Time to once again look at shot efficiency in the Premier League now and things have changed in terms of shots and team that has had the most. Well it’s now two teams who share that mantle as Manchester City top another chart but they are joined alongside Arsenal.

That is down to two factors, one Manchester City laying siege on Adrian’s goal on Sunday while David De Gea was hit with the whole artillery from the Gunners on Saturday as he had to deal with no fewer than 33 efforts as Jose Mourinho’s men left The Emirates with all three points.

If we take a look at how the Premier League would look if it was ranked on shots alone it would look as follows, I’ll use goals for as the tiebreaker to split Manchester City and Arsenal.

Team GF Total Shots
Manchester City 46 270
Arsenal 29 270
Liverpool 33 263
Tottenham 23 257
Chelsea 28 218
Manchester United 35 212
Southampton 15 201
Newcastle United 14 191
Crystal Palace 8 183
Watford 25 179
Stoke 18 165
Burnley 14 153
Everton 19 152
Bournemouth 13 152
West Ham 13 149
Leicester 20 146
West Bromwich Albion 12 137
Brighton 14 128
Huddersfield 9 128
Swansea 8 125

As you can see that has dropped Liverpool to third in the rankings in terms of shots while Tottenham drop down to fourth as their run of games without a Premier League win extends to four matches, they have at least moved back into the top six of the table and once again the ‘big six’ have created the most chances this season.

At the other end of the table we are starting to see some symmetry here as the bottom two league goalscorers are now the teams that have created the fewest chances. Swansea are in keeping with the fact that they are now bottom of the table while Huddersfield are slightly going against convention here with the fact that they currently find themselves 16th.

It is all very well creating chances but at the end of the day if you don’t turn these into goals then it can all be for nothing, if we now look at the shot data after Week 15 of the season we can now see just how efficient the teams are

Once again thanks to whoscored.com for all the necessary data.

Here is the Premier League league table after 15 weeks while also working out the amount of total shots taken

Manchester City 18.0 15 270
Manchester United 14.1 15 212
Chelsea 14.5 15 218
Liverpool 17.5 15 263
Arsenal 18.0 15 270
Tottenham 17.1 15 257
Burnley 10.2 15 153
Watford 11.9 15 179
Leicester 9.7 15 146
Everton 10.1 15 152
Southampton 13.4 15 201
Brighton 8.5 15 128
Stoke 11.0 15 165
Bournemouth 10.1 15 152
Newcastle United 12.7 15 191
Huddersfield 8.5 15 128
West Bromwich Albion 9.1 15 137
Crystal Palace 12.2 15 183
West Ham 9.9 15 149
Swansea 8.3 15 125

While here are those twenty teams ranked in terms of shot efficiency (smallest to largest)

Team GF Total Shots Shot Efficency
Manchester City 46 270 5.9
Manchester United 35 212 6.0
Watford 25 179 7.1
Leicester 20 146 7.3
Chelsea 28 218 7.8
Liverpool 33 263 8.0
Everton 19 152 8.0
Brighton 14 128 9.1
Stoke 18 165 9.2
Arsenal 29 270 9.3
Burnley 14 153 10.9
Tottenham 23 257 11.2
West Bromwich Albion 12 137 11.4
West Ham 13 149 11.4
Bournemouth 13 152 11.7
Southampton 15 201 13.4
Newcastle United 14 191 13.6
Huddersfield 9 128 14.2
Swansea 8 125 15.6
Crystal Palace 8 183 22.9

But let’s take a look at that in graph form


Again it is Manchester City at the top but only just with their gap at the top to arch rivals Manchester United diminishing even further, could this be a case of life imitating art at the weekend when the two teams face off at Old Trafford.

We mentioned earlier that Manchester City and Arsenal are joint in terms of shots taken this season but Arsenal require 3.4 more shots on average before they score, it does make you wonder if this figure is somewhat distorted by the fact that they had so many chances on Saturday.

That is one thing that it doesn’t take into account off, that if a team is absolutely peppering an opposition goal with efforts and are being stopped by a world class goalkeeper, maybe we then need to look at the defensive ratio of each team and how the two correlate – I did mention that a few weeks ago, I think it is certainly something to look into in due course. I think over Christmas might be the best way to do it.

There is nothing to split the two Merseyside clubs as they both need exactly eight chances per Premier League goal, here you can argue what exactly is more impressive the fact that Everton need eight with fewer chances or Liverpool need eight after creating more. That is something that is up for debate.

While Tottenham’s efficiency is at 11.2, it has gone slightly further in after their draw with Watford. When you consider the fact that they have scored 50% of the goals that Manchester City have while City need half the chances to find the net it does make you wonder just what exactly is the disconnect for Tottenham – the fact they are lacking ruthlessness not withstanding.

At the bottom Swansea managed to find the net thanks to Wilfried Bony but they still only average 0.53 goals per game, they are now at the foot of the table after their defeat to Stoke at the weekend and are once again the 19th most efficient team in the division requiring 15.9 shots per goal.

Crystal Palace however have got cause for celebration as they are off the bottom of the Premier League for the first time this season, they are up to the relative heady heights of 18th although they still need to work on their shot efficiency which is at 22.9 shots per goal.

It would be interesting to see what Crystal Palace’s shot efficiency would look like in the Roy Hodgson era along, that is something that I will delve into so that we can compare and contrast and see just how much of a lift the former England manager has given the Eagles.

Let’s see the week on the week differences after the midweek action


The two Manchester clubs had a swing of 0.3 shots either way, City expanding while United shrinking while Arsenal thanks to the David De Gea factor added an extra 0.8 shots per goal. They however were not the big losers of Week 15 though.

Burnley lost their second successive game of the season and subsequently added 1 shot per goal to their efficiency ranking while Crystal Palace added 1.2 shots to theirs after drawing a blank for the second time in the space of a week. However those blanks have seen them earn two points so not all bad at the same time.

West Brom were the big losers in terms of their efficiency rating as they held Palace to a draw, this could be deemed as a positive though for new manager Alan Pardew as at least his Baggies side are creating chances, something that they were hardly guilty of in the past few months.

The big winners were Liverpool who shaved 0.6 off their shot tally after scoring five goals against Brighton while Everton shaved a whole shot of their shots to goals ratio after their 2-0 win at home to Huddersfield who in turn added 0.7 shots to theirs.

Let’s have a look at the variance between shot efficiency and Premier League table placing


Surprisingly the only two teams who are in the same position in terms of shot efficiency and their current Premier League are based in Manchester, after that it is all up in the air. Let’s see how the three parameters are split first

8 Positive
2 Neutral
10 Negative

So half of the Premier League are less efficient than their current league position with Tottenham once again with the biggest disparity between the two. They are sixth in the table but only twelfth when it comes to efficiency in front of goal.

Their North London rivals Arsenal do not fare all that much better as they are five places worse off with a current 5th place in the league and 10th in terms of efficiency, staying in London we can see Crystal Palace are two places worse off but at least this highlights that they are off the bottom of the table.

While the big winners in terms of variance are Watford, Leicester and West Ham who are all five places better off than their league standing suggests – Watford (8th and 3rd), Leicester (9th and 4th) while West Ham are obviously getting let down by a poor defence due to being 19th and 14th when looking at the two metrics.

Let’s see how the teams have changed in efficiency ranking from week to week


I’ve changed the layout of the graph slightly so that you can see how teams rank this week in comparison to how they fared in the article before and as you can see it is Arsenal who are the big losers as they slumped from 6th down to 10th again though there is a very Spanish caveat in the shape of David De Gea to explain that.

West Brom who can come to the conclusion that they would have created chances against Crystal Palace but not scored while Watford and Leicester swapped places after both scoring just the one goal at the weekend, Liverpool and Stoke will however be celebrating the most after both moving up two places.

I will be back later in the week with a whole raft of data as I travel across Europe to bring you up to date on this ongoing project. The joys of being a Freelance Football Statistician.


I hope this was of interest to you and if you have any football data work available then please contact me at realfootballmanwordpress@gmail.com as I am always looking to undertake additional projects to the ones I already have. Thanks, Dan.