The Influence of Shots On Target upon Points Per Game

The Influence of Shots On Target upon Points Per Game

The graph shows how many points-per-game (ppg), on average, Liverpool have taken depending on how many shots on target (SoT) they have had in every league game since August 2010.

The sample consists of 103 games in total, and illustrates a very clear (if not unexpected) trend.

The Reds have won three and lost three of the matches where they have had eight shots on target; had they won one of the defeats then the line and trend would look smoother still.

What’s interesting is that the SoT averages for the three seasons in full fall in roughly the right place on this line too.

2010/11: 5.39 SoT and 1.53 ppg – looking at the difference between 5 SoT (1.19 ppg) and 6 SoT (1.59), this season should have a ppg of 1.35, so 0.18 out (though for the better, which is of course no bad thing).

2011/12: 5.45 SoT and 1.37 ppg – using the same measure as in the above example, then this falls in exactly the right place. Spooky!

2012/13: 5.78 SoT and 1.44 ppg – Liverpool should be getting 1.50 ppg from this number of SoT, so 0.06 out.

These are quite small samples, so it’s probably coincidence that the full seasons are close to the line; after all no team averages a much higher SoT figure (the best teams average about 6.5) yet can get far more points per game.

This stat I saw in The Guardian today confirms the value of having more shots on target than your opponents though:

“Of the 181 games won in the Premier League before last weekend, the team who had the most possession only won 103 – 57% in total. The team who had more shots on target than their opponents won 128 matches – 71% of the total”.

Food for thought, Brendan…

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