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Sevilla VS Barcelona : la película de horror para Cules

Researcher , University of Oklahoma
Biophysicist. Cule.
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Researcher , University of Oklahoma
Biophysicist. Cule.
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Barcelona leave for Sevilla without Frenkie De Jong and Sergi Roberto to face Sevilla in their home ground. In this piece, we will leave Barcelona’s defense behind (writers Sandesh and Bishal will present their thoughts on Barcelona defense in their next piece) and try to statistically visualize how effective attacking options of Barcelona are against Los Palanganas defenders.  

Our Method of Analysis:

Using various data from fbreb and statsbomb, we have created two measurement indices for each Barcelona attacker against defenders of Sevilla

  1. Semi Critical Index

    SCI is measurement of how an attacking player rates against any defender based on defender’s ability to trouble (tackle/pressurize) a forward and a forward’s two offensive actions directly leading to a shot, such as passes, dribbles and drawing fouls in 90 minutes.

  2. Critical Index

    CI is measurement of how an attacking player rates against any defender based on defender’s ability to trouble (tackle/pressurize) a forward during shot taken and offensive actions directly leading to a goal (passes, dribbles) and a forward’s two offensive actions directly leading to a goal, such as passes, dribbles and drawing fouls in 90 minutes. 

Excel link to this table is posted at the end of the article. 


Needless to say, the index favors an attacker when it is closer to 0. Barcelona defenders included in the chart do not have their defensive abilities considered when creating these tables. Injured players are also included in the chart except Dembele. 


Key Takeaways: Rakitic Should Not Start Over Puig, Messi will be the determinant 

The SCI for Rakitic is higher than Puig (and Fati), which is really worrisome considering his experience. Over the time, we expect Puig’s (and Frenkie’s and Arthur’s) SCI to decrease by every passing game and Rakitic’s to increase, further strengthening our argument. Based on SCI, Arturo Vidal, Arthur Melo, Puig, Busquets should start over Rakitic against Sevilla. 

CI also strongly indicates Rakitic should not start against Sevilla because his critical index is so high it increases the average Barcelona attack critical index. Rakitic’s critical index is higher than his competition against EVERY defenders of Sevilla. 

The graphs and conclusions also indicate that our method of analytical measurement indices make sense.

The medicine man, Leo Messi (has played a total of 37 games against Sevilla in his career and has scored 36 goals, that’s a goal every 61 minutes), has ridiculous statistical CI and SCI with el Pistolero closely following him. The duo will again be on spotlight with Sevilla defense determinant to silence them. According to Total Football Analysis,  Sevilla concede the least shots (8.66 per 90, with a second-best 0.11 xGA/shot). Even though they do not aggressively press, their flexible defending relies on press and wait tactics and has proven very effective against almost all LaLiga teams.

Sevilla execute the most intelligent bohemian defending in laliga but with Messi on our side, scoreline should favor us. We hope for the best. Visca el Barca.

Excel Link to SCI and CI is posted below: 

SCI and CI

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