Scatter graphics: Serie A, 15 Feb 2016

With the Champions League and Europa League about to start up again, I thought that it would be a good idea to take a look at each of the main European leagues. Here are updated scatter graphics for Serie A, which compare the attacking and defensive performance of each club. These are explained here if you haven’t seen them before and you can see the previous set here.

Shot dominance

First of all, here is how the number of shots taken by each club compares with those they face in return. The average number of shots taken per match is on the horizontal and the average number faced is on the vertical, so bottom right (take plenty, allow few in return) is good while top left (take few, allow plenty) is bad. The stripes are like contours: the greener the stripe, the better the performance (and vice versa for red).

2016-02-15 Italy Att Def

The runaway top two of Juventus and Napoli have been the most dominant sides in the division so far, with Juventus allowing the fewest shots and Napoli taking the most.

Third-placed Fiorentina are the next most dominant side, having looked forbidding at the back but creating a similar number of chances to the chasing pack.

Frosinone continue to allow a ridiculously high number of shots: eight more than the average side and over double that of the four tightest defences.

Attacking effectiveness

Now let’s look at attacking alone. The horizontal axis stays the same as in the graphic above, but now the vertical shows the average number of shots needed to score each league goal. Therefore bottom right is good (taking lots of shots and needing fewer efforts to convert) and top left is bad:

2016-02-15 Italy AttAgain we have Juventus and Napoli in the bottom right, showing that they make good use of their large volumes of shots.

However the most clinical finishers are among the quietest shooters: Sampdoria narrowly edge Roma as the most efficient attack in the division, despite only Bologna creating fewer chances per match.

Bottom side Verona and Udinese have both struggled in front of goal this season, carving out few chances and spurning a large proportion of those.

Defensive effectiveness

Finally let’s look at the defensive situation – basically take the above chart and replace the word “taken” for “faced” on both axes. Now top left is good – facing fewer shots and able to soak up more per goal conceded – and bottom right is bad:

2016-02-15 Italy Def

Their recent collapse in form means that Inter‘s defence looks far more mortal than it did just a month ago, although they remain narrowly the most resilient overall.

However Juventus have allowed far fewer shots in addition to soaking plenty of them up, unlike Lazio who have faced fewer shots per goal conceded than anyone else despite restricting their opponents’ chances well.

Despite only three sides allowing more shots at their goal, Chievo‘s defence is among the most effective at keeping them out.