Early statistical look at the Scottish Championship

Mark Warburton & Lee Wallace, courtesy of SNS

written by – Rangers Report

With 92% of the Scottish Championship season still left to play – let’s look at the trends beginning to form.  OK, no real trends can be claimed after three matches but let’s look at how teams are doing anyways.  If anything, we’ll likely see the “Rangers effect” as teams who have faced the Ibrox side see their stats skewed in the wrong direction.

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The vertical numbers represent shots against per game, while the horizontal axis represents the average shots taken each match.

  • Notice there’s the pack & then…there’s Rangers.  They are averaging nearly 19 shots per game, while allowing only five.  That represents an extraordinary Total Shots Ratio of 0.78 – meaning Rangers have taken 78% of the shots on goal in their games so far.   Queen of the South has the next best at 0.66.
  • The other team at the head of the league table, Queen of the South, is the only other side that has been as efficient at limiting shots – allowing only 18 in three matches.
  • One team sticks out in the bottom right coordinate of teams who are generating a good number of chances, while limiting their opponents.  Falkirk, Rangers & Queen of the South are all undefeated while Hibs have only won one game in the first three weeks.  Observers who are counting Hibs out so early, will soon realize that they are still among the teams who will be fighting for a play-off spot.
  • Let’s start the petition to get Morton on TV!  No clogging play in the midfield for this lot.  They average nearly 14 shots for & 12 against in their three games & their games have seen more combined shots then even Rangers matches so far.  Morton hasn’t won yet, but you can’t say they’ve been boring.
  • Alloa & St Mirren  have been pushed away from the pack after their games against Rangers.  Mark Warburton’s side got 43 shots in those two matches while only conceding nine.

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  • Rangers production is right on pace with what their shots suggest they should be producing.  This may be a sign to expect this kind of goal output for the foreseeable future.
  • The difference between Rangers & the next best team in Expected Goals is again pretty extreme.  Hibs & Morton, the next two teams with the highest Expected Goals, have really struggled to finish their chances.  You would expect their actual production to catch up to the Expected Goals at some point.  Of course, Morton’s Expected Goals Against (5.0) is far outpacing their actual goals against (2) so who know how to predict their fate.
  • While Sunday’s match between Rangers & Queen of the South feature the only teams to get all nine points so far – the Expected Goals for each team would suggest that Rangers are still the vastly superior side.
  • Dumbarton has won two of three games & probably aren’t going to sustain that success.
  • St. Mirren are winless for a reason.

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PDO, which is explained in this post, is on the vertical axis.  Shots on Target Ratio is on the horizontal.  PDO measures which teams are over- or under-performing, while Shots on Target Ratio is an excellent measure of how well (or poorly) a team is performing. 

  • The fact that Rangers have only faced four shots on target really skews their PDO.  However, it does support what the eyeball test is telling us – this Rangers team can get even better & should sustain this level of success for a while.
  • Hibs are a good team for this level.  Their Shots on Target Ratio is third best in the league but only lowly Livingston has a worse shooting percentage.  That will change soon enough, especially if Alan Stubbs can keep Dominique Malonga & Jason Cummings on the pitch at the same time.
  • A winless St. Mirren actually has a high PDO to go along with their league worse Shots on Target Ratio of 0.23 (the Rangers effect, again).  Even though it’s only three games, there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel yet.
  • Livingston & Alloa Athletic have just been really bad so far & their PDO suggests they should get better…but their woeful SoTR contradicts that.

You can follow Rangers Report on Twitter @TheGersReport

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