Last week we took a look at Stoke City’s team xG (expected goals) and xGA (expected goals against) thus far this season. Both of these metrics can be deeper snapshots into what a team needs to improve on, as well as what they’ve done well. The same can be said for player xG and xA (expected assists).
For an overall team, a snapshot of that clubs xG and xGA show where the team has been lacking or excelling offensively or defensively. For Stoke City, those analytics painted a picture of which offensive phase of play the team hasn’t been great at so far this season.
For player xG and xA data per 90 minutes, it’s pretty similar. Looking closer at those analytics for Stoke City’s squad, we can define which players have contributed most and which need to improve coming out of the break. We can also start to get a clearer sense of what the team will be looking for to add in the next transfer window.
Stoke City Player with Highest Attacking Contribution
Stoke City’s best contributor so far this season, if we’re going by analytics, doesn’t have a very high xG. Which could say something in itself about the team’s lack of true goal scorers at times. But per theanalyst.com’s data, it says that wing-back Josh Tymon has contributed to Stoke City’s attack more than anyone else on the team.
Tymon’s big number comes from his xA through September. Tymon has a 0.41 xA so far this season. That’s a massive number and shows just how valuable Tymon has been. 0.41 ranks as the best xA number in all of the Championship so far. Basically, he is expected to assist on a goal every other game.
To compare to the rest of Stoke City, the next best expected assists number is Will Smallbone with 0.15. Tymon does have a very small xG number of 0.09. However, because of his high expected assists number, Tymon is credited with adding 2.38 chances created per game from open play. Which leads the team.
Rounding out the pack of top five xA contributors on the team after Tymon and Smallbone, are Jordan Thompson at 0.13, Aden Flint at 0.12, and Dwight Gayle at 0.12.
Potters’ Best Goal Contributing Players
This section is a little tougher as not one player has stood out such as Tymon with xA. For xG, it’s a middled group of players with Jacob Brown leading the team at 0.25 expected goals. Then shortly behind him sits Dwight Gayle at 0.20, Tyrese Campbell at 0.20, Ben Wilmot at 0.18, and Aden Flint at 0. xG.
None of these numbers are very high, with some of the Championship leaders sitting near 0.70 expected goals per game. It demonstrates a bigger snapshot of why Alex Neil will need his squad to be a bit more dangerous in their attack after the break.
Part of those low xG numbers could be because again, Stoke City outside of Tymon, haven’t been very great at setting up goals with xA. Which overall shows that Neil will need a more dangerous/consistent attack from his players over the next eleven-game stretch.
Still though, Stoke City has had some okay contributors as far as scoring goals goes. A big stretch of good results over the team’s next eleven matches could elevate those numbers.
Stoke City Lowmen on The Totem Pole with xG and xA
The two most disappointing players by xG and xA for Stoke City so far have been Liam Delap and Lewis Baker. Delap comes out of the break with a 0.10 xG and a 0.02 xA number next to his name. He’s also only averaged 1.67 attempts per game. The analytics don’t look pretty for Delap and neither has the eye test through the end of September.
As for Baker, the one positive for him according to the data is that he has averaged 2.30 attempts per game. That’s third best on the team. It’s the xG and xA analytics that aren’t great for Baker. Per theanaltyst.com, Baker is credited with 0.09 xG and 0.05 xA.
The attempts are there for Baker, but he needs to do more with those attempts. Same with spreading the ball around the pitch to his teammates to set up scoring chances.
What The Analytics Say About Stoke City’s Current Players
Players can rebound and numbers can change over the course of the season. Plus, Alex Neil hasn’t been in charge over the whole season. His tactical and coaching impact could lead to players having a big October and other months this season. These aren’t the end all be all of numbers for the team necessarily.
But, what the data does say right now is that Josh Tymon is extremely valuable for Stoke City and that the group of high xG players for Stoke City (above) such as Gayle, Campbell, and Brown will need to continue to gel together to score goals.
It also says that Neil must get more out of expected playmakers Delap and Baker coming out of the break starting Sunday. If Stoke City doesn’t get more out of Delap or Baker, or really the rest of the team, they will be looking for playmakers during the next transfer window.
They would most likely be looking for players that can take on defenders one-on-one and are a bit more consistent or even dynamic.