Liverpool's promising Premier League start supported by xG table

After a disastrous 2022/23 campaign, Liverpool have made an excellent start to the new season heading into the busy festive period.

Coming out of the November international break, the Reds sit second in the Premier League table, just a point off Manchester City in top spot. If it wasn't for Luis Diaz's goal being wrongly ruled out for offside against Tottenham, Jurgen Klopp's side would also be the only unbeaten team in the top flight.

Sure, it hasn't always been utterly convincing - the 1-1 draw away at Luton Town, the 2-2 at Brighton - but Liverpool still find themselves in an incredibly promising position in comparison to this time last season.

Liverpool's new-look midfield has helped re-energise Klopp and his players, with early rumblings of a potential title challenge.

The Reds have largely passed the 'eye test' this season with some impressive outings, but the underlying numbers also suggest that Liverpool's form is sustainable.

Looking at everyone's favourite metric, xG (expected goals), Liverpool have clearly been one of the standout performers both offensively and defensively this season.

In a graph posted by The xG Philosophy on X, Klopp's side have the highest expected goals per game of any side in the division, averaging just under 2.4 per match. The Reds have netted 27 in 12 matches to date - 2.25 per game - and have been the most creative force in the division.

Given how talented Liverpool's front five are, with Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah in particularly devastating shape, it's hardly surprising that Klopp's attacking players are firing on all cylinders.

However, what is somewhat more surprising is the Reds' defensive solidity. Despite some shaky performances from the Liverpool backline, they have the equal meanest defence in the Premier League, conceding just ten goals this term.

While Liverpool should have let in more, their average xG conceded is only 1.3, better than all but three teams in the division - Arsenal, Man City and Newcastle United.

Liverpool's improved defensive performances are likely down to Virgil van Dijk's sparkling form, the new Reds captain having rediscovered his mojo. The Dutchman has been one of the standout central defenders this season and is getting back to his imperious best at Anfield, while Alisson remains an almost impenetrable force in goal.

While the Reds may find a title challenge difficult to sustain over the course of the season, with Man City a tough team to match, Liverpool have set themselves up to compete.

Klopp's men face the current Premier League champions in the first game after the international break, hoping for a victory at the Etihad on Saturday lunchtime. If the Reds could clear that hurdle, then it would be easier to envisage a fight for the title come the end of the campaign.

Share This Article