Was West Brom’s defeat at Swansea such a surprise?

West Bromwich Albion lost 3-1 at Swansea City on Wednesday night, a result which has led to much speculation about why the performance level of the Baggies suddenly declined against an opponent they supposedly should have competed better against. Mark Lawrenson, for example, remarked that West Brom’s players were “believing their own publicity a bit”. Looking at the ISG coefficients which compare a team’s results this season with those in the same matches last season, we find little difference between Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion.

Looking simply at the current league table, West Bromwich Albion’s fourth place and 26 points looks impressive but if we compare the club’s results this season to 2011/2012, they have actually managed only four points more against those same opponents this term. Away from home, West Brom have managed to beat only Wigan Athletic and Sunderland, both expected to be struggling this season.

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