Friday, December 15, 2017

Messi to thrive without Neymar? – Barcelona´s MSN in Opta stats

SoccerNews in La Liga 2 Aug 2017

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The Barcelona forward line has been arguably the best in world football in the last three seasons since Luis Suarez joined Lionel Messi and Neymar at Camp Nou.

With the Brazilian set to join Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record move worth €222million, Messi and Suarez are facing next season without the third member of the ‘MSN’ trident.

Messi has already sent an emotional farewell to Neymar on Instagram and it is clear the trio all get on well, both on and off the pitch.

But as Messi’s dominance has been cited as one of the main reasons for Neymar’s exit, how will Barcelona manage without the 25-year-old? Here, we use Opta data to examine the future of the Barcelona forward line post-MSN.

77 per cent – Since MSN featured together for Barca for the first time, the Catalan giants have won 77 per cent of the matches in which they have played.

73.7 per cent – There is a clear drop-off in results when at least one of the Barca trio is absent, with the win ratio slipping to 73.7 per cent. Points per game is the same at 2.4, however.

253 – In the 113 matches MSN have all played together, the trio have contributed 253 goals for Barcelona.

104 – Messi’s goal ratio is a little under one per game when MSN have all been in the Barcelona team.

25 – Without one MSN member, Messi has hit 25 goals in 21 games for Barcelona, suggesting the Argentine thrives on the extra responsibility when the trident is missing a member.

95 – In his 113 games as part of MSN, Neymar has contributed to 95 goals – 59 strikes for himself and 36 assists – the lowest number of the trio.

68.9 per cent – When one member of MSN is absent, Barcelona’s possession stands at 68.9 per cent, higher than the 66.6 per cent when they all play.

3 – Without at least one MSN member, Barcelona have averaged three goals a game, compared to a slightly lower 2.8 goals per game with Messi, Neymar and Suarez all playing.

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