OK, time for our semi-regular stat update, which will hopefully help guide us towards a few winners, or avoid a loser or two, which is of equal importance !
Going to start with the attempts on goal table, which I always find is a good starting point when looking at a game. In the Championship it must be clear to everyone now that Roy Keane's Ipswich are a much better team than the league table suggests, they are playing some very nice football and have created an enormous 410 goalscoring chances, with a very high percentage of those (over 57%) actually on target. Only leaders Albion have managed more this season and it is surely only a matter of time before Town start to regularly turn the draws (15 already) into three points. There is not a team in the Championship they should face with an inferiority complex.
Down one step on the league ladder Walsall are still creating less than any other side in Division 1, this means it is very difficult for them to finish off teams. They have not scored more than a single goal in six starts, even though three of those came against teams struggling for points and they were fortunate to hold on to their lead at Bristol Rovers in midweek, when the home side missed a penalty. My point is that the Saddlers are making the most of very little and whilst that might be worthy of praise, it cannot go on indefinitely.
In Division 2, only Rochdale have amassed more chances than Crewe and whilst the only consistent thing about the Railwaymen is their inconsistency, they are surely much better than their current 15th place. They like to play football the right way and can outplay almost anyone at this level on a going day and held their own for much of the game at Dale in midweek, the 2-0 scoreline flattering the league leaders. Unfortunately, they will remain without top scorer Calvin Zola for a couple of weeks and have to change things around to suit the two smaller frontmen, but this is still not a club I would rush to oppose and expect them to go on a "run" soon.
Many of us like to bet "in running" and here are a few stats to help you if looking for a bet at the half time break. Firstly, I would not rush to oppose Chelsea, Spurs, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Rochdale or Oxford, who have all led at the break in at least ten games and gone on to collect all three points in every single one of those. That might not seem too amazing, given that all are flying high at the top of their respective tables, but the same is also true of AFC Wimbledon and Burton Albion, two teams that also know how to hold on to a lead !
Another team worthy of note are BSP leaders Stevenage, who are even better after the break, with a 14-14-2 record. but pride of place and second half team of the season so far goes to.......... drum roll.......... Norwich City. The Canaries have won an incredible 19 of 30 second half's and if that was not impressive enough, they have gone in at the break trailing on six occasions and only lost once, so if you have opposed them and your team is up at the half, probably best not to start counting your winnings too early.
In the SPL, Hamilton Accies are much stronger before their half time cuppa, winning just a single second 45 minute period (losing 12) all season, but that is one better than Ligue 1 strugglers Boulogne, who are 0-10-13 after the break.
I will leave you with that for now.