The clubs in the Eredivisie have started a very short hibernation. Time for VoetbalPrimeur to take stock after the first months of the season. With today: the data and statistics.
Expected Goals and Reality
In football, use is increasingly made of data that calculate Expected Goals (XG). This is a number based on the chances a team gets and the probability that those chances will result in a goal. For example, it has been statistically proven that a penalty kick results in a goal in eight out of ten cases and so a team that gets a penalty gets 0.8 in the Expected Goals statistic.
With those figures you can therefore see how many opportunities a team creates and how many goals they have scored more or less than science predicts. With the Eredivisie figures, it is striking that Ajax scores more often than the statistics suggest. The team from Amsterdam has an XG of 2.87 goals per game, but in reality they have scored 3.71 goals per game. It could be that the afternoon in Venlo played a major role in this …
AZ and PSV also do well and find it just more often than the computer had expected: the North Hollanders scored 2.54 goals per game with an XG of 1.87 and the formation of trainer Roger Schmidt scores 2.36 times per game with an XG of 1.83. Two teams that you should give few chances, because it can also be against the proportions just hit.
However, there are also clubs that should have scored more often. The formation that misses the most opportunities is FC Utrecht. According to their XG, the number ten of the Eredivisie should have hit goal 1.77 times per game, but only managed 1.29 times per game. That has resulted in a considerable loss of points, but more about that later. John Stegeman also has cause for complaint, because his PEC Zwolle scored 1.14 goals per game with an XG of 1.50.
The rankings based on data
The above figures are also used to create a ranking based on Expected Goals. With the XG’s of each team in each match, a statistical result of a match can be drawn up, from which a ‘statistics ranking’ is generated. The points that teams are awarded there are so-called ‘Expected Points’, the points they would have had if everything had gone according to the data.
This list shows that teams such as PSV, Vitesse and FC Groningen are actually ‘too high’ in the rankings. The people of Eindhoven are the number two with 33 points, but statistically should have been just 30 points. According to the data, Vitesse should have had more than five points less and the Trots van het Noorden is already making it all the way. They are number six with 26 points and, if football was played on paper, they would have had eight (!) Points less and were in ninth place.
On the other hand, there are teams that have had bad luck and, according to statistics, should have collected more points. Ajax, Feyenoord and FC Utrecht are part of this. Based on the data, the team of trainer Erik ten Hag should ‘earn’ two points more and should therefore have a wider lead over the competition. After all: with the current 33 points, PSV has three more than their XG predicts.
In that case, Feyenoord would have been number two, because the team from Rotterdam would have had 32 points after the calculations instead of the current 29 points. Finally, there is also FC Utrecht, which, given the lack of goals, is lower than they should have been based on their game and the created opportunities. If everything had gone according to expectations, the Domstedelingen now had 23 points instead of 16 and were fifth. A big difference.
The striking statistics
In addition to the computer-controlled data, there is also such a thing as the statistics. It is especially interesting to look at the lists that you do not hear during Studio Sport. It is known that Danilo celebrates the holidays as the top scorer of the Eredivisie and that Ajax player Antony prepared most of his teammates’ goals, but which player, for example, was at the basis of the most attacks and threw the most crucial passes?
That turns out to be Dusan Tadic. The captain of Ajax sends an average of 3.9 important passes per match and thus ensures that his teammates can start a dangerous attack. It is logical that the Serb is so high, because the team from Amsterdam has already scored 52 times this season. Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord) and Oussama Tannane (Vitesse) are jointly in second place with 2.8 crucial passes per game and the surprising Kenneth Paal from PEC Zwolle also makes a contribution with 2.5 important hunches per game.
Another interesting fact is the number of head duels won by a player. A great statistic to look at if you want to know which player you want to use as a ‘coat rack in the attack’ or lock on the door and it turns out that Sebastian Polter (Fortuna Sittard) and Jörgen Strand Larsen (FC Groningen) are fine at can play on the air. The pair win an average of 4.8 head duels per match. Dani de Wit of AZ is also doing fine with 4.3 won aerial duels and with Henk Veerman and Lennart Thy sc Heerenveen and Sparta also have a number of excellent teams in their ranks.
Finally, we also zoom in on most ball conquests per match. The prize for the player who most often wins the ball for his team goes surprisingly to Jeff Hardeveld of Heracles Almelo, who wins a ball almost four times per game. Azor Matusiwa (FC Groningen) is also important for his team by winning a ball 3.6 times per game and PSV’er Olivier Boscagli also comes out as an excellent vacuum cleaner. He ensures that his team regains possession of the ball 3.1 times per game.
Source: Between the Lines, Footystats.org and WhoScored.com