Dejan’s Defending; The Look of Lovren

Lovren after scoring at Anfield

Dejan Lovren, Southampton’s Croatian centre-back who they purchased from Lyon twelve months ago, is the latest player to be strongly linked with a move to Liverpool.

As defensive stats are hard to make use of, as a lot of the important aspects of defending (e.g. positioning, anticipation, marking etc) aren’t measured (or at least, the data isn’t available in the public domain), I’ve looked at some stats in a slightly different way to try to get more useful information out of them. Continue reading

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Lallambert vs Suarridge


It’s rare for a club to purchase two players from the same team during one transfer window, yet that is exactly what Liverpool have done by taking Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert from Southampton (and I have previously written about the players at length here and here).

This is good from an amateur analyst’s point of view, as it has enabled me to see how they linked up last season. I looked at the Suárez and Sturridge partnership here, so I thought I’d compare the Liverpool new boys with the Anfield heroes of 2013/14.

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Suárez Goes; What Will Liverpool Need?


Although the news was confirmed today that Luis Suárez will be leaving Liverpool, clearly it has been on the cards for some time. Including penalty wins, the Uruguyan scored (eighty-two) or assisted (fifty-three) a total of 135 goals in 133 appearances for the Reds, at a rate of a goal or assist every 84 minutes. Clearly he will be missed, and not least as Liverpool only had twelve different scorers in the league in 2013/14, the joint-fourth fewest in the division.

Yet Liverpool’s league record without Luis Suárez in the team is surprisingly good. In the 18 league games he has missed since his debut in 2011, the Reds’ record is W11 D3 L4; exactly two points per game, in other words. If they can repeat that form next season then Rodgers’ Reds might start to edge towards becoming CL regulars.

It won’t be that easy to achieve without Suárez though, and here is why.

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Is Ben Davies The Answer At Left Back?


Liverpool were recently linked to Ryan Bertrand, though as I wrote here there was nothing in his numbers that could explain why particularly. The latest left back to be rumoured to be in Brendan Rodgers’ sights is Ben Davies of Swansea City, and as his raw numbers looked more favourable, I thought I’d dig a little deeper.

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Being Lazar Markovic

Markovic v Inter

As sure as night follows day, as soon as Liverpool are credibly linked to any player from across the globe, I get asked on Twitter if I’m going to write a piece on them! Benfica’s Lazar Markovic is the latest such transfer target, so I’ve had a look at his form.

Except that unfortunately detailed stats from the Portuguese league appear to be rarer than credible transfer rumours on Twitter (though if you know otherwise, please let me know in the comments), so all I have been able to source via Stats Zone is six games in the 2012/13 Europa League for Partizan Belgrade, and five in this year’s Champions League for Benfica. The limited nature of the information means that this is just a gentle introduction to the Serbian, and by no means an in-depth analysis. Continue reading

The Curious Chase Of Ryan Bertrand

Bertrand Strengths

Whenever Liverpool get linked to a player, it’s usually the case that I haven’t seen them play too often. I’ll go to their page on Whoscored, see what their strengths and weaknesses are and have a look at the stats, and then delve a little deeper using StatsZone.

Normally, a quick look at a player’s numbers makes it clear why a team might be interested in signing them, but with Ryan Bertrand (who Liverpool are reportedly looking to sign) that doesn’t appear to be the case at all. What’s the attraction?

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Never Mind The Divocks

FOOTBALL : Lille vs Nantes - Ligue1 - 15/03/2014

The latest Liverpool transfer rumour that refuses to die is that the Reds are looking to sign Divock Origi, a 6ft 2″ nineteen year-old who plays in France for Lille, and who recently scored a late winner for Belgium against Russia at the World Cup.

As I have recently assessed the stats of Lallana, Can, Lambert and Moreno, it’s now time to take a close look at Origi.

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Covering Ground


The FIFA website is carrying ‘distance covered’ stats for the 2014 World Cup, which is particularly interesting as this information isn’t usually available, so I thought it was worth a closer look.

They’re only small samples of course, but having never had access to this data before, it should still be of interest. FIFA break the total figures down by the distance run both  n possession and without it (though as it doesn’t add up to the total distance covered, I’m not entirely sure how it’s calculated).

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2013/14 Review – Part Two

S and S and H and SJ

In part one of my review of Liverpool’s remarkable 2013/14 campaign (which you can read here), I covered the form of Aly Cissokho, Liverpool’s shot conversion rates, the Reds’ record in league matches following defeats, their results using different formations, and Brendan Rodgers’ league record against the top and bottom halves of the table.

In this part, I’ll review Suárez and Sturridge’s goal scoring rate, a new scoring record that Liverpool set in 2013/14, the Reds’ form across calendar years, which player created the best goalscoring chances most often, and how Rodgers’ team performed in each half of their matches. As with part one, I will post links to the original articles, an explanation of what they are about, and then updated stats and analysis.

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Sakho, Skrtel and Passing Stats

In Michael Cox (a.k.a. Zonal Marking)’s preview of France’s chances at the forthcoming World Cup, he noted the following about Liverpool’s £17m French centre-back.

Mamadou Sakho is good in the air and quick across the floor but poor in possession.

The end of that description didn’t sit quite right with me, so I took a quick look at the stats.

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Emre Can: Chances, Dribbles and Recoveries


When news first broke that Liverpool were interested in Emre Can of Bayer Leverkusen, I wrote this piece looking at how his stats are very similar to those of Lucas Leiva. Now that the deal has been formally ‘agreed in principle’, I thought it would be interesting to look at some other numbers to see how he compares to his future teammates.

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2013/14 Review – Part One

Over the course of this remarkable season, I have written just under one hundred articles on all manner of Reds-related things. Most of them looked at one statistic or another, so I thought it would be good to post updates to some of my favourite articles from the campaign just gone, to see if any particular trends or theories that I identified during this season continued to the bitter end, or sank without trace.

I will post links to the original articles, a brief explanation of what they looked at, and then the updated stats and comments. (You can also now read Part Two of the review here).

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Alberto Moreno vs Liverpool’s Left Backs


Having reviewed and assessed the stats of Adam Lallana, Suso, Emre Can and Rickie Lambert, it’s now time for the latest Liverpool transfer target, Alberto Moreno, to get the Bass Tuned To Red treatment. Whilst Ricardo Rodriguez is equally, if not more highly, rated, due to time constraints I shall stick to players that the Reds are widely reported to have made offers for.

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Rickie Round Up

WhoScored Lambert

If Liverpool complete the signing of Southampton’s Rickie Lambert, then they will own three of the four players who hit double figures for both goals and assists in the Premier League last season (and we can safely assume that the fourth, Wayne Rooney, won’t be moving to Anfield any time soon).

It’s funny how you can have an impression of a player in your head that turns out to be off the mark when you look into his facts and figures, and Lambert certainly fits the bill on that front as far as I am concerned.

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Error Log 2013/14

In January 2013, I wrote a piece bemoaning Liverpool’s innate ability to cause themselves self-inflicted damage via defensive errors. Whilst the team’s form in this area improved over the rest of 2012/13, with the error per game rate dropping from 1.45 to 0.95, in 2013/14 the Reds unfortunately performed even worse than in Brendan Rodgers’ debut campaign.

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Can Can Do What Lucas Can?


Liverpool are currently heavily linked with a move for Bayer Leverkusen’s twenty year old German midfielder Emre Can. A quick glance at his stats on WhoScored revealed a very similar level of output to Lucas Leiva, and as the Brazilian is currently the Reds’ last choice midfielder, it seems logical to me that Can may be his replacement. I have therefore taken a closer look at the figures to see how they compare.

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Suso: 2013/14 Review


I recently took a look at Adam Lallana’s statistics from 2013/14, to see how he might fit into Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool squad. I’ve now taken a look along similar lines at the form of Suso, to see what he might potentially bring to the Reds in 2014/15.

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Lallana Lowdown

Lallana Positions

As the deal for Lallana appears to be close to completion, I thought I’d better move this recent piece back to the homepage.

With Liverpool hotly tipped to sign Southampton’s England international Adam Lallana, I thought I’d review his creativity stats via my chance quality system, to see if his raw numbers warrant the £20m+ transfer fee that he is likely to command. I’ve also tried to pick the bones out of a couple of other important statistics too…

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Set Piece Sustainability

Following the publication of this excellent statistical analysis of Liverpool’s 2013/14 campaign by Colin Trainor, there has been a lot of debate on Twitter about whether the Reds have been lucky to score as many goals as they have this season.

One particular aspect that interested me is set pieces, as Liverpool have scored more goals via this route than any other team in the Premier League this season: 24.

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