This year’s Premier League season has been a strange but exciting one. It’s been one of the most open and unpredictable in many a year. A lot of this uncertainty has been the result of the type of play that has graced it’s way into the English game. For all the analysts out there, the creativity stats have been going through the roof, and we’re going to look at those sides who have conjured up the most chances this season, along with those who have taken advantage of them.
League leaders Chelsea (although we know how quickly this can change at the moment), have managed to get the points on the board to be right up there this season under Jose Mourinho. Although sometimes not playing their best football in terms of striker selection problems, there have been plenty of chances created that have got their title charge going. In total, Mourinho’s men have created 393 chances so far, with only 56 of these being clear cut.
Although these sound like fairly good figures, the majority of this chance creation has been down to one man – and there are no prizes for guessing who. Eden Hazard has created 83 of these 393 chances for the Blues, steering clear of his nearest competitor Willian by a staggering 40. Perhaps even more impressively, Hazard has created 98% of his chances in open play, along with being the most creative player in the Premier League. Chelsea have the Belgian to thank for his consistent play this season, without him they may have been looking at a disappointing run.
Liverpool have been labelled as one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the Premier League this season. Their free-flowing, counter attacking and all round demolishing football is what has given them a great chance of being the title mix this year. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the Reds have created more chances than leaders Chelsea overall, with 438 overall, including assists. In terms of clear cut chances, 95 chances were clear cut, again, higher than Chelsea, but the balance of contributors is also further spread. Liverpool’s three top creators make the top ten list in the Premier League in terms of creating chances – Luis Suarez (68), and Jordan Henderson/Steven Gerrard (53). It’s definitely looking like a team effort at Anfield.
Manchester City have the best goal difference in the Premier League, 3 above Liverpool with +44, and so signal that they will be a force in terms of creativity. It’s no surprise that star Spaniard David Silva is second in the individual list behind Eden Hazard, and has created 68 chances in total for City this season. He’s also got the best minutes per chance created, conjuring up one every 22.35. In terms of the team ethic for Manchester City, they’ve created 381 chances in total, with 75 of these being clear cut. They have a 43% clear cut chance conversion which has been vital in them notching up some of the big wins this season. City, along with Chelsea, are still the two favourites for the title.
Arsenal have been at the top of the table for the majority of this season before City and Chelsea got going. They were getting the results they needed to keep the momentum up and stayed amongst the top four as the season went on. Now on the same points as Liverpool, it’s a fight to the finish. In total, Arsenal have created 312 chances so far this season, with 66 of these being clear cut opportunities. However, their clear cut chance conversion percentage is lower than that of city, with 39%. Perhaps this is what Arsene Wenger will be working on in order to get a string of runs together and make a charge for the top spot.