The Truth About Benteke and Crosses

Normally when Liverpool sign (or are heavily linked) to a player, I take a look at their stats from the previous season, to see what the numbers suggest the new boy might bring to the Reds in the coming campaign.

With Christian Benteke however, there is one major point of interest, thanks to this interview with his manager Tim Sherwood, which included the following:

Sherwood has also noted that Liverpool’s number of crosses this season – 409 – is the lowest in the top division. “We cross more balls into the box than any other club in the league and Christian has said that he feeds off crosses,” Sherwood said. “There’s no point going to a club where they don’t cross the ball.”

Despite the fact that Sherwood is obviously keen to hang on to the Belgian striker, and also that ‘Tactics Tim’ is a figure of fun for Liverpool fans for 99% of the time, Kopites (or at least those disinterested with the notion of signing Benteke for £32.5m) have taken his comments to heart; do a search for ‘Benteke crosses’ on Twitter, and you’ll find plenty of tweets along those lines from pundits and Liverpool fans alike:

You get the idea, and whilst it is true that Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool cross less often than every other team in the Premier League, a little dig deeper reveals some very interesting facts.

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Aston Villa vs Liverpool: Preview

Since the 2011/12 season, Aston Villa and Liverpool have had a slightly peculiar relationship; the Reds have won three out of three at Villa Park, whilst the Villans have left Anfield with two wins and two draws from their four visits. Does the two teams’ form this season suggest that this run will continue with a Liverpool win on Saturday?
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Liverpool vs Aston Villa: Stats Preview

As I’m compiling stats throughout this season for use in the Anfield Index Analytics podcast, I figured it’d make sense to use them to write match previews too. With only three games played, it’d be wrong to read too much into the numbers, but equally I think they show that Aston Villa haven’t been playing that well, despite being unbeaten and currently sitting third in the fledgling 2014/15 Premier League.

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