With their latest 1-0 win over Buriram United, fans across the league are now looking at BG Pathum as a major challenger for this year’s Thai League title. How do the Rabbits compare to previous leaders at this stage of the season?
BG Pathum United’s stats this season have been a source of awe for Thai League viewers. The Rabbits have only conceded two goals from their first eight games this season, and only one from open play. They’ve also only conceded an average of 2.3 shots on target per game, and managed to prevent seven-time champions Buriram United from having a single one last Saturday.
Looking at the bigger picture, the side have only dropped two of a possible 24 points thus far, and sit five clear of the nearest competition. This has seen them pick up a 2.75 points per game (PPG) average – higher than any side has ever been able to maintain through an entire Thai League season.
Looking at the last decade, Muangthong were able to amass the highest PPG (2.58) with their title win in 2016. The average PPG of Thai League champions from 2010 to 2020 – in essence, the number of points “needed” to win the Thai League in an average year – was 2.38, or 72 points over a 30 game season.
Should they maintain their current levels, something which is admittedly close to impossible given the wear-and-tear of a months-long season, they would register 82 points come the end of the campaign. This would be a record tally when adjusting for the shorter season, and a massive improvement on Chiangrai’s title-winning total of 58 points last year.
However, those numbers are just hypothetical and unlikely to pan out. How do BG compare to other sides after just eight games?
Even in this regard, the Rabbits look very impressive. Looking back over the past half-decade, their 22 points from 8 games equals a record start set by Buriram in 2018. The Thunder Castle went on to win the title comfortably that season, 16 points clear of second-placed Bangkok United. However, BG can set a further record if they manage to win against Samut Prakan City next weekend, as Buriram dropped two points to make it 23 from 9 during their 2018 campaign.
Whichever way you slice it, BG Pathum United have had a record-breaking start to the 2020 campaign. Widely expected to be outside challengers for a top-four place due to their pre-season acquisitions, the arrival of experienced title winners Andres Tunez and Sarach Yooyen during the league break has given their already talented squad an immense boost.
The Rabbits have already taken three points off of Muangthong, Buriram, Port and Bangkok United, and look set to get even stronger as they continue their evolution as a team. After a pace-setting opening stretch of the season, it is exciting to see where BG will go from here.