Statistical Analysis: Liverpool Top Of The Premier League Table

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To the surprise of many but perhaps not all, Liverpool sit top of the Premier League table after four matches. Today on the blog Barries View breaks down the stats.

Liverpool were the only side to have won their first 3 games to start the 2013-14 Premier League season and top the table after 4 games following their 2-2 draw at Swansea City on Monday night. This is a great improvement on last season when Brendan Rodgers first stepped into the hot seat an Anfield, losing 3-0 on the opening day to West Bromwich Albion and picking up just 2 points from their first 5 games.

Daniel Sturridge is the first player to have scored in each of Liverpool’s first four Premier League games of a season whilst another player from Chelsea, Victor Moses (on loan) has scored their other goal. Controversial striker Luis Suárez is set to return from suspension after Liverpool’s next Premier League match at home to Southampton, making him available for Manchester United in the Capital One Cup.

Here is a look at some key Liverpool player and team statistics:

Shooting

Daniel Sturridge has fired 11 shots on goal in his opening four matches to start the season; 7 of these have been on target with 4 of them finding the back of the net.

Philippe Coutinho has only found the target with 3 of his 9 attempts on goal but has fired 6 ambitious shots from outside of the penalty area. The Brazilian has 3 goals in 16 Premier League appearances since arriving from Internazionale in January 2013.

Liverpool had been heavily reliant on Daniel Sturridge in their first 3 games before Victor Moses came up with a goal on his debut in their 2-2 draw at Swansea in matchday 4. For all of their possession in their first match against Stoke City, Liverpool weren’t greatly productive in front of goal.

During their second match after controlling the first half, they eased off the second with Glen Johnson having their only shot on goal in the second 45 and that wasn’t on target. Liverpool have not scored in the second half so far this season.

Creativity

Steven Gerrard has created the most chances for Liverpool this season but the England captain has yet to record an assist.

5 of the chances Iago Aspas has created this season came in the season opener versus Stoke City, as did his assist for Daniel Sturridge’s long range goal.

Likewise, all 6 of Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho’s chances setup for teammates came against Stoke City. Coutinho has not been involved with any of Liverpool’s 5 goals this season and his lower passing accuracy than the rest of the majority of his teammates can be explained by his ambitious passing. The Brazilian burst on the scene with 7 assists in 13 matches from February onwards last season but has not created a single chance for his teammate in his last three matches now.

Defenders José Enrique and Daniel Agger have setup Sturridge's further two goals.

Defence

Holding midfielder Lucas Leiva has been the most productive in winning the ball back for Liverpool. His 16 tackles and 11 interceptions leads the team in both categories. No other player has blocked more shots for Brendan Rodgers' side than the Brazilian in the opening four games.

Glen Johnson who has been bombing down the wing from right-back had made a dozen tackles in his opening three matches this season before injury struck. Captain Steven Gerrard has made 8 tackles and a further 9 interceptions to win the ball back for his side.

Shots Allowed

New signing in goal Simon Mignolet started his career at Liverpool with 3 clean sheets, making 12 saves including 1 penalty in his opening three matches. The Belgian goalkeeper saw a few nervy moments the first half of his first game but went 271 minutes before conceding a goal to Jonjo Shelvey at Swansea City.

Simon Mignolet made 5 saves including Jonathan Walters' penalty on the opening day to secure a 1-0 win for Liverpool. Lucas Leiva made a goalline clearance in the game too as the visitors fired half a dozen shots on target.

The Belgian shot stopper was called into action 3 times against Aston Villa in Liverpool's second game, including a smart save to deny Christian Benteke in the second half.

Manchester United fired in 4 shots on target against Simon Mignolet before the international break.

Jonjo Shelvey and Michu before converted for Swansea City as Simon Mignolet’s clean sheet record was broken during a 2-2 draw at Swansea City on Monday.

Possession

Liverpool averaged 57.2% of the possession throughout last season – the third highest percentage in the Premier League. Strong emphasis was put on maintaining possession by Brendan Rodgers – in the same way his Swansea City side did.

To start the 2013-14 season, Liverpool's possession average has dropped down to 48.1%. They started the season at home to Stoke City in which they maintained 55%, before controlling 53% at Aston Villa. Manchester United were able keep hold of the ball for longer at Anfield, holding Liverpool down to 43% and then Swansea kept the Reds down to 41% at the Liberty Stadium in their fourth game.

Passing Accuracy

Liverpool completed 84.2% of their passes throughout the 2012-13 season.

Brendan Rodgers' side started this season with an 81.6% pass success rate at home to Stoke and then 82% at Aston Villa. Manchester United were a bit more disruptive against Liverpool as the home side were only able to complete 75% of their passes in a 1-0 win before raising it back to 82% in their 2-2 draw at Swansea City.

Summer Transfers

Mamadou Sakho

£15m from Paris Saint-Germain

The 23-year old French centre-back has 14 caps for the French national team. Liverpool brought Mamadou Sakho to England after the former Paris Saint-Germain player requested a move away from the Parc des Princes after not featuring for the defending Ligue 1 champions in the first few games of the season. After being easily dribble past by Jonjo Shelvey inside 2 minutes on his debut, Sakho recovered to make a number of clearances for his side.

Simon Mignolet

£9m from Sunderland

The Belgian goalkeeper couldn’t have made a much more impressive start to his career at Liverpool when he went 3 games, 3 clean sheets, 3 wins and 1 penalty save before conceding 2 in a draw with Swansea. Appears to be an upgrade on Pepe Reina who moved on loan to Napoli.

Iago Aspas

£7m from Celta Vigo

The highly-rated young Spaniard made an impressive debut against Stoke City despite failing to score. Has shown he is capable of getting in goalscoring positions as well as setting up chances for teammates.

Tiago Ilori

£7m from Sporting Club

A 20-year old centre-back who has a lot of competition to start for Liverpool this season. Born in London, eligible to play for both England and Portugal. Is quick and good in the air.

Luis Alberto

£6.8m from Sevilla

20-year old Spanish midfielder who had limited first-team experience at Sevilla. Made his debut playing the final 6 minutes against Manchester United before the summer transfer deadline and international break.

Kolo Touré

Free from Manchester City

The Ivory Coast international has won the Premier League with both Arsenal and Manchester City and has played every minute in Liverpool's opening 3 victories before dropping to the bench for Mamadou Sakho to start at Swansea. Looked a decent threat going forward from set pieces too.

Aly Cissokho

Loan from Valencia

A highly-rated French left back will give José Enrique competition for a place in the starting line up. Has 1 cap for the French national team and has played for FC Porto, Olympique Lyonnais and Valencia.

Victor Moses

Loan from Chelsea

The pacey Nigerian international has Premier League experience with Wigan Athletic and Chelsea. Has shown he can score a few goals from playing out wide and scored on his Liverpool debut after starting the game on the left wing.

 

Liverpool Current Odds For 2013/2014

 bet365BetfredPaddy PowerWilliamHillBetVictor
To Win Premier League 9.00 10.00 11.00 9.00 9.00
Top 4 Finish 2.10 2.38 2.25 2.00 2.38
To Win FA Cup 11.00 9.00 11.00 11.00 11.00
To Win League Cup 12.00 12.00 13.00 12.00 15.00

Odds as at 18th August 2013.

 

 

Data provided by Opta Sports

Follow Barrie on Twitter: @BarriesView

And read more of his work at BarriesView.com

Premier League blogger, statistician and fan.