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xGunners: Arsenal at the 1⁄3 mark

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The 2018-19 Premier League season is about a third of the way completed and this is a good time to take stock of how things have gone so far.

Arsenal FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The 2018-19 Premier League season is about a third of the way completed and this is a good time to take stock of how things have gone so far.

To do this, I am going to use last season as the benchmark with which I will compare this season to. The first step is comparing each match with the same corresponding match from last season. For the promoted teams, I used the corresponding relegated team as the comparison team.

Note: On the running xG graph the scales are all set per match and will not match with the corresponding match from the other year.

Arsenal vs Manchester City

The first match of the Unai Emery era didn’t go very good, with a 2-0 loss. There will be lots of teams that host Manchester City and do worse than Arsenal did. In 2017-18 Arsenal ended up losing 3-0, but this match on the xG was much closer than the 2018-19 season.

Chelsea vs Arsenal

This is a tough one, in 2017-18 Arsenal had the best chance of the match but it ended up going off the woodwork and the match ended up in a draw. In the 2018-19 version, there was a crazy first half where Arsenal created a ton of chances before sitting deep and giving up a late goal.

Arsenal vs West Ham

Two wins, but two very different performances.

Cardiff vs Arsenal

Arsenal lost at Stoke, but had plenty of chances to get the win. Against Cardiff Arsenal played well enough and they won.

Newcastle United vs Arsenal

The performances between the two matches are pretty close, but Arsenal lost in this fixture last season.

Arsenal vs Everton

Arsenal against Everton last year was one of the best match ups for them with a pair of 5-1 beat downs. This season, Arsenal got the win but this was a very even match and very well could have gone the other way.

Arsenal vs Watford

Two wins, two very different performances.

Fulham vs Arsenal

Dropping points and playing bad away at West Brom was a low point last season. Beating Fulham (but not creating huge volume) was fun and the first real signs that Arsenal starting to click.

Arsenal vs Leicester

Two wins, and a much better performance this season than last.

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal

Giving up two penalties made the 2018-19 season match look worse than it was.

Arsenal vs Liverpool

A pair of draws, a couple of times where Arsenal got out xG’d but I think they played a lot better this season.

Arsenal vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves are a lot better than Swansea were and that makes this a lot harder to compare.

Overall Numbers

Total Stats

Match 2017-18 xG 2017-18 xG A 2018-19 xG 2018-19 xG A 2017-18 exP 2018-19 exP
Match 2017-18 xG 2017-18 xG A 2018-19 xG 2018-19 xG A 2017-18 exP 2018-19 exP
Arsenal vs Manchester City 1.49 1.48 0.37 1.15 1.4 0.6
Chelsea vs Arsenal 0.9 1.27 2.3 2.02 1 1.6
Arsenal vs West Ham 2.17 0.53 1.92 1.4 2.6 1.7
Cardiff vs Arsenal 1.75 0.86 1.85 1.27 1.8 1.8
Newcastle United vs Arsenal 1.81 1.12 1.24 0.51 1.9 1.9
Arsenal vs Everton 3 1.81 1.1 1.13 2.1 1.3
Arsenal vs Watford 2.31 1.66 1.62 2.62 1.9 0.9
Fulham vs Arsenal 0.88 1.81 1.12 1.17 0.6 1.3
Arsenal vs Leicester 2.36 1.45 2.92 1.15 2 2.5
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal 1.77 1.23 0.95 2.33 1.8 0.4
Arsenal vs Liverpool 1.26 2.69 1.53 2.19 0.7 0.9
Arsenal vs Wolverhampton Wanderers 2.28 0.91 1.22 2.73 2.4 0.4
Total 22 16.8 18.1 19.7 20.2 15.3

In these same matches last season, Arsenal collected 21 points compared to 24 points this season. The 21 points matched much closer to what was expected based on the shots for and against. Last year Arsenal had 20.2 expected points versus 15.3 expected points this season.

Everything else is quite a bit different and worse.

Overall Arsenal were worse on xG differential for the match in 7 of the 12 matches. Arsenal had their expected goals drop a total of 3.8. They also gave up an additional 1.5 expected goals compared to the same matches as last year.

So far there hasn’t been improvement this season compared to last in everything except the actual results. Arsenal are a work in progress as they are rebuild after the late Wenger years of squad mismanagement.