Southampton: Should the Saints Goal Drought Be a Cause for Concern?

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Southampton: Should the Saints Goal Drought Be a Cause for Concern?
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Moments of agony instead of joy have been common for Southampton during their goal-scoring drought.

After back-to-back games without a goal, there are some concerns about Southampton's attacking prowess.

The Saints have only scored two goals in four matches—and both of those came from set pieces, not open play.

Rickie Lambert and Jose Fonte are the only Southampton players to have placed their names on the scoresheet so far.

But is the drought indicative of bad form or bad luck? The statistics may indicate the latter.

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Southampton have been better at keeping possession of the ball this season. Last season, they had possession of the ball 52.5 percent of the time and completed 77.7 percent of their passes.

In the four games the Saints have played this season, they have increased those numbers to 59.1 percent of possession and 78.7 percent pass accuracy.

Last season Southampton averaged 1.29 goals per match (49 in 38 games). The Saints averaged 13.6 shots per game, 4.4 of which were on target.

Roughly 32 percent of Southampton shots were hitting their target. That means opposition goalkeepers were forced to make 3.11 saves per match. 

This season the Saints are attempting fewer shots—12.8 per match—of which 4.0 per game are on target. The Saints' accuracy isn't much different, with 31 percent of shots on frame.

With Southampton only scoring 0.5 goals per match, goalkeepers are actually doing a better job against Mauricio Pochettino's men, saving 3.5 shots per match.

Steve Bardens/Getty Images
Surprisingly, Jose Fonte is just one of two Southampton players to score in the Premier League this season.

That was well evident in last week's match against West Ham United. Jussi Jaaskelainen made two key saves in a man-of-the-match performance to preserve a 0-0 draw in a match that Southampton probably should have won 2-0.

A bit of bad luck may be shown by the amount of times the Saints have hit the woodwork. Last season, Southampton hit the post or crossbar a total of 11 times, according to Squawka.com.

This season, the Saints have already hit the post on two occasions, including Lambert's rocket header last week against West Ham.

So while Southampton are creating slightly fewer chances per match this season, it seems like the football gods aren't 100 percent in the Saints' corner at the moment.

With a little patience and more time for the team to gel, Southampton should return to last season's goal-scoring rate in the near future.

 

All statistics from WhoScored.com unless noted.

 

 

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