Christian Benteke scored the first league goal of the Jürgen Klopp era against Southampton at Anfield, and in doing so became the most recent substitute to bag a goal for Liverpool. How have the Reds fared from the bench since 2008, and likewise how did their new manager fare at Dortmund for bringing on goal scoring and assist providing substitutes?
Category Archives: Assists
Coutinho to Sturridge – Liverpool’s Best Creative Partnership?
Any Liverpool fan you talk to will wax lyrical about the magic of the Coutinho-Sturridge partnership, and how the Brazilian will be setting up chances galore for the England international when he finally returns from injury.
These two will be combining like this very soon pic.twitter.com/dpYPdNunnv—
(@MostarLFC) January 29, 2015
Has this actually been the case regularly in the past though? Everyone remembers fantastic assists from Coutinho to Sturridge against Newcastle, Fulham, Everton and Arsenal, but what’s the chance creation story for their whole time together in the Premier League?
A Look At Luis Alberto
I can’t claim to have watched any of Luis Alberto’s games for Malaga this season, but it was disappointing to see the following tweet:
Not least as I was under the impression that he was actually doing pretty well, thanks to this radar tweet:
Having not seen the matches, I can’t provide a definitive answer to this difference of opinions, but I thought I’d take a closer look at the numbers in the above radar to see what they say to me about Alberto’s performance so far this season.
Liverpool FC Creativity Combinations 2014/15
Last season I hit upon an idea: a creativity combination heatmap (which you can see here). It shows which players have linked up to create goalscoring opportunities most often, and how creative players have been overall.
Well, it’s back for 2014/15, except with a few enhancements…
Are Liverpool Too Light On Champions League Experience?
Having looked up how much Champions League experience that Liverpool’s squad has previously had, I’m beginning to get a little concerned that there is a distinct lack of it.
There’s nothing to say that this will definitely be an issue of course, but having compiled the data I thought I’d share it here.
Sturridge and Suárez: An Equal Partnership?
Luis Suárez and Daniel Sturridge continue to score and score and score some more. The duo have scored twenty-five goals in the fifteen league matches they’ve appeared in together this season, with Arsenal the only team to shut out them both out, at the Emirates in November. The Reds have scored every twenty-eight minutes that both of the players have been on the pitch in the league this season; quite simply, they are a phenomenon.
Accusations regarding selfishness follow them around though, both pro and anti; Sturridge most notably could have played Suárez in for an almost certain goal during Liverpool’s 4-0 Merseyside derby win, and Suárez perhaps could have benefitted by being more single-minded in the Reds’ 3-0 victory over Southampton last time out.
But what’s the true picture? Does one snub the other too often? And how creative are they as a partnership?
Southampton vs Liverpool: Chance Quality Preview
I last wrote a Chance Quality preview ahead of Liverpool’s recent home match with Arsenal, because the two sides are the top two for overachieving on the number of assists they’ve had this season, and so I thought it was worth a closer look.
The Reds’ next match sees them face up with Southampton, who are currently ranked fourth, so I thought it was worth looking at the data again. The figures show that Liverpool are likely to face a stern test on the south coast.
British Transfer Premium, Anyone?
Liverpool have secured the signature of the 20 year old Spanish under-21 international Luis Alberto from Sevilla for a fee believed to be around £6.7m.
He spent this season on loan at Barcelona B, playing in Spain’s Segunda Division (which, out of interest, is the same division that Dani Pacheco spent this season in), so I thought it would be interesting to see how his record compared to a couple of highly rated second flight prospects from England’s Championship.
As I’m sure you can appreciate, in-depth statistics are not widely available for lower divisions unfortunately, so I have had to resort to a simple comparison of goals and assists. It’s far from perfect (chances created is far more valuable than assists, for instance) but it’ll give an indication of his prowess.
The Creative Impact Of Coutinho
Back in February, I wrote an article that looked at how Liverpool’s creativity level had increased once Daniel Sturridge had started playing for them (and you can read it here). Now that Philipe Coutinho has his feet firmly under the Anfield table, the figures show that the Reds have kicked on again in creative terms.
Not only that, but the twenty year old Brazilian from Inter Milan is also outperforming the Premier League’s great-and-good with regards to the creation of clear-cut goalscoring opportunities on an individual level.
Downing vs Young: 2010/11
Rumours continue to persist that Liverpool are planning to snap up Stewart Downing from Aston Villa, whilst their Lancashire rivals Manchester United are planning to raid Villa Park for Ashley Young.
Both are England internationals, and are of similar age (Downing turns 27 next month, whilst Young will be 26), so a comparison seems reasonable. Not to see who might get the better deal of the two clubs, as that’s impossible to say. But are Liverpool going after the right ‘Villain’?