I’m back with the last article in my analysis of Match Day Ranking peak scores for Football INDEX and, as it features some of the most sought-after players on the Index, I’m sure it’s the one you’ve been looking forward (no pun intended) to the most.
If you’re a first time reader, I’d highly recommend you read my preview article first, which can be found here. And after you’ve read this article, please check out the analysis on Defenders and Midfielders.
Out of all of the positional analysis I’ve done, this one threw up the least surprises. Which means that you guys have done a good job picking out the most valuable Forwards on the Index when it comes to Match Day Ranking scores!
One thing that can be said for the Forwards last season that can’t for the other positions is that if they hit a peak score in at least one in every 19 starts, they were going to yield something. There were five defenders and four midfielders to achieve this feat, only to yield diddly-squat.
A Forwards average winning score for Double and Treble Match Days is 210. The average winning score on a Double Day was 205 with it being 213 on a Treble Day, which is how the nice round number of 210 was decided upon.
It’ll be of little surprise to you that Lionel Messi hit this score most frequently. He hit it an incredible 10 times in 40 starts. No other Forward hit a peak score with that frequency with Dani Alves being the only other player on the Index to hit their positional peak score once in every four starts. Incredible.
Meanwhile, the likes of Paulo Dybala (7), Neymar (6), Cristiano Ronaldo and Memphis Depay (5) all managed to reach a score of 210 on at least five occasions. The South American duo of Dybala and Neymar hit it more frequently at a rate of once in every five starts, with Ronaldo once in every eight and Depay once in every nine. All hugely impressive.
There were two other players who managed to sneak in above Ronaldo and Depay when it came to frequency of achieving the Forward peak score, one more surprising than the other. Sergio Aguero hit it four times at a rate of once in every seven starts and Ademola Lookman hit it once at the same frequency.
Other notable mentions go to Eden Hazard (3 peak scores), Gareth Bale (2) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (1). All three of these players hit their positional peak score once in every 12 starts.
Antoine Griezmann and Harry Kane also managed to hit 210 on three occasions over the course of the season, but not at the same frequency as the aforementioned players. But hitting these scores once in every 14 starts is still good going. Nabil Fekir (2) and Marco Reus (1) were also in the ‘one in 14 club’, if that’s even a thing.
This analytical series has thrown a few surprises at me, but none more-so than the performance of Liverpool’s front three. Sadio Mane has recently been changed to a Forward, so now it’s easier to compare him alongside Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.
Quite incredibly, of all the Forwards who have hit a peak score on the Index, Mohamed Salah has done it with the lowest frequency of them all.
The Egyptian King has hit 210 once during his debut season at Anfield where he made 46 starts. Firmino, once in every 45, and Mane, once in every 39 didn’t fare much better.
To put Salah’s ability to hit 210 into perspective, Edin Dzeko did it more frequently, hitting it once in his 45 starts.
However, despite this, Salah still managed to yield a cool 50p in Match Day Dividends, highlighting the benefits of playing in smaller game pools with high dividend yield towards the end of the season.
A few other household names who have failed to set the Index alight with their peak score hitting capability are the likes of Kylian Mbappe, once in 32 starts, Robert Lewandowski, once in 35 and Lorenzo Insigne, once in every 42.
It’s also worth noting that the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Alexis Sanchez (while at United), Gabriel Jesus, Dries Mertens, Edinson Cavani, Timo Werner, Suso and Simone Verdi have all never reached the dizzy heights of a score of 210!
Anyways, I’ve finished dropping bombshells. And after doing so, I’m disagreeing with one of my opening paragraphs again (it happened in the Midfielder analysis too). I said that this didn’t throw up any surprises, but who would have thought that players like Salah, Sanchez and a whole host of other £3+ players don’t regularly hit peak scores on Match Days?
Are these players overvalued or is there still lots more opportunity in the Defender and Midfielder categories?
Be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @FootyIndexLDN if you want to chat more about this.
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