PL Week 5: Quality Of Opposition

The aim of this article is simple: Which team has had the most difficult fixture list so far in the 2013/14 PL season?

To try and answer that question I am going to show each teams opponents average number at the time of fixture in each of the following metrics:

PPG Points per game

TSR Total shots ratio (share fo the shots count)

SOTR Shots on target ratio (share of the shots on target count)

SoT Rating Opponents Opponents SoT For% (shots on target/total shots) + shots on target prevention% (shots on target against/total shots against)

PDO Pacific decadal oscillation Oppositions scoring% (goals/shots on target) +save% (100-goals against/shots on target against)

F 1/3rd R Final third pass ratio

Goal +/- Opponents average goal difference.

Now that we have the explanations out of the way we can look at the table.

This table is SORTABLE, so sort it and find out which team has faced the easiest or hardest opponents by each of the listed metrics.

PPG TSR SoTR SoTRating PDO Final Third R Goal +/-
Arsenal 2.02 47.96 41.73 88.67 128.64 48.05 0.25
Aston Villa 2.08 57.33 52.94 94.21 107.73 54.56 -0.25
Cardiff 1.81 64.12 64.75 104.99 100.6 59.61 1
Chelsea 1.88 49.87 55.77 109.37 106.87 48.96 0.75
Palace 0.71 46.52 46.2 101.75 94.96 53.31 -0.5
Everton 1.27 50.04 44.06 93.09 101.9 48.14 0.5
Fulham 0.65 51.78 32.03 75.53 81.83 52.74 -1.75
Hull 1.4 49.26 46.58 95.26 113.39 46.44
Liverpool 1.81 48.6 56.19 111.15 107.6 46.17 0.75
Man City 1.31 42.95 39.77 99.29 93.5 44.6 0.5
Man United 2.19 59.02 62.84 105.2 107.58 57.03 2.5
Newcastle 1.63 46.16 54.48 107.65 85.1 45.43 0.25
Norwich 1.19 48.84 48.16 97.42 92.62 48.57 -0.25
Southampton 1.08 53.29 46.51 92.58 73.41 55.26 0.5
Stoke 1.56 46.97 64.41 116.99 104.81 54.57 2.25
Sunderland 1.38 43.7 51.75 107.32 100.71 47.74 -0.75
Swansea 1.31 51.87 43.39 87.87 108.81 48.89 0.25
Tottenham 1.02 54.86 52.41 96.6 100.35 50.27 -0.5
West Brom 0.9 47.61 46.96 60.02 73.14 49.96 -2.75
West Ham 1.08 56.09 61.02 52.82 80.57 46.52 -0.75

This is too complex a table for me to write a commentary on each teams quality of opposition.

Now, I'm not sure if these metrics are even that useful in evaluating a teams fixture list (I haven't included game week 1, for we have no data), so any suggestions on metrics to include, or omit, are more than welcome.

As I see it, this quality of opposition table rates opponents by 3 parts skill (TSR, SOTR & final third pass ratio) two parts outcome (PPG & goal +/-) one part efficiency (SoT% Rating) and one part 'luck' (PDO).

Again any suggestions are welcome on ways to improve this. I'm pissing in the dark a little here with this experimental piece. If it gets hammered by the readers you'll never see a quality of opposition chart again!

Oh, and finally I rated each teams quality of opposition for each metric on a scale of 1-20. 1 being the most difficult, 20 being the easiest. I tallied the scores, averaged them and came up with this:


Average Difficulty
Man United 3
Cardiff 4.14
Stoke 5.86
Chelsea 6.29
Aston Villa 6.86
Liverpool 7.71
Swansea 10.86
Arsenal 10.86
Hull 10.86
Tottenham 11.14
Southampton 11.29
Everton 11.57
Newcastle 11.71
Sunderland 12.29
Norwich 12.57
Palace 13.29
West Ham 13.57
Man City 14.43
Fulham 15.57
West Brom 16.14

Any thoughts on this article, please let me know.

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