Manchester City v Chelsea: Game State Numbers

Day 2 of the FA Cup semi finals. Yesterday's grey weather has given way to patchy blue skies and sporadic sunny spells.

It's preview time on the Man City v Chelsea story stream.

Trying to find a method by which to judge the strength of each team will prove to be mightily difficult using only FA Cup data. So why not use PL numbers as a proxy for team strength? We have 31 games of Premier League data by which to judge these two teams, and the numbers tell us some interesting things.

Game State Numbers

First off, Game State TSR:

City_v_che_tsr_medium

Man City are a dominant team al the way across the crucial game states, displaying no signs of the defensive shell that most teams employ at +1.

Chelsea, on the other hand, are a fine team at -1, not the greatest team at tied and show signs of that defensive shell at -1 with a 44.53% TSR.

Game State Goal Difference

Gs_gd_true_medium

Game state GD tells us one interesting thing about each team.

Firstly, Chelsea are an impressive goal difference team at -1 outscoring the opposition by 7 this term. Chelsea fall down a little at +1 outscoring the opposition by only 4 goals. Does Chelsea's low +1 TSR in the first graph give us a clue to their relatively low +1 GD?

Meanwhile, Man City aren't a great team at -1 but we know this. Tied Game State GD is pretty strong, but City's+1 GD is very impressive. Concede the first goal to Man City at your peril.

Game State PDO

City_che_pdo_medium

Man City's +1 PDO is around league average, but City's tied PDO is not. 98.9 is not a strong number for a dominant shots team like Man City.

Chelsea are a strong team at the minus game states and at tied, but Chelsea's PDO at -1 is not too impressive, and is down on the league average.

That is now three seperate issues with Chelsea's performance at +1 game state: A poor, but possibly tactically deliberate, TSR rating, a less than impressive +1 GD and a PDO number which is below league average. I think the root of this may well lie in Chelsea's decision to sit back and trade possession for space when leading by a goal. Man United employ a similar tactic but have been far more impressive in doing so which may be due to player quality.

Overall, City are the better shots team but have a much inferior PDO at -1 and tied game states. For Man City it's important, as always, to score first and let their very impressive TSR and PDO come to the fore once again.

For Chelsea a one goal lead isn't as secure as it is for most teams. Luckily for Chelsea that they are facing a Man City team who are a less than impressive team when trailing by a goal.

Soould be a great game this one. No David SIlva.

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