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The stats behind Motherwell's flying start

Life is pretty sweet for Motherwell fans right now as they peer down on the majority of the Premiership. Only goal difference is keeping the Steelmen off the top of the table.

Stuart Kettlewell's men have overcome the departure of prolific talisman Kevin van Veen by picking up where they left off last term and making a storming start to the new campaign, taking 10 points from a possible 12. Even an injury crisis in the striker department hasn't knocked them off their stride.

The Steelmen have netted six times in their four games from an expected goals (XG) of just 4.65, suggesting a ruthlessness in front of goal. This is backed up by the fact that while Motherwell rank third lowest in the Premiership for touches in the opposition box - 78 - their conversion rate of 13.6% from 17 efforts on target is bettered only by two sides (Hibs and St Mirren).

And with Well strikers falling like skittles, others have stepped up share the burden - six different players have got their name on the scoresheet.

At the other end of the pitch, the Steelmen are also outperforming their XG. They have conceded three goals - only Hearts and Rangers have let in fewer - from an XG against of 4.99. And the seven shots on target the Steelmen have faced is the lowest in the league. Solid stuff.

Whether by necessity - injuries and a tight squad - or design, Kettlewell has had a settled line-up, making just three changes to his starting XI, while Motherwell's total of 19 players used is the joint fewest.

An early-season standout for the Steelmen is Blair Spittal, whose two assists two far can't be topped throught the division. Spittal also ranks in the top five for crosses in open play (17) and his 10 chances created is a total bettered only by Rangers' James Tavernier and Borna Barisic.

Well team-mate Callum Slattery has been taking plenty of kicks - he is the most fouled player in the division by a distance, winning 18 fouls.

The Kettlewell effect on Motherwell's fortunes is clear. Since he took charge in February last season, the Steelmen have won 40 points - only Celtic's haul of 42 over the same period is superior - and the club's current run of 10 league games without defeat is their best in 13 years.