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PDO, Save % and Scoring %

Scott Heavey

Shuddertothink has taken a look at some of the shot data from the 2012/13 season (here and here) and in this post we expand that a little to look at save % and scoring % in the Premier League, which in turns gives us PDO.

First up, scoring %:


All tables in this post are sortable so have a play around....

Home Sc% Away Sc%
Arsenal 39.83 28.74
Aston Villa 30.67 36.92
Chelsea 33.88 37.78
Everton 28.95 24.18
Fulham 30.11 33.33
Liverpool 26.19 35.85
Man City 35.65 21.74
Man Utd 41.28 39.42
Newcastle 27.27 27.63
Norwich 31.65 28.57
Qpr 15.66 26.56
Reading 34.85 31.75
Southampton 27.96 31.51
Stoke 33.33 25.49
Sunderland 27.78 31.82
Swansea 28.57 27.14
Tottenham 22.48 33.04
West Brom 34.04 27.63
West Ham 35.05 17.74
Wigan 30.23 25.30

We saw that in terms of total shots Liverpool were by far the best side in the Premier League at getting shots away, closely followed by Tottenham and City which was also the case in terms of shots on target (although Liverpool had a huge drop off away from home).

But which teams had the ability to best convert these shots? Perhaps it is no surprise to see United lead the pack, and they did so both home and away. Chelsea were strong both home and away, whilst Liverpool were good away from home but not so much at Anfield; the opposite to Arsenal.

Stoke were once again an interesting case. Low shot totals but an ability to convert at a high rate helped them stave off relegation but this has been a theme for a couple of seasons now and they took action by parting company with Tony Pulis. Newcastle's numbers also go a long way to showing quite why they regressed so much this season with Demba Ba moving on and Papiss Cisse going the way that the numbers guys were saying he would do,

At the bottom end of the table QPR managed just over 15% at home; any wonder they went down? Take a look at Reading's numbers and they look good, but the reason for their relegation may lie in the next table...

Whilst City appeared to convert a strong percentage of their shots at home, away from home it was a different story and their total of 21.74% was better than only West Ham - who had an appalling conversion rate of 17.74%. Whilst City's home numbers across the board were strong this season the problems away from home in 2011/12 were not rectified and will be high on the new managers 'To Do' list when he arrives at the office for his first day.

So what about the other end of the pitch? Which teams had the ability to keep those shots on goal out?


Home Sv% Away Sv%
Arsenal 65.15 81.82
Aston Villa 64.56 62.04
Chelsea 77.14 74.73
Everton 74.63 70.89
Fulham 72.48 70.59
Liverpool 70.91 68.60
Man City 73.68 67.24
Man Utd 64.81 74.47
Newcastle 63.53 63.00
Norwich 74.36 63.11
Qpr 69.89 71.17
Reading 67.96 70.59
Southampton 66.67 56.63
Stoke 71.79 71.95
Sunderland 79.79 69.30
Swansea 73.74 76.64
Tottenham 71.43 56.92
West Brom 67.53 70.91
West Ham 76.84 75.20
Wigan 52.44 65.31

By far and away the worst team at home were Wigan, with a save% at the DW Stadium of just 52.44%; 11% worse than Newcastle who were second worse. (Interestingly, Newcastle's away numbers were as bad as at home and replicated their miserable scoring % numbers). Wigan's away numbers were sixth worst too and down the stretch when everyone was once again expecting them to pull away from trouble it was their defence that let them down. So, explain to me once again quite how they shut City out in the FA Cup Final?

Who were the better sides then? In and around the top six sides or so are ones you could guess: Chelsea, Everton, City and Swansea but it may be a surprise to see West Ham (76.84%) - something Sam Allardyce would be gushing about - and Norwich (74.36%), whilst Sunderland were top of the tree with 79.79% and given their woes at the other end it does suggest this was a key reason in them avoiding the drop given their away total of 69.30% is none too shabby either.

United's early season problems in falling behind in games is illustrated - particularly at home - in their totals of 64.81% (home) and 74.47% (away). Fortunately their attack (Robin Van Persie?) bailed them out during this period before they corrected it as the season wore on.

A lot was made of Arsenal's defensive problems this season but take a look at their away save %: 81.82%. This is a very high percentage and compare this to their North London rivals Tottenham who posted just 56.92%. Arsenal timed their late season form to perfection to hold off Tottenham and contrary to the popular narrative this was built as much on their defence as anything.

As for City, their away save % total was seventh worse in the division so as much as they struggled to convert away from home they also had problems keeping the ball out. Reasons for this? The number of shots conceded didn't increase appreciably so was this down to Hart? Were the defence allowing a 'better quality' of shot on goal? Possibly a bit of both but definitely an area to look at next season.

Finally then, PDO. PDO doesn't stand for anything (a useful post on its background here) but is the common term used to provide the total figure when adding save % + scoring %. It is also thought that a teams PDO figure should ultimately move (or 'regress') to the mean of 100%.


Home PDO Away PDO
Arsenal 104.98 110.55
Aston Villa 95.22 98.96
Chelsea 111.03 112.50
Everton 103.57 95.06
Fulham 102.58 103.92
Liverpool 97.10 104.45
Man City 109.34 88.98
Man Utd 106.10 113.89
Newcastle 90.80 90.63
Norwich 106.00 91.68
Qpr 85.56 97.73
Reading 102.81 102.33
Southampton 94.62 88.13
Stoke 105.13 97.44
Sunderland 107.57 101.12
Swansea 102.31 103.78
Tottenham 93.91 89.96
West Brom 101.58 98.54
West Ham 111.89 92.94
Wigan 82.67 90.61

There are certainly some interesting numbers in this table (and some teams to look out for in 2013/14).

It is no great surprise that Wigan and QPR dropped out of the Premier League, whilst Newcastle regression is clear. Tottenham's numbers intrigue me and do suggest that a better season could be in store next season with a little more luck. Will it be enough to crack the top four though?

There are a few teams to look out for though as potential candidates for the drop, depending upon the form of the promoted sides. Teams like Sunderland and Stoke were propped up by strong PDO numbers, whilst those in the middle of the table like Swansea, Norwich and West Brom could be candidates for a slide - could one of them be next years Newcastle?

City's home to away drop is stark and illustrative of what we've looked at when dissecting their home and away performance this season. Their home form has been the bedrock of the past three seasons. If they can pick up their away form (whilst maintaining their return from The Etihad) they will once again strongly challenge.