Several teams in the Premier League have been branded as ‘dirty’ teams over the years, but which teams actually deserve the title of ‘dirtiest’ this season?
We take a look at which teams have committed the most fouls this season, as well as which teams have received the most yellow cards. We have also looked at which teams have committed the most fouls when out of possession and which teams have won the most fouls when in possession this season.
Stoke and West Ham have both committed the most fouls per game this season (13.3), while Everton, Sunderland, Manchester City, Wigan and Newcastle have all committed 12 or more fouls per game. Tottenham have committed the fewest fouls per game this season (9.9), while Manchester United (10.1), Arsenal (10.2) and Southampton (10.4) have also committed very few fouls.
Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration when looking at the dirtiest teams in the Premier League is possession, as it is likely that teams that have a higher percentage of possession in matches will commit fewer fouls. With this being the case, each team’s minutes in and out of possession have been calculated and the amount of fouls each team has won or lost has been divided by the total minutes.
Manchester City have committed a foul every 2.9 minutes when they haven’t been in possession this season, which is the most frequent in the Premier League. Liverpool have committed a foul every 3.3 minutes, Wigan and Everton have committed a foul every 3.4 minutes, while Swansea have committed a foul every 3.5 minutes when they haven’t had possession of the ball this season.
Reading have gone the longest without committing a foul when they haven’t had possession of the ball this season (5.1 minutes), which is surprising as they have only averaged 39.2% of the possession this season. This may be one of Reading’s main problems this year as, if they were to play a little more ‘dirty’ and give away a few more free kicks instead of letting the opposition have shots on goal, then they may concede fewer goals as free kicks offer little value to the opposition.
Tottenham (4.6) , Norwich (4.5) , West Brom, Southampton and Aston Villa (all 4.3) have all taken longer than most Premier League teams to foul the opposition when they don’t have possession.
So, after looking at how long it takes teams to commit fouls when out of possession this season we will now take a look at how long it takes each team to be fouled when they do have possession of the ball.
Reading and Sunderland have both been fouled the most often when in possession this season, which again may be one of the main reasons why both teams are struggling, free-kicks offering little value to the opposition as fewer goals are scored from them.
Manchester City have been fouled every 5.6 minutes when in possession of the ball this season, the longest time in the Premier League, while it has also taken the opposition 5.3 minutes to foul Liverpool when they are in possession and 5.1 minutes for Southampton.
As well as looking at fouls we have also taken a look at which teams have received the most yellow cards this season.
West Ham have received the most yellow cards per match this season (2.2), which is 0.1 more yellow cards per match than Stoke, 0.2 more than Newcastle and 0.4 more than Wigan and Swansea. Norwich have received the fewest yellow cards per match this season (1), while Southampton, Fulham and Arsenal have all received 1.1 yellow cards.
After looking who has received the most yellow cards, we have also taken a look at the number of fouls each team has committed this season to earn a yellow card.
It has taken Southampton 12 fouls this season to get each yellow card they have been awarded, while Arsenal and Norwich have both been given a yellow card for every 11 fouls they have committed this season. On the other hand, West Ham, West Brom, Tottenham, Stoke, Newcastle and Manchester United have all been given a yellow card for every 6 fouls they have committed this season.
European Stats were taken from www.whoscored.com and a massive thank you to Omar Chaudhuri who had the original idea for working out the minutes per fouls when in and out of possession.
All of the Premier League stats from this article have been taken from the Opta Stats Centre at EPLIndex.com – Subscribe Now (Includes author privileges!) Check out our new Top Stats feature on the Stats Centre which allows you to compare all players in the league & read about new additions to the stats centre.
BSc Sports Science Graduate, Head of the News Section on EPLIndex and all round football fanatic! Can also be found on Twitter - @jamesamey316
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