Are Brighton actually underachieving this season?

Considering their resources relative to England’s leading clubs, Brighton’s rise under Graham Potter, before he left for Chelsea, and now Italian coach Roberto De Zerbi is astonishing. One of Europe’s most astutely run clubs, Brighton’s recruitment department have unearthed some cut price gems from across the continent while both Potter and De Zerbi have played vibrant, nuanced football. But could the club’s position be even stronger?

Brighton have gathered 38 points, which equals eighth spot in the Premier League table, so far. However, according to football analysis site Understat, Brighton are underperforming based on their expected points to a greater extent than anyone else in the leagues current top 15. Understat’s analysis places Brighton third in that metric, behind just Arsenal and Manchester City with 43.68 expected points so far.

Expected points is measured by running thousands of simulations of a game using expected goals data to work out the average amount of points both teams would have expected to win from that game. Brighton’s underachievement in this regard suggests they’ve been unfortunate over the course of the season and should have won more points based on their performances to date.

England’s expected points table is tight. Brighton in third and Tottenham in eighth are separated by just 2.23 expected points, although Brighton have played three games less than Spurs, 23 to 26. As a result, De Zerbi’s side could, should they win their games in hand, jump to fourth in the actual table.

Adam White | Get Football

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