Football / Reaction / Missing Players 27 02 10

Missing Players (27/02/10)

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

Inter Milan's coach Jose Mourinho


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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.

Stoke v Arsenal

Abou Diaby has become a key player for Arsenal in his fifth season at the club and has turned in several impressive performances for the Gunners, including recording six goals and five assists in the league this term. However, a look at his stats show that while the young French midfielder has certainly contributed significantly to Arsenal’s superb record at The Emirates, where he’s played 17 of 33 matches since the start of last season, he’s been unable to impose himself on the road to the same extent.

At home, Diaby has been on the winning side 13 times whilst tasting defeat just once in 17 games for points per game average of 2.47. However, without him the Gunners have won only nine of 16 home games and lost four times to see their PPG drop by 24% to just 1.88.  Diaby’s impact has been seen at both ends of the pitch with their average goals scored falling by 27% when he hasn’t played, and their average goals conceded rising by 58%.

However, when looking at Arsenal’s record on the road Diaby’s stats suggest that he is a poor traveller. Since the start of last season he’s played exactly half of Arsenal’s 32 away games and returned some very modest results with just five wins and five defeats for a PPG of just 1.31. In contrast Arsenal’s results without him have been impressive, with 10 wins and only two defeats, including successes at both Anfield and Stamford Bridge resulting in a PPG of 2.12 – a 62% improvement. Furthermore the goals stats are both reversed with average goals scored increasing by 59%, and goals conceded falling by 39%, when Diaby’s not been playing.

Liverpool v Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn make the short trip to Liverpool with a big injury doubt over their captain Ryan Nelsen. The New Zealand defender suffered an injury to his knee during Rovers win over Bolton last weekend and will be a huge miss for Sam Allardyce’s side.

Nelsen has played 54 of Blackburn’s 65 games since the start of last season during which they’ve earned 1.24 points per game and lost just 39% of their matches. This compares very favourably to a PPG of just 0.73 – a 41% drop – and a loss rate of 64% when he’s been missing. These stats aren’t too much of a surprise when considering their poor defensive record without Nelsen, of conceding an average of two goals per game, including 12 in their three trips to Big Four teams without him.

Monaco v Boulogne

Monaco have lost their last three games but will be expecting a comfortable win this weekend over a Boulogne side with just one win in their last 22 games. However, Monaco’s chances have been hit by the continued absence of Park Chu-Young who has become one of Monaco’s best performers since moving from South Korea near the start of last season.

The Korean forward has been Monaco’s joint-highest scorer since 2008/09 with 13 goals from 49 games, and he’s missed only 10 matches for Les Monegasques since his arrival. Monaco finished comfortably in mid-table last season and have been improved this season as they currently sit in the top-half. Park’s influence on this can be seen clearly from their results when he’s played this season of 11 wins, two draws and five defeats, compared to five defeats and one win in Monaco’s seven games without him.

Moreover, in the 10 matches since2008/09 that Park has missed, Monaco have lost eight times with five defeats by the loss/loss on the half-time/full-time market and they’ve failed to score in five of the seven this season. There are also six home matches in this sample with four defeats, including a 4-0 thrashing by Lille and a goalless draw with hapless Grenoble this season.

Udinese v Inter Milan

Inter are paying the penalty for last weekend’s lack of discipline against Sampdoria with defenders Walter Samuel and Ivan Cordoba both getting one-game bans for their red cards while Esteban Cambiasso and Sulley Muntari picked up two-game bans for off-field incidents. Furthermore Jose Mourinho received a three-game touchline ban for insulting the officials.

Muntari has played 30 and missed 33 of Inter’s games since the start of last season and while with him Inter have produced a superb set of results of 23 wins and only one defeat (2.50 PPG) they’ve been inconsistent without the former Portsmouth player as they’ve won only 18 and lost five of their matches for a PPG of 1.94. Moreover, they’ve been level at half-time in 52% of the matches that Muntari has missed.

Chievo v Cagliari

Chievo won their opening home match of last season against Reggina, who went on to be relegated, and they did so without defensive midfielder Luca Rigoni. However, they’ve played 15 home games since then without Rigoni and have failed to win any of them, with eight defeats and not a single clean sheet. Home and away Chievo have lost eight of the 30 (27%) matches that Rigoni has played in compared to 19 of the 33 (58%) that he’s missed, and their PPG has fallen from 1.53 with the former Vicenza player to just 0.73 without.

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