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Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino says data shows his side ‘should be fourth’

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Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino is in his first season as Chelsea manager

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino says his side “should be in fourth position” according to “all the data”.

The Blues are 11th in the Premier League table, 17 points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa.

The FA Cup is their only chance of silverware – although they face holders Manchester City in the semi-finals.

“We know really well what we are doing. That’s why I laugh. I don’t take it personally when the fans say that [criticise],” said Pochettino.

Chelsea rank fourth for expected goal difference per game, on 0.36 – with 50.64 xG for and 40.88 xG against in 27 games. Their actual goal difference is +2 (47-45), which is 0.07 per game.

However on nearly every other metric Chelsea rank lower than fourth including on goals, shots, shots on target, possession, passes, touches, touches in the opposition box, expected goals for and against and big chances.

Chelsea stats

Chelsea have spent over £1bn on transfer fees since Todd Boehly took over the club just under two years ago after previous owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government.

The Blues have suffered multiple injuries this season although the club would still expect to be in the top half of the table. They are in danger of a second consecutive season without European football.

Chelsea Supporters’ Trust recently said the club is close to “irreversible toxicity” and “the current mood among supporters is critically low”.

Fans have chanted the names of Abramovich and legendary former manager Jose Mourinho during recent home games.

Shots (including blocks): Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Brighton, Manchester United, Bournemouth, Everton, Newcastle, Fulham, Brentford
Shots (excluding blocks): Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Brighton, Everton, Bournemouth, Newcastle, Manchester United, Fulham
Shots on target: Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Brighton, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Bournemouth
Expected goals: Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Newcastle

“I’m going to support the owners that invest and that arrived to the club in a very difficult situation,” said Pochettino, who was hired last summer.

“The intention is very good. The owners are trying to develop a different project to before. Fans need to understand that it’s a new project with different ideas.

“What we cannot say is they’re not investing and that they don’t have good intentions. They are suffering.”

Joint 12th on clean sheets 14th on expected goals conceded
10th on goals conceded 13th on tackles won
15th on tackles success rate Joint fifth on penalties conceded

The former Tottenham manager continued: “If you look at all the data, in the table we should be in fourth position. But for different reasons, we are not there.

“What the data means is that we are in a good way. In which area do we need to improve? It’s things [that will come] with time. We need to compete better, small details. You can only get this with experience with time playing together.

“It’s easy to find the data when you want to kill someone. But when the data is good and reflects the team is doing well but for different reasons we’re not getting the results we deserve, [we should] trust in the process.”



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Deontay Wilder: Ex-WBC world champion confident of Anthony Joshua fight

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Former WBC world champion Deontay Wilder tells BBC Sport he is “90%” sure a fight with Anthony Joshua will happen in the future, as he prepares to face Zhilei Zhang on 1 June.

READ MORE: Wilder says Joshua fight will be revived with big win over Zhang



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Taulupe Faletau: Wales number eight set for Cardiff return

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Taulupe Faletau back in training with Cardiff
Taulupe Faletau has played 14 games for Cardiff after joining from Bath in 2022

Cardiff and Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau is set to return to action after a six-month injury lay-off.

Faletau, 33, suffered a broken arm in Wales’ World Cup victory against Georgia in Nantes in October 2023 before missing this year’s Six Nations with a calf injury.

The British and Irish Lions Test star has since returned to Cardiff training.

Faletau is available for the United Rugby Championship (URC) trip to face Ulster on Friday night.

Faletau, who has played 104 times for Wales, returns to action with the summer tour to Australia on the horizon.

Head coach Warren Gatland has lost senior figures in Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric, George North, Dan Biggar, Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb to international retirement in the last 12 months.

In Faletau’s absence, Cardiff back-row duo Alex Mann and Mackenzie Martin have been capped by Wales, while Aaron Wainwright has filled the national number eight role.



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Ross Molony: Leinster locks signs for Bath Rugby on three-year contract from 2024-25

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Ross Molony
Ross Molony has won four league titles and the European Champions Cup with Leinster

Bath have announced the signing of Leinster lock Ross Molony on a three-year contract.

The 29-year-old will join up with the Somerset club ahead of the 2024-25 season.

Molony has made 177 appearances for Leinster and has won four league titles and the European Champions Cup with the Dublin club.

Leinster are currently five points clear at the top of the United Rugby Championship table.

They face Premiership leaders Northampton Saints on Saturday, May 4, for a place in a third Champions Cup final in a row.

“Ross is a true professional and his journey in rugby is a testament to this,” director of rugby Johann van Graan told the club’s website.external-link

“His work ethic and leadership are some of his key characteristics and I believe he will play a huge part in our journey in the next number of years.”

Bath are currently second in the Premiership, five points behind Northampton.



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