Scatter graphics: Bundesliga, 4 Jan 2017
I realised that it’s been unforgivably long since I took a look at the major European leagues with my scatter graphics. Each of the three graphics is explained briefly below but there’s a longer explanation here.
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).
Bayern are unsurprisingly the most dominant team in the division by quite some distance: they create three more shots per game than anyone else and allow over a shot fewer than the next most disciplined defence.
The nearest challengers in dominance terms are Dortmund and Leipzig, suggesting that the latter’s surprise emergence as a title challenger owes impressively little to luck.
In the opposite corner are Darmstadt, who take the fewest shots and allow more in return than anyone except Werder Bremen.
There’s plenty of entertainment for the neutral in Hoffenheim matches, where more shots than average fly in at both ends of the pitch.
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:
While Bayern create the most opportunities, four clubs – including Dortmund and Leipzig – are more clinical at converting shots into goals. Hertha take fewer shots than anyone except Darmstadt but their impressive efficiency means that they score plenty.
There’s a clearly separate cluster of six clubs in the upper left who are struggling with the attacking side of the game this season. Despite creating an above-average number of chances, Ingolstadt are the most wasteful finishers in the division.
Next 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:
Despite allowing opponents plenty of scoring opportunities, Köln have absorbed more efforts for each goal conceded than anyone else and as a result have one of the best defensive records.
Apart from Bayern, Frankfurt have also performed impressively: allowing few shots and soaking up lots of punishment. A lot of the shots faced by Hoffenheim are also being repelled so far.
There are plenty of clubs struggling at the back, with Werder Bremen allowing the most shots and also being among the leakiest. Surprisingly the most porous defence of all is Leverkusen‘s, although this isn’t a huge problem considering that only four sides permit fewer shots.