As part of a forum argument about who has the better set of strikers out of Liverpool and Manchester United, I compiled some simple statistics from the 2012/13 Premier League campaign to add to the debate.
It was interesting to see how similar they were last season, so I thought I’d share the numbers here.
As Fabio Borini was injured for most of the campaign, and Danny Welbeck only notched a solitary league goal in his twenty-seven appearances, I focused on the big two from each club, and I used the NBC Sports website to collate the stats, as they enable you to easily strip out penalties, which makes for a fairer comparison.
Rooney and van Persie: 34 goals.
Suárez and Sturridge: 33 goals.
The two pairings also had a remarkably similar number of shots on target:
Rooney and van Persie: 114 shots on target, 29.8% conversion.
Suárez and Sturridge: 113 shots on target, 29.2% conversion.
How about shots in total? This is where a noticeable difference finally occurs:
Rooney and van Persie: 224 shots in total, 15.2% conversion
Suárez and Sturridge: 244 shots in total, 13.5% conversion
The pairings have very similar figures for goals scored and shots on target, but Brendan Rodgers’ boys took an extra twenty shots, for no gain at all. They also played over 900 minutes fewer than the United chaps, meaning that the Liverpool twosome shot every seventeen minutes compared to the Red Devils’ twenty-three.
Of the four players, Sturridge had the most accurate shooting (56.5%), and Suárez the least (42.3%). As a pair, Rooney and van Persie tested the goalkeeper with 50.9% of their shots, whilst the ‘Pool boys were slightly behind on 46.3%.
Not a lot in it, but as the United men shoot less frequently, it appears to help them be more clinical (and as I wrote here, the Champions created a higher proportion of clear cut chances too, which will have helped greatly).
There’s nothing paticularly revelatory in these findings, I was just intrigued by the similarities so I thought I’d share them.
If we assume that Rooney and Suárez may well leave their respective clubs this summer, it’ll be interesting to see how the other two fare with their new strike colleagues in 2013/14; based on last season’s figures, Liverpool will retain their more accurate striker, but United their least…
Related articles you might enjoy:
The Dan and Van Show – A comparison of Sturridge and van Persie ahead of the East Lancs derby at Old Trafford.
Daniel Sturridge: In Numbers – The lowdown on Liverpool’s new signing in January 2013.
Evra-gate: The Impact on Suárez Performance – How did an accusation of racial abuse affect Luis Suárez’ productivity on the pitch?
Robin van Persie: 2011/12 Distorts The Picture – A rare non-Liverpool column, looking at how RvP’s stats were distinctly average prior to that season.