With the majority of the Premier League having now played 17 games, here is a look at the league’s best finishers to this point.
Manchester United’s Robin van Persie and Swansea City’s Michu lead the way with 12 goals, with a number of players on their tail to become this season’s Golden Boot winner. The Dutch striker players up front for the league’s top scorers, whilst the Spaniard has scored 46% of his club’s goals.
Michu had found the back of the net more times than the goalkeeper’s gloves this season, scoring from 12 of his 20 shots on target. The Swansea City forward has blazed 22 of his shots off target, giving him a shooting accuracy of 48% (excluding blocked shots); of the 10 top scorers, only Liverpool’s Luis Suarez has managed to test the goalkeeper with a lower percentage of his shots.
When it comes to getting their shots on target, Everton’s Marouane Fellaini is successful 58% of the time; the highest in this list. However, when it comes to finding the back of the net Michu tops this category with 29% of his attempts turning into goals.
Leading the league in most shots off target (44), Luis Suarez unsurprisingly has the worst chance conversion on this list. Just 14% of Lewis Suarez’s shots end up in the net, and this excludes his league-high 24 blocked shots.
Goals per Game
With a number of these players being substituted before the final whistle on occasions, suspended in Luis Suarez’s case or just rested, the goals per game (90 minutes) changes the order of how these strikers rank.
Having played 100 minutes fewer than Michu this season, Robin van Persie has the best goals per 90 minutes ratio of the top 10 scorers in the Premier League this season, recorded at 0.79 compared to Spaniard’s 0.73. Demba Ba fares well in this category, with a goal per 90 minutes ratio of 0.70.
Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla made the list after scoring a hat trick from midfield on Monday night in their 5-2 victory at Reading. Perhaps not surprising that the Spanish playmaker props up the list at 0.42. It is van Persie’s team mate Javier Hernandez that has an impressive record in the Premier League, scoring an average of 1.15 goals per 90 minutes to date.
If we expand the list to players outside of the top 10 leading scorers, but include only players who have played at least 450 minutes, the equivalent of 5 full games, Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko tops the list. The Bosnia & Herzegovina striker has been making an impact from the subs bench this season and his 6 goals in 581 minutes is just short of averaging a goal a game.
Fulham’s Mladen Petric, who became acquainted with the subs bench following the signing of Dimitar Berbatov on transfer deadline day, West Brom’s impact substitute Romelu Lukaku and Arsenal’s Theo Walcott all fare well in this table too.
Shots per Game
If we take a look again at the original goals per game table, it shows that Luis Suarez averages 6 shots per game; twice as many as Michu and coming close to trebling the number of shots Sunderland’s Steven Fletcher fires in on average per game this season. The Liverpool forward, perhaps somewhat greedy isn’t afraid to have a go at goal, and the Uruguayan is the creator of a number of his own opportunities.
Luis Suarez tops that table for the whole of the Premier League. Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli, a controversial selection in their recent Manchester derby defeat averages 5.2 shots per game, only second to the Uruguayan. But whilst Suarez has backed his attempts up with 10 goals, the Italian only has 1; that’s a chance conversion rate of just 4%. Perhaps Balotelli would prefer to face German defenders…
Jordi Gomez, whose 3 goals all came in Wigan’s last victory, 3-2 over Reading has also been misfiring this season. With 4.7 shots per game, the Spanish midfielder has turned just 11% of these attempts into goals.