Castrol EDGE Index Tournament XI also includes Ronaldo, Iniesta and Balotelli
For the second successive UEFA European Championship, Spain provided the winner of the Castrol EDGE Index, with Sergio Ramos taking the honour of strongest performing player in 2012 following a historic night at Kyiv’s Olympic Stadium. This is Ramos’ second time of being crowned the best player at a major international tournament after the Spanish defender also topped the Castrol EDGE Index table at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. A cornerstone of the holders’ impenetrable defence, the Real Madrid CF man finished just ahead of club-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, who had led the standings since the end of the group stage. Gerard Piqué, Ramos’ centre-back partner, completes the podium; he is the second of seven Spain players in the top ten, including their entire rear guard.
CASTROL EDGE UEFA EURO 2012™ TEAM OF THE TOURNAMENT
Iker Casillas (16th)
Spanish captain Iker Casillas was outstanding in goal for the victors. Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that he stopped 94% of shots against him – the best in the tournament and helping Spain to keep five clean sheets.
Jordi Alba (6th)
Jordi Alba was a constant threat for Spain at left back. Barcelona’s new signing made the third most touches in the tournament (576) and scored his side’s second goal in the final demolition of Italy. He was equally assured in his defensive work, with a 100% tackle completion rate.
Sergio Ramos (1st)
Sergio Ramos was commanding at centre back for Spain. The Real Madrid man made two last man saving tackles, helping Spain to concede only one goal in the entire tournament. Ramos also took an outstanding penalty in the semi-final against Portugal.
Gerard Pique (3rd)
Ramos’ partner, Gerard Pique, was arguably the most commanding defender at Euro 2012. He won 75.8% of his duels on the ground and made thirty clearances – the fourth highest in the tournament.
Alvaro Arbeloa (7th)
Although Alvaro Arbeloa is widely considered to be the weak link in the Spanish defence, Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that he made 20 tackles in Euro 2012, more than Alba, Ramos and Pique. The Madrid right back did not miss a minute of football.
Andrea Pirlo (11th)
Although Italy’s Andrea Pirlo was stifled in the final by Spain, he was nevertheless outstanding at the centre of the Azurri’s midfield. In addition to scoring a stunning free kick against Croatia, Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that Pirlo created seventeen chances during the tournament.
Andres Iniesta (5th)
Andres Iniesta was his usual dynamic self for Spain. The Barcelona schemer made 26 dribbles during the tournament and was unlucky not to score with nine shots on target.
Xavi Hernandez was outstanding once again for Spain, the European and World Champions. He made more chances (25), passes (592) and touches (676) than any other player in Euro 2012.
Xabi Alonso (4th)
Xabi Alonso scored twice for Spain during Euro 2012 and Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that had a chance conversion rate of 25%. The former Liverpool midfielder was equally important in defence – completing sixteen tackles for the victors.
Mario Balotelli (13th)
Mario Balotelli lit up the tournament, scoring both of Italy’s goals against Germany in the semi-final. Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that he had more shots on target than any other player during the tournament. The confrontational forward won more fouls than any other player (20), although this was counteracted by the fact that he also committed the most (17).
Cristiano Ronaldo (2nd)
Cristiano Ronaldo did his best to drag Portugal to the Euro 2012 final. The Madrid star took thirty seven shots in the tournament- twelve more than any other player.
Find out who were the strongest performing players at UEFA EURO 2012™ by visiting castroledge.com/euro2012. Castrol EDGE is an Official Sponsor of UEFA EURO 2012™.
Ahead of their opening clash at UEFA EURO 2012, the Castrol EDGE Calculator has revealed that England are favourites to beat France on Monday and go on to qualify from Group D. However, they still only stand an 8.4% chance of lifting the trophy, with Spain the favourites to defeat Netherlands in the Final, and Germany and England as beaten semi-finalists.
After Monday’s clash with France, England will face tricky games against Sweden and hosts Ukraine. But the Castrol EDGE Calculator backs England to come through these fixtures and qualify in 1st place. England has a 61% chance of emerging from the group, making them the favourites to make it into the quarter-finals from Group D.
By using the latest technology and data analysis techniques to identify which nations have the strongest chance of success at UEFA EURO 2012, the Castrol EDGE Calculator now shows that England have an 8.4% chance of winning the tournament and lifting the trophy. This is far better than Group D rivals France, who have a 5.2% chance of lifting the trophy, and Italy, who only have a 3.9% chance. However, England still trail far behind favourites Spain (24.5%) and their major tournament bogey team, Germany (12.2%).
First launched for the 2010 FIFA World Cup where it accurately predicted nearly 70% of teams’ progression, Castrol EDGE has applied the same expertise they apply to the development of their strongest ever oil to create the Castrol EDGE Calculator.
Created by the same team of Castrol EDGE Performance Analysts behind the Castrol EDGE Rankings, it calculates the attack and defence ratings of each nation. Then by simulating the tournament over 100,000 times, and taking into account the draw groupings, the Calculator can predict how successful nations will be in their groups, whether or not they’ll progress to the knock out stages, and ultimately each nation’s chance of winning the tournament.
Fans can see the very latest tournament predictions from the Castrol EDGE Calculator on castroledge.com/euro2012, which is updated after each game, allowing them to see the impact of every match result on their nation’s chances. For the first time ever, fans watching UEFA EURO 2012™ can follow the Castrol EDGE Calculator live to see in real time how each teams’ performance on pitch affects their chances of success.
Today sees arguably the most significant Manchester derby ever as the winner will hold pole position in the race for the title. The overall head to head record show Manchester United having won 67 of the derbies while City have won 44 with 50 ending in a draw.
The previous time these two teams met City came out comprehensive winners when they humiliated United 6-1 at Old Trafford. United have the opportunity for revenge as victory over City will mean they need just 1 point from their final two games to secure their 20th title.
Ahead of tonight’s potentially explosive match Castrol Edge takes a look at some of the key performers from the Blue and Red side of Manchester.
CARLOS TEVEZ VITAL TO CITY SUCCESS
Castrol EDGE performance data shows that Carlos Tevez has been involved in a goal every 55 minutes for Manchester City this season, a better ratio than any other player in the Premier league this season.
Among players who have had a hand in at least five of their side’s league goals this season, the Argentinean has proved the most efficient, finding the net four times and setting three other goals.
His partnership with Sergio Agüero has kept City’s hopes alive of a first Premier League crown: in the 304 minutes they have enjoyed together on the pitch, both players have scored a grand total of 11 goals (seven for Agüero and four for Tevez).
TOP TWO KEEPERS GO HEAD TO HEAD IN MANCHESTER DERBY
Ahead of Monday night’s crucial Manchester derby, Castrol EDGE performance data shows that the best two goalkeepers in the Premier League this season will be playing a big role in the outcome.
Manchester City’s Joe Hart has been the standout goalkeeper in the Premier League this season, topping the goalkeeping standings for save percentage (77.5%), clean sheets (15) and clean sheet percentage (43%). Despite a poor start to the season, the improvement of Manchester United’s David De Gea has been impressive, so much so that he sits second only to Hart in saves-to-shots ratio (76.7%) and clean sheet percentage (42%).
When directly comparing the two goalkeepers, Hart also holds a significant edge in minutes per goal conceded, with a miserly one goal conceded every 117 minutes compared to De Gea’s 84. However, De Gea’s shot-stopping ability has been one of the main reasons for Manchester United’s rise to the top of the table, with the Spaniard boasting a superior 3.5 saves per match compared to Hart’s 2.7.
VINTAGE SCHOLES IS SHOWING THE WAY FOR UNITED
Castrol EDGE performance data shows that Paul Scholes has played the most minutes in the Premier League this season without ever losing.
The Manchester Utd veteran has been on the pitch 933 minutes in the Premier League since making his return last January and has never ended on the losing side.
Incidentally, his first game back for the Red Devils was at Eastlands against Manchester City in an FA Cup 3rd round tie on 8 January when he came on as a second-half sub – he only missed two of his 71 passes on that afternoon, proof that class is permanent.
Top 3 most minutes played without losing in the PL this season
Alan Hanson recently described Mario Balotelli as “a damaging distraction at the Etihad Stadium”, highlighting the growing perception that the Italian has become more hassle than he is worth to Roberto Mancini.
However, Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that Balotelli has been one of the most dangerous strikers in the league this season, averaging a goal every 93.69 minutes. This is over ten minutes more frequent than any other player (with at least 10 goals) and comfortably superior to his team mates Edin Dzeko (1 goal per 110.77 minutes) and Sergio Agüero (1 goal per 117.8 minutes).
Minutes per goal in the 2011/12 Premier League
Unsurprisingly, this puts Balotelli in the top five conversion rates (25%) and three places higher than the league’s top scorer, Robin van Persie (23%).
Conversion rates in the 2011/12 Premier League
This weekend Arsenal could end Manchester City’s title chances as a victory over City would see them fall 8 points behind Manchester United. Balotelli has had a pretty full week having been involved in a two-car collision in Medlock Street, near Deansgate in his Bentley. The Italian striker escaped unharmed however and is expected to play some part in this weekend’s – game perhaps off the bench.
Most goals as a substitute in the 2011/12 Premier League
This weekend will see Liverpool striker Andy Carroll return to St James’ Park on Sunday as The Reds face play Newcastle United in the Premier League. Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that the £35 million striker has scored only five league goals in 35 appearances for Liverpool and consequently his chance conversion rate has slumped to a meagre 8.1%.
However, despite receiving heavy criticism, Carroll has contributed more to Liverpool than might be expected. For instance, his shooting accuracy has improved from 40.5% at Newcastle to 41.9% and his heading accuracy has gone up from 34.2% to 38.5%. Interestingly, he is now creating a chance for Liverpool every 55.9 minutes, compared with a chance every 79.2 minutes whilst at Newcastle.
Andy Carroll in the Premier League for Liverpool and Newcastle
It does seem that Carroll has begun to win over the fans at Anfield and a big performance against his former club will certainly help endure him further to the Reds’ faithful. Carroll however has said that he won’t celebrate if he does find the back of the net. Speaking to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle. Carroll said; “If I scored on Sunday then I wouldn’t celebrate,”
“I hope I get a good reception from the fans, they’ll be getting one from me. I thought I did well for the club when I was there and loved it.
“I have some great memories from playing there. I have always had a good relationship with the Newcastle fans and it stems back to playing for them.”
Tonight sees Manchester City host Chelsea in a game that could decide the fate of the two teams. City are looking to close the gap to United at the top of the table to 1 point. Chelsea on the other hand need a victory to keep their chances of finish 4th alive. Carlos Tevez is expected to return for Manchester City after the striker apologised to the club for his behaviour this season.
Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that Tevez was extremely important for City before he left the club without leave. Since the start of last season, he has scored 20 goals in 34 appearances at a chance conversion rate of 21.98%. With this in mind, Mancini will be hoping that he can breathe new life into City’s title campaign, and it is interesting that the Argentine has a particularly impressive record against Chelsea – scoring six league goals in six appearances against the Blues.
Carlos Tevez in the Premier League from 2010/11 season
Carlos Tevez against Chelsea in the Premier League
David Silva v Juan Mata: friends go head-to-head at the Etihad
David Silva and Juan Mata go head to head tonight when Manchester City take on Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium. The Spaniards have spoken of their close friendship, and Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that they are very closely matched on the pitch as well.
Both have scored five league goals this season, nearly all of which have come from their favoured left feet. They also have the same chance conversion rates (11%), although Silva’s shooting accuracy (54%) is marginally better than Mata’s (45%).
In terms of overall attacking play, Silva and Mata are crucial to their teams’ chances of success. Both are comfortable running with the ball and they also have similarly impressive pass completion rates (DS = 88%, JM = 87%). This has resulted in a notable number of assists; whilst Silva (12) has two more than Mata (10), Mata’s record is particularly impressive given the poor form of Chelsea’s strikers this season.
David Silva and Juan Mata in the 2011/12 Premier League