Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Julian De Martinis On March - 25 - 2011

Stat-Fest! Ten Points On The Serie A Season So Far

This season of Calcio has been more fascinating than usual, as teams that usually dominate have struggled (Inter, Roma, Juventus) and some surprise packages have arisen (Napoli, Bologna). Some of the biggest catalysts are well-known and often heralded. The sparkling form of Edinson Cavani; the stellar defense of Andrea Ranocchia; Napoli’s home fortress: all of which have been reported on endlessly. However, there have been some equally impressive facets of Serie A this season that may have gone overlooked. Here’s Julian De Martinis with ten fascinating facts;

Lazio’s away defense is fantastic. Edy Reja’s side lie two points out of fourth for many reasons, but perhaps the most influential of all has been their excellent away form. With a mere thirteen goals conceded on the road, only leaders AC Milan have allowed less. It is only an anemic away attack that has prevented the capital side from rising further in the table: the offense has scored a mere eleven times on the road, the fifth-worst record in Serie A. Defense giveth but defense can also taketh…

Palermo’s defense is horrible. This remains perhaps the most bizarre of all facts, as the Rosanero feature the likes of up-and-coming Salvatore Sirigu in net, as well as perhaps the two best fullbacks in Italy in the form of Mattia Cassani and Federico Balzaretti. Yet Serse Cosmi’s side have the second worse defense in all of Serie A, with only Lecce conceding more goals. Even Bari, calcio’s punching bag, has managed to concede one fewer. Perhaps this is best explained by…

Rosanero players get carded. Often. Centerback Cesare Bovo has received a stunning twelve yellow cards this campionato, a league high. Fellow midfielder Armin Bacinovic has been warned nine times and sent off once. The two are in the top four worst disciplined players for the 2010-2011 season.

Andrea Cossu is an assist machine. The Cagliari player has notched only once this term but leads all of Serie A on assists, with twelve. The thirty year old has thus already reached the number of assists he had last term and seems almost certain to surpass that. Interestingly, he is one of the worst Serie A players in terms of converting shots to goals: at a .03 conversion ratio, his one goal notched means he missed about thirty-three other chances.

Cesena and Catania are fair players. The two sides lead the Serie A Fair Play rankings by an enormous margin. The former lies first, having received only one yellow all campaign; the latter, two. In third is Inter with forty-eight yellows and one red. To put that in an even larger context, the worst disciplined team in Serie A has been Parma, with seventy-one yellows and seven reds. At seventeenth and fifteenth, the two sides may not be the most glamorous or successful in Italy, but they are the cleanest.

Mauro Bergonzi is trigger- happy. The referee, being involved in fifteen matches, has given out seventy-two yellows and three red cards. Only Gianluca Rocchi has expelled more players - five in fourteen games.

Udinese and Inter are goal-scoring machines. In the last ten matches of play, it is these two sides which are scoring goals at the fastest rate. The fourth place Bianconeri are scoring at a rate of once every thirty-six minutes, whereas the Nerazzurri are notching on average, three minutes later. Perhaps the biggest surprise in the goal-scoring average table is Lazio; despite laying in fifth, the side notches a goal only once every ninety minutes. That puts them fifteenth for frequency of goals per match.

Only one team has a perfect goal difference. Cagliari have both scored and conceded thirty- six goals.

Two of the top 10 most efficient goalscorers are quite mediocre defenders. Both Souleymane Diamoutene and Simone Loria have taken two shots at goal and scored once. That puts them at precisely 133 on the capocannoniere charts, but in the top ten for conversion ratio.

Stefano Sorrentino may be the most underrated goalie in the league. The Chievo stopper has only let in 1.07 goals per game, the fifth fewest in Italy. He’s also made the second most saves, with 118 total, behind only Sirigu’s 122, and is tied for fifth for most shots on goals faced.

Julian De Martinis

Calcio, Azzurri, and Roma tifosi. Blogger, correspondent, podcast host (@LaMagicast). Lover of books, movies, wordplay, family, and a good cappuccino.

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  • Ted

    Sorrentino’s a Juventus youth product. Then again, Parma are Juve’s ” B ” team…

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