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Playing stats prove Leicester's league victory was a truly exceptional effort; Kevin Pullein offers a statistical analysis of the shock Premier League champions.

Byline: Kevin Pullein

LEICESTER'S Premier League win is exceptional in almost every way. They differ from past champions not just in one respect but in many. Usually there are relationships between the things that happen in football matches.

The more possession a team have the more opportunities they will get to shoot, the more shots they have the more goals they score, the more goals they score the more points they gain, the more points they gain the higher they finish in the table.

Leicester are above average for every one of those comparisons. Sometimes dramatically above average, as we shall see. Leicester have an above-average position for their points, above-average points for their goals, above-average goals for their shots and above-average shots for their possession. It is a remarkable combination.

Even people who do not bet know that last summer bookmakers offered up to 5,000-1 for Leicester to win the Premier League. Their chance was probably even worse. Bookmakers at all times offer odds that they think are too small, and nearly always they are.

Usually the market in footballers is fairly efficient. The best players command the highest wages and combine in the best teams who have the biggest wage bills. In each of the previous 20 seasons the Premier League winners had one of the top three wage bills. Leicester's wage bill last season, when they were nearly relegated, was the third-lowest.

The accompanying table (right) contrasts Leicester's playing stats this season with those of champions from earlier seasons. Every one is lower.

We will go through them one by one, but before we can you need to understand two terms: shots percentage and goals percentage. A team's shots percentage is their shots expressed as a percentage of all shots in their games, a team's goals percentage is their goals expressed as a percentage of all goals in their games.

Usually teams with below-average possession have an even lower shots percentage, and teams with an aboveaverage shots percentage have an even higher goals percentage.

Leicester this season have registered 43 per cent of the possession in their matches. Over the previous 13 seasons - 2002-03 to 2014-15 - teams with 43 per cent possession averaged 42 per cent of shots. Leicester this season have fired 53 per cent of the shots in their matches.

Over the previous 13 seasons teams with 53 per cent of shots scored 55 per cent of goals. Leicester this season have scored 66 per cent of the goals in their matches. Over the previous 13 seasons teams who scored 66 per cent of goals averaged 75 points. Leicester this season have 80 points with a game to play. Over the previous 13 seasons Premier League winners finished with an average of 88 points.

From each performance indicator Leicester have an above-average return. For some, as you can see, it is considerably above average. From every input Leicester got an aboveaverage output. Exceptional.

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Leicester's Wes Morgan lifts the league trophy

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:May 9, 2016
Words:498
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