Rangers FC are flying high after six games, but what do the numbers tell us about their performances?
After defeating Hamilton Academical yesterday, Rangers FC claimed three more precious points to take their tally to 16 after six games. Steven Gerrard’s men are at the top of the table with an undefeated record.
The only hiccup so far this season was the 0-0 draw against Livingston, in which Gers lacked creativity and only displayed urgency in the final 15 minutes. When looking at all of their results this season, Rangers are undoubtedly playing like they are on track to win title number 55.
There is obviously still a long journey ahead in this critical campaign, but what do the numbers tell us so far? Are Rangers dominating games and playing like champions, or are they just scraping by?
The Numbers: Offense
Offensively, the numbers put up by Rangers write two narratives. Firstly, let’s take a look at the goals. The Light Blues have scored 11 goals in six games, which is currently the highest total in the league.
So far, Rangers are scoring an average (rounded) of two goals per game, and they have not scored more than three goals in a game this season.
Where are the goals coming from? Players from every position have landed on the score sheet in the first six games. In total, seven different players have found the back of the net for Rangers, with Ryan Kent leading the pack with three goals.
Rangers are benefiting from their diverse scoring options, but the numbers tell us they should have scored much more than 11 goals this season. Through six games, Rangers have created an impressive 132 chances, but only 40 of those attempts were on target.
Rangers are creating plenty of scoring opportunities, but they are not making the most of their chances. The fact that only 30.3% of their shots are threatening opposing keepers is alarming. It shows that Rangers are dominating games, but are far from being considered lethal in the final third.
The Numbers: Defense
What a season it has been for Rangers defensively. Gerrard’s tactics, and his players’ implementation of those tactics, deserve nothing but praise. Six games into the season and Rangers have not conceded a single goal, which equals a record set 114 years ago.
The quick reactions of those on the back line and in the middle of the park have played a major role in maintaining six consecutive clean sheets. Have Gers faced any major threats defensively? Not really.
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Aberdeen, St. Mirren, St. Johnstone, Livingston, Kilmarnock, and Hamilton only created a combined total of 21 chances against Rangers, of which only seven have been on target. Only allowing seven shots on target through six games is simply remarkable.
This just goes to show phenomenal Rangers have been in terms of applying pressure this season, and keeping the ball – an average of 73% possession. The collective work rate higher up the pitch has taken an enormous amount of pressure off the defenders.
Scoring goals generates excitement in the stands, and makes the main highlight reels, but defensive stability is what wins titles for clubs. Rangers are, quite literally, perfect in the back for the time being, which bodes extremely well for their title hunt.