Week 4 – Attacking Stats

Game week four has passed, and with it goes Frank de Boer. Game week five: Enter Woy. On a more serious note, this week saw a lot of interesting match ups. Liverpool got slaughtered away, with questions being raised about why Jürgen Klopp didn’t set up more defensively when Sadio Mane picked up that highly contested red card (I see myself on the same side of the fence as Gary Neville, for probably the one and only time). Manchester United finally conceded goals, Crystal Palace still hasn’t scored any, Huddersfield Town lost a game, and Watford is sitting pretty in fourth place with no losses. With that in mind, let’s look more closely at the attacking statistics that contribute to the Premier League picture up to game week four. Be sure to hover over each visualization to see more detail.

Chances Created: Chances being created are the foundation of goal scoring ability. If a team doesn’t create chances, they don’t get the chance to make attempts. Fewer attempts on goal translates to a reduced goal total. Manchester United and Arsenal are leading the league with creating chances. Both teams have created 59 total chances. Tottenham Hotspur has created two fewer chances (57). Swansea has created only 17 chances in open play, the lowest of any team in the Premier League. Bournemouth isn’t far behind, though, only recording 18 chances total. Hover over each teams bubble to find out where on the field each team is creating their chances.

Total Attempts: Attempts are a good indication of how attack minded a team is. Tottenham Hotspur leads the league in this aspect after four weeks of play, recording 79 total attempts at 4.9 minutes per chance and 23 attempts being on target. Manchester United is one attempt behind Spurs (78). Those attempts come at a slightly quicker rate (4.8 minutes per chance), and with a little more accuracy with 28 attempts being on target. Liverpool have the most accurate attempts, with 62 total attempts and 31 of them being on target. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Swansea have just 26 total attempts. Supporters of the Welsh team must wait 14.5 minutes to see their team make an attempt on goal. Even then, only 7 of those 26 attempts are even on target. Fans of Bournemouth don’t have it much easier, with 31 total attempts being made through four game weeks. Cherries have 12.5 minutes between attempts, with just 9 being on target. Everton has the lowest total attempts to attempts on target ratio, with 35 total attempts and only 7 on target.

Total Goals: Manchester United is leading the league for total goals, with 12. Cross town rivals City are hot on their trail with 10 thanks to 5 goals and a clean sheet against Liverpool. You won’t see Crystal Palace on this visual. That is because the team has yet to score a single goal in the league so far. Bournemouth has just 1, Everton and Swansea have 2, and Brighton and Hove Albion have scored 3 goals. If variety of goal locations interests you, Watford is your team of the season so far. Of their 7 goals, 3 have come from outside the box and 4 from inside. Interact with the visualization by hovering over each bubble to see how your team is shaping up on the goal scoring front.

Crosses*: Crosses are an important feature of buildup play. Seeing a ball be curled in from either side of the field to an attacking player in the middle of an attack leaves supporters gasping on the edge of their seat. Will a goal be the final product? As you can see from the visualization below, there isn’t a very strong correlation between total crosses and successful crosses, as there are a lot of outliers. Despite this, it is important to note that there is a positive correlation between the two numbers. If you cross more, you could be assured that your successful crosses will also increase. Makes a lot of sense. Liverpool has the highest successful cross rate of any team in the premier league, with 32.8% of their total crosses being met by a Red on the other end. Swansea has the next highest success rate, with 31.8% of their crosses landing at the foot of a friendly player. West Bromwich Albion and Burnley have the highest total successful crosses, 24 for both teams, but that is diluted by an overabundance of crossing. Huddersfield Town has the worst cross success rate, lodging 16.5% of their crosses to their own player. The next worst is Chelsea, with just 20% of their crosses being successful.

* This visual is misleading because it illustrates the correlation between the two measurements only, not the percentage of successful crosses.

Corners: This particular set piece is an interesting one. I wont get into rules of the game, but they are like a free cross for the opposing team. The defending team should be able to handle with the extreme attention being put on the confusion that is created by opposition players waiting to put the ball int he back of the net. Scoring off one will bring joy to any supporter, conceding one can break their heart (trust me, I’m a Liverpool supporter). In the same vein that total crosses are positively correlated with cross success, total corners and corner conversion is the opposite. Put simply, the more corners you take, the less successful they will be. Everton leads with the most successful corner rate at 47.1%. Swansea has the next best rate at 45.5% of their total crosses being successful. London is a bad city for corners, apparently. Chelsea has the lowest corner success rate, converting only 11.5% of the total corners they take. Arsenal is next worse with only 12.9% of their corners being successful.

That is how the Premier League is shaping up so far. See you next week!