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SonOfLuther

Defoe v Morelos Stats

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Jermain Defoe and Alfredo Morelos are both vying for a place in the Rangers starting lineup 

     

AFTER missing the last four Premiership games through suspension for picking up five red cards this season, Alfredo Morelos will return to the Rangers squad this weekend. The Rangers top scorer, who was recently nominated for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award, has been one of the best players at Ibrox this season but a return to the starting lineup is far from guaranteed.

With Morelos suspended, Jermain Defoe has been given a run of games in Steven Gerrard’s starting XI which has coincided with Rangers’ best run of league form this season. For only the second time this season, Rangers have strung together four consecutive Premiership wins, and they’ve managed to do so without their talismanic striker.

No-one is doubting the 22-year-old’s ability, but his temperament has raised questions over whether or not he can be fully trusted on the pitch. Now that he’s back and available for selection, should he walk straight back into the first team?

Goals per 90 minutes in Scottish Premiership 2018/19

Defoe

0.76

Morelos

0.69

There is only one spot available in Gerrard’s side for either Morelos or Defoe to occupy and when we look purely at each striker’s goal return, the data suggest that Defoe should get the nod ahead of the Colombian at present. Defoe has the league’s highest goals per 90 minutes rate for any player to have played at least 500 minutes in the league this season with 0.76. Morelos isn’t too far behind with an impressive return of 0.69 goals per 90, but there is no doubting that Defoe is providing more in this regard.

Of course, these figures don’t always tell the full story. It could simply be the case that Defoe has been presented with better opportunities than Morelos, and that’s why is goalscoring rate is so high. But if we look at each forward’s expected goals (xG), then we gain a clearer insight into the sort of chances each striker has been offered.

Goals and expected goals per 90 minutes for Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe in Scottish Premiership 2018/19

Defoe

+0.13

Morelos

+0.08

xG/90|

Goals/90|

Attacking statistics for Alfredo Morelos and Jermain Defoe in Scottish Premiership 2018/19

 

Goals/90Assists/90Shots/90Shot accuracy (%)Shot assists/90Dribbles/90Dribbling success (%)Touches in box/90Progressive runs/90

0.69

Morelos

 

0.76

Defoe

 

Both Defoe and Morelos have a remarkably similar xG; Defoe’s sits at 0.63 per 90 minutes, while Morelos is slightly behind with 0.61. This means, broadly speaking, that the two players are being given the same number clear-cut goalscoring opportunities in each game that they play.

We can compare a striker’s xG/90 to their goals per 90 to see if a particular player is over or under performing in front of goal. If a forward has a higher goals per 90 than their xG/90, then they’re taking more chances than they reasonably ought to and can be said to be over performing. Conversely, if their goals per 90 is lower than their xG/90, then they should probably be doing a little better in front of goal.

Both Morelos and Defoe are overperforming by this metric. Morelos is scoring 0.08 more goals per 90 minutes that he reasonably shouldn’t be, but Defoe is doing even better in this regard: the on-loan Bournemouth striker is converting 0.13 chances per 90 minutes more than he should.

These differences between this figures might seem minute, but it reveals a pattern. Both players are in good form, but Defoe is performing slightly better than his team-mate. Both in the chances that he’s taking and his goal rate on the pitch, Defoe has the edge over Morelos.

The graphic above highlights some of the most important attributes for a striker in the modern game and there are a few things that catch the eye. Firstly, Defoe is a better finisher than Morelos: Defoe hits fewer shots than the Colombian - and with greater accuracy - yet is providing more goals per game.

While Defoe (0.22) has a higher assist rate than Morelos (0.12), it should be noted that the two players have identical figures when it comes to the number of shot assists they provide their team-mates. This suggests that while Defoe has more assists to his name, Morelos can maybe feel a little unlucky. They’re setting up the same amount of chances for their team-mates, but the chances Defoe has created have ended up in the back of the net. Morelos can hardly be blamed for another player’s profligacy in front of goal.

Unsurprisingly, given Defoe’s age, the Englishman doesn’t attempt nearly as many dribbles as Morelos, although it should be pointed out that Defoe rarely gives the ball away when he does so. 80.8% of the 35-year-old’s dribbles are successful compared to Morelos’ 62%. However, Morelos is far superior when it comes to carrying the ball far up the pitch. A progressive run is a dribble where the player carries the ball at least 10 yards forward and Morelos averages twice as many of these than Defoe does.

The decision Gerrard faces this Sunday is undoubtedly a tricky one, but the ex-Liverpool player will take comfort from the fact that he has two excellent options to choose from. It’s the sort of selection headache that managers love to have. But when it comes down to choosing one player over the other, the answer will ultimately depend on how Gerrard wants his side to play against Hibernian.

If Gerrard simply wants a goalscorer, someone to loiter in the opposition box and take chances when they arise, then the data suggests that Defoe is the clear and obvious choice. However, if Gerrard wants his striker to be more involved in the build-up then Morelos should get the nod, given the Colombian’s superior ability at carrying the ball forward. Both players have their strengths and weaknesses, and as a result Morelos’ place at the head of the Rangers attack is under threat for the first time in nearly two seasons.

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4 minutes ago, Essandoh said:

Awaits the luddites who start greeting any time statistical analysis is brought into things.

I love Defoe.

But after all those stats they come up with something we could have all said anyway. “If Gerrard simply wants a goalscorer, someone to loiter in the opposition box and take chances when they arise, then the data suggests that Defoe is the clear and obvious choice. However, if Gerrard wants his striker to be more involved in the build-up then Morelos should get the nod, given the Colombian’s superior ability at carrying the ball forward”

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5 minutes ago, OhW said:

But after all those stats they come up with something we could have all said anyway. “If Gerrard simply wants a goalscorer, someone to loiter in the opposition box and take chances when they arise, then the data suggests that Defoe is the clear and obvious choice. However, if Gerrard wants his striker to be more involved in the build-up then Morelos should get the nod, given the Colombian’s superior ability at carrying the ball forward”

That still doesn’t validate the hard-on some people get on here for dismissing any football discussion involving statistical analysis. It’s mind boggling.

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In order for the stats to be useable Defoe would have to play for more minutes. For example, it wouldn't be a stretch for us to play an up and coming striker for 90min this season and he could score in the game - then his 90min goal tally would be at 1.0. Better than Morelos and Defoe. 

Stats are more accurate over time, Morelos stats could simply be down because of the more game time he's had.

That's coming from me and I want Defoe to remain in the side and to keep Morelos out - because I think we play better as a team with Defoe up front.

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Defoe has been very good indeed in the last few games and being honest we haven't missed Morelos . 

Defoe doesnt deserve to lose his place but it would also be good to see how Morelos  plays having Arfield as support .I know he hasnt been at his best playing 2 up top but Arfield is slightly deeper and wider covering more area than Lafferty did .

At the very least we have a player thats a more than adequate replacement for Morelos should he leave in the summer

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If Gerrard puts Morelos straight back in then he is risking managerial suicide.....I simply don't believe he will be as naive this time....I'm hoping Alfredo has watched from the sidelines and the penny has dropped...putting him straight back in would be sending no message whatsoever!!!

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Morelos lost his place due to his own actions, Defoe has taken his chance and grabbed it as have other players throughout the team, this is what we want to see at Rangers, not us falling apart if we lose one or two players.

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32 minutes ago, Essandoh said:

That still doesn’t validate the hard-on some people get on here for dismissing any football discussion involving statistical analysis. It’s mind boggling.

How can you analysis something when there is countless variables. 

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16 minutes ago, hammer93 said:

If Gerrard puts Morelos straight back in then he is risking managerial suicide.....I simply don't believe he will be as naive this time....I'm hoping Alfredo has watched from the sidelines and the penny has dropped...putting him straight back in would be sending no message whatsoever!!!

Agree, Gerrard has already stated he feels let down by him and his actions on the pitch to play him as a starter would send out the wrong message to the other players.

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Absolutely brutal reading these articles. See if you write long noncey pieces about xG, xDribbles and xG/90 and base how good a footballer is purely on these stats, it's probably a decent indication that in the real world you're a massive xVirgin that needs to go out and get their xHole. 

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I agree. it would be the wrong message to send if Morelos were to start and you don't tinker with a winning side. But at this stage in their careers, Morelos is clearly the better player.

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We need rid of Morelos as quickly as possible but need a fair price for him. He needs to play more this season to add to his goals tally and alert potential buyers, if that doesn't happen then we'll need to drop the price for Gerrard cannot go into next season with an unreliable manchild leading the line.

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Morelos is almost certainly off in the summer.  I do think Rodgers' will be the one to buy him and Leicester have an alleged £200m to spend so we could make enough money form that one sale to bring in 4-5 quality additions.  If we keep Defoe and add some real quality players around him we'll be better off.  

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1 hour ago, hammer93 said:

If Gerrard puts Morelos straight back in then he is risking managerial suicide.....I simply don't believe he will be as naive this time....I'm hoping Alfredo has watched from the sidelines and the penny has dropped...putting him straight back in would be sending no message whatsoever!!!

If he pulls Defoe to the side and explains .Morelos is worth millions .we can sell him for millions .So Morelos starts against hibs but your starting against the taigs .

then there is no harm done .we would never be party to such a convo though. 

Im sure Gerrard is wise enough on how players would react to being dropped as he is not long off the tools himself 

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25 minutes ago, Courtyard Bear said:

We need to get our best 11 Players on the pitch, Mo and Defoe are in our best 11. 

If we can’t get it done what’s the point. 

That's the ironic thing CB....the 1st game back against killie was as crucial a game as we would have the way the season panned out....we went for the 2 up in a diamond formation....I know we ended up losing but nobody is telling me that until Worrall fucked up that it wasn't working....again an error that has defined our season 

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16 minutes ago, ianferguson said:

We need rid of Morelos as quickly as possible but need a fair price for him. He needs to play more this season to add to his goals tally and alert potential buyers, if that doesn't happen then we'll need to drop the price for Gerrard cannot go into next season with an unreliable manchild leading the line.

He will change, you just have to compare him to Suarez in terms of discipline. He should have learned by now and he will sort it out, it just may not be with us.

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Tough choice but with one player basically at the start of his career and the other at the hard end then, for me, Morelos walks straight back in.

 

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38 minutes ago, hammer93 said:

That's the ironic thing CB....the 1st game back against killie was as crucial a game as we would have the way the season panned out....we went for the 2 up in a diamond formation....I know we ended up losing but nobody is telling me that until Worrall fucked up that it wasn't working....again an error that has defined our season 

It was working fine we should’ve been 2 up, the Worrall fuck up knocked all confidence out of them. 

Narrow front 3 of Mo Defoe Kent/Arfield would give Hibs something to think about. 

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