Premier League: Nunez needs to find clinical edge for Liverpool
By IANS | Published: January 2, 2023 10:00 AM2023-01-02T10:00:03+5:302023-01-02T10:15:07+5:30
Brentford, Jan 2 Darwin Nunez has blistering pace, tremendous industry and the ability to stretch any defence he ...
Brentford, Jan 2 Darwin Nunez has blistering pace, tremendous industry and the ability to stretch any defence he faces, but there is scope for technical improvement in the Liverpool striker's game ahead of facing Brentford.
The Uruguayan has scored five Premier League goals from nine starts in his debut Premier League season, at a rate of one every 156.8 minutes, reports premierleague.com.
As a standalone stat this is a decent return, but Nunez will know that his goal tally should have been considerably higher by the turn of the year. Liverpool have not had any difficulty creating quality opportunities for their summer signing.
Tirelessly working hard to evade his markers, Nunez gets on the end of more big chances per 90 minutes than anyone else who has scored at least five times. Even the division's top scorer, Manchester City's Erling Haaland (1.91), does not have as many clear-cut chances as Nunez.
"Unfortunately for Nunez, he has spurned 14 of his 18 big chances. That 22 per cent success rate is way behind the likes of Haaland and Harry Kane who have converted 61.4 per cent and 62.5 per cent of their easiest opportunities respectively.
"Sometimes guilty of rushing his shot, Nunez's composure in key moments is an area to work on. While Nunez's finishing should be more clinical than it is, he also has a right to feel highly encouraged by the positions he is taking up inside the box. The 23-year-old is averaging 5.97 shots per 90 minutes, with 4.47 of those coming from inside the box. He is second in the division for Expected Goals," it said.
Right across the division, Nunez leads the way in both categories and is second only to Gabriel Jesus for the most touches inside the opposition box.
"A 9.62 per cent conversion rate will disappoint him but the sheer weight of opportunities he enjoys brings with it great promise. He leads the way in the Premier League for total shots and shots in the penalty area. Liverpool scored three times in both encounters against Brentford last season, but had to settle for a 3-3 draw on their last visit to the Gtech Community Stadium. Thomas Frank is a smart tactician, who will likely set his team up a little deeper than usual to contain the pace of Nunez and Mohamed Salah. Nunez is the second quickest player in the top-flight, clocked at 36.53km/hr, just behind Everton's Anthony Gordon."
He demonstrated this remarkable speed in Liverpool's 2-1 win at Anfield on Friday, twice leaving Leicester City's defenders in his wake to firstly set up Mohamed Salah for an excellent chance, before himself hitting a post in the move that led to the Reds' winning goal.
From a defensive standpoint, Frank's side have not been the most robust this term.
Despite sitting 10th, Brentford have faced more shots from open play than any other Premier League team other than Everton this term.
"This will provide Nunez with added encouragement, and optimism that more chances will fall his way in this fixture. Liverpool's number 27 never hides when he has missed an opportunity. He was unfortunate not to score last time out against Leicester and that strong mentality will hold him good stead," it added.
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