Stats are a wonderful thing, aren’t they? Some people have jobs based on stats. How mad would that be? Maybe one day, Bruce, maybe one day. You may be wondering who Bruce is and that’s fair. I am, of course, referring to Bruce Wayne.

If you don’t know who that is, I suggest you close this article, do some research, look at yourself in the mirror, have a cold shower and then we’ll talk to each other.

It could be argued that the only stat which matters is the league table and it’s tough to disagree; at this point in time (before the games on the 28th of April), Shanghai SIPG sit at the top of the table.

Nonetheless, only seven games have been played and the league table doesn’t always paint a true picture (what am I going on about?) this early on. Here it is, in case you’re wondering…

Credit: Soccerway.

So, while the league table will probably chop and change as the season goes on, what I’m about to show you probably won’t. “How could you possibly know that?” Well, smart arse, we’ve been there and done it before.

On the ISL site, I used to write for there wasn’t much difference between the stats at the beginning of the season and those at the end. Nevertheless, it could’ve been a one-off, in that case, there’s only one way to find out…

It comes as little surprise that Shanghai SIPG have had the most shots as they’ve scored the most goals. While that isn’t always the case, the fact of the matter on this occasion is that they are having more shots and scoring more goals than their opponents due to what they’re doing with the ball.

Yet, they don’t appear in the top-five when it comes to crosses which should tell you a little something about the way they play. I don’t want to say too much as I’ll let this table do the talking.   

Peculiar isn’t it? The team with the most shots and the most smart passes are top of the league. Anybody would think they were connected!

In a complete contradiction, second-placed Shandong Luneng don’t appear on either list, so you can do it either way, however, it’ll be Shanghai SIPG who will remain in the upper-echelons come the end of the season rather than Shandong Luneng. Fact.

You’ll notice that Shanghai SIPG don’t appear on this one. In fact, the majority of the top-five you see there are actually in the bottom half of the table which tells a story in itself.

Shanghai SIPG aren’t in the top-five for this but are top of the smart passing table. That’s the reason why they’ll win the league. There, I’ve said it.

In the next one, Shandong Luneng make their first appearance of this feature and it goes some way to explaining how they find themselves 2nd in the table.

 

Putting Shandong Luneng to one side for a minute, this is the third time Hebei have appeared. They’re currently in ninth and if you use your noggin, you’d think they’ll be a lot higher than that come the end of the season. Well, definitely in the top-half.

Two shouts for the remainder of this season then, Shanghai SIPG to win the league and Hebei to finish in the top-eight.

Cheers, Hebei. Anyone sensible would go and change the bit about Hebei finishing in the top half after seeing this table regarding ball losses. You’ve probably come to terms now that I’m not that sensible, so I’m going to stick to my guns and see how the dice fall.

I’ll leave you with these to mull over and we’ll revisit this later on in the season to see if there’s been much progression and whether or not my predictions have come true.

Until the next time. 

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