After defeat to West Bromwich Albion, it doesn’t get any easier for Liverpool as they travel to face Zenit St Petersburg. I’ve taken a look at the stats from the Europa League Group Stage to see how Liverpool have fared in Europe so far this season.
Obviously Zenit are a cut above what the Reds faced previously, having parachuted into the competition from the Champions League, but a few stats from Liverpool’s performance in the group stage of the Europa League suggest the Reds shouldn’t travel entirely without hope.
The Reds had the top passing accuracy of all 48 teams – 88.6%
Liverpool had the joint fifth most shots on target – 5.5 per game.
Only three sides scored more set piece goals than Liverpool, who got 4.
Liverpool played the most short passes per game of any side – 556.
The Reds were the only side not to give away a shot in their six yard box, and faced the 6th highest proportion of shots against from outside the box.
Liverpool won a greater proportion of their aerial duels than any other side – 62.1%.
Only three players played more accurate through balls per game than Suso.
Jonjo Shelvey was joint 4th top scorer in the group stage.
Having had a look at Zenit’s stats from their Champions League campaign, nothing particularly positive stands out, though of course they were in a much tougher competition than the Reds.
One thing to note – Zenit had the joint worst home disciplinary record (with eight yellows and one red) so our lads may need to be ready for a battle!
They also played the fewest long balls per game, and had a low proportion of their shots in the 6 yard box (just 3%) which suggests they’re not a very direct side.
As Liverpool have struggled against target men on numerous occasions this season, the above fact gives me some hope ahead of the match, but realistically a score draw would be a fantastic result for the Reds.
Zenit have never lost to an English side at home, but they haven’t played a competitive game since December, so hopefully Liverpool can take advantage of their lack of macth practice. Fingers crossed.