Expected Goals’ Greatest Partnerships

I thought it would be fun to have a look at players that had great chemistry through the years. Specifically: which two players generated the highest average chance quality when one passed to the other to shoot?

Here’s the top 20 producers and consumers (10 shots assisted or more):

Producer Consumer Shots Chance Quality
Luis Suárez Daniel Sturridge 13 0.2253
Gregory Van der Wiel Zlatan Ibrahimovic 11 0.2138
Franck Ribéry Mario Mandzukic 17 0.2026
Luis Suárez Neymar 18 0.2015
Theo Walcott Olivier Giroud 14 0.2009
Pablo Zabaleta Edin Dzeko 11 0.2002
Theo Walcott Robin van Persie 23 0.1998
Lukasz Piszczek Robert Lewandowski 11 0.1975
Vieirinha Bas Dost 12 0.1957
Sofiane Feghouli Paco Alcácer 14 0.1934
Daniel Sturridge Luis Suárez 12 0.1895
Thomas Müller Robert Lewandowski 21 0.1883
Jonathan Biabiany Amauri 14 0.1861
David Alaba Thomas Müller 13 0.1859
Gonzalo Higuaín Cristiano Ronaldo 14 0.1850
Ryan Giggs Javier Hernández 16 0.1846
Marcel Schäfer Bas Dost 11 0.1829
Marcelo Karim Benzema 13 0.1824
Gareth Bale Cristiano Ronaldo 47 0.1821
Alexis Sánchez Lionel Messi 21 0.1816

But this is selfish – what about reciprocal relationships? These are the highest average pairings based on chance quality created for each other:

Partnership Shots Chance Quality
Luis Suárez Daniel Sturridge 25 0.2081
Alexis Sánchez Lionel Messi 35 0.1731
Thomas Müller Mario Mandzukic 22 0.1675
Gareth Bale Cristiano Ronaldo 61 0.1664
Luis Suárez Neymar 34 0.1657
Theo Walcott Robin van Persie 39 0.1607
Luis Suárez Lionel Messi 34 0.1574
Henrikh Mkhitaryan Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang 33 0.1546
De Marcos Aduriz 29 0.1512
Aaron Ramsey Olivier Giroud 27 0.1506
Sergio García Christian Stuani 43 0.1502
Cesc Fàbregas Alexis Sánchez 24 0.1462
Jérémy Menez Zlatan Ibrahimovic 31 0.1447
Lionel Messi Pedro 53 0.1433
Karim Benzema Cristiano Ronaldo 93 0.1418
Juan Mata Fernando Torres 40 0.1414
Gareth Bale Karim Benzema 36 0.1396
Mario Götze Robert Lewandowski 41 0.1394
José Callejón Gonzalo Higuaín 38 0.1385
Raheem Sterling Luis Suárez 38 0.1383

The lesson you should take away from this? Even ignoring the biting and racist abuse, you really want Luis Suárez on your side.

Expected Goals’ Greatest Partnerships

2 thoughts on “Expected Goals’ Greatest Partnerships

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