On Saturday, it’s the teams on the opposite ends of the league table who are facing each other. Relegation-threatened Barnsley welcome the league leaders Fulham in what is an important match for both the teams, but especially for Barnsley as they need a win to have any hope for survival in the EFL Championship. In the reverse fixture, Fulham won 4-1 against Barnsley back in November 2021. Barnsley, on the other hand, earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Oakwell Stadium against Stoke City and could have won the match were it not for the stoppage-time equalizer from Stoke.
So far this season in the EFL Championship, Barnsley have the worst total xG and xG per 90. What’s more, Barnsley have underperformed on their xG by five goals (25 goals scored compared to 30 xG). Their joint-top goalscorers Cauley Woodrow and Carlton Morris have scored only four goals each. Coming into this match, Barnsley’s record this season stands at five wins, nine draws, and 21 losses. Their home record is four wins, five draws, and eight losses. Their goal difference stands at -25.
Barnsley’s shot map this season shows that they are missing big chances in front of the goal, as seen from the several big red circles inside the box in the above viz. Cauley Woodrow should have scored six goals this season but has scored only four goals. With an xG of 6.25, he has underperformed on his xG. Carlton Morris has outperformed his xG by 1.5 goals this season, scoring four goals against hi xG of 2.5.
Defender Callum Brittain has generated the most threat from open play. Josh Benson and Cauley Woodrow’s corners also generate good xT values. Callum Brittain has the most assists for the team, but it is only two, compared to the league leaders John Swift and Harry Wilson, who have 13 assists each for Reading and Fulham, respectively.
So far this season in the EFL Championship, Fulham have the best total xG and xG per 90, and it’s not even close. What’s more, Fulham have overperformed on their xG by 12 goals (89 goals scored compared to 77 xG). Fulham’s last match saw them destroy Swansea City 5-1 at the latter’s home ground. Aleksandar Mitrovic added his 35th goal of the season, and Neco Williams scored a brace.
Fulham are ranked in the 90th percentile or above in most of the categories, including a whopping 13 categories where they scored 100%. Some of these include most goals scored, joint-fewest goals conceded, and highest average points per game. The only categories they have been average or close to average are long ball accuracy and aerial duels won per 90.
Fulham will look to extend the lead at the top of the table, whereas Barnsley are desperate for a win to have any survival hopes.