In my last blog post, I introduced the concept of ‘chance quality’, which is a system I have devised for assessing which players and teams create the best goal scoring opportunities (read more here).
I have made the most of the two-week international break (as there was little for me, as an England fan, to enjoy on the pitch), and compiled the chance quality stats for the whole of the 2013/14 Premier League so far. Hence the name; PLCQ = Premier League Chance Quality!
It is obviously far too early to draw anything concrete from the sample available, as just thirty of the 380 matches that will be played in total this season can be included.
The following figures do however give an interesting indication of who is doing well or not already, and I suspect some of the trends will continue throughout the whole campaign.
Central Box Open Play (CBO), 5 points – Passes in open play that are received in the central area of the penalty box, which I define as the width of the six yard box reaching out from the goal line to the edge of the box.
Central Box Set Play (CBS), 3 points – These passes are received in the same area as the above, but receive fewer points as it’s far easier to put the ball in to a specific area when striking a dead ball with all of your opponents at least ten yards away.
Wide Box (WB), 3 points – The areas within the penalty area that are wide of the six yard box.
Central Outside Box (COB), 2 points – This zone maintains the width of the six yard box, but covers the area from outside of the penalty box out to where the final and midfield thirds meet.
Final Third (FT), 1 point – The rest of the final third essentially, meaning outside of the penalty area, and beyond the width of the six yard box.
Outside Final Third (OFT), 0.5 points – Self explanatory really; anywhere not included in the above zones.
So what can we see from the above chance quality figures? Manchester City lead the way in both CBO and CBO%, though considering they’ve played three teams likely to finish in the bottom half of the division, that’s probably not a surprise.
At the opposite end of the scale, Fulham have created next to nothing in the centre of the box, though in fairness to the Cottagers, their only home match has been against an Arsenal side who had a point to prove after an opening day home defeat, so Jol’s side may yet improve with some easier home fixtures.
Crystal Palace have fared little better so far, and I suspect their strikers could have a long season of waiting for decent goal scoring opportunities ahead of them. They might have created thirteen chances against Sunderland, for instance, but seven of them were OFT, with two inside their own half!
With my Liverpool hat on, it’s reasonably encouraging to see the Reds ranked sixth for CBO%, and joint third for CBO overall, as they haven’t had the easiest opening to the season.
Lets look at the assist data:
Which team leads the way in the centre of the box? Swansea City, so that’s something for the Reds to be wary of on Monday night. It could be a quirk of their small sample though; they had lots of counter-attacking opportunities in that area in their last match at West Brom, for instance.
Speaking of the Baggies, along with Hull and Tottenham, they are the three teams yet to register an assist. I found it interesting that, even allowing for the six penalties and one own goal scored in the Premier League this season, there have been eighteen goals without an assist. Who created them, and perhaps more importantly, who scored them? Could be one of the same player I guess…
Going forward, I will post regular updates on the above figures on a page at the top of the site, and occasionally write articles that dig a little deeper. As with the previous article, all feedback is very welcome in the comments below.
Recent and related posts you might like:
Liverpool’s Chance Quality – Which Red has created the best chances so far this season?
Liverpool 1 Manchester United 0: Stats Zone Analysis – The first in a new series, looking at the key issues from a match by utilising the Stats Zone chalkboards.
What A Difference A Year Makes – The gulf between Liverpool’s form in 2012 and 2013 is quite remarkable…