Over the past few seasons we had mentioned before that ‘Sometimes the league table does lie’. Football is a low-scoring sport, which invariably means that luck does play its part and teams do not always necessarily get what they deserve from a game in the short term. When things aren’t going your way, it can be difficult to stay calm and take an objective view of events. It can be equally hard to look beyond the league table and realise that results don’t tell the whole story. In actual fact, this is what we are currently seeing with Kaizer Chiefs, one which we wrote about here a few days ago – link.
After 6 games played, (5 for Cape Town City FC and Marumo Gallants) based on each team’s respective performances to date we can see how the league table would look like. A few scenarios may have been occurring at this time:
- Whilst a team may have been getting results (points), their performances have not been up to par and thus they may sit higher in the league than they would here.
- A team may have had good performances in their games but their results have not been able to match that.
- They are as good as the underlying data suggests they are.
The 2021/22 xPts Table
Focusing on a team’s performance helps to achieve a true gauge of the underlying, sustainable strength of a team. During this time, using a unique model that assesses the team’s effectiveness at critical attacking and defensive moments during games, it is possible to calculate where a team should sit in the table. For this reason, as mentioned in our previous analysis link above (check it out), we see the likes of Kaizer Chiefs currently in second place based on the team’s performances over the first 6 games of the 2021/22 campaign. Defensively, they have had some minor issues but nothing like on their attacking end. The chances were there, they just badly need a top-class finisher!
It is still early days so take the first 6 games with a pinch of salt but they do tell a story of why your team is in X position on the log table. However, in the long run, a model such as this is able to suggest that performances that measure process over the outcome is a better predictor of league table positions than results are.
We will run this data again at the end of the November international break and compare how teams have fared since then.