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.
Regular readers will know that one of my projects this season is monitoring the quality of chance that teams in the Premier League create, based on the area of the pitch in which the key pass is received.
With a shade over half of the season gone, I thought I’d review the individual figures for Liverpool’s squad to see who has done well, and whose chances aren’t worth the grass they’re passed across.
Back in February, I wrote a piece which focussed on the fact that Liverpool had amassed thirty-nine points after twenty-seven league games for the third season in a row (and you can read it here).
The 2-0 win over Hull City (which ended the club’s longest ever run without that particular scoreline) meant that the Reds reached that points target significantly quicker this season, as the below graph shows.
I wasn’t planning to write a preview for this match, but as I found myself tweeting a barrage of pre-match stats this morning, I thought I’d collect them here to see how many of them come to pass in the match this afternoon. Here we go…
After my first attempt at analysing a match via Stats Zone two weeks ago, I’ve again taken to the app to cast my critical eye over Liverpool’s 2-2 draw away at Swansea City.
Although I am happy enough with a point, as it maintains the Reds’ five point advantage over their corresponding fixtures from last season, there were many areas of the performance that left a lot to be desired.
I’ve taken a look at the stats for the season so far, to see if they can offer any clues as to how the match will pan out. They suggest Liverpool will likely face a challenge they’ve not coped well with so far under Brendan Rodgers.
Liverpool travel to the West Midlands on Sunday looking to avenge the 3-1 home defeat that Aston Villa inflicted on them in December. I wrote a preview of the match (which you can read here if you’re so inclined) which looked at the stats for the two teams’ campaigns so far. The numbers suggested a comfortable home win was likely.
The problem is, so did the actual stats from the match, yet the Reds were 0-3 down at home for the first time in eighteen years and were soundly beaten. Is there therefore really any value in looking at football stats?
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
After losing 2-1 away at Manchester United, and with their next two league matches after this weekend being trips to Arsenal and Manchester City, Liverpool could really do with earning three points on Saturday against Norwich City (weather permitting, that is).
The stats from the season so far suggest that they should get them.
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.
One of the lead stories on The Independent’s website is currently “Steve Gerrard: Everton are like Stoke, all they do is play the ball long”. The piece has the sub heading of “We were only team in derby trying to play, says Liverpool captain, but stats suggest otherwise”.
The writer then goes on to show why Gerrard is wrong, and at the bottom includes selected match stats under the title of “Dubious Derby Claim”. Amongst these are the figures for ‘Long Passes Attempted’, which they have as 47 by each side.
So Liverpool’s captain must be wrong in his assertion that the Blues are a long-ball side. Or so I thought until I checked the match numbers with EPLIndex.
Ahead of the opening Merseyside derby of the season at Goodison Park on Sunday, the two sides find themselves approaching it in very different circumstances; Everton are being feted for their fine start to the season, whilst Liverpool finally won their first home league match of the season last weekend against Reading.
Yet things aren’t quite that clear-cut.
Following a very disappointing 3-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion on the opening weekend, Liverpool got their first point on the board for 2012/13 with an impressive performance in yesterday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City. But for a suicidal back pass by Martin Skrtel, the Reds were looking good for a win over last seasons Premier League champions.
Yet to look at some of the key statistics from the two matches, you would think that the better performance of the two came at The Hawthorns last week, not at Anfield on Sunday.
I saw an interesting tweet from WhoScored in relation to Joe Allen of Swansea City, who is a transfer target of Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool:
Joe Allen: Only Yohan Cabaye (117) and Moussa Dembele (112) made more tackles in the Premier League this season than Allen (110)
That’s certainly impressive, not least for a young player from the previous season’s play-off winners. But the above numbers got me wondering about how Lucas Leiva compares, in his role as the defensive lynchpin of the Reds midfield.