How does Ajax striker Hakim Ziyech compare statistically to Melbourne City’s Bruno Fornaroli? Or Wanderers forward Brendon Santalab versus Feyenoord’s Danish star Nicolai Jorgensen?
After comparing stats between the Hyundai A-League and MLS last week (click here to see it), this week we cast our data-driven gaze at the Dutch Eredivisie.
Why? Well, the Hyundai A-League has seen a strong Dutch influence for many seasons.
Not only have we had a number of Dutch coaches in the league (and at Caltex Socceroos level) but the likes of Roly Bonevacia, Patrick Zwaanswijk, Orlando Engelaar and Romeo Castelen and others have delighted Australasian fans in recent years.
So, how does the Hyundai A-League compare statistically to the Dutch top-flight?
We crunched the Opta stats after 254 games in the 2016/17 Eredivisie and 125 in the 2016/17 Hyundai A-League to find out.
There are more goals per game in the Hyundai A-League – an average of 3.0 compared to 2.8.
But the top goal-scoring team among the two leagues is Eredivisie table-toppers Feyenoord with 2.5 per game, just ahead of Sydney FC with 2.1 goals per outing.
However, when it comes to individuals, four of the top five goalscorers ply their trade in the Hyundai A-League.
They’re led by Victory’s Besart Berisha and Roar’s Jamie Maclaren, both of who have scored 0.8 goals per game this season.
Western Sydney’s Brendon Santalab and Melbourne City skipper Bruno Fornaroli strike at 0.7 goals per game, equal with the top Dutch player, Feyenoord’s Danish star Nicolai Jorgensen.
There are more shots per game in the Eredivisie with an average of 26.5 compared to 25.2 in the Hyundai A-League.
And no fewer than five Dutch sides fire off more shots per game than the top Australian team.
The best is Ajax who have taken an average of 20.6 shots per game, two more than anyone else in the Eredivisie.
The Hyundai A-League’s best is Sydney FC with 14.
Ajax’s Moroccan marksman Hakim Ziyech gets off the most shots per game, averaging 4.4 per match, with Melbourne City’s Bruno Fornaroli next best with 3.6 shots per game.
The overall figures here are remarkably similar.
There are 850 passes per game in the Eredivisie and 840 in the Hyundai A-League.
However, the most prolific passers are almost exclusively Eredivisie players.
Nine of the top ten are from the Dutch league, with only Western Sydney Wanderers captain Dimas Delgado breaking the monopoly.
Top of the charts is Heerenveen midfielder Stijn Schaars who makes an average of 70.8 passes per game.
Dimas averages 66 passes per match.
Passing accuracy is also very comparable with 78.2% in the Dutch top-flight compared to 77.8% in the Hyundai A-League.
The top three teams are Ajax (83.82%), PSV (82.98%) and Melbourne City (82.13%).
The most accurate individual passers are PSV’s French defender Nicolas Isimat-Mirin and Ajax youngster Jairo Riedewald, with 92.1% of their passes finding the intended target.
Melbourne City centre-back Ruon Tongyik is best in the Hyundai A-League and fourth on the combined chart at 90.4%.
Yellow cards are handed out far more liberally in the Hyundai A-League.
On average, there are 4.5 bookings per game, compared to just 3.1 in the Eredivisie.
There are also far fewer fouls per game in the Netherlands with 23.6 compared to 30 in the Hyundai A-League.
Not surprisingly, there are five Eredivisie sides with a lower bookings-per-game average than the best A-League side.
PSV Eindhoven is the most disciplined side, earning just 1.1 yellow cards per game.
The best Hyundai A-League side is the Mariners who average 1.7 bookings per match.