This article takes a look at which teams are creating the most clear-cut chances this season; which teams make the most of these chances; and which teams are the most reliant on clear-cut chances to score their goals.
A clear-cut chance can be defined as a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score, usually in a one-on-one situation, or from very close range. It also includes penalties and is generally related to when a player has a free shot on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat.
First of all we look at which teams have created the most clear cut chances this season.
As you can see from the graph above, Manchester United have created more clear cut chances than any other Premier League team this season with 59. United’s title rivals Manchester City have created the second most clear cut chances this season (52), while Liverpool (43), Everton (39) and Arsenal (39) make up the top five.
At the other end of the graph, Sunderland have created the fewest clear cut chances this season with 15, while Reading (17), Aston Villa (19), Fulham (19), Stoke (22) and QPR (22) have all struggled to create clear cut chances this season.
However, looking at how many clear cut chances each team has created this season may be a little unfair on some teams, as Arsenal and West Ham have played one less game and teams that average more of the possession in games will generally create more clear cut chances.
Therefore, to make this comparison fairer, we have calculated how often each team has created a clear cut chance when they have been in possession of the ball this season. We have done this by dividing how many minutes each team has played this season by their average possession and then divided this number by how many clear cut chances they have created.
Manchester United have created a clear cut chance every 20 minutes when they have been in possession this season, which is three minutes more often than Manchester City, seven minutes more often than Everton and nine minutes more often than Liverpool and Arsenal.
West Ham (30) Norwich (31), West Brom (31), Chelsea (32) and Swansea (32) have all created a clear cut chance frequently when they have been in possession this season.
Sunderland have taken the longest amount of time to create a clear cut chance when they have been in possession, as it has taken them 60 minutes – 40 minutes longer than the top team Manchester United. Fulham have taken 55 minutes to create a clear cut chance when in possession, while Reading (49), Aston Villa (48) and Newcastle (44) make up the bottom five teams in this comparison.
It is all well and good creating a lot of clear cut chances but it is even more important to convert these clear cut chances into goals, so we have also taken a look at which teams have converted most of their clear cut chances this season.
So, although Reading and Sunderland have created the fewest amount of clear cut chances this season, they have converted the highest percentage of their clear cut chances into goals.
Out of the teams that have created the most clear cut chances this season, Manchester United have converted the highest percentage of these chances into goals (43.42%). Chelsea converted the second highest amount of their clear cut chances into goals with 40% while Arsenal (39.58%), Liverpool (37.04%) and Manchester City (35.90%) converted a similar amount of their clear cut chances into goals and Everton converted the fewest amount of their clear cut chances (30.77%) into goals out of the teams to create the most clear cut chances this season.
Overall, Norwich have the worst clear cut chance conversion rate in the Premier League as only 25.71% of their clear cut chances have been converted into goals. West Ham (26.32%), QPR (26.67%) and Stoke (27.78%) have all converted a low amount of their clear cut chances this season.
After looking at which teams have converted the highest percentage of their clear cut chances into goals we have also looked at which teams rely the most on clear cut chances to score their goals.
Manchester City have scored an astonishing 62.22% of their goals from clear cut chances this season, which is more than any other Premier League team. Manchester United have scored 57.89% of their goals from clear cut chances this season, while Swansea (55.88%), Aston Villa (52.63%) and Wigan (52%) make up the top 5 teams.
Norwich have only scored 37.5% of their goals from clear cut chances this season, which is the fewest amount in the Premier League. West Ham (40%), Tottenham (42.5%) and Chelsea (42.55%) have also not relied on clear cut chances to score many of their goals this season.
It is no surprise that the top two teams in the league have created the most clear cut chances this season, while seven of the top eight teams in the Premier League come in the top eight clear cut chance creators this season, with West Brom being the exception who come 9th. This helps to show how important it is to create a lot of clear cut chances, but how it is more important to convert these clear cut chances into goals.
These statistics show that Manchester United’s ability to not only create more clear cut chances than Manchester City, but to convert a higher percentage of the chances into goals, has given them the edge over their neighbours in the title race.
It also shows that creating clear cut chances is an important part of Manchester City’s game, as 62.22% of their goals this season have come from clear cut chances. However, this is one area of their game that needs improving as even though they have created the second highest amount of clear cut chances they have only converted 35.90% of them into goals, which is 7.1% down on last season.
It also highlights Reading and Sunderland’s problems in front of goal this season, as they have both relied on clear cut chances to score a high percentage of their goals, but they have failed to create enough clear cut chances in their matches, especially Sunderland who have created a clear cut chance every 60 minutes when they have been in possession this season.
However, the data is very subjective as top teams also score a high percentage of their goals from other types of chances and a lot of the conversion rate figures are very close together, meaning these could easily change in a few matches time.
Clear cut chances are also hard to analyse, due to the fact that there are so many variables involved and Opta do not distinguish one clear cut chance from the other. For example; they do not take into consideration the distance from the goal when the player has a clear cut chance, the height of the ball when it is played to the player or the weight of the pass when the player finally receives the ball.
Being a subjective statistic it is hard to get many valid conclusions from the data provided as the definition of a clear cut chance is up for interpretation.
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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