As we go into the international break, we thought it would be an appropriate time to look at some of those teams dominating key stats at this time in the Championship. Again, this isn’t a predictive piece of such – but just a matter of expressing the data. Of course, I will be offering my share of insight and opinion to interpret and analyse things further.
What’s interesting is the teams featured here are a combination of ones struggling and ones doing well. This shows that dominating stats is not all you need to do to be successful – but equally, you can be successful without dominating those stats. Therefore, it’s certainly interesting to see what kind of conclusions we can draw from this data.
So, now we have that out of the way, let’s get stuck into it…
1. Best Possession Team: Norwich City (57.7%)
Norwich City are very much a work in progress and they have made a slow start to the season based on results. However, there has been positives for the club in terms of the playing style, as they currently lead the Championship for possession with 57.7% of the ball on average per game. On top of that, the club also have the best passing accuracy of 83.8% per game.
As hinted at the start, those passing stats haven’t improved the situation in terms of results. Norwich have also continued to struggle on the defensive side of their game – and that is something that they will need to put right before long.
However, there has been a lot of change at the club over the summer. This has included a new head coach, new structure, and a whole host of new players. Even the most positive of fans must have expected that there would have been teething problems in the first few weeks. In fact, I did predict that Norwich would make a slow start to the season.
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2. Best Aerial Team: Derby County (58.6% Won)
Derby County are another one of those teams that have made a slow start to the season but will still be confident that they can have a good year. In fact, I did predict earlier in the summer that Derby will be a team to sizzle this season.
Like Norwich, there are things about the way that the Rams are playing that will please manager Gary Rowett. Derby have been a successful team in the air so far this season with the best record for aerial duels won of 58.6%. This stat considers aerial duels in both defensive and attacking situations.
Rowett is known for playing direct football so this side of Derby’s game is important. It’s also vital that they are able to dominate in defensive situations if they are going to have a successful season. Therefore, it’s an encouraging sign that the Rams can make the top six by the end of the season.
3. Highest Shots Per Game: Brentford (18.6)
Brentford have made a slow start to the season, but fans shouldn’t be too concerned because there have been plenty of encouraging signs. One of the biggest ones is the number of shots per game they are managing with 18.6. It’s the highest amount in the league by a distance and shows that they are a good attacking side.
The Bees will want to improve their form though as they are still yet to win a game this season – and they also need to improve their defensive record. If they can manage to do this – then there is every chance of them having a successful season.
In fact, I tipped them to be a surprise package earlier this summer. The transfer window is still open and the club will be hopeful of holding onto their best players. One of those players is attacking midfielder Jota – who is already one of the leading performers for shots and assists this season.
4. Highest Aggression: Preston (10 Yellows/1 Red)
Preston were in some ways a surprise package last season by performing above expectations. In fact, it could be argued that their success led to Simon Grayson leaving to become the new manager of Sunderland. This is a different club now though under different management and it’s unclear what kind of season they will have.
Alex Neil has come in as their new manager and will be keen to prove what he can do. Of course, Neil was sacked by Norwich City after a run of poor results. But he won’t have to deal with the same level of expectation at his new club. What’s for sure though is he likes his team to play in an aggressive way – and they have already picked up 10 yellows and one red card this season.
Preston have made a positive start to the new season – and may be a surprise contender for the play-offs if things go well. Early indications would suggest that the team will be solid defensively – but won’t offer a great goal threat. Nevertheless, it will certainly be interesting to see how they can develop their game from last season.
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5. Highest Rating: Cardiff City (7.18)
There was a feeling by a few people that Cardiff might do okay this season, especially after Neil Warnock did an excellent job at stabilising the club last year. However, I don’t think anyone expected such a good start to the season that has seen the Bluebirds win all five of their opening league games.
There are several positive things happening with Cardiff this season – and I will be looking at them in more detail in an upcoming article. However, in this article – we will be looking at the club’s overall rating which is 7.18, showing that the club is strong in several different areas.
Any team managed by Warnock is not going to win many prizes for possession or beautiful football. However, he is an experienced Championship manager that knows how to get results. If Cardiff can keep up their form – then it shows that the Championship can still be a place for various types of managers.
This completes the end of the content section for this article as we looked at Championship clubs dominating the stats so far this season. So, over to you – what kind of conclusions can we draw from these stats?
If you like Championship content like this, then keep an eye on my profile page for all the latest updates. Next, I will take a closer look at Cardiff City – and then also look at some of the best creative players in the Championship so far this season.