Now that we’re four weeks into the Premier League season it gives us the perfect opportunity to start analysing the data that is now readily available. A month into proceedings gives us an ideal benchmark to work with as anything less than that and the sample size is arguably too small to work with. Today’s article will look at which team is the best convert when it comes to shots.
Once again thanks to whoscored.com for providing the data, as in the table below I have calculated the efficiency rates of each of the Premier League teams in front of goal. Here you will see the percentage hit rate of each of the 20 top flight clubs.
First I’ll offer it up in a long list as below….
Here we can see that Watford convert the highest percentage of shots, with almost 1 in 5 of their efforts hitting the back of the net. A statistic that correlates with the fact that they have had such a good start to the season with a maximum points haul after four successive wins.
They are followed by Everton who have managed to convert 16.99% of all their efforts on goal, Marco Silva’s men have got off to a solid if not spectacular start, but this shows that although they are effective in their opposition’s penalty area they are perhaps let down in defence.
At the same time though one needs to look at Manchester City who managed to convert 1 in 8 chances on goal, the question this raises is are they a less efficient team or should they be celebrated for the fact that they are having more shots in the first place.
Pep Guardiola’s men have by far and away had the most shots in the Premier League this season, a statistic that we can highlight in this table: (GF – Goals For)
Not only have City had the most chances this season they are also the highest scorers in the Premier League so far. Therefore the fact that they are creating so much somewhat dilutes their efficiency in front of goal, for them to be at the same ratio as Watford they will have needed to score a total of 18 goals – an average of 4.5 per game.
Now that is not outside the limits of Pep Guardiola’s side, but it does show that perhaps the level of shots being converted also needs a greater context to be applied to it. It is perhaps a metric that almost punishes team for over creating, at the same time it’s not how much you have of the ball it is what you do with it.
In this chart we can see just how many shots are needed before a goal is scored in the Premier League (the data is the same in table 1, but using goals instead of a percentage figure)
Here we can see that Watford currently need an average of 5.3 shots on goal, with Everton not that far off behind them at 5.9. While at the other end of the scale it does not make for good reading for West Ham and Cardiff who are struggling in front of goal.
For West Ham they have no points and seem relatively toothless in the final third of the pitch, 42 shots have seen them rewarded just twice as they currently 21 shots per goal, while it worse for Neil Warnock’s Cardiff as they require 25 shots per goal.
As the weeks and months progress, the next step will be to match this data against the league placings and see what correlation we have. The question being do teams at the top have the best conversion rates, and what variance will apply between the two factors.
With the league table still being quite fluid at this time, I will hold fire to Week 10 of the season. That way we will have a quarter of the season in the bank and then I can really deep dive into the data. As with all projects such as this, the longer we get into it the more and more stories will develop.
I hope this has at least piqued your interest though. Thanks for reading.
I am always available for any football data projects you may have and/or content creation.
If you have any requirements then please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Football Data”
I am also available via twitter at @dantracey1983 – again feel free to get in touch to discuss any work. Thanks, Dan