English Premier League – Week 1 Possession with Purpose

If you’ve been following my analysis in Major League Soccer you should know that I’ve developed a set of Indices associated with my Possession with Purpose Analysis.

As time permits, and the opportunities present themselves, I will be adding my own analysis on Strategic Team Attacking and Defending PWP for the EPL.

Hope you enjoy the ride as the first week has already kicked out some surprises; at least for me anyway… the most surprising being that six teams won games on the road last weekend; Hull, Villa, Spurs, Swansea, Chelsea, and Man City.

As for whether or not it was reasonable that those teams won, at this stage, versus the other teams we will see – for now that number of teams winning on the road struck me as unusual.

To begin, the Composite Possession with Purpose (CPWP) Index after Week 1:

CPWP EPL after Week 1

Like MLS it’s entirely possible, and even practical, that the Index WILL NOT match the League Table; if it did I’d be very surprised.

And after Week 1 the team outputs are a direct reflection of how they did against their opponent… but it does provide an equal footing starting place to begin to track team attacking and defending performance where all statistical analyses are equal – most appropriately re-phrased as ‘unmodified’…

In terms of top fiddle this week – Manchester City – and as duly noted – their opponent, Newcastle, is bottom of the barrel.

So here’s how the teams stacked up in Attacking (APWP):

APWP EPL after Week 1


Chelsea lead the pack in attack – while Sunderland and Arsenal also show good value in attack – more in the weeks to follow on what the percentages are behind the Index – for now recognize that this APWP Index is NOT overly biased to possession or passing, my two years worth of analysis in MLS has already shown that.

With respect to Defending (DPWP):

DPWP EPL after Week 1

Again, pretty basic stuff here – but the simplicity of defending is not quite the same as attacking – in this case Man City are still tops in DPWP – while Burnley, getting hammered by Chelsea are bottom.

There will be other statistical indicators I’ll offer up as the season continues and two of them are provided below: (Passing Accuracy within and into the Final Third and Opponent Passing Accuracy within and into the Final Third).

Passing Accuracy Final Third EPL after Week 1





Opponent Passing Accuracy Final Third EPL after Week 1

All for now… simply too early to offer thoughts or opinions on team performance…

Best, Chris

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