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ISL 2023-24: Statistical round-up

With almost half of the season getting close to completion, here's a deeper look at some of the better (and some of the worse) performing sides before ISL stops for an international break.

ISL 2023-24: Statistical round-up

Roy Krishna has been exceptional for Odisha FC since he scored seven goals from 12 outings in ISL 2023-24. (Photo credit: ISL)


John Mathew

Updated: 6 Jan 2024 8:02 AM GMT

12 rounds of enthralling action have passed since the 10th edition of ISL kicked off on September 21, 2023. With a total of 68 matches and 160-plus goals since, the table is beginning to take shape.

With almost half of the season getting close to completion, this international break for the AFC Asian Cup combined with the winter transfer window proves to be the final chance for all to better their chances at finishing higher up than others.

With the leaders having their own tussle for the league title and the battle for the play-off spots tighter than ever with just four points separating 6th place and 11th; all 12 sides are on the lookout to improve their performances. Here's a deeper look at some of the better (and some of the worse) performing sides in the first part of the thriller that ISL is bound to be.

Highest xG (expected goals) accumulation: Odisha FC

Accumulating 16.8 xG from their 12 games, Odisha are definitely one of the best attacking units in the league. They have also scored 22 goals from those chances, meaning they have been outscoring their xG by +5.1, the second-best outscoring rate in the league.

Their goals have come from varied sources as well with 18% of them being from set-pieces and 14% of the 22 goals coming from the penalty spot. With Roy Krishna being exceptional, carrying the biggest share of offensive output by accumulating 4.6 xG in total; that is 27% of the team's total chances vested in the Fijian. His return has been impeccable as well, scoring 7 goals from it.

Lobera's men have not only created opportunities but also made them count with extreme efficiency. The Juggernauts boast a conversion rate of 18%, which is the best in the league by a distance. On average, Odisha score at a rate of a goal every 5 shots!

Lowest xG (expected goals) accumulation: Punjab FC

Punjab's first flight in the top has been one with severe turbulence. With their attack often going blunt, the Shers have not had many chances to score, having accumulated 8.3 xG so far. Punjab takes shots from the farthest out on average compared to their competition. With Luka Majcen alone being the sole clinical presence in the squad, scoring 3 goals from an xG of just 1.4; Punjab needs to create and convert better if they want to climb out of the foothills of the table.

It is interesting to compare the conversion rates of Odisha and Punjab. Odisha have attempted 124 shots and scored 22, while Punjab attempting just one less at 123 shots, have scored just 9 times. Optimizing their shot-taking slightly could benefit the first-ever promotee of ISL.

Best finishing quality (xG-xGOT betterment): Mohun Bagan SG

*Finishing quality here refers to how a team betters their chances by their shot-taking. It compares their xGOT (Expected Goals on Target: A metric based on probability that tells the chances of a goal being scored considering where the shot is placed on the goalframe.)*

Mohun Bagan SG have a lot of problems. They're losing on the trot, with an ever-growing injury list, and an expensively assembled squad that fell flat in Asia. For a club of Bagan's stature that creates a lot of pressure in and around the side. But considering the whole squad, finishing has not been a problem. Considering the xG they accumulated of 13, they've bettered the probability of those shots being goals through their ball-striking. MBSG made an improvement of 19% in their xGOT considering the chances they had to work with.

With 11 different players chipping in as scorers and all 11 outscoring their xG, Bagan's efficiency in making the most of what they get has been phenomenal. The issue with them is that they don't make much to convert (the 8th highest xG accumulation in the league).

Least xG conceded (xGA - Expected Goals Against): FC Goa

Nothing surprising, the Don's area is strictly under his men's control. Goa's defence has been the best of the bunch and they are unrivalled in that aspect. The Gaurs have conceded chances worth an xG of just 5.5. They also have allowed the least number of shots (75), being one of the only two teams to allow less than 100 shots against them so far. Considering all this, it is not surprising they have conceded only 5 goals all season with just 2 of them coming from open play.

Most xG conceded (xGA - Expected Goals Against): Chennaiyin FC

Owen Coyle's return to the South has not been easy. Chennai have been facing a barrage of offensive raids against them, making them falter again and again. Conceding 22 goals in 12 games, from an xGA of 17 explains how their story have fared as the defence never held up. Injuries, suspensions, and squad depth have all taken their toll, but Debjit in Chennai's goal has been helpless.

Most Goals prevented (xGOT-Goals Against; for Goalkeepers): Sachin Suresh, Kerala Blasters

Considering Sachin is one of the 8 keepers in the league who has played every minute available to him; he has maintained the best goals prevented rate for longer. (Kiran Chemjong of Punjab and Phurba Lachenpa of Mumbai have recorded similar numbers, but have played considerably fewer minutes than the KBFC keeper. They deserve their props too!)

Sachin's goals-prevented statistic stands at +1 meaning he has saved shots that would've resulted in at least another goal conceded for the Blasters. With 7/8 Blasters' wins coming through a single goal margin, Sachin's and his defence's contribution has been crucial in mounting up enough points to put Kerala at the summit of ISL 10 at the break. He has faced 35 shots on target and saved 71% of them.

Most non-penalty xG accumulated (Player) - Jorge Pereyra Diaz & Roy Krishna

The Argentine forward may be undergoing a rough patch right at the moment having not scored from open play in almost 2 months. But his red-hot form at the initial stages of the season showed his pedigree. Even with JPD's influence in Mumbai's games reducing over time, the stat remaining at the top portrays what Pereyra Diaz could be at his explosive best. JPD has accumulated 4.9 npxG with a majority share of those coming from the first 4 games of the season.

On the flip side of the coin, we have Roy Krishna. Odisha's dazzling Fijian has turned up the heat as time went on. Ageing like fine wine they said, very well said. Krishna has been terrific in attack for Odisha, scoring 7. He's staking his claim as one of the best the league has to offer by putting up insane numbers yet again, after undergoing a blip last season. RK21 has accumulated 3.8 npxG and is right on the heels of Dimitrios Diamantakos in the race for the Golden Boot.

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