Liverpool's James Milner, upper centre, scores during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Wednesday, March 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

STATS Game Notes: Liverpool vs Manchester City

Liverpool host Manchester City in their final game of 2016 and the first half of the Premier League season, with both sides aiming to keep pace with league leaders Chelsea. This will be the first meeting between Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola in the Premier League, but the pair have met eight times in Germany – with Guardiola winning four times to Klopp’s three, although Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund side did win on penalties in the lone draw between the managers.

Game Notes

This contest has traditionally favoured Liverpool in the Premier League era as the Reds have won 17 of the 38 meetings between the sides, with City winning seven times – and just once at Anfield. The following is a condensed head-to-head version of STATS’ pre-match Game Notes ahead of Liverpool vs Manchester City.

  • Liverpool have won the last three league meetings with Manchester City, matching their longest ever winning run against City in the Premier League. Their only other 3-match winning streak over City came with three 1-0 victories from November 2005 to November 2006.
  • Liverpool’s 3-0 home win against City last season was their first clean sheet against Manchester City since a 3-0 win in April 2011. They had allowed a goal in nine consecutive contests between those clean sheets.
  • Liverpool have not kept back-to-back clean sheets against City in the league since keeping six in a row from November 2005 to May 2008.
  • Manchester City have won just 4 of their last 22 league games against Liverpool dating back to 2005. All four of those wins came in Manchester.
  • The Reds have won four of their last five league meetings with Manchester City. They had won just one of their previous ten, drawing six times and losing three.
  • Manchester City have won just once in their 19 Premier League trips to Anfield, a 2-1 win in May 2003. Nicolas Anelka scored twice, including a 94th-minute winner, after Milan Baros opened the scoring just before the hour mark.
  • The Reds have scored in all 19 of their home league matches against Manchester City.
  • Liverpool have won three straight home league matches against Manchester City, outscoring them 8-3 in those games. It’s their longest home league winning streak against City since winning five consecutive games from 2004 to 2008.
  • Manchester City had drawn in four of their five league visits to Anfield from February 2009 to August 2012 before losing their last three games.
  • Eight of Liverpool’s last ten home league wins against City dating back to 2000 have come by a one-goal margin. The exceptions were 3-0 wins in March 2016 and April 2011.

Expected Goals

The contest features the top two scoring sides in the Premier League as well as two of the top three in expected goals, and only Chelsea have allowed fewer expected goals than both sides. Both clubs fully deserve to be in the title hunt, but a draw is likely to see both clubs fall further behind the Blues as Antonio Conte’s side hosts Stoke earlier in the day.

Playing Styles – find out more here

Liverpool have tended to play a quick, attacking style at home this season, ranking in the top three in the Premier League for build up (+85%), sustained threat (+54%) and fast tempo (+113+), operating the high press a little less often at home (+9%) as they have done on the road (+28% – second in the division). The result has been 25 goals in eight home games (3.13 per match), conceding just seven goals – as teams have averaged 0.68 expected goals per match against Liverpool at Anfield (as opposed to 1.09 expected goals against per match away from home).

Manchester City (62.2%) and Liverpool (59.5%) have the highest averages for possession in the division, as Guardiola’s side has consistently controlled possession at home (62.7%) and away (61.8%), but their style of play has been slightly different to do so. City lead the Premier League in maintenance overall (+30%), but this mainly due to performances on the road (+45%) than at home (+15%), while they have been well above average in build up (98%) and sustained threat (+61%) areas of the field as well as playing at a faster tempo (+70%) compared to when playing away, although City are still above the league average for away teams in these areas, which can be seen in the below graphic.

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Photo By: AP Photo/Jon Super

Swansea manager Bob Bradley looks across the pitch during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Swansea City at The Emirates Stadium in London, Saturday Oct. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

Should Bob Bradley be given more time at Swansea?

Bob Bradley faced pressure from day one with Swansea due to his lack of experience in English football, and that pressure has not subsided over the last two months. His Swansea side are 19th in the division and have conceded more goals than any other team in the league, a trait that has not proved to allow many clubs avoid relegation in the Premier League era. Bookmakers see Bradley as the favourite to be the next manager to leave his post, but should the American be given more time?

The fixture list was not exactly kind to Swansea this season, already having to face Chelsea, Liverpool and both Manchester clubs at home, resulting in three defeats and a draw, while they have collected seven points in their four more winnable home games, including wins against Crystal Palace and Sunderland. Swansea collected just four points over their first seven games of the season under Francesco Guidolin (0.57 points per match), as Bradley has collected eight points in ten games (0.80 per match) – better, but not by much.

Bradley has inherited a squad rather than having any impact on its construction. He has already used 20 different players in his starting XIs, as only Lukasz Fabianski and Gylfi Sigurdsson have started all ten league games, with Bradley still searching for his preferred side. STATS’ Playing Styles analysis reveals that Bradley’s Swansea has only been above average for Crossing (+6%) and Maintenance (+1%), ranking fourth and seventh in the Premier League respectively over this period.

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Swansea were also 6% above average for crossing under Guidolin, the only area in which they were above average under the Italian. However, Bradley’s side has played at a slower tempo (-32% for Fast Tempo over the last 10 games) and, at 31% below average, are last in the league for Counter Attack, as Swansea have aimed to build out from the back.

Yet it is Swansea’s defence that needs immediate strengthening in January. Losing Ashley Williams has proved to be a blow, and Bradley has not settled on a consistent central defensive partnership since taking over the club, as Jordi Amat, Federico Fernandez, Alfie Mawson and Mike van der Hoorn have all featured – with no combination starting more than three games together in the Swans’ last ten games. Swansea have conceded 37 goals this season, the worst defensive record in the Premier League, while their 38.6 expected goals against is the third highest in the division. Their 2.27 expected goals conceded per match is higher than last season’s 1.80, as Swansea overachieved defensively – conceding 52 goals compared to 64.1 expected goals allowed, so the club really needed to strengthen in that area rather than losing a key player. To highlight the importance of a strong defensive record in order to survive, only one team has avoided the drop when conceding the division’s highest number of goals during the Premier League era – and that was Fulham during the 2006/07 season. However, that Fulham team only conceded 60 at an average of 1.58 per match, which also tied with relegated Charlton (who finished 19th).

The obvious comparison for this Swansea side is Sunderland, and the Black Cats hired Sam Allardyce at a similar stage last season in October 2015. Big Sam collected nine points after his first ten games – just one point more than Bradley.

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January proved to be a pivotal month for Sunderland, adding three key players to their starting XI, who went on to collect 20 points in their 15 games between February and the end of the season as Sunderland managed to survive despite a poor start. Notably, Allardyce added Lamine Kone to his defence and Jan Kirchhoff took over as the club’s primary defensive midfielder, as Sunderland’s defensive record improved dramatically, conceding just 16 goals in those 15 games, lower than the total they conceded in Big Sam’s first ten games in charge, although their expected goals allowed were higher at 22.7.

Swansea have seen an improvement under Bradley defensively, allowing 2.00 expected goals per match – compared to 2.66 under Guidolin; although this is not enough of an improvement to signify a solidified defensive unit. Bradley needs further improvement in this area, and January has to be the time to do it in order to save the Swans. What should also be noted is that their expected goal difference under Bradley is -4.1 – much better than their actual goal difference (-11).

January is going to be a key month for a number of clubs, and it should be the time that Swansea add players to improve their defence while allowing Bradley to set up the team in his preferred system. A dramatic turnaround under Bob Bradley should not have been immediately expected for Swansea, and it should really be seen as too soon for the club to make another managerial change, despite the club being in 19th in the Premier League and three points from safety.

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Photo By: AP Photo/Tim Ireland

Tottenham Hotspur's Christian Eriksen, right, breaks away from Southampton's Sadio Mane during their English Premier League soccer match at White Hart Lane, London, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

STATS Game Notes: Southampton vs Tottenham

Tottenham travel to Southampton just one point outside of the Premier League’s Champions League qualification spots, as Mauricio Pochettino faces his former side. The continuation of Spurs’ recent form at St Mary’s would be welcome in their quest for a top-four spot, as Tottenham have won three of their last four visits to Southampton since the Saints’ return to the Premier League.

Tottenham have won 17 of the 34 Premier League contest between the sides but only five of those victories have been at Southampton. Last season’s 2-0 victory was the first time that Spurs had beaten Southampton by more than a single goal in their five wins on the south coast. The following is a condensed version of STATS’ pre-match Game Notes ahead of Southampton vs Tottenham.

  • Southampton’s 2-1 win at White Hart Lane last May ended a seven-match winless run for the Saints against Tottenham in the league dating back to a 1-0 victory in March 2005.
  • Christian Eriksen, Jay Rodriguez and Steven Davis are the only current players for either side to have scored more than one goal for their clubs in this fixture. Davis scored his two goals in Southampton’s win at Tottenham last season while neither Eriksen nor Rodriguez have scored since 2014.

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  • The Saints are aiming for back-to-back league wins over Tottenham for the first time since winning three straight games from January 2003 to March 2004.
  • The Saints have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last eight league meetings with Spurs, dating back to a 1-0 win in March 2005.
  • Nine of Southampton’s 11 league wins over Spurs have come by a single goal. The exceptions were a 3-1 victory in September 2003 and a 2-0 win in December 2000.
  • Spurs have won three of their last four league trips to St. Mary’s, drawing once in that span. The lone draw was 2-2 in April 2015.
  • Tottenham had won two of their first 13 Premier League visits to Southampton before winning in three of their last four trips.
  • Southampton had won five straight home league matches against Spurs from December 2000 to March 2005 but have failed to win any of the four matches on the south coast since returning to the Premier League in 2012.
  • Spurs have scored at least twice in all four of those visits to St. Mary’s, scoring three goals once. They failed to score in their previous five visits to Southampton.
  • Tottenham’s 2-0 win at St. Mary’s last season was their first clean sheet at Southampton since November 1999, when they won 1-0 at The Dell thanks to an Oyvind Leonhardsen goal.
  • Spurs have scored nine times in their last four league visits to St. Mary’s. They had scored just eight goals in total in their first 13 Premier League visits to Southampton.

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Photo By: AP Photo/Tim Ireland

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho, centre left, fights for the ball against Everton's James McCarthy, left, and Bryan Oviedo during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Wednesday, April 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

STATS Game Notes: Everton vs Liverpool

Liverpool have had the advantage over their city rivals in Merseyside derbies in the Premier League era. The Reds have won 20 of the 48 Premier League meetings between the sides, as Everton have won just nine times. Contests have been more even at Goodison Park; although Liverpool still have the edge with nine victories to Everton’s seven wins.

More recent history has been on Liverpool’s side, as Everton have won just three of the 33 meetings between the sides since the turn of the millennium – and all three wins have been at Goodison Park, the last of which was a 2-0 victory October 2010. The following is a condensed version of STATS’ pre-match Game Notes ahead of Everton vs Liverpool.

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  • Everton are winless in 12 straight games against Liverpool in all competitions, including a defeat in the FA Cup, dating back to that 2-0 win in October 2010. Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta scored the goals for the Toffees on that day.
  • Liverpool have recorded five wins and drawn seven times during their 12-match unbeaten run over the Toffees.
  • Everton’s 2-0 win in 2010 is their only victory in their last 19 league meetings with Liverpool dating back to a 3-0 home win in September 2006. Tim Cahill also scored in that win.
  • The last time Everton beat Liverpool in a league match without Tim Cahill finding the net was in December 2004 with Lee Carsley scoring the only goal in a 1-0 home win.
  • The sides had drawn six of their previous seven league games before Liverpool’s 4-0 victory in April. Liverpool’s lone win in that time was another 4-0 victory, this time in January 2014.
  • Liverpool’s last eight league wins against Everton have come with a clean sheet. The last time Everton scored but lost to the Reds was in a 2-1 home defeat in October 2007, although that was a Sami Hyypia own goal. Dirk Kuyt scored two penalties on that day, including a 92nd-minute winner.
  • The last time an Everton player scored against Liverpool in a defeat was in March 2006, a 3-1 defeat at Anfield with Tim Cahill scoring the goal.
  • Seven of Everton’s nine Premier League wins against Liverpool have come with a clean sheet. The exceptions were a pair of 2-1 wins in November 1995 (Robbie Fowler scored for Liverpool) and December 1992 (Mark Wright).
  • The last four league meetings between the sides at Goodison Park have been drawn. The scorelines have not been repeated, as the sides have drawn 0-0 (February 2015), 1-1 (October 2015), 2-2 (October 2012) and 3-3 (November 2013).
  • This current five-match unbeaten run is Liverpool’s third Premier League third at Everton. They went six straight games without defeat from 1998 to 2003, winning four times and drawing twice, and drew in back-to-back games in 1995/96 and 1996/97.
  • Everton won their first three home Premier League matches against their Merseyside rivals. They have won just four of the 21 meetings at Goodison Park since.
  • Liverpool failed to win any of their first eight league trips to Goodison Park. They have won nine of the 16 games since, losing just three times.

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Photo By: AP Photo/Jon Super

Tottenham's Kyle Walker, left, scores an own goal as he tries to clear the ball away from Manchester United's Wayne Rooney during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Tottenham at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

STATS Game Notes: Manchester United vs Tottenham

Tottenham’s Champions League campaign came to a close during the week, as they’ll refocus their efforts on securing Champions League football for the second successive year. Spurs have not had a lot of success against Manchester United in the Premier League era, winning just six of 48 matches while averaging 0.60 points per game.

The two sides are in fifth and sixth in the Premier League as Tottenham hold a six-point advantage over Jose Mourinho’s side. The following is a condensed version of STATS’ pre-match Game Notes ahead of Manchester United vs Tottenham.

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Head to Head

  • Manchester United have won just two of their last eight Premier League meetings with Tottenham, losing three times and drawing three. They had won six of their previous seven games.
  • Spurs are aiming for back-to-back Premier League wins against United for the first time. They have lost three times and drawn twice following their previous five wins against United.
  • Tottenham’s 3-0 win in April gave them their sixth clean sheet in 48 Premier League matches against United. They have never kept clean sheets in two games in a row.
  • Wayne Rooney has scored 10 goals against Tottenham, as he is currently tied with Ryan Giggs for most United goals against Spurs in the Premier League era.
  • Tottenham won back-to-back league games at Old Trafford in September 2012 and January 2014. Those are Tottenham’s only wins in their 24 Premier League trips to Manchester United.
  • Scoreless draws in January 2005 and March 1995 are Spurs’ only clean sheets in their 24 Premier League visits to Old Trafford.
  • Twelve of Manchester United’s 19 home Premier League wins over Spurs have come by a margin of two or more goals.

Form

  • United lost their 15th game in 1992/93, leaving them on 21 points, which is their worst 15-match start to a Premier League season.
  • United have won just two of their last 11 Premier League matches after opening the season with three straight wins. They have drawn six of those 11 games, losing the other three.
  • United kept 12 clean sheets in their first 17 home Premier League matches last season. They have kept just two clean sheets in their nine home matches since.
  • Spurs have conceded a Premier League-low 10 goals this season, allowing opponents to score more than one goal just twice.
  • Tottenham are winless in their last four away Premier League matches, drawing three times and losing once. Their last away win was a 2-1 victory at Middlesbrough in late September.
  • Spurs haven’t gone more than four away games in a row without a win in the Premier League since December 2011-April 2012 when they failed to win in eight consecutive games away from home.

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Photo By: AP Photo/Jon Super

United’s Jesse Lingard, center, and Everton’s Phil Jagielka challenge for the ball during the English FA Cup semifinal soccer match between Everton and Manchester United at Wembley stadium in London, Saturday, April 23, 2016.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

STATS Game Notes: Everton vs Manchester United

Jose Mourinho will take his Manchester United side to Goodison Park following a tough start to life at Old Trafford. United are currently sixth in the table on 20 points, one place and point ahead of Everton, yet they were seven points better off at this stage last season. Their goal difference is just +3; however, expected goals paints a picture of a team that has been unlucky, as their expected goals difference is +13.4 – mainly due to failures in front of goal (their 27.4 expected goals ranks third in the division).

The following is a condensed version of STATS’ pre-match Game Notes ahead of Everton vs Manchester United.

everton-v-manutd-03

Head to Head

  • Manchester United are aiming for three straight league wins against Everton for the first time since winning four in a row from November 2006 to December 2007.
  • United have won four of their last nine Premier League meetings with Everton, losing four times and drawing once. They had won 29 of the first 39 Premier League encounters between the sides.
  • Everton had won three consecutive home league matches against United before losing 3-0 last season. They won three of their first 20 home Premier League matches against United before August 2012.
  • Manchester United have won just two of their last eight league visits to Goodison Park. They had won 13 of their first 16 Premier League matches at Everton.

Form

  • Everton have won just one of their last eight league matches after winning four in a row in August-September. They have lost four times and drawn three in that span.
  • Everton have scored just one goal in their last three league matches, failing to score twice. They had failed to score just once in their first 10 Premier League matches this season.
  • Going back to last season, Everton are unbeaten in nine straight home league matches, winning five times and drawing four. Their last home loss was a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in March.
  • United have never had fewer than 21 points after 14 weeks of a Premier League season, collecting 21 points in their first 14 games in 1992/93.
  • United have scored more than one goal just once in their last seven league matches, a 3-1 win at Swansea in November.
  • Since the start of last season, United have won as many times as they have lost away from home (10 each) while drawing five times.

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Photo By: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Southampton's manager Ronald Koeman issues instructions during his team's English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Southampton at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday Nov. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

STATS Game Notes: Southampton vs Everton

Southampton host Everton this weekend as they welcome former manager Ronald Koeman back to St Mary’s for the first time. The 53-year-old Dutchman spent two seasons in charge of the Saints, leading them to back-to-back finishes in the top seven for the first time in the Premier League era.

The following is a condensed version of STATS’ pre-match Game Notes ahead of Southampton vs Everton.

southampton-v-everton

 

Head to Head

  • The Saints won back-to-back Premier League matches against Everton in 2014. Those are their only Premier League wins against the Toffees in their last 13 meetings dating back to 2002.
  • Everton have won six of the last 13 meetings with Southampton in the Premier League, drawing five times and losing just twice.
  • All three of Everton’s wins at Southampton in the Premier League have come with a clean sheet, winning 3-0 in 2015, 1-0 in 2002 and 2-0 in 1993.
  • Seven of Southampton’s eight home wins over Everton have come with a clean sheet.
  • Everton are aiming to keep back-to-back clean sheets at Southampton for the first time since April/August 1993.

Form

  • Southampton have scored more than one goal just twice in 12 Premier League matches this season, in a 3-0 win at West Ham and a 3-1 win against Burnley.
  • Only Tottenham (6) have drawn more matches than the Saints (5) in the Premier League this season.
  • Southampton’s loss against Chelsea in late October is their only defeat in their last 11 home Premier League matches dating back to a 2-1 loss to Chelsea in February.
  • Everton have kept just one clean sheet in their last eight Premier League matches, in a 2-0 home win against West Ham in late October.
  • Everton have failed to score just twice this season, losing 5-0 at Chelsea in November and 1-0 at Bournemouth in September.
  • Everton conceded just three times in their first four away Premier League matches this season. They have allowed seven goals in their last two away games.
  • Everton scored five goals in their first two away Premier League matches this season, winning both games. They have scored two goals in the four matches since, drawing once and losing three times.

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Photo By: AP Images/Jon Super

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger reacts during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Middlesbrough at the Emirates Stadium in London, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

STATS Game Notes – Manchester United vs Arsenal

Manchester United host Arsenal in the Premier League’s first game after the international break. Arsene Wenger finally broke his hoodoo against Jose Mourinho in the 2015 Community Shield with a 1-0 win; however, Mourinho has won eight of the 15 meetings between the managers, with their clubs drawing six times. This is, of course, the first time they will meet at Old Trafford with Mourinho in charge of United.

The following is a condensed version of STATS’ pre-match Game Notes ahead of Manchester United vs Arsenal.

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Head to Head

  • Manchester United are aiming for back-to-back wins against Arsenal in the Premier League for the first time since winning three in a row in 2011/12.
  • Arsenal have won just one of their last 10 Premier League matches against Manchester United dating back to May 2011. They have lost six times and drawn the other three.
  • Going further back, the Gunners have just two wins in their last 15 Premier League meetings with United, losing nine times and drawing the other four.
  • United kept seven clean sheets in their first nine Premier League matches against Arsenal. They have kept nine clean sheets in the 39 meetings since.
  • Manchester United have avoided defeat in their last nine Premier League matches against Arsenal at home dating back to a 1-0 defeat in September 2006. United have won seven of those games, drawing the other two.
  • Arsenal have won at Old Trafford during this span, knocking United out of the 2015 FA Cup at the quarter-final stage with a 2-1 victory en route to winning the cup for the second straight year.

Form

  • Manchester United had won just one of their previous seven Premier League matches before beating Swansea before the international break, losing three times and drawing three.
  • United lost their fourth Premier League match on December 19th last season. That was also the match they conceded for the 13th time (13 allowed this season).
  • United have scored a total of 13 goals in their five wins this season. They have scored just three goals in their other six games (three draws, three losses).
  • Manchester United’s goal difference is just +3, sixth highest in the Premier League; however, their expected goal difference is 10.9, the third highest in the division.
  • Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 10 Premier League matches after opening the season with a 4-3 home loss to Liverpool. They have won seven of those games, drawing the other three.
  • The opening day loss against Liverpool is Arsenal’s only defeat in their last 21 Premier League matches, with a 10 match unbeaten run either side dating back to early March.
  • Arsenal have avoided defeat in 10 consecutive away Premier League matches dating back to their 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford in February. They have won five of those games, drawing the other five.
  • The last time Arsenal went more than 10 away Premier League games in a row without a defeat was from November 2008 to August 2009 when they were unbeaten in 13 straight games on the road.

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Photo By: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

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Nicolas Blandi, the best “Killer” within Argentinian territory?

Nicolas Blandi is enjoying his best career form. After some doubts within his acquisition, including, a short loan out to French Ligue 1, his recent performance not only forced San Lorenzo to acquire its entire tab but also catapulted him to the elite of the current Argentine forwards.

Blandi is not a common attacker; the characteristics of his game place him on the radio of silent scorers who make themselves heard, those that participates little times but whose actions often affect the main aspects of the game: the area and the net. Blandi is part of a worldwide listed race, the real “Killers” of the field.

Since its appearance in the First Division, his goal average has always grown. With little renown as to take a place at the front of Boca Juniors, Blandi leant out towards Argentinos Juniors. There he turned 6 goals in 27 games, averaging 0.22 goal rate. Those numbers allowed him to have opportunities in the Club who owned his contract; as he returned to Boca he scored 20 goals in 61 games (0.33 average). It was at that moment when San Lorenzo saw his desire to assume a key role and decided to acquire 50% of his contract. While his first step was interrupted by a short loan to French squad Evian, once again, he managed to increase his goal rate. Totaling both periods, and until the day of the date, Nicolas Blandi accumulates in San Lorenzo, 26 goals in 67 games played, averaging 0.38 goal per match.

However, his unquestioned performance awakening happened in the current calendar year. So far in 2016, he turned 18 goals, in only 23 commitments. These figures multiplied his average to 0.78.

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What features should have a front type “Killer”?

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While there is no definition of the term, Nicolas Blandi has a rare attribute in the market and that sums up this concept: 84% of his career goals were first-touch scored; i.e. without control or previous ball touch. 45 of the 53 goals he scored. To find a precedent of such magnitude in football elite, we must go back 27 years. This places us in the 89/90 season of Spanish La Liga, in which the Mexican striker Hugo Sanchez got an admirable milestone finishing the competition as top scorer, reaching 38 goals, all scored at first touch. Here’s the test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfzoLxi_ltw.

Another metric to assess their killer instinct is his ratio of goals per minute. Compared to the other attackers of Argentine Soccer, within local competition, Blandi reached, in 2016, the best average locally. He converts a goal every 117 minutes.

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Another aspect that stands out above the average is its efficiency. In the current year, Blandi only requires an average of 3.18 shots for every goal he scores. Compared with the 25 players with more goals in his country he has the third best average, surpassed only by Jose Sand (Lanus) and Claudio Riaño (Union). Despite this, the San Lorenzo´s striker outperforms its competitors in the average of interventions required to sign up to the net. Blandi touches the ball an average of 36.2 times per game, making it even more efficient than all the other forwards.

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Does he deserve to be considered for his National Team?

Regardless of the Argentine forward’s performance in the major leagues and that game contexts are different, that aspect that balances the analysis is the statistic comparison.

Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli – Juventus), the Argentine leader striker in recent years has a goal average per minute better than Blandi in 2016, marking every 68.5 minutes, but has a shot efficiency lower than the San Lorenzo´s player: Higuain precise 4.27 shots per each goal scored. Mauro Icardi (Inter´s captain), for instance, runs behind both aspects of the game. He scores a goal every 150 minutes and he has a shot efficiency of 3.77.

Leaping to England, where Sergio Aguero breaks records, the comparison is quite similar. Manchester City striker, always in 2016, has converted, within League games, every 90.9 minutes, beating Blandi time in this race. Kun Aguero makes a goal every 4.52 shots, below the averages of forwards who excels in Argentine territory.

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While the style of play is not the same in the major leagues in Europe, Nicolas Blandi is a striker who, as demonstrated, does not need too many chances to score goals. His numbers suggest that might fit any context. For now, he already became one of the best scorers of his country.

Photo By: AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo

France's Antoine Griezmann celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the Euro 2016 quarterfinal soccer match between France and Iceland, at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, France, Sunday, July 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

STATS Euro 2016 Final Notes: Portugal vs France

Euro 2016 hosts France will compete in their third European Championships Final, winning both of their previous trips in 1984 and 2000. They will face Portugal, who will make their second appearance in a Final in tournament history. They’re currently one of three nations to have reached a Final and never won the competition, as only Yugoslavia have done so on two occasions (in 1960 and 1968).

STATS’ preview guides provide pre-match information, and the following is a condensed version ahead of Portugal vs France at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis in the Final of Euro 2016:

  • The last two host nations to reach a European Championships Final were France (1984) and Portugal (2004).
  • Portugal are the only host nation to lose a European Championships Final, losing 1-0 against Greece at Euro 2004.
  • Portugal have not lost a game during a European Championships within 90 minutes since their opening game of Euro 2012, losing 1-0 against Germany. They have won four and drawn six times in the ten games since, losing on penalties in the semi-final of Euro 2012.
  • Portugal’s 2-0 win in the semi-final against Wales ended a run of six consecutive draws within 90 minutes, both the record streak overall and during a final tournament (five games at Euro 2016) in the history of the European Championships.
  • France’s last defeat as a host nation of a major tournament was in the inaugural European Championships in 1960, losing 2-0 against Czechoslovakia. They have won 16 games and drawn twice in their last 18 games hosting a major tournament between Euro ‘84 (winning five of five games), the 1998 World Cup (five wins and one draw), and Euro 2016 (five wins and one draw).
  • France are the top scorers at Euro 2016 with 13 goals. They are the only nation to have averaged more than 2.0 goals per match (2.17).
  • Only Michel Platini (nine in 1984) has scored more than Antoine Griezmann’s six Euro 2016 goals in a single tournament. Griezmann is currently tied for fourth among the all-time leading scorers in the history of the European Championships, one behind England’s Alan Shearer (seven) in third.
  • Among the seven players to have scored three or more goals during Euro 2016, only Alvaro Morata and Gareth Bale won’t feature in the final.

Euro 2016 top scorers

  • Cristiano Ronaldo enters the final with nine career goals at European Championships. He is currently tied as the leading Euro scorer in tournament history with Michel Platini, who scored all nine of his goals when France last hosted a Euros in 1984.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored three goals at Euro 2016. Only Nuno Gomes has scored more for Portugal at a single tournament, with four goals at Euro 2000.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has generated a tournament-leading 46 shots, more than 20 more than any other player, averaging 6.90 shots per 90. He attempted 32 shots during the Group Stage, with 14 shots in the knock-out stage.

Euro 2016 shots

  • Antoine Griezmann’s 1.04 non-penalty goals per 90 and 26.1% conversion rate both leads Euro 2016, as he ranks third in shots (23).
  • Cristiano Ronaldo and Rui Patrício have played more minutes than every other player at Euro 2016, featuring in all 600 minutes of Portugal’s games so far.
  • Hugo Lloris, Bacary Sagna and Patrice Evra are the only players to have featured in every minute (540) of France’s campaign.
  • There has not been a penalty shoot-out in the Final of a European Championships since Euro 1976 when Czechoslovakia beat West Germany in the first ever penalty shoot-out in the history of the tournament.
  • Portugal progressed to the semi-finals following a 5-3 penalty shoot-out victory against Poland. No nation has ever won more than one penalty shoot-out at a single European Championships tournament.
  • France have competed in two penalty shoot-outs in the history of the tournament, winning one (5-4 against the Netherlands) and losing one (6-5 vs the Czech Republic) at Euro ’96.
  • Both France and Portugal have won three penalty shoot-outs in their major tournament history, with France losing on penalties three times and Portugal once.

Photo By: AP Photo/Michael Sohn

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