Attacking & Defensive Effectiveness – top European divisions
Seeing as the attack and defence charts for the Football League have proven so popular, I thought I’d throw together a version comparing as many top flight divisions as possible. Unfortunately I could only find sufficiently granular free data for England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France, but this is still plenty to be getting on with. Clubs are colour coded by country as I’m sure you’ll work out.
There are two graphs: the first compares how many shots each team averages per match vs. how many shots it takes them to score each goal, and the second flips this around to compare shots faced and goals conceded. The axes are centred on the overall average, splitting the distribution into labelled quadrants and the shading shows areas outside 1 standard deviation from the average. This might be explained better via the ‘Explanations’ tab above.
Click each picture to bring up a full-sized version in a separate tab.
A few quick observations to give you the idea if you’ve not seen these before:
- Juventus take the most shots per match – while Real Madrid aren’t far behind, both they and Bayern are more efficient at converting chances.
- What’s interesting is that Hannover just edge Man Utd as the second most clinical side here, although the Premier League leaders fashion an average of 3 additional chances per match to give them a greater overall goal threat.
- Barcelona are the most clinical team in front of goal, requiring an average of just over 4 shots to score each goal while La Liga stablemates Osasuna are the most wasteful, needing almost 4 times as many.
- At least Osasuna are having a respectable amount of shots on goal, which is more than can be said for Greuther Fürth. Aston Villa and Reims join them in being an unwanted outlier for both chance creation and conversion
Again a few quick example observations:
- Bayern and PSG are significantly tougher to break down than any other side here, with both able to soak up an average of around 20 shots before conceding. The former are also the best here at restricting their opponents’ chances, although Atlético Madrid and Marseille aren’t far behind.
- Nobody has to face more shots than Pescara, who have to endure almost 18 per match while the easiest defence to breach is that of Hoffenheim, which requires just over 5 shots.
When you compare it to the same charts for the Football League, the one thing that stands out is how much better the leading teams are doing. While the lowest points of the distribution are in a similar position, the upper reaches are way out in front, suggesting to me that the funds available to the most successful teams allow them to attain significantly higher levels of performance. There were outliers like Bayern in the early stages of the Football League season, but none of them were able to sustain this over half a season.
Hopefully these are useful – if anyone knows where I can get shots taken and faced data for other leagues then please let me know – I’d love to cram even more teams onto these.