England’s Best XI | Part 3: Strikers | Opta Stats Analysis

England’s Best XI | Part 3: Strikers | Opta Stats Analysis

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With the Goalkeeper, Defence and Midfield already chosen for England’s best XI (England’s Best XI Part I: Defence & England’s Best XI Part II: Midifled) we will now look at who should lead the line for England this summer.

We have again given the player who came out on top in each section of the comparison 5 points, the player who came second 3 points and the player that came third 1 point and then added up the totals.

We have used Opta statistics from the 2011/2012 season up to and including the matches that took place on Sunday 15th April 2012.

Strikers

The results of the striker comparison show that Wayne Rooney is the clear winner in this comparison with 35 points, 20 points ahead of Darren Bent and Grant Holt who tie on 15 points.

Wayne Rooney came in the top 3 in every single statistic that has been compared, topping 5 out of the 9 them. This just goes to show what a massive loss he will be for the first two games of Euro 2012 while he serves his suspension.

Rooney has scored 22 goals this season which is 9 more than Holt who has scored 13 and 12 more than Defoe, Sturridge and Graham who have all scored 10 goals this season. Rooney has also scored a goal every 110 minutes, which is better ratio than Defoe who has scored a goal every 117 minutes and Holt who has scored a goal every 155 minutes for Norwich this season.

Rooney has also created a chance for his team every 55 minutes which is 4 minutes more often than Carroll, 7 minutes more often than his United teammate Welbeck and 10 minutes more often than Holt.

Rooney has also created 11 clear-cut chances for United this season which is 3 more than Holt who has created 8 and 5 more than his teammate Welbeck who has created 6. He also creates a clear-cut chance every 195 minutes for his team, which is 57 minutes more often than Holt, and 106 minutes more often than Welbeck.

Grant Holt has the joint best chance conversion rate with Jermain Defoe and Darren Bent who all convert 23% of their chances. This is 1% better than Rooney and Crouch and 4% better than Danny Graham.

As well as converting 23% of his chances Bent also gets 67% of his chances on target which is 7% better than Rooney and 8% better than Welbeck. It also takes Bent 64 minutes to lose possession of the ball which is 11 minutes longer than Graham, 13 minutes longer than Rooney and 36 minutes longer than Holt.

Therefore, as Wayne Rooney comes out a clear winner in this comparison he is the obvious choice to play up front by himself in the 4-3-3 formation and up front with either Darren Bent or Grant Holt in the 4-4-2 formation. Although, Holt will need to work on two main things if he wants to be successful in an England shirt – his pass completion and keeping possession of the ball better as he scores quite low in both of these statistics. The same thing can be said for Darren Bent who needs to improve his pass completion and needs to create more clear-cut chances for his teammates.

As Holt and Bent both finished on 15 points we have compared them against each other and Holt comes out on top. Holt has scored more goals per minute than Bent this season as well as creating more clear-cut and overall chances per minute than Bent. There is also a question mark on Bent’s fitness for this summer as he has been out of action for a while.

Striker Choices: 4-4-2 Wayne Rooney and Grant Holt

                            4-3-3 Wayne Rooney

Although, as Wayne Rooney is suspended for the first two games of Euro 2012 Grant Holt should be chosen to play up front by himself in the 4-3-3 and partnered alongside Darren Bent if he is fit in the 4-4-2 formation.

England’s Best XI via Opta Stats

Without Rooney

Striker Choices:

4-4-2 Grant Holt and Darren Bent

4-4-3 Grant Holt

With Rooney

4-4-2 – Hart, G.Johnson, Ferdinand, Lescott, Baines, Lennon, Gerrard, Scholes, A.Johnson, Holt , Rooney.

4-3-3 – Hart, G.Johnson, Ferdinand, Lescott, Baines, Lennon, Carrick, Gerrard, Scholes, A.Johnson, Rooney.

Without Rooney

4-4-2 – Hart, G.Johnson, Ferdinand, Lescott, Baines, Lennon, Gerrard, Scholes, A.Johnson, Holt, Bent.

4-3-3 – Hart, G.Johnson, Ferdinand, Lescott, Baines, Lennon, Carrick, Gerrard, Scholes, A.Johnson, Holt

Stay tuned in the next couple of days to see if any of the players that have not been tipped for an England call up would make the Starting XI.

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