Which Premier League Club Has the Deadliest Strike Force?

Last time I looked at who the deadliest Premier League striker was based on their goal scoring rate.  Didier Drogba came out tops in that ranking (which surprised me as I had guessed that Wayne Rooney would win).  Today I am going to see which team has the deadliest group of strikers on a minute-by-minute basis using a similar method.

I took the weighted average of the goal rates of the strike force and compared them against each other (the more playing time a player has the more his rate contributes to the team rate).  Like last time, strikers who have less than 450 minutes of playing time have been omitted for the sake of cleaner results.

Before doing this I would expect that the results would look pretty similar to the current league table.  It seems to make sense that those teams whose first choice strikers score goals at a higher rate would be the ones higher up in the table.

Keeping that in mind here’s what I found:

Team Goal Rate Fwd Rank Lg.Position  
Manchester Utd 0.0462 1 2 Underperform
Manchester City 0.0437 2 4 Underperform
Liverpool 0.0235 3 6 Underperform
Wigan 0.0156 4 17 Underperform
Portsmouth 0.0106 5 20 Underperform
Hull City 0.0102 6 19 Underperform
Tottenham 0.0101 7 5 Overperform
West Ham 0.0097 8 16 Underperform
Sunderland 0.0095 9 13 Underperform
Stoke 0.0080 10 10 Just Right
Chelsea 0.0071 11 1 Overperform
Everton 0.0059 12 8 Overperform
Arsenal 0.0052 13 3 Overperform
Aston Villa 0.0041 14 7 Overperform
Fulham 0.0029 15 12 Overperform
Burnley 0.0027 16 18 Underperform
Bolton 0.0027 17 15 Overperform
Wolverhampton 0.0026 18 14 Overperform
Birmingham 0.0023 19 9 Overperform
Blackburn 0.0016 20 11 Overperform

-Table as of 4/13/10

Based on their strikeforce ranking some teams are in the general vicinity of their league position, for example the Manchester clubs and Stoke which is correctly predicted by the rankings.  Others however do not match at all, notably a number of relegation candidates have found their way into the top 10 with Wigan and Portsmouth being the greatest overachievers.  Arsenal, Chelsea, and Birmingham also do not rank favorably in the strikeforce table compared to their league position.

There are several reasons that would explain a team’s relative under or over performance relative to their strikeforce rank.

Overperformance – Or Winning More Games Than Your StrikeForce Score Suggests

  1. Team Effort – more goals coming from the midfielders and defenders
  2. Tighter Defense – score less goals, but concede even less
  3. Nice Spread – goals are more consistently spread out among games.  (Ex. Over two games hypothetical scorelines of  3-0 and 4-2, compared to 7-0 and 0-2 represents 3 extra points with the same number of goals scored)

Underperformance – Or Losing More Games Than Your StrikeForce Score Suggests

  1. No One Else Scores – goals are not contributed by other players
  2. Leaky Defense – score goals, but concede more
  3. Injuries – your  goal scoring rate is high but you don’t have enough playing time to make it count
  4. Lumpiness – extra goals are scored in situations where they have no affect on league position (see ‘nice spread’ above)

If we look for these characteristics in some ‘out of place’ clubs:

Overperforming Clubs

  1. Chelsea – Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda have contributed 28 goals from the midfield this season
  2. Arsenal – Cesc Fabregas and Andrei Arshavin have contributed 24 goals from the midfield this season
  3. Aston Villa – Not goalscoring fiends but (at least at one point) the tightest defense in the league
  4. Birmingham – Low scorelines both home and away

Underperforming Clubs

  1. Liverpool – Injury to main goal producer
  2. Portsmouth – High scoring rate, but poor defensive record.
  3. Hull City – High scoring rate, but poor defensive record.
  4. West Ham – Decent scoring balanced out by poor defense

Liverpool is an interesting case where a commonly held perception actually turns out to be true, i.e. that if Fernando Torres had better fitness the team would have performed much better in the league.  This is supported by the fact that Torres ranks as the second deadliest striker in the league (determined last time) but ranks seventh in the playing time (26% fewer minutes than Drogba and 31% fewer than Rooney) he has gotten compared to other top 10 strikers.

Stats including defenders and midfielders coming soon!

Which Premier League Club Has the Deadliest Strike Force?

2 thoughts on “Which Premier League Club Has the Deadliest Strike Force?

  1. But are clubs really “overperforming” or “underperforming” just because their league position is different to their strikers’ rank?
    It’s usually better if the goals are being shared amongst the rest of the team… as the above table supports

    And some of the teams’ league position are pretty close to their strike force’s rating so there should be some sort of leniency.

    Great blog by the way – added to blogroll 😉

    1. The performance of the strikeforce is definitely not completely predictive of league performance (Chelsea is a good example where this the case) for the reason you mention. The striking ranking is certainly more interesting on it’s own.

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