What the Analytics Say About Stoke City’s Blackpool Loss

This past Saturday, Stoke City had another three points in their crosshairs as the club traveled to take on the worst team in the Championship, Blackpool — Going into that match, Blackpool sat at 24th on the table with 28 points (Stoke sat at and now still sit at 19th on the table with 37 points) — With that, all three points seemed to be in the cards for The Potters. But of course, that’s not how things turned out for Alex Neil.

Blackpool’s Ian Poveda ended up finding the back of the net for The Seasiders in the 7th minute of the match. From there, Blackpool was able to sit on their 1-0 lead for the rest of the match and secure three points for themselves.

So what went wrong for Stoke City on Saturday? Afterall, The Potters overall outshot Blackpool 25 to 7 and put more attempts on target as well at 6 attempts on target for to 1 against. The answer might not be one that Stoke City fans want to hear.

What The Data Says About Stoke City’s Blackpool Loss

Stoke City fans might not want to hear this, but The Potters were a bit unlucky to not grab the win on Saturday — Or at least that’s what the data analytics tell you about the match.

This may be hard to hear for Potters fans because with where Stoke City sit on the table, excuses and explanations only offer fans “what if” scenarios. But, in order to not spin any analysis, it’s important to state how or what the data is saying.

Per FBref, Stoke City had 2.1 xG (expected goals) on Saturday against Blackpool. Meaning, The Potters should have scored twice at least. On the other side of the coin, Stoke City conceded an xGA (expected goals against) number of 0.8.

Under this scenario Stoke City would have still conceded a goal, but they would have also won the match 2-1. Now I know, we can just feel you rolling your eyes while reading this. However again, that’s what the data is saying.

And it’s saying that The Potters were a bit unlucky on Saturday not to walk away with points. Is there a case to be made that Stoke City wasn’t unlucky because they lacked quality finishing ability? Yes for sure there is.

A big part of missing out on goals with an xG number like that is a lack of finishing ability — Which is why at “All Stoked Up” there’s been solutions that have been offered up, for a better finishing edge on the team.

At the end of the day a loss is a loss. But  you can still point to Stoke City being a little unlucky and probably more deserving of at least a point if they can score once this past Saturday.