Welcome to Expected Villa (xV), a column about the numbers behind Aston Villa’s result. The Claret and Blues head to the final day… out of the bottom three? It’s remarkable. How have they done it?
Aston Villa’s set piece prowess is carrying them toward safety
Douglas Luiz has been Villa’s best player since the restart, but arguably, Conor Hourihane has been their most important.
Before the restart, Villa were a good set-piece team — their 10 goals from those opportunities in the first 28 matches were fourth-best in the division. Since the restart? They’ve been elite, largely through Hourihane’s ace deliveries. Five of Villa’s six goals since the restart have come from set pieces (the sixth coming not too far after one), which means that the Claret and Blues have run their total to 15 set-piece goals in 37 matches. Only Manchester City and Liverpool (two pretty damn good teams) have more.
If you follow this column, I wrote back in 2018 about why I think set pieces are the biggest market inefficiency in football, and more recently, I wrote after the Sheffield United loss about how (and why) Villa should continue to turn to set pieces as a core attacking tactic:
By: Alexander Carson
Title: xV: Set pieces and defensive stability have Villa 90 minutes from Premier League survival
Sourced From: 7500toholte.sbnation.com/2020/7/25/21335181/expected-villa-set-pieces-conor-hourihane-premier-league-survival
Published Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2020 08:00:00 +0000