Liverpool v Swansea
Sunday 17th February, 3pm
Liverpool were dominating against West Brom until the 80th minute of their last Premier League game before Ben Foster turned the game on it’s head by saving Steven Gerrard’s penalty. That save proved the catalyst which led to Liverpool losing 2-0.
Gerrard has six goals to his name this season, coming from 63 efforts at goal with 63.4% on target. He is also joint top in the Premier League for assists this season with 13, tied with Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez.
Gerrard is ranked 5th in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for both crosses and passes in the opposition half with 78 and 806 respectively. If you combine passes and crosses in the opposition half, Gerrard moves up to third place in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, with only Santi Cazorla and Yaya Toure having proved a more dangerous attacking midfielder this season.
Jamie Carragher officially announced his retirement for the end of the season this week, leaving Liverpool fans to debate their most effective centre backs.
Carragher has had limited playing time this season, and has averaged a defensive contribution across tackles won, interceptions, blocks and clearances every 19 minutes while on the pitch.
In fact, when looking at Liverpool’s defensive players, Lucas has contributed defensively with more frequency than any of Liverpool’s centre backs this season. Lucas has averaged a contribution every 10 minutes 42 seconds, compared to Skrtel’s 10 minutes 50 seconds and Agger’s 12 minutes 49 seconds.
Agger also has the inferior tackles won percentage among the Liverpool centre backs, winning exactly 50% of tackles attempted compared to Carraghers 66% and Skrtel’s 57.4%.
Swansea ran out 4-1 winners against Premier League strugglers QPR in their last game, thanks to Michu’s 14th and 15th goals of the season.
Michu averages 4.87 shots per goal, getting 56.1% of his shots on target. However, while Michu is the top goal scorer at Swansea, Wayne Routledge is actually the best ‘per chance’ finisher in the squad. Routledge has five goals this season, and has needed just 4 shots per goal and has an incredible 90% on target percentage for his efforts (18 on target from 20 shots).
Michu was joined on the score sheet by Angel Rangel and Pablo Hernandez as Swansea scored four goals against QPR to add to the five they put past them on the first day of the season.
Rangel’s goal was his second of the season, and he boasts impressive shooting stats for a full back having got forward to get 18 shots at goal with 72% on target this season. He is also ranked 5th among the Premier League’s defenders for passes completed in the opposition half with 480.
His most effective work, however, has been defensively where he has contributed 102 interceptions (one of 30 players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to intercept the ball 100 times or more this season). He has also won 60% of the tackles he has attempted.