Napoli also appeared at a good level with Gennaro Gattuso, while Juventus, last year’s titleholders, remain bewildered, looking to improve their performance little by little with their young coach Andrea Pirlo.
Chosen formation: 3-5-2
In order to build a team with the best players that will come out of this data analysis, we must first decide on a formation to use. We will be using a 3-5-2 formation to set up our players on the pitch; this means that our choices will also be influenced by the type of player needed in each position in this formation.
Having this in mind, we will be looking for the best three centre-backs that can play in a back-three system, two wing-backs able to provide both defensive and offensive support, three central midfielders that are also capable both attacking and defending and two strikers to occupy the front spots.
We will choose the best performers on each position based on their statistics.
We will shortlist the six best goalkeepers in the league and compare their data to see who excels in their actions.
Andrea Consigli (Sassuolo)
Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan)
Samir Handanović (Inter)
Antonio Mirante (Roma)
Marco Silvestri (Hellas Verona)
Mattia Perin (Genoa)
When we talk about goalkeeping, we must first mention the goals that each of them conceded and their ratio with the number of matches they played.
From the goalkeepers that we chose, the ones with the best goal conceded rate are Marco Silvestri with a score of 0.71 goals per match and Gianluigi Donnarumma at a rate of 0.67 goals per match in seven games as shown below.
It is also important, before we show the saves to each of them, that we know the shots on target against them so that we can check the accuracy of the saves from the number of shots on target. In the data below, Silvestri and Andrea Consigli are the ones receiving the most shots on target against them.
After we know who gets the highest numbers of shots against, Silvestri and Consigli are also with the most saves, as Silvestri made 28 saves out of 33 shots on target against him while Consigli made 27 saves out of 35 shots as shown below.
Knowing these important statistics about the best goalkeepers in the first seven rounds of Serie A 2020/21, we can choose Silvestri as the best goalkeeper based on his defensive record.
If we collect the stats together and compare them for all the goalkeepers, Silvestri has the best performance as he is the least receptive to goals with 0.71 per match while he played in all games.
Next up comes the back-three line in our chosen 3-5-2 formation.
Davide Calabria (Milan)
Lisandro Magallán (Crotone)
Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli)
Nikola Milenković (Fiorentina)
Roger Ibañez (Roma)
Francesco Acerbi (Lazio)
Lorenzo De Silvestri (Bologna)
Charalambos Lykogiannis (Cagliari)
Bartosz Bereszyński (Sampdoria)
To select defenders in the 3-5-2 formation, we must take several factors into consideration. One of them is their tackling abilities. Undoubtedly, this feature is very important in order for them to be successful defensively.
Below, we show a simple comparison of the top 10 defenders in the first seven rounds and we can easily spot the best ones in terms of tackling. Davide Calabria and Lisandro Magallán have the same success rate. But Calabria has a higher frequency, meaning more failed attempts, which leads to the better performer Magallán.
Also one of the metrics that are important to take into account when comparing defenders is dribblers tackled. Nikola Milenković excels in this indicator as shown below.
Blocking shots is also very important, as the defenders who are most distinguished in this metric are key in combating the opponent’s shots. The defender with the most blocked shots is Charalampos Lykogiannis as shown below.
Next up we compared their interceptions frequency, where it turns out that Roger Ibañez has the clear superiority and contributes well in gaining back possession.
As for the successful pressures made by the players in this comparison, the rates show Calabria’s superiority by a slight difference over Acerbi and Magallán.
Based on previous statistics, we choose three defenders for our squad, namely Calabria from Milan, due to his superior number of successful presses and also for his good performance in tackles, Milenković from Fiorentina and Lykogiannis from Cagliari.
Next, we will choose two wing-backs out of our shortlist of the five best performers based on data.
Hans Hateboer (Atalanta)
Robin Gosens (Atalanta)
Ivan Perišić (Inter)
Achraf Hakimi (Inter)
Theo Hernández (Milan)
We will try to achieve a balance between the two full-backs, so that the two are complementary to each other and support the team well, defensively and offensively.
If we look into the number of their interceptions per 90, the chart below shows that Robin Gosens is the best performer and contributes the most in terms of winning the ball back.
Looking also at the pressures per 90, Gosens excels there too, while the young Moroccan Achraf Hakimi and Theo Hernández follow up with a slight difference from the others as shown below.
Their crossing frequency is considered one of the most important features of the wing-backs, and below we show a comparison in that metrics. It is clear that Ivan Perišić is superior, followed by Hakimi with very little difference.
Another important feature that we show below is “switches”, as it is important for the wing-back to have the ability to switch play when this option is available to him, we can see that Hakimi is best too.
After we showed these statistics for the top five players who can occupy this place choosing Gosens on the left side due to his clear defensive superiority was the logical choice. On the other flank, we will choose Hakimi due to his offensive superiority and achieve a balance between both wing-backs.
Now, we will choose three players for our squad for the midfield. In order to achieve a balance between the players in midfield, we will choose a defensive player as the centre of our formation with two offensive players with some defensive duties.
First, we will choose five players that could fit the defensive part.
Morten Thorsby (Sampdoria)
Marko Rog (Cagliari)
Franck Kessié (Milan)
Jerdy Schouten (Bologna)
Manuel Locatelli (Sassuolo)
We will be comparing these five top players in the first seven rounds in terms of their defensive stats: tackles, blocks and pressures.
The below chart shows that Morten Thorsby from Sampdoria is the best performer among them with the most pressures per 90 and a good balance in the other metrics too.
And now we choose the best six players in the attacking midfield to choose the best two to join the squad.
Manuel Locatelli (Sassuolo)
Luis Alberto (Lazio)
Fabián Ruiz Peña (Napoli)
Hakan Çalhanoğlu (Milan)
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Roma)
We will take into account the ability to pass under pressure per 90 in which Manuel Locatelli excels and the number of passes that under pressure per 90, which Luis Alberto excels in, as confirmed below. Therefore, we will choose both of them into our squad.
And now we will choose the best two forwards to join our squad and we will choose 6 forwards to compare and choose the best of them.
Zlatan Ibrahimović (Milan)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
Andrea Belotti (Torino)
Romelu Lukaku (Inter)
Francesco Caputo (Sassuolo)
João Pedro (Cagliari)
It is easy to choose the best attackers. We will compare the six shortlisted attackers who scored the most goals and their expected goals numbers.
So we will choose Zlatan Ibrahimović, who scored the most goals and the most shots on target in the league. We will also choose Cristiano Ronaldo, he excels at playing fewer matches as he scores 1.79 goals per match as shown below.
The final team
Here are our team for the first seven rounds of the Serie A 2020/21.