GW9 Stats – Did You Know

Premier League GW8 – Starts Saturday 19th October 2019

We are approaching the culmination of the first quarter of this current Premier League season. Which means that some interesting stats are now starting to appear from over the precipice and in this article, we’re going to highlight a few that may be of interest from an FPL point of view.

Did you know?

Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) has had the most assists from open play in the Premier League this season, with 8 – I mean to be honest, with the balls that he is laying on a plate at the moment, I think even I could score somewhere in the region of five Premier League goals this season.

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) has taken the most penalties in the Premier League this season, with 3 – That’s all very well, but FPL managers are probably still cursing the fact that he missed from twelve yards against Crystal Palace.

Arsenal have attempted the most through balls per game in the Premier League this season, with 3.38. – Be that as it may, Arsenal are now awaiting a trial at The Hague for crimes against Football after that horrendous offering at Old Trafford a couple of weeks ago.

Bournemouth have made the most interceptions per game in the Premier League this season, with 15.13 – What is more interesting is the fact that the Cherries are let to keep a clean sheet during this campaign. FPL managers must avoid Bournemouth defenders at all costs.

Burnley have made the fewest successful passes that were played off the ground per game in the Premier League this season, with 11.63 – If I’m honest we probably didn’t know that one but at the same time, is anyone actually all that surprised?

Joelinton (Newcastle United) has had the most poor touches that lead to a turnover in the Premier League this season, with 39 – What is the Portuguese for ‘Cart Horse’?

Manchester City have hit the woodwork the most times in the Premier League this season, with 7 – No one can doubt the embarrassment of attacking riches that Pep Guardiola has at his disposal. However, the lack of defensive options is really coming home to roost right now.

Liverpool have received the fewest yellow cards in the Premier League this season, with 7 – Winning the Premier League and also winning the hearts and minds of fans up and down the country with such neat and tidy play.

Tom Heaton (Aston Villa) has conceded the most goals from outside of the box in the Premier League this season, with 4 – On the face of it, you might be thinking “well if Tom Heaton stayed in the box, he would probably concede less goals”. It actually means efforts from outside the box.  

Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) has attempted the most shots in the Premier League this season, with 30 – Which means with 8 goals to his name, he has a shot conversion record of 26.66% for the campaign.

Liverpool have won their last 17 matches (Premier League) – A win on Sunday and that would mean that they equal Manchester City’s record. However, Manchester United would love nothing more than to end such an impressive streak. Then again, we are talking about this current United squad.

Also Liverpool have lost just two of their last FIFTY Premier League matches – Defeats to Chelsea back in May 2018 and Manchester City at the start of the year, are their only blemishes on such a neat copy book.

Chelsea are undefeated in 24 of their last 26 home matches (Premier League). Let me know when “Frank Lampard’s Chelsea have won 24 of their last 26 home matches”

Man City have won 10 of their last 11 away matches (Premier League) – Which does not make good reading for Crystal Palace this Saturday. However, you only need to whisper the words “Teemu Pukki” to bring Nicolas Otamendi into a cold sweat.

Watford have not won a Premier League game all season and travel to the white half of North London on Saturday, to face Mauricio Pochettino’s squad of players who want to be elsewhere – Need a win Watford…..Paging Dr Tottenham, he’ll be here to assist you shortly.

Sheffield United have conceded the most goals through individual errors in the Premier League this season, with 4 – None more so than when Dean Henderson chucked one into the net against Liverpool, imagine if the ground did actually swallow him up afterwards. Scenes!

There’s no secret that the teams at the top of the Premier League table, are ones that consider themselves more than comfortable in possession and it’s fair to say, that the passing game, is one that is certainly easy on the eye.

While although the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool seem to endlessly dominate ownership of the ball, just how does that relate to their positions in the Premier League table? More importantly does more possession correlate to a genuine title tilt?

If we look at the average possession rankings after seven games of the season, it looks as follows:

R Team Possession%
1 Manchester City 60.00
2 Liverpool 57.60
3 Tottenham 55.00
4 Leicester 54.70
5 Manchester United 54.60
6 Everton 54.50
7 Chelsea 53.80
8 Brighton 53.80
9 Arsenal 53.60
10 Norwich 50.40
11 Watford 50.10
12 Southampton 49.90
13 West Ham 47.80
14 Aston Villa 47.70
15 Crystal Palace 45.10
16 Wolves 45.00
17 Bournemouth 43.60
18 Sheffield United 43.20
19 Burnley 42.10
20 Newcastle 37.60

Although Manchester City are five points behind Liverpool at the top of the table, they do at least lay claim to be the team which has had the most possession thus far – although had they a better defence, they would not be so far behind Jurgen Klopp’s men at the time of writing.

That said, Liverpool find themselves second in this chart and although the possession game does not seem as important to the Merseyside outfit, they are still managing to brush past all that attempts to stand in their way.

One hypothesis that could be offered, is that the ‘Big Six’ clubs would be the outfits that fill up the top half dozen places in this list. A theory, that is debunked when you consider that both Leicester and Everton take up slots at the upper end.

Both teams aspire to finish in the top six at the end of the season and on current evidence the Foxes have a better chance than the Toffees. In addition to that, it also highlights that Marco Silva’s men are not effective in possession.

Yes, they are team that like to keep hold of the ball and are capable of playing a neat passing game. However, they are not converting this into wins at present and this goes to show, that sometimes a more pragmatic approach is required or at least, a more ruthless attack.

The same could be said for Brighton, who under Graham Potter are probably the best (or worst) example of possession not being turned into results. The Seagulls have not won since the opening weekend and perhaps a change of tact is required from the new manager.

The East Sussex outfit are eighth in the average possession list and they currently have had more possession than Arsenal. However, it is apparent that this current style of play is not producing the necessary results.

Therefore, if Brighton are a team that are having lots of the ball at the moment and not getting what they want, who is reaping the benefits of counter attacks instead? An answer that can be found further along the South Coast.

That’s because Bournemouth have had the fourth least average possession thus far and although they may not have as much as the ball as others, it does not seem to matter to Eddie Howe and his players.

That’s because they currently lie eighth in the Premier League and were it not for a late West Ham leveller last weekend, that standing would have been fourth place instead – drawing a clear inverse between possession and placing.

With this in mind, perhaps possession is not necessarily nine tenths of football’s law and although the very best teams in the land will fill the very highest spots, there is a case to be made that you don’t necessarily need so much of the ball to do the most damage.

The likes of Everton and Brighton best take note and if results don’t improve quickly for either outfit, there are certainly going to be some autumnal headaches for both Marco Silva and Graham Potter – a headache that could lead to their heads being placed on the chopping block instead.

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