Stathursday: the Fox in the box

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Every Thursday, we focus on fascinating statistics provided by our data partner StatsPerform in the 'Stathursday' column. This week we reflect on the impressive season of Jelle Vossen, who scored his 150th goal in the Jupiler Pro League last weekend. With his sixth sense for goals, the experienced striker saved SV Zulte Waregem from relegation.

There doesn't seem to be any let-up in Jelle Vossen’s performance. In his fifteenth year at the highest level in Belgium, the Limburger has already hit the back of the net 17 times this season. Vossen is of vital importance to SV Zulte Waregem. Statistics provided by our data partner StatsPerform confirm his defining role. The 32-year-old goal scorer scored 40 percent of Essevee's goals. In the Jupiler Pro League, only R. Antwerp Fc’s Michael Frey (42.3 percent) has a larger share.

Jelle Vossen’s impact on the sport is also evident from other StatsPerform data. When the striker was in the starting line-up (24 times), SV Zulte Waregem achieved an average of 1.2 points. Without him as a starter (7 times), the average was only 0.6. Vossen at kick-off also gave Essevee a higher winning rate: 29.2 percent against 14.3 percent. For an ailing team like SV Zulte Waregem, that could mean the difference between relegation to 1B and an extended stay in 1A.

With Vossen in the team, Zulte Waregem scored 1.5 goals per game this season. Without him, that number drops to 0.9 hits. That makes sense since the striker occupies the third place in the top scorer standings. What is striking is that without Vossen, Essevee registers more goal attempts (12.6 against 10.7 chances). Despite a lower number of attempts, Vossen's presence ensures more goals. This highlights his efficiency.

The xG statistics also prove his sixth sense for goals. According to StatsPerform's calculations, Vossen's chances should have yielded only 9.79 goals. The Limburger scored 17, a difference of 7.21 hits. Only with Nikola Storm (KV Mechelen), the difference between expected goals (xG) and actual scored goals is higher (+ 9.64). Michael Frey (R. Antwerp FC / + 6.77) holds third place.

Jelle Vossen scored his 17 goals, including three penalties, all from within the box. Once, he scored with his left foot, but most of his goals (11) he scored with his right. On top of that, he also has 5 headers to his name. No less than 27.42 percent of Vossen's attempts result in a goal. Only Bas Dost (Club Brugge / 34.29 percent) and Michael Frey (32.25 percent) are more efficient with their chances. 

A final statistic that catches our eye is the number of ball touches in the opponent's sixteen. Vossen touched the leather only 80 times in the box this season. In other words, he only needs an average of 4.7 ball touches in the penalty area per goal. For comparison: Deniz Undav (Royale Union Saint-Gilloise) needs an average of 8.9 before he scores, Michael Frey 6.2 and Bas Dost 5.4. No other striker even comes close to the goal oriented Jelle Vossen. 

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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