The opening month of the 2024-25 League Two season is now complete and we’re four games in, but what has the data told us so far?

The opening four matchdays of the 2024-25 League Two season have provided sufficient ammunition for us to take a very early look at the underlying stats behind all 24 teams.

It’s Gillingham who lead the way in League Two after four games of the season, having won three and drawn once. Gills fans can be excused if they aren’t getting carried away with their start, however, having won their opening four League Two games last season before finishing in a disappointing 12th place.

An opening-day 4-1 win over Carlisle has been followed by three tight matches in which just two goals have been scored, with 1-0 wins over Morecambe and Chesterfield either side of a 0-0 draw at Fleetwood Town. The underlying data suggests 10 points from those four games might have been fortuitous.

Mark Bonner’s side have scored six goals from shots tallying 4.2 expected goals (xG), while at the other end their one goal conceded in four games has been despite opponents attempting shots worth 5.3 xG.

Our expected points model simulates the number of goals scored by each side in every match based on the xG value of the shots taken. It then uses the simulated number of goals to determine the match outcome (win/draw/loss). Each match is simulated 10,000 times; the expected points for each team in every game can then be calculated based on the proportion of simulations they win/draw/lose.

This is of course not an exact science, as xG data doesn’t take a lot of factors into account, such as game state and dangerous periods of possession that don’t lead to shots. Nevertheless, it’s still a decent barometer of how teams are performing inside these opening four matches.

Gillingham’s expected points total from those four matches is 4.8, less than half their real tally, and would place them 14th in the table across the opening four matchdays.

Top of the expected points table in League Two are Walsall, with 9.4. It’s generally a good sign if you attempt a lot of shots and don’t allow opponents many. The Saddlers lead both metrics in 2024-25, having attempted 63 shots and allowed opposition sides just 21 at the other end of the pitch – with just four of those on target, too. They’ve outperformed their opponents for shots and xG in every match, but possession isn’t key to Walsall’s strategy. Getting the ball in the final third of the pitch is.

Field tilt measures territorial dominance between teams, looking at the share of possession each team has in their attacking third compared to their opponent. A field tilt of over 50% means you make more passes in the opposition’s final third than the opposition make in your defensive third. Walsall are fourth in the League Two ranking this season, with an average of 63.3%. They may have a successful pass total that’s the sixth-lowest in the competition, but 39% of those passes have been in the final third of the pitch – another league high.

Even when they haven’t got the ball high up the pitch, they look to win it back in those areas frequently. No League Two side have more high turnovers this season than Mat Sadler’s men (32 – level with Barrow), while only Newport County (6) have attempted more shots than they have following high turnovers of possession (5).

As well as table-topping Gillingham, both Tranmere and Notts County remain unbeaten across the opening four matchdays of the League Two season, with both clubs having won two and drawn two.

Notts County have continued their possession-based style that was implemented by former boss Luke Williams, with Stuart Maynard’s side averaging a league-high 66% possession just ahead of Chesterfield’s 64.6% and MK Dons’ 64%. Those three sides have a very different style to the other 21 League Two clubs this season, with the vast majority playing faster and more direct football, while Notts County, MK Dons and Chesterfield prefer to keep the ball and be less direct with their attacks.

Last season saw Notts County become the first League Two side on record to average over 500 passes per game in a season (526.4), with their average this season only slightly lower at the moment (524.8).

Last season’s PFA League Two Player of the Year Jodi Jones continues to impress, with five goal involvements in 2024-25 (two goals, three assists). Since the start of 2023-24 – Notts County’s first back in the EFL after a four-year absence – Jones has assisted 27 league goals in 47 appearances, which is eight more than any other player across the top four tiers of English football.

At the bottom of the table after four matchweeks are Morecambe with zero points. They have become just the second side in Football League history to lose their opening four league games in a season all 1-0, along with Rochdale in 2006-07.

The longest losing run at the start of a fourth tier league season in England was set by Newport County in 1970-71, when they lost their opening 10 matches and finished the season 22nd out of 24 teams in the league, before being re-elected and keeping their place in the EFL. Manchester United hold the English Football League record for the longest losing start to a season, suffering defeats in each of their opening 12 games in the top flight back in 1930-31 on the way to being relegated.

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