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xGunners: Arsenal vs Liverpool Stats Preview

Arsenal have their biggest test since Chelsea on the second weekend of the season.

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Arsenal face Liverpool this weekend, lets see what the stats say about them.

Team Ranking

My team ranking system puts Liverpool as the second best team but just about on par with Chelsea but a good ways behind Manchester City.

Where they shoot from

Liverpool take a total of 14.6 shots per match (3rd). With 7 of those coming from the danger zone shots area per match (3rd) and that makes up 48% of their total shots. They take 2.4 shots per match from the wide box areas (7th, 16%) and 5.1 from outside the box (8th, 35%).

How they create shots

72% of their shots are assisted

77% of their shots come from open play

8% of their shots are assisted by a cross

14% of their shots come from a fast/direct attack

3.4% of their shots are classified as counter attacks by Opta

2% of their shots follow corner kicks

2% of their shots are assisted by through balls

11% of their shots are from direct free kicks

Who creates their offense

Mohamed Salah remains the main offensive threat this season for Liverpool accounting for over 31% of Liverpool’s xG this season.

Liverpool have a conversion rate of 13.1% with an xG per shot of 0.12, for an efficiency rating of 106% which is the sixth best in the league.

They are putting a slightly above league average amount of their shots on target (39%) but converting those shots on target into goals at a rate of just 33.3% which is the seventh best mark in the league compared to the league average of 29%. Slightly worrying for Liverpool is that while they have a dangerous attack, they are only creating 2.1 big chance per match which is only sixth best in the league.

Liverpool have a very balanced attack, with 36% down the left, 28% down the middle and 36% down the right. With their very good attacking trident of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino this balance makes a lot of sense.

Trying to defend this will be tough, especially with Arsenal’s current fullback injury crisis where these dangerous wide forwards might be defended by Arsenal’s second or third string fullbacks.

Where they give up shots from

Crystal Palace are allowing just 8 shots per match (2nd fewest) with 3.4 per match coming from the danger zone (2nd fewest), 1.5 shots per match from the wide box areas (2nd fewest) and 3 shots per match from outside the box (2nd fewest). They block 31.2% of the shots they face (3rd most).

This season they have been vulnerable to fast/direct attacks, with 26.9% of their shots conceded coming from fast/direct attacks this season. The overall number is still fairly low at 1.4 per match which is tied for 7th fewest in the league.

The overall conversion rate for the teams that they have faced is below what the expected goals would suggest. They have given up a 5.1% conversion vs xG per shot of 0.1 but a good portion of that can be explained with the shot placement of the shots they have allowed, 6.2 SP xG vs 4 goals allowed. Their big transfer goalkeeper, Alisson has been very good for them, saving 82.6% of the shots on target faced and saving 1.8 goals compared to the shot placement of the shots faced.

How they defend

On defense, Liverpool are an active team in racking up defensive counting statistics. They average 42.6 defensive actions per match (tackles, interceptions, dribbled past, fouls) which is the third highest mark in the league.

While Liverpool have a reputation as a high pressing team, this season they have actually moved down the list of top pressing teams based on passes allowed per defensive action at 9.3.

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This is going to be a tough match for Arsenal and will really help to measure how the Emery era is going so far.