Measuring the performance of every defender in Serie A

For a particular team, say Juventus, I compiled the number of shot they conceded in every Serie A game last season. The number of shots was then divided by the amount of the possession that the opponent enjoyed in that match. This method is to calculate how efficient an opponent could generate a scoring opportunity with a given amount of possession. I then calculated the average opponent’ shots generation efficiency f the matches a particular player started (substitution is ignored since it has a minor contribution). For example, Juventus lineups featuring Leonardo Bonucci conceded 12.4 shots per 50% possession.

Each player played against opponents with different strengths, so I needed a way to normalize the strengths of the different opponents each player played against.

plot#3.jpg

Because there is a high correlation (r=0.74) between the number of points a team accumulated in the league and its shots generation efficiency, I used a linear regression method to model the shots generation efficiency for opponents of different strength (measured by points):

For example, the model suggests that for any opponent: (the average # of points of the opponents) x 0.0605+10.039 = the expected number of shots an opponent would generate per 50% possession. For Bonucci, his opponent averages 51.27 points, so the expected number of shots is 13.1 per 50% possession.

By dividing the actual number of shot conceded (12.4) with the expected number of shot conceded (13.1), I generated the defensive performance of the lineups featuring Bonucci, which is about 94%, meaning that an opponent created 6% fewer shot than they would usually create.

The process was repeated for every defender for every team in Serie A last season. I also calculated the shot generation efficiency for the lineups when a particular WAS NOT PRESENT. For example, Juventus’ lineups not featuring Bonucci limited the opponent shot generation by 36%. Therefore, the plus/minus for Bonucci is +0.3 (or +30%), meaning that the opponents had 30% more shots per possession against the lineups with Bonucci than those without him.

 

Center backs

Team Player Position Opponent’s shooting% when X player is playing Opponent’s strength when X player is playing Opponent’s shooting % when X player is not playing Opponent’s strength when X player is not playing Opponent’s shooting plus/minus
Udinese Wague CB 0.64 55.5 0.81 53.18 0.17
Juventus Rugani CB 0.68 42.91 0.91 54.3 0.24
Juventus Barzagli CB 0.70 47.25 0.96 53.73 0.27
Genoa Biraschi CB 0.76 57 0.95 53.53 0.19
Udinese Felipe CB 0.78 56.36 0.82 49.375 0.04
Atalanta Masiello CB 0.78 52.21 0.97 50.6 0.19
Udinese Danilo CB 0.78 53.72 0.97 48 0.18
Lazio de Vrij CB 0.79 51.26 1.03 54.18 0.23
Atalanta Caldara CB 0.80 54.1 0.82 44.125 0.02
Torino Carlao CB 0.81 53.75 1.10 52.91 0.29
Crotone Dussenne CB 0.81 69.25 0.91 52.21 -0.10
Atalanta Toloi CB 0.82 54.34 0.75 39.5 -0.06
Juventus Chiellini CB 0.83 59.9 0.87 41.11 0.04
Lazio Wallace CB 0.84 55.11 0.89 49.4 0.05
Roma Jesus CB 0.86 40 1.18 52.53 0.32
Atalanta Zukanovic CB 0.86 45.58 0.78 54.96 -0.07
Sampdoria Regini CB 0.86 63.67 1.06 52.37 0.19
Udinese Angella CB 0.86 38.8 0.77 57.79 -0.09
Lazio Bastos CB 0.88 61.1 0.85 48.89 -0.02
Genoa Izzo CB 0.89 48.58 1.02 65.42 0.13
Lazio Hoedt CB 0.89 45.76 0.82 59.94 -0.07
Genoa Munoz CB 0.90 57.96 0.80 46.93 -0.10
Inter Murillo CB 0.90 52.5 0.99 52.55 0.08
Genoa Gentiletti CB 0.90 58.47 0.95 50.91 0.04
Crotone Ceccherini CB 0.91 51.29 0.86 77 0.04
Crotone Ferrari CB 0.91 54.19 N/A N/A N/A
Juventus Benatia CB 0.91 50.57 0.84 51.25 -0.07
Genoa Burdisso CB 0.92 53.49 1.09 58.67 0.17
Inter Miranda CB 0.94 50.72 1.01 62.17 0.07
Juventus Bonucci CB 0.94 51.27 0.64 50.42 -0.30
Torino Bovo CB 0.94 48.33 1.08 53.4 0.14
Bologna Gastaldello CB 0.95 51.25 1.13 57.7 0.18
Lazio Radu CB 0.95 57.54 0.81 49.28 -0.14
Bologna Maietta CB 0.95 50.53 1.24 65.25 0.29
Genoa Orban CB 0.95 49.29 0.93 54.94 0.03
Inter Ranocchia CB 0.97 52.8 0.94 52.48 -0.02
Napoli Albiol CB 0.98 54.68 1.07 44.69 0.08
Palermo Andjelkovic CB 0.99 57.45 1.06 51.06 0.08
Napoli Koulibaly CB 0.99 52.57 1.07 47.6 0.08
Sassuolo Cannavaro CB 0.99 54.94 1.18 51.81 0.19
Inter Medel CB 0.99 54.5625 0.91 51.05 -0.08
Palermo Cionek CB 1.00 48.88 1.07 65.08 0.08
Palermo Gonzalez CB 1.01 52 0.98 56.38 -0.03
Palermo Goldangia CB 1.02 56.08 1.06 50.83 0.04
Sampdoria Silvestre CB 1.02 54.14 N/A N/A N/A
Chievo Cesar CB 1.03 57.12 1.10 50.62 0.08
Bologna Helander CB 1.03 55.38 1.00 53.17 -0.02
Crotone Claiton CB 1.03 54.56 0.87 52.68 0.16
Cagliari Pisacane CB 1.03 53.45 1.20 53.26 0.17
Napoli Chiriches CB 1.04 46.08 1.00 53.96 -0.04
Pescara Fornasier CB 1.04 45.4375 1.13 61.95 0.09
Udinese Heurtaux CB 1.04 78.33 0.77 51.29 -0.27
Chievo Spolli CB 1.04 53.86 1.08 53.33 0.04
Sampdoria Skiniar CB 1.06 52.37 0.86 63.67 -0.19
Pescara Campagnaro CB 1.06 52.67 1.11 57.1 0.05
Torino Rossettini CB 1.06 55.62 1.09 44.56 0.03
Fiorentina Tomovic CB 1.07 55.74 1.15 49.53 0.08
Chievo Gamberini CB 1.08 53.75 1.07 53.28 -0.01
Pescara Gyomber CB 1.08 54.5 1.09 54.9 0.01
Fiorentina Maio CB 1.08 53.67 1.11 52.4375 0.03
Torino Castan CB 1.08 52.85 1.08 53.08 0.00
Fiorentina Sanchez CB 1.09 52.58 1.14 52.22 0.05
Fiorentina Astori CB 1.09 52.79 1.21 51.6 0.12
Napoli Tonelli CB 1.09 42 1.00 52.06 -0.09
Sassuolo Acerbi CB 1.10 53.2 N/A N/A N/A
Empoli Veseli CB 1.10 54 1.16 54.11 0.06
AC Milan Romagnoli CB 1.10 51.31 1.19 53.73 0.08
Chievo Dainelli CB 1.11 50.72 1.00 58.92 -0.11
Torino Moretti CB 1.11 52.68 1.02 53.4375 -0.08
Empoli Costa CB 1.11 52.09 1.22 57.2 0.12
Napoli Maksimovic CB 1.11 47.43 0.99 52.13 -0.12
Sassuolo Peluso CB 1.12 57.25 1.10 52.21 -0.02
AC Milan Paletta CB 1.12 52.34 1.18 53.17 0.05
Roma Manolas CB 1.13 53.375 1.28 39.67 0.16
Empoli Bellusci CB 1.13 55.28 1.30 47.83 0.17
Fiorentina Salcedo CB 1.13 46.83 1.09 53.7185 -0.04
Roma Fazio CB 1.13 51.6 1.38 46.67 0.24
Sassuolo Antei CB 1.14 51.67 1.09 53.69 -0.05
Empoli Barba CB 1.15 55.56 1.15 53.66 0.00
Pescara Stendardo CB 1.15 54.33 1.07 55.21 -0.08
AC Milan Zapata CB 1.15 48.7 1.12 53.82 -0.03
Cagliari Ceppitelli CB 1.15 53.83 1.14 52.85 -0.01
Pescara Bovo CB 1.16 49.67 1.07 56.67 -0.08
Roma Rudiger CB 1.16 43.5 1.15 54.77 -0.01
Cagliari Alves CB 1.16 53.53 N/A N/A N/A
Pescara Coda CB 1.17 61.3 1.06 52.75 -0.11
Fiorentina Rodriguez CB 1.17 54.52 0.93 48 -0.24
Bologna Oikonomou CB 1.18 59.45 0.95 51.26 -0.24
Palermo Rajkovic CB 1.20 58 1.00 54 -0.19
AC Milan Gomez CB 1.22 61.5 1.11 50.42 -0.12
Palermo Vitiello CB 1.25 52 0.99 54.79 -0.27
Bologna Torosidis CB 1.26 62.25 0.99 52.62 -0.28
Cagliari Salamon CB 1.29 52.11 1.11 53.69 -0.18
Sassuolo Letschert CB 1.33 42 1.06 55.3125 -0.28
Roma Vermaelen CB 1.36 45.75 1.14 51.85 -0.22
Empoli Cosic CB 1.39 52.625 1.09 54.5 -0.30

Full backs

Team Player Position Opponent’s shooting% when X player is playing Opponent’s strength when X player is playing Opponent’s shooting % when X player is not playing Opponent’s strength when X player is not playing Opponent’s shooting plus/minus
Udinese Faraoni FB 0.70 57.5 0.81 52.94 0.10
Udinese Heurtaux FB 0.72 59.67 0.80 52.89 0.08
Napoli Maggio FB 0.74 59 1.04 50.35 0.30
Juventus Dani Alves FB 0.75 46.42 0.89 53.12 0.15
Udinese Felipe FB 0.75 48.89 0.81 54.83 0.05
Lazio Radu FB 0.76 47.625 0.93 55.36 0.16
Atalanta Drame FB 0.76 48.625 0.82 52.9 0.05
Udinese Samir FB 0.78 51.53 0.81 55.32 0.03
Lazio Anderson FB 0.78 50.125 0.88 52.63 0.10
Atalanta Spinazzola FB 0.79 52.19 0.83 51.58 0.04
Udinese Widmer FB 0.80 51 0.79 59.36 -0.01
Atalanta Conti FB 0.82 52.7 0.75 44 -0.07
Udinese Adnan FB 0.83 63.125 0.78 50.68 -0.04
Lazio Basta FB 0.83 52.22 0.90 51.93 0.07
Inter Candreva FB 0.84 59.83 0.97 51.16 0.13
Juventus Alex Sandro FB 0.85 51.875 0.85 49.5 0.00
Genoa Lazovic FB 0.85 56.04 1.15 47.9 0.30
Torino Avelar FB 0.87 42.33 0.99 53.91 0.13
Juventus Asamoah FB 0.87 50 0.84 51.46 -0.04
Crotone Martella FB 0.88 50.31 0.95 62 -0.07
Roma Rui FB 0.88 43.33 1.17 51.89 0.29
Juventus Cuadrado FB 0.89 46.67 0.85 51.37 -0.04
Crotone Sampirisi FB 0.90 58.22 0.90 52.69 -0.01
Sassuolo Letschert FB 0.90 64.33 1.11 52.56 0.22
Crotone Rosi FB 0.90 53.39 0.92 56.71 -0.02
Lazio Lulic FB 0.90 51.36 0.84 52.41 -0.06
Torino Monlinaro FB 0.90 59.625 1.01 51.23 0.10
Juventus Lichtsteiner FB 0.91 53.55 0.76 47.5 -0.15
Inter D’Ambrosio FB 0.92 56.82 0.97 52.48 0.05
Inter Ansaldi FB 0.93 54.76 0.90 50.71 -0.03
Lazio Lukaku FB 0.94 63 0.84 49.2 -0.10
Genoa Laxalt FB 0.95 53.98 N/A N/A N/A
Sampdoria Sala FB 0.95 51.2 1.12 55.32 0.17
Palermo Morganella FB 0.96 64.4 1.04 52.16 0.08
Empoli Zambelli FB 0.97 60.5 1.18 53.35 0.21
Sampdoria Pavlovic FB 0.98 51.625 1.06 53.7 0.08
Chievo Gobbi FB 0.99 53.57 1.36 53.375 0.37
Bologna Torosidis FB 0.99 49.4 1.05 58.33 0.06
Bologna Masina FB 1.00 53.11 1.08 51 0.08
Pescara Crescenzi FB 1.00 55.08 1.12 54.44 0.12
Inter Santon FB 1.00 53.54 0.92 54 -0.08
Inter Nagomoto FB 1.00 51.5 0.94 52.72 -0.07
Crotone Mesbah FB 1.01 63 0.87 51.6 0.13
Fiorentina Olivera FB 1.01 55.07 1.16 51.21 0.15
Napoli Strinic FB 1.01 55.92 1.01 41.17 0.00
Napoli Ghoulam FB 1.01 41.17 1.01 55.92 0.00
Sampdoria Pereira FB 1.01 54.375 1.05 52.97 0.04
Palermo Pezzella FB 1.01 57.25 1.03 53.67 0.01
Sampdoria Regini FB 1.01 53.37 1.09 53.25 0.08
Palermo Rispoli FB 1.02 52.4 1.03 62 0.01
Lazio Patric FB 1.02 52.7 0.80 51.89 -0.22
Sassuolo Adjapong FB 1.03 54.67 1.10 53.09 0.08
Bologna Mbaye FB 1.04 57.55 1.01 52.04 -0.02
Chievo Cacciatore FB 1.04 56 1.15 46.6 0.12
Napoli Hysaj FB 1.04 50.35 0.74 59 -0.30
Palermo Alessami FB 1.04 53.86 0.96 56 -0.08
Torino Silvestri FB 1.06 53.07 1.08 52.96 0.02
Sassuolo Gazzola FB 1.07 50.67 1.11 54.87 0.04
Fiorentina Salcedo FB 1.07 52.43 1.11 52.68 0.04
AC Milan De Sciglio FB 1.08 53.56 1.22 50.8 0.14
Roma Rudiger FB 1.08 60.15 1.19 46.56 0.12
Torino Zappacosta FB 1.08 52.96 1.06 53.07 -0.02
Bologna Krafth FB 1.08 57.12 0.97 50.81 -0.11
Empoli Laurini FB 1.09 52.08 1.27 57.57 0.18
Sassuolo Dell’Orco FB 1.09 62.875 1.10 50.63 0.01
Fiorentina Tello FB 1.09 44.25 1.12 58.73 0.03
AC Milan Abate FB 1.09 54.11 1.17 51 0.08
Empoli Pasqual FB 1.10 52.97 1.42 60.17 0.32
Sassuolo Peluso FB 1.10 50.21 1.08 62.89 -0.02
Pescara Zampano FB 1.10 55.54 1.05 53.5 -0.05
Pescara Biraghi FB 1.11 53.03125 1.00 62 -0.11
Roma Emerson FB 1.11 49.29 1.18 52.39 0.07
Fiorentina Chiesa FB 1.12 55.75 1.10 51.19 -0.02
Cagliari Murru FB 1.13 55.35 1.18 48.92 0.05
Roma Jesus FB 1.14 58.375 1.15 49.3 0.02
Torino Barreca FB 1.14 52.22 0.82 54.91 -0.32
Cagliari Isla FB 1.15 49.4 1.15 57.67 0.01
Fiorentina Milic FB 1.15 51.2 1.08 53.57 -0.08
Cagliari Padoin FB 1.16 53.5 1.15 51.75 0.00
Cagliari Pisacane FB 1.17 52.56 1.14 54 -0.04
Genoa Edenilson FB 1.18 46.375 0.87 55.9 -0.31
Sassuolo Lirola FB 1.19 51.59 1.03 54.52 -0.16
Cagliari Capuano FB 1.19 56.25 1.14 52.97 -0.05
AC Milan Calabria FB 1.20 48.45 1.10 54.11 -0.09
Cagliari Bittante FB 1.20 68 1.14 52.06 -0.06
Sampdoria Bereszynski FB 1.21 56 0.97 52.15 -0.24
Roma Peres FB 1.22 46 1.14 56 -0.07
Chievo Frey FB 1.24 44.54 0.98 58.2 -0.26
AC Milan Vangioni FB 1.25 47.55 1.08 54.48 -0.17
Fiorentina Bernardeschi FB 1.26 65.17 1.07 50.28125 -0.19
AC Milan Antonelli FB 1.29 56.67 1.12 52.11 -0.17
Sampdoria Dodo FB 1.33 56.5 1.01 52.88 -0.32
Empoli Veseli FB 1.39 55.375 1.09 53.77 -0.30
Roma Florenzi FB 1.40 53.86 1.09 50.61 -0.31
Empoli Dimarco FB 1.42 60.17 1.10 52.97 -0.32

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