Stathursday: a Storm named Nikola

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Due to a suspension, KV Mechelen might not be able to rely on strongman Nikola Storm in the home game against KV Oostende next weekend. That is a huge loss for Malinwa, because the winger has been involved in almost half of Mechelen's goals this season.

With 14 goals and 4 assists, Nikola Storm is having his best season yet. Statistics from our data partner StatsPerform confirm his defining role. The 27-year-old winger has a foot in 43 percent of the Mechelen goals. Only four players have better statistics at their club.

This season, Storm did not start against R. Antwerp FC (3-2 win), RFC Seraing (0-1 loss), KAS Eupen (1-3 loss), RSC Anderlecht (0-1 loss) and Standard de Liège (1-2 win). In those matches, KV Mechelen averaged only 1.2 points. With the trendsetter at kick-off, Malinwa scores an average of 1.7 points. Storm also boosts the winning percentage (52.6 percent versus 40 percent).

With Storm in the team, KV Mechelen scored 1.9 goals per game this season. Without him, that number drops to 1.2. The number of goal attempts by the ‘Maneblussers’ (nickname for Mechelen inhabitants) is also higher with the East-Flemish player (11.2 per match) than without (10.4). Storm brings more attacking impetus, but the StatsPerform statistics suggest that a risk in the defensive is involved.

10 goals more than expected

In the matches without Storm, KV Mechelen conceded far fewer crosses (average 7.6 vs. 13.6). Opponents also have an easier time getting shots on-target when Storm is in charge of the left wing (15.3 shots vs. 12). Finally, the precision of the passes on the opponent's side also suffers when Storm is present: 72.2 percent versus 67 percent.

In addition, based on the xG stats, we can conclude that Storm has been extremely efficient this season. The logarithm calculated that his chances should have resulted in only 3.29 goals. Storm managed to score 14 times, which says a lot about the difficulty of the goals. For example, he scored 4 from outside the box, which has a big impact on the xG numbers. Six times he scored with his left foot, eight times with his right. This highlights his bipedalism.

This article was created with the insights delivered by StatsPerform. Our exclusive partner collects the most diverse performance data from all the matches in the Jupiler Pro League and 1B Pro League. The agreement with StatsPerform has three goals: technical support for our clubs, better quality reporting on Eleven Sports and stronger communication.

Among other things, our clubs will be able to rely on live tracking data, so trainers can make adjustments based on data during the matches. As for the television and communications part of the partnership, the Pro League and Eleven focus on creating added value for fans. The official data from StatsPerform offers fans a unique insight into the performance of their favorite club or player.

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