Time to return to La Liga now as I once again take a look at the data available in terms of shots and goals and then analyse just how efficient a team is in front of goal. Last week it was Valencia who were top of the pile, pipping Barcelona to second place. A role reverse of their league placings. Will it be any different this week?

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

Here is the La Liga table after 13 weeks while also working out the amount of total shots taken

Team Shots pg Games Played Total Shots
Barcelona 14.8 13 192.4
Valencia 12.4 13 161.2
Atletico Madrid 11.4 13 148.2
Real Madrid 19 13 247
Sevilla 11.8 13 153.4
Villarreal 12.5 13 162.5
Real Sociedad 14.6 13 189.8
Real Betis 10.7 13 139.1
Celta Vigo 13.1 13 170.3
Girona 13.6 13 176.8
Leganes 12 13 156
Espanyol 11.1 13 144.3
Getafe 10.7 13 139.1
Levante 10.9 13 141.7
Eibar 11.5 13 149.5
Athletic Bilbao 11.7 13 152.1
Deportivo La Coruna 13.5 13 175.5
Las Palmas 10.6 13 137.8
Malaga 11.6 13 150.8
Alaves 10 13 130

Now let’s rank the 20 teams in order of shot efficiency (as always from smallest to largest)

Team GF Total Shots Shot Efficency
Valencia 33 161 4.9
Barcelona 34 192 5.7
Real Betis 23 139 6.0
Real Sociedad 27 190 7.0
Atletico Madrid 21 148 7.1
Celta Vigo 24 170 7.1
Getafe 19 139 7.3
Villarreal 21 163 7.7
Sevilla 17 153 9.0
Real Madrid 25 247 9.9
Levante 14 142 10.1
Deportivo La Coruna 17 176 10.3
Athletic Bilbao 14 152 10.9
Girona 16 177 11.1
Eibar 13 150 11.5
Malaga 11 151 13.7
Las Palmas 10 138 13.8
Espanyol 10 144 14.4
Leganes 9 156 17.3
Alaves 7 130 18.6

However that data above will look better once we populate it into a graph, here is how things stand in terms of shot efficiency after 13 weeks of the La Liga season.


As you can see once again it is Valencia who are the top of this particular metric, not only that but they need less than 5 shots per goal. They may be second in La Liga but they have again showed their dominance over Barcelona, not only that but they require 0.8 less chances than that of Ernesto Valverde’s men.

That 5.7 figure for Barcelona could have been lower had Lionel Messi’s ghost goal been awarded at the weekend, had that counted then their shots to goals to ratio would have instead been at 5.5. Still 0.6 shots more than that of a Valencia side that are night and day compared to last season.

Barcelona’s efficiency has actually crept up 0.1 while the opposite can be said for Real Betis who have moved down from 6.1 shots per goal to exactly 6.0. When looking at this graph the habit is always to look for Real Madrid and see just where exactly they lie.

This time around they find themselves the tenth most efficient team in La Liga moving up one place from eleventh the week before. This would have been helped by their three goal over Malaga at the weekend and they now require just under 10 shots per goal. They are however creating a lot more than the likes of Barcelona and Valencia.

To get the kind of ratio that those two clubs are currently at they would need to score 49 goals from their first 13 matches, almost double the 25 goal tally that they have racked up. Again does the metric punish them for creating too much, perhaps that said it is all about efficiency at the end of the day.

At the end of the day, an argument could be made that perhaps teams near the top of the table can afford to be less efficient because they will always create more. It does then lend itself to a glass half/glass full scenario, do you congratulate a team for creating or punish them for not being ruthless. A perfect example in the Premier League would be Tottenham.

As promised though here is a graph depicting the difference in shot efficiency from each club, I’ll leave the ranking as above so you can get a clearer idea of the change from Week 12 to Week 13 in La Liga.


As you can see there are small increases for both Valencia and Barcelona while both Madrid clubs have profited from a good week as they have seen their shot efficiency rating decrease by 1.2 shots for Atletico and 0.6 for Real. The biggest winners are always at the bottom though, I think this can be explained by the fact that they are starting from such a high base that there is more scope for the numbers to come down.

The minus figures here indicate an improvement while the positive figures include a worsening off so the big winners this week where both Malaga and Las Palmas who managed to shave at least 2 shots of their efficiency ratio while the big losers where Levante and Leganes who added at least as shot each to theirs.

Let’s now take a look at how La Liga would look if it was ranked by shots on goal alone

Team Total Shots
Real Madrid 247
Barcelona 192
Real Sociedad 190
Girona 177
Deportivo La Coruna 176
Celta Vigo 170
Villarreal 163
Valencia 161
Leganes 156
Sevilla 153
Athletic Bilbao 152
Malaga 151
Eibar 150
Atletico Madrid 148
Espanyol 144
Levante 142
Real Betis 139
Getafe 139
Las Palmas 138
Alaves 130

As we mentioned above Real Madrid are 55 shots clear of Barcelona while some 86 shots clear of Valencia, it’s more startling that Valencia are the second highest goal scorers in La Liga but have only created the eighth highest amount of chances in La Liga.

It probably comes as no real surprise that Alaves sit bottom of the chances created table especially as they are also the least efficient team in front of goal out of the 20 La Liga teams. I think the team in the most surprising position is Atletico Madrid they have only created the 14th most chances in the division.

That said they are the fifth most efficient team out of the rankings. However they are third in the table behind Barcelona and Valencia so there is a level of under performance there. Which leads me neatly into the variance between the two charts.

Let’s see what correlation or lack thereof there is between league placing and shot efficiency


The big winners here are Getafe who are six places better off then their current standing in La Liga (13th to 7th) but it must be noted that there are a lot of winners this week, fifty percent of teams have seen an increase compared to their league placing.

If we look at the three parameters, they are split as such

10 Positive
2 Neutral
8 Negative

I’ve never seen a split like that in any of the leagues that I’ve analysed and you only have to look at the teams who are worse off to see the chart is turned on it’s head. Barcelona are a place down after swapping with Valencia while Atletico Madrid are two places worse off.

However it is Real Madrid who are the team that have lost out the most out of all the clubs in the Champions League places, they may be 4th in the league but they are only the 10th most efficient team in La Liga. If they manage to move up the table you should be able to make the conclusion that their efficiency will improve also, although that is not necessarily a given.

Let’s see how the rankings have changed week on week as we find out who are the biggest movers and shakers


It is a very even split with seven teams improving, seven staying the same and six being worse off. Atletico Madrid are the big winners moving up three places while Real Sociedad are the only other team to make a sizeable change as they improve two places.

It’s at the bottom end where four teams have had weeks to forget as Espanyol, Levante, Getafe and Celta Vigo all drop two spots. Celta arguably feeling it the most as they drop from fourth place in the charts down to six. While there is no change for Barcelona and Valencia. Will this be the case next week?

That concludes everything in Week 13, I’ll bring you Week 14 at some point in the next few days (after the weekend obviously) the content is getting more and more in depth with each article which can only be a good thing as there are still plenty of directions in which we can take this data.

Next up I’ll be doing the same with Germany, France and Italy while also looking at some varied Premier League ideas, so keep an eye out for those. Also if you have any idea for analysis then please feel free to leave them in the comments below.


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.