in their respective leagues.
Moreover, the age of the team could also have an impact on their performance, especially in the relegation battle. Younger teams such as Stuttgart and Valencia might struggle mentally to cope with the pressure of the relegation battle, which could result in underperforming. Therefore, it is essential to consider various factors such as age, possession, shots, dribbles, challenge intensity, and PPDA while analyzing the underperforming clubs in the top five leagues.