Here’s a quick look back to see where the suspended seasons were left. I’m going to take a look at how efficient teams have been at converting shots into shots on target whilst simultaneously limiting shots on target against. How many shots a team takes is the most basic indicator of attacking output. You don’t shoot, you don’t score after all. Shots on target goes a step further to add a qualitative element to the shots. You don’t shoot on target, you don’t score.
If shots are indicative of how likely a team is to score and shots on target are even better, then we can also turn that around defensively. To win a game you need to score more goals than the opponent, which means that as well as trying to score yourself, you need to prevent the opposition from scoring. Reducing the shots conceded likely reduces the chances to concede a goal, and reducing the shots on target conceded does even better.
During a game, teams will try to maximise their own chances of scoring and reduce the opposition’s chances of scoring at the same time. A measure that captures both aspects of this sufficiently is known as the total shots ratio, with a respective total shots on target ratio as well. For a specific game, the total shot ratio is calculated for each respective team below:
Total Shot Ratio = Shots by Team / Total Shots of both Teams
Since every shot one team takes is a shot conceded by the other team, the sum of ratios for each team will always be 1. This also means that a total shots conceded ratio can be calculated, which turns out to be equal to the total shot ratio for the opposition in a single game.
This measure considers the proportion of shots you take against the total shots in a game. This means that if both teams have lots of shots, then the match is more likely to be equal. Whereas if one team takes lots of shots AND stops the opponent from taking lots of shots then that must be better, which is reflected here.
I’ve taken the shot and shots on target information for each match so far in each league to calculate the total shot ratio and total shots on target ratio for each match. Although not every team has played each other just yet, an average of these per game ratios was easiest to represent how each team has performed so far. Teams with high total shots on target ratios are likely to be the stronger teams in the league. Teams with higher total shots on target ratios than total shots ratios appear to be more efficient in terms of creating shots on target for themselves and limiting their opponents to just shots. Whilst teams with lower total shots on target ratios than total shots ratios seem to adhere to quantity over quality when it comes to shot selection or are susceptible to concede lots of shot on target.
Below are the results for each league, they seem to be pretty good approximations for the current league tables and manages to potentially group teams into tiers.
- Barcelona and Valencia are both getting a much higher proportion of shots on target in their matches, suggests that they perhaps are hesitant to shoot and rather manufacture better chances. Or they are great at limiting their opponents to settling for off target shots
- Sevilla, Eibar and Espanol are at the opposite end of the spectrum, pretty inefficient at both ends
- Real Sociedad are deserving of their top 4 place and Bilbao arguably should be better off than their mid table place suggests
- Yet another reason why Atalanta are so good this year, they create shots on target at a higher rate than their opponents more than anyone else in the league
- 2nd down to 7th consists of the remaining European challengers and Sampdoria, who actually sit 16th! Potentially unlucky to be that far down based on shot counts
- Man City and Chelsea lead the way but are both pretty inefficient considering their shot dominance.
- Liverpool have clearly been the best team in the league and are 3rd here, with a suggestion they have been one of the more efficient teams. This goes to show that game state can have an impact on shot counts.
- Doesn’t look so good for Tottenham/Arsenal who are actually below 0.5 for Total Shots on Target Ratios, either by chance or design they both aren’t getting shots on target as much as top half sides expect let alone Champions League teams.
- Lille are way up there almost with Paris which bodes well for them!
- Lyon look to be an efficient mid table team, which goes with their below par season so far. Expected them up with Marseille/Lille at least.
- Top 4 looks as expected, with Gladbach’s incredibly efficient shot to shots on target helping them keep pace.
- The bottom half seems to be pretty inefficient, Hertha don’t appear to like shooting on target that much..
All data from: http://www.football-data.co.uk