Football / Reaction / Missing Players 13 03 10

Missing Players (13/03/10)

Bettorlogic have found a selection of the key missing players from across Europe's major leagues.

Bayer Leverkusen's Toni Kroos


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NB: Player appearances are based on a player starting and completing at least 60 minutes. The sample is based on a team’s home and away league matches since the start of last season unless otherwise stated.

Leverkusen v Hamburg

Leverkusen’s rising star Toni Kroos is suspended ahead of this big top-six clash with Hamburg, and with Stefan Reinartz and Simon Rolfes also out Jupp Heynckes’ side face a selection dilemma in midfield.  The midfielder, who is currently on loan from Bayern Munich, has played 25 and missed 17 of Leverkusen’s games since joining them last season, and since the start of 2008/09 only Stefan Kiessling has scored more than Kroos’ 10 goals. As a result Leverkusen’s average goals scored have fallen by 31% when Kroos hasn’t been playing – down from 2.04 per game with him to just 1.41 without.

The result of Leverkusen’s lack of goals without Kroos has been for their loss rate to increase from just 12% with him to 35% without, with their average points per game falling by 13%. These stats are even more lopsided when purely looking at Leverkusen’s home matches, where they’ve been unbeaten with eight wins in 13 games with Kroos, compared to winning just two and losing three of eight without him. This has seen a fall in PPG from 2.23 to just 1.14, and is not surprising given their goals per game have fallen from 2.54 to 1.14 whilst their goals conceded have increased from 0.77 to 1.43 when Kroos hasn’t played.

Tenerife v Espanyol

Espanyol’s current problems in front of goal have not been helped by the suspension to forward Jose Callejon for his sending off last week. Callejon has played 28 and missed 35 of Espanyol’s games since the start of last season and while not a prolific scorer himself his play has helped Espanyol to lose only 25% of their matches with him compared to 54% without, and they’ve lost all six games he’s missed this season without scoring a single goal.

Lazio v Bari

Mauro Zarate was red-carded last weekend in Lazio’s defeat at Sampdoria and his absence should significantly damage Lazio’s chances against Bari. The Argentinean striker has played 53 of Lazio’s 65 game since the start of last season and while they’ve won 32% and lost 42 of their matches with him those stats weakening to a win rate of just 25% and a loss rate of 58%. Overall this has seen a 25% fall in PPG when he’s not been playing, down from 1.23 to just 0.92.

Furthermore, without their leading scorer Lazio’s average goals scored have fallen from 1.11 per game to just 0.75, with the knock-on affect being that the number of games with over 2.5 goals has fallen from 40% with the former Birmingham player to just 17% without. Even more damningly, Lazio have failed to score in five of their last seven matches without Zarate.

Stoke v Aston Villa

Ryan Shawcross completes his three-match suspension for the tackle that broke Aaron Ramsey’s leg two weeks ago. Shawcross has played 50 of Stoke’s 66 games since the start of last season and has probably been The Potters best player during this time. With the former Manchester United defender, Stoke have won 36% and lost 36% of their matches for average points per game of 1.36. However without Shawcross Stoke have won only twice and lost half their games for a PPG of just 0.75 – a fall of 45%.

Shawcross, who was called up to the most recent England squad, has provided a threat at both ends of the pitch for Stoke since their promotion to the Premier League with his five goals their third-highest contribution. However, his most important role is obviously in defence and without him Stoke have conceded 11% more goals per game than with him.

Spurs v Blackburn

Blackburn have defensive problems for their trip to Spurs with Ryan Nelsen out with a knee injury and Vince Grella troubled by a calf problem.  Without the two defensively minded Australians the Rovers defence has been fairly easy to breach, with their average goals conceded increasing from 1.50 in the 54 games that Nelsen has played since the start of last season to 2.00 in the 12 he’s missed, while with Grella they’ve conceded 1.32 in 19 games rising to 1.71 in the 45 he’s missed.

Moreover, they’ve lost all six away games that Nelsen’s missed since the start of last season, with five having over 2.5 goals and five seeing them also trail at half-time.

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