Stat, Viz, Quiz is the weekly Opta Analyst football newsletter. Our latest edition includes numbers on Bayer Leverkusen, Liverpool, and teams who can’t do anything now.

They’ve done it. Bayer Leverkusen sealed their first ever Bundesliga title on Sunday with a 5-0 thrashing of Werder Bremen.

Xabi Alonso’s side also remain unbeaten in all competitions, equalling an all-time record in Europe’s top five leagues, and this week’s SVQ goes into detail on their achievement.

Many Liverpool fans wanted Alonso to head to Merseyside in the summer before he announced that he was staying put, and to rub salt into the wounds, the Reds’ own title hopes have been severely dented in the last two weeks. We take a look at why xG has become their enemy.

We also answer an Ask Opta question on teams who may be thinking of sand and sangrias already, and we have a nice, shiny quiz ready for you to conquer.

Let’s get into it by heading to Germany.

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STAT Der Unbesiegbare?

Be honest, when Xabi Alonso was appointed Bayer Leverkusen manager in October 2022, who put money on them to win the title in 2023-24?

Put your hand down, no you didn’t!

We have gone into detail on Leverkusen’s rise since Alonso’s arrival on Opta Analyst, so if you want to have a big swim in some Werkself data we suggest you head over there once you’ve finished consuming the delights of this week’s SVQ.

Several weeks ago, you might remember, we looked at Leverkusen’s unbeaten run in all competitions this season. Well, it’s still going, so we wanted to look at it again.

Their 5-0 hammering of Werder Bremen to clinch the league on Sunday was their 43rd game of the season in all competitions. Not only have they remained undefeated across all of them, but Leverkusen have only drawn five, winning the other 38.

It brought them level with Juventus as one of just two teams in Europe’s big five leagues to have recorded as many consecutive games undefeated. The Italian giants achieved that feat between May 2011 and May 2012. Should Alonso’s men avoid defeat in London on Thursday when they face West Ham in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final, they will hold the record outright.

Leverkusen record in 23-24

What of the other leagues’ records though? Well in France, Paris Saint-Germain hold it with 37 games unbeaten across all competitions up to April 1994.

In Spain, it won’t be a shock for many to learn that Real Madrid hold the record, going 40 games undefeated up to January 2017.

In England, the honour still sits with Nottingham Forest whose 40-game unbeaten streak in all competitions up to November 1978 has never really come close to being beaten since (Manchester United second with 34 games up to March 1994). Manchester City are currently on a 27-game unbeaten run, so they have a chance to challenge Forest’s long-standing record.

Also, an honourable mention to Milan, who sit just one behind Juve and Leverkusen on 42 games from March 1993.

The previous record in Germany was held by Bayern Munich (32 games up to September 2020), which Leverkusen beat a while ago now.

Can they become ‘Der Unbesiegbare’ (The Invincibles)? If the new Bundesliga champions can remain unbeaten all season, they will have won a treble and set a record that perhaps may never be beaten.

Kudos, Mr Alonso.

VIZ xG Demons Halt Liverpool’s Title Charge

PL goals v xG 2023-24
Viz by Jonny Whitmore

Well, well, well. The title race is over in Germany, and it felt as though the one in England also took a huge stride to its conclusion this weekend.

While we have surprise champions in the Bundesliga, the usual suspects of Manchester City are now heavy favourites to make history by securing a fourth consecutive Premier League title, with the Opta supercomputer giving Pep Guardiola’s men a 71.4% chance of doing so.

That is because Arsenal and Liverpool both managed to lose on home soil after City’s 5-1 thrashing of Luton Town the day before. The Gunners lost to Aston Villa, while the Reds were bested by Crystal Palace.

The most noteworthy stat from Liverpool’s defeat further highlighted an issue we discussed on our site last week; that Jürgen Klopp’s side are suddenly finding it very difficult to put the ball in the net despite creating plenty of chances.

As a team that so rarely keeps clean sheets these days, having conceded in each of their last nine games in all competitions and each of their last nine home league games (their joint-longest run in the Premier League and the first time since 1999), Liverpool have had to simply rely on outscoring the opposition. Some might argue it would inevitably catch up with them, but if they had merely matched their expected goals (xG) they would have walked away with all six points from games against Manchester United and Palace.

That shouldn’t be too much to ask as four of the top five have so far comfortably outscored their xG in the Premier League this season. In fact, as you can see from this week’s viz, the four teams aside from Liverpool in the top five (Arsenal, Man City, Aston Villa and Tottenham) are also the top four in outscoring their xG, being furthest away from the ‘xG for’ line in the positive direction, while Liverpool are the wrong side of that line.

That wouldn’t necessarily be a big deal given the Reds create more chances than anyone else, and are still the league’s third-highest scorers, but it has perhaps regressed a bit too far for them now. Not only are they not outperforming their xG to the levels of their rivals, they’re now the third-worst in the division for it.

The 2.87 xG they amassed against Palace was the most Liverpool have had in a single game on record (since 2010-11) without finding the net, and it takes their overall record against their xG in the league to an underperformance of -2.66. Only Brentford (-5.98) and Everton (-16.05) have a worse record.

Compare that to title rivals Arsenal (+11.05) and Man City (+7.72) and you can see where those elusive points may have disappeared to.

As you can see from our bonus viz below, it has been worse since the turn of the year, too. Only Everton (-9.54) have a worse underperformance of their xG than Liverpool (-3.87) in 2024 in the Premier League.

The race isn’t over yet, but Klopp’s men can’t afford to let many more chances slip through their fingers if they are to have any hope of a recovery.

PL goals v xG 2024 only

QUIZ Sorry Spurs, Brilliant Bruno, and Potent Palmer

If it’s questions you want, it’s questions you’ll get. Answers at the bottom of the page.

1. Tottenham have now conceded 61 Premier League goals against Newcastle United at St James’ Park, only conceding more at one away venue in the competition. Where?

2. Manchester City’s Erling Haaland became just the third player to score 20+ goals in both of his first two Premier League campaigns. Who are the other two players?

3. Bruno Fernandes scored his 18th penalty in the Premier League for Manchester United in the 2-2 draw at Bournemouth. Who is the only United player to have scored more in the competition’s history?

4. Mikel Arteta has now lost five times to Aston Villa as Arsenal manager. Who are the only team he has lost more games against?

5. Cole Palmer’s four goals against Everton on Monday made him just the third player to reach 20+ goals in his debut Premier League season for Chelsea, after which two players? Clue: One was in 2000-01 and the other in 2014-15.

Ask Opta

This week’s question came to us via email from Nick Jones, who asks: “Which team are going to win the ‘race to the beach’ this year? i.e., which team will be mathematically safe from relegation, and also unable to make the play-offs, first?”

Do you have a stat-based question you’d like Opta to answer in a future edition of SVQ? Email us at or message us on X @OptaAnalyst with #AskOpta and we’ll pick the best one.


Firstly, apologies to Nick as he sent this question in a couple of weeks ago, and since then we have seen a few teams join ‘Team Beach’ in the Football League.

In the Championship, the trio of Cardiff City, Bristol City and Sunderland are all guaranteed to be in the same division next season, all mathematically safe and also too far from the play-offs with just three games remaining.

In League One, with many teams only having two games left, six teams are in football purgatory; Leyton Orient, Northampton Town, Exeter City, Wigan Athletic, Wycombe Wanderers and Charlton Athletic. Reading are likely also in that group given their goal difference is far superior to Cheltenham Town’s.

There are also six teams with nothing to play for but pride and positions in League Two, with Salford City, Swindon Town, Accrington Stanley, Tranmere Rovers, Newport County and Morecambe all too far from the relegation zone and play-offs to make a difference.

As far as the Premier League goes, we are still awaiting our first team who can’t get relegated or qualify for Europe, but Fulham are currently the closest. The Cottagers are already clear of relegation on 42 points, and eight points off the Europa Conference League spot with just five games remaining.

What Are We up to at Opta Analyst?

Here’s some of the latest data-driven offerings you can find on our website:

🏆 Never Say Neverkusen: Xabi Alonso the Mastermind of Historic Bayer Leverkusen Title Win

⚽️ Champions League Predictions

📈 Who Will Win the Premier League in 2023-24?

📊 Championship Predictions

🤷‍♂️ Will Fifth Place in the Premier League Qualify for the Champions League?

😱 Are Individual Errors All That Stand Between Arsenal and the Premier League Title?

Opta Player Ratings & Games

Opta Games logo

If you haven’t done so yet, check out and play Opta’s FREE weekly football challenges, Opta Max and Opta Five.

Both games are powered by the Opta Player Ratings, a measure that takes into account over 100 different metrics to provide an accurate performance score (out of 100) for every player in a single match.

This week’s highest-rated player was, unsurprisingly, Cole Palmer after his four goals in Chelsea’s 6-0 thrashing of Everton. Palmer scored a near-perfect 99.9.

In Opta Max and Opta Five you can compare players’ latest players ratings and stats. Then put your player ratings knowledge to the test for a chance to win big prizes each week of the football season.

Head to the website to find out more and start playing Opta Games.

Quiz Answers

1. Anfield (64)

2. Andrew Cole (1993-94, 1994-95) and Ruud van Nistelrooy (first 3 in 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04)

3. Wayne Rooney (20)

4. Manchester City (seven defeats)

5. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (23 goals in 2000-01) and Diego Costa (20 goals in 2014-15)

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