Middlesbrough are currently 14th in the EFL Championship standings with 22 points from their 17 league games. They have had a season full of ups and downs, but have been the sixth-best defense in the league as they have just conceded 19 goals while also scoring 19 in the same period. Their recent form has dipped down as they have not won any of their last three games, losing two and drawing the latest game against West Brom 1-1. Before these games, Boro were on a three-game winning run. They do not have any single player who has found the net regularly, as 11 different players have scored for them.
The defense has been Boro’s main strength this season, as they have made it difficult for the opposition to score goals. This tight defense has helped them get results in many games. They have kept six clean sheets this season, and their defense has been one of the best. In this post, we will have a look at the xGA stats for Boro and the defensive dashboards of their centre-backs Souleymane Bamba, Patrick McNair and Lee Peltier for this season.
The above viz shows the xGA (expected goals against) value for all the teams in the Championship division. The lower the xGA, the better a team’s defense is, and Boro have the sixth-lowest xGA in the division, along with conceding the sixth-fewest goals. They have an xGA of just 17.33 and have conceded 19 goals so far this season. In attack, they have scored only 19 goals and do not have a great xG, which they will hope to improve soon.
The above viz shows the defensive dashboard for centre-back Lee Peltier, who has been a regular in Middlesbrough’s back-three. The black line in the above viz shows the average for the particular stat for all players in the Championship. It can be seen that other than aerial duels and interceptions, Peltier has been average or better than average in almost all other stats.
This viz shows the defensive dashboard for Paddy McNair, a regular starter in the back-three for Boro this season. He has been an important player and has also scored twice this season. He has been average in terms of duels but much better than the average for other stats like recoveries, interceptions, loose balls, etc.
Sol Bamba’s defensive dashboard shows that he has been one of the best defenders in the division so far. He has been well above average in performance and the various stats given above and has consistently performed in Middlesbrough’s backline.
If Middlesbrough can keep their defensive solidity and improve their attack, they can keep rising in the table and try to enter the top ten in the EFL Championship.