Shot Position Average Model – SPAM

Last time out we looked at different sectors of the pitch and how many shots it was taking on average to score a goal from there in the EPL this season.

We stated we’d continue to collect the data going forward and that we’d go back to previous seasons too. Well, the data now covers over 15,000 EPL shots going back to the beginning of last season. The number of shots it takes to score from the different areas hasn’t changed much at all:


You’ll note we’ve now given penalties a separate value and also direct free kicks. It seems it’s around 50% harder to score from outside the box during open play as it is to pop one in from a dead ball outside the box. Also, a point to note is that we’ve omitted og’s as it’s often difficult to tell whether they came from an intended shot or cross.

We decided to apply these averages to each teams shots in the EPL last season from these zones. Here’s how it looks:


You’ll see that there were 3 teams bucking the average – Man Utd, Man City and Liverpool. It’s perhaps unsurprising with the first two considering the attacking talent both possess. Liverpool on the other hand are decidedly poor in converting their chances. The rest are all pretty much in line with expectation.

Here’s how the defences of each team fared:


There’s 6 teams bucking the trend here. Unsurprisingly, at one end of the scale are the relegated teams – Bolton, Blackburn and Wolves – badly under-performing defences going down to the Championship.

In our next post we’ll look in more detail at the 3 defences that performed well above average – Sunderland, Man Utd and Wba and also the Liverpool side who performed so badly in front of goal for the shots they had (and indeed continue to do this season).

NB: We have switched from the excellent Squawka to Stats Zone in order to be able to go back season on season using the same data source.

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