Which Teams Are Best At Defeating A Parked Bus?

Liverpool’s win against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend was obviously well received by Reds everywhere, but at the same time it didn’t teach them anything new about the strengths and weaknesses of their team. Jürgen Klopp’s men have been ruthless this season against teams who play a high line, as Spurs did to suicidal effect at Anfield, but they have seemed toothless against the low block favoured by the Premier League’s lesser lights.

The Tomkins Times published a very good article this week (here) which looked at how Liverpool have fared against teams who have ‘parked the bus’ against them this season. The findings were certainly interesting, but in my continual quest for context with statistical analysis, I thought it would be worthwhile comparing the Reds to the other members of the big six to see how each team has fared. My assumption is that all teams struggle against a low block, but is that actually the case?

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Race For The Top Four: An Analysis

I recently appeared on an Anfield Index Analytics podcast (which you can listen to here) in which host Dan Kennett and I ran through the pros and cons of the five contenders who are aiming for a third or fourth placed finish in the Premier League this season. As there is only one third of 2014/15 now remaining, I thought I’d share the stats and my thoughts here.

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Game 29 Proves Significant

League matches don’t get much bigger for Liverpool than their next one: Manchester United, away. As chance would have it, the meeting happens to fall on the fifth anniversary of the weekend when the Reds returned home along the M62 with all three points following a fabulous 4-1 win at Old Trafford.

Thanks to the home match with Sunderland being postponed, the United away fixture is Liverpool’s twenty-ninth league game of the campaign, just as it was in 2008/09.

Out of curiousity, I decided to see which matches have been the twenty-ninth in the seasons in-between, and it turns out you won’t have forgotten any of them. They have all proved to be significant; some for good reasons, others not so much.

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Goals (Short and Long Term)

Liverpool are approaching the half way point of 2013/14 in fine fettle. The Reds have taken thirty points from their opening fifteen games, a tally they’ve only bettered at this stage twice in the last ten years.

Not only that, but the goals are generally flying in too, with nine bagged at Anfield inside four days last week. However, before the end of 2013 Liverpool must travel to Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea, for a trio of daunting fixtures.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, and Brendan Rodgers can take heart from some stats I’ve recently dug up.

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Spurs’ Problem? Shot Placement

I don’t write about other teams too often, but Spurs’ lack of goals this season fascinates me. I have looked into shot placement data many times in the past, and a look at Spurs’ stats (via Squawka) suggests this could be a significant part of their problem.

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Liverpool, Spurs, and The Value Of Balanced Scoring

Ahead of their match this weekend, I’ve been taking a look at Liverpool and Tottenham’s goal scoring stats in the Premier League this season. Frustratingly from a Red point of view, they’re remarkably similar.

Liverpool: Scored 53, conceded 34 with eleven clean sheets, 42 points.

Tottenham Hotspur. Scored 49, conceded 33 with seven clean sheets, 54 points.

Doesn’t seem fair, does it?! Needless to say, it is the balance of the scoring and conceding that has tipped the balance in Spurs’ favour. Continue reading

Spurs vs Liverpool: Statistical Preview

Tonight’s fixture provides an interesting match up between two teams with fairly similar records this season. Sadly for Liverpool, based on the statistics it would seem that Spurs will probably win a tight contest.

The Reds have the better defensive record in the league this season (with 4 cleans sheets and 16 goals against, compared to 1 clean sheet and 22 conceded), but Tottenham currently have the better offensive record (having scored 23 goals to Liverpool’s 17). However, breaking these numbers down further will show why I think the home side will triumph.

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