What’s Changed About Chance Creation For Every SPFL Premiership Team?

Is the team you support getting a larger share of their chances this season from starting moves in the opposition half and using just a few passes before shooting? Is a smaller percentage of their Expected Goals coming from set pieces in 2020/21? Does it feel like more of their chances come from slowing things down and making a considerable amount of passes before shooting?

Using six different groupings of chance creation type (courtesy of Modern Fitba) I had a look at how each SPFL Premiership team’s non penalty xG is shared out and what’s changed about it from last season to this one so far.

  • Build Up Attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 5 or more passes before the attempt),
  • Offensive Attacks (attacks that start in the opposition half with 5 or more passes before the attempt),
  • Counter Attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 4 or fewer passes before the attempt),
  • Turnover Attacks (attacks that start in the opponent’s half with 4 or fewer passes before the attempt,
  • Corners + Indirect Free Kicks
  • Direct Free Kicks.

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Average – Looking at the division as whole the share of total non penalty xG derived from Build Up Attacks (remember; attacks that start in their own half with 5 or more passes before the attempt) has increased from 19.7% to 23.6%, Offensive Attacks (attacks that start in the opposition half with 5 or more passes before the attempt) has decreased in terms of share from 19.7% to 16.7%. The % share from Corners + Indirect Free Kicks has stayed almost same at 27.7% compared to last season’s 27.5% but Direct Free Kicks account for an increased share, up from 2.5% to 4.7%.

Aberdeen – The share of their non penalty xG that comes from Build Up attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 5 or more passes before the attempt) has increased this season to 47.2% from 19.4% in 2019/20. That increased share has come from across the board as each of the five other categories has decreased this season. Other category of note is Direct free kicks (DFK in the table) as only 0.9% of their non penalty xG comes from it in 2020/21 so far whereas the league average is 4.7%.

Celtic – The % share of total non penalty xG derived from Build Up Attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 5 or more passes before the attempt) and Offensive Attacks (attacks that start in the opposition half with 5 or more passes before the attempt) has decreased compared to last season and the % share from Counter Attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 4 or fewer passes before the attempt) and Corners + indirect free kicks has gone up.

Dundee Utd – No 2019/20 Premiership season to compare to of course but worth noting that of their total non penalty xG a quarter is from build up (attacks that start in their own half with 5 or more passes before the attempt) and about a third of the total is from Corners + indirect free kicks and direct free kicks combined.

Hamilton Accies – the % share of the total non penalty xG they make from counter attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 4 or fewer passes before the attempt) is down from 31% in 2019/20 to 18% in 2020/21 so far. There’s a contrasting increase % share from Corners + indirect free kicks from 32.5% to 42.6& ( interestingly, the average across all teams this season is 27.7% and was 27.5% last season). Continuing the set play theme Accies % share of the total non penalty xG they get from Direct free kicks has gone up from 2.6% to 6.1%.

HibsBuild Up attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 5 or more passes before the attempt) have decreased as a share of the total non penalty xG for Hibs from 24.3% to 12.2% and the share from Counter Attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 4 or fewer passes before the attempt) has gone up to about a third when it was 22%. There’s an increased share for corners + indirect free kicks too, up to 26.7% from 20.8%.

Kilmarnock – A decreased share for Build Up attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 5 or more passes before the attempt) down from 26.3% to 17.4 & and corners + indirect free kicks from 28.7% to 23% but Counter Attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 4 or fewer passes before the attempt) have an increased share going up from 18.7% (which would be about average this season) to 25.4% and so do Direct free kicks which now account for 7.8% of Kilmarnock’s total non penalty xG this season whereas it was just 2.2% in 2019/20.

Livingston – A big increase to the share of the total non penalty xG that Livi derive from Build Up attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 5 or more passes before the attempt) so far as it moves from 10.5% to 22.2% whereas that from Counter Attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 4 or fewer passes before the attempt) has reduced from 19.2% to 10.6%. Interestingly for this club Corners + indirect free kicks share of the total non penalty xG is down season on season from 39.2% to 28.2% at this point.

MotherwellBuild Up Attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 5 or more passes before the attempt) has gone up as a share of total non penalty xG from 15% in 2019/20 (the league average was 19.7%) to 21.1% in 2020/21 whereas the share from Counter Attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 4 or fewer passes before the attempt) has gone down from 22.6% to 12.5% (this season’s league average is currently 18.1%). A final note for ‘Well which is that the share of their total that they get from Direct free kicks is up from 2.9% to 7.8%

Rangers – The % share of their total non penalty xG that comes from Build Up Attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 5 or more passes before the attempt) has increased from 28.1% to 39.6% whereas the share from Counter Attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 4 or fewer passes before the attempt) has decreased from 17.4% to 12.5% and the share from Corners + indirect free kicks is down from 23.4% to 14.8%.

Ross County – It’s all significantly changed in Dingwall as there’s been an increase from 24.5% in 2019/20 to 31.6% in 2020/21 so far for the share of their total non penalty xG which is derived from Build Up Attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 5 or more passes before the attempt) whereas the share from Offensive Attacks (attacks that start in the opposition half with 5 or more passes before the attempt) is down from 20.6% to 13.9%, the share from Counter Attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 4 or fewer passes before the attempt) is down from 21.6% to 12.9% and the share from Turnover Attacks (attacks that start in the opponent’s half with 4 or fewer passes before the attempt) is down from 11% to 6.1%. Finally, the share of the total from Corners + Indirect Free Kicks is up from 20.7% to 28.8& and the share from Direct Free Kicks is up from 1.6% to 6.7%.

St Mirren – From 2019/20 to 2020/21 so far the share of total non penalty xG from Offensive Attacks (attacks that start in the opposition half with 5 or more passes before the attempt) is down from 24.2% to 16.3% and that from Build Up Attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 5 or more passes before the attempt) is down from 18.3% to 15.9% and Counter Attacks (attacks that start in their own half with 4 or fewer passes before the attempt) from 19.5% to 16.5%. The share from Corners and Direct Free Kicks has risen to 36.3% from 26.7% and the share from Direct Free Kicks is also up, from 2.3% in 2019/20 to 6.4% this season to date.

St Johnstone – Not a huge amount of change in terms of these metrics despite the change in manager except in terms of Turnover Attacks (attacks that start in the opponent’s half with 4 or fewer passes before the attempt) which have decreased their share of total non penalty xG 11.4% to 7.7% and Corners + Indirect Free Kicks which have increased their share from 22.9% to 28.6%.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is how-do-premiership-teams-make-their-chances.png

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