Having originally devised this idea in 2013, this is the third season where I have collated data on which Liverpool players linked up to create chances in the Premier League. You can see the information for 2013/14 here, and 2014/15 here.
In previous years I have looked at other aspects beyond the raw figures, and whilst I plan to do similar with this season’s numbers, time is as usual against me so this will have to suffice for now. Without further ado…
As always, here’s a selection of things I’ve noticed from this data (though please feel free to add more in the comments section if anything catches your eye). With a lot of these, it’s important to remember how many different players Liverpool used this season, as this affects how many combinations it’s possible to have. The Reds had thirty different starters in 2015/16, the most in the division.
- After having 133 combinations in the Premier League in 2013/14, and then 172 (including the Champions League too) last season, the Reds have had a whopping 193 in the league in 2015/16.
- The record for ‘most different players created for’ is now owned by James Milner, who teed up eighteen of his colleagues this season. The previous best was seventeen, and jointly owned by Coutinho, Gerrard (both 2013/14) and Sterling (2014/15).
- The top five combinations, with nine-or-more chances, all featured Coutinho. He was the recipient in four of the five link ups, and it’s interesting that three of the five most popular combinations featured Brazilian pairings.
- Alberto Moreno to Coutinho was the most common combination with fifteen, which is below the top effort for the last two seasons; Suárez created twenty-three chances for Coutinho in 2013/14, and the Brazilian laid on twenty for Sterling last season.
- The top combination in total though was Benteke and Coutinho, who linked up to create a total of eighteen chances.
- Moreno to Coutinho was the most common link up for Liverpool from game eighteen of the season onwards, and was joint-most for the six matches before that too. As with all of the above Coutinho-based stats, the fact that the former Inter Milan man is prone to shoot from anywhere and everywhere leads to lot of chances being created, even though many of them won’t be high quality.
- The top five creators all set up chances for the top eleven recipients (aside from themselves of course). Had Can created a chance for Sturridge then the top six would’ve set up the top eleven shooters.
I’ve also compiled the assist data, and this is for all competitions.
There were sixty-two different combinations here, though only eight of those linked up for more than one assist. Both Coutinho and Firmino were involved at either end of seventeen assisted goals, though as Firmino essentially ‘assisted’ the two own goals too, I’m giving him nineteen in total!
As I say, I hope to do more with the data I’ve collected if I have time. Watch this space…