Who Prefers Playing Away From Home?

While no Chelsea striker has scored away from home for over a year in the Premier League, WhoScored's ratings show that some players prefer being on the road...

Last Updated: 10/12/13 at 15:58 Post Comment

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If you watched Match of the Day at the weekend you may have heard a quite remarkable statistic. With Chelsea falling to a shock 3-2 defeat away at Stoke, the fact that no Blues striker had netted a league goal on their travels since last December was highlighted.

Meanwhile, Manchester City failed to win away from home for the sixth time in eight attempts, while Chelsea's failure to pick up three points represented their fifth in the same number of matches. That's certainly not title-winning form and it's likely that the team whose away record matches their standards at home will win the league come the end of the season. At present, the three sides that tail table-topping Arsenal have won just seven of their 23 away matches combined.

With consistent performance levels at both home and away clearly so important, WhoScored.com have looked at the players whose statistically calculated rating has differed the most depending on where they have played. The respective rankings are true to club form in general, though there are a number of interesting stats to draw from the findings.

At the top of the list in terms of players that are clearly thriving on home comforts is Luis Suarez. That's not to say that the Uruguayan has been poor away from home - quite the opposite - but his record at Anfield this season is nothing short of remarkable. The striker has scored 11 goals in his five home matches this season, having netted just three in comparison in the same number of matches away from home. In turn, his WhoScored rating on the road is a still superb 7.71 but at Anfield it's up at a world-beating 9.56.

It's little surprise that a glut of City stars follow, with the appearance of both Costel Pantilimon and Joe Hart particularly interesting. The debate rages as to who should be occupying the space between Pellegrini's posts, but both of his options have averaged a poor rating away from home.

Pantilimon's rating at the Etihad is impressive at 7.42, admittedly not having had much to do in 7-0, 6-0 and 3-0 victories, but his rating away is not much better than that of Hart's on the road (5.99 to 5.72). Elsewhere, Alvaro Negredo is also an interesting case. The Spaniard has received widespread plaudits for his start to life in sky blue but while he's netted five times in seven appearances at the Etihad, his rating away from home is a meagre 6.51, having scored just once on the road so far in the Premier League.

Negredo isn't the only forward feeling a little homesick it seems, with Southampton's Rickie Lambert having really struggled away from home this season. The 31-year old loves playing at St. Mary's, where he has scored three of his four goals so far and provided each of his four assists. But he has started just five of Saints' seven away matches though, and it isn't hard to see why Pochettino dropped him for trips to Manchester United and Chelsea with a sub-standard WhoScored rating of 6.17 away from home.

Meanwhile, Fernando Torres, who was the last Chelsea striker to score on the road in the league way back in December 2012 against Sunderland, ranks just outside the top ten in 12th. The Spaniard has had just six shots in as many appearances away from home compared to 13 in five home matches.

At the opposite end of the spectrum it's no shock to see Aston Villa feature heavily in the list of players who seem to enjoy playing away, for want of a better term. You wouldn't have thought it from this weekend's performance at Fulham but only Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton have a better away record this season, with just seven of Villa's 19 points coming at Villa Park.

Their dependable shot-stopper Brad Guzan tops this pile, with a reasonable rating of 6.74 in home matches jumping to 7.48 away from Villa Park. Only Everton and Arsenal have conceded fewer goals per game on their travels than the Midlands outfit (1.13) this season and their American number one has played a big part in that record; almost halving the club's record of 2.16 goals per game conceded on the road last season.

Ciaran Clark has been one of Villa's players to have made major improvements this season and away from home he has been particularly impressive (7.47). The 24-year old has averaged just 0.8 tackles and 4.2 clearances per game at home this season, with those figures rising to 2.6 and 11.6 away. Meanwhile fellow centre-back Steven Caulker has also shone when Cardiff have travelled this season with similar jumps in statistics helping him achieve a rating of 7.53 away from home, up from a decent 6.97 at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Elsewhere the inclusion of rumoured want-away striker Robin van Persie is of interest, as he seems to have preferred playing away from Old Trafford this season. The Dutchman may have scored four goals in seven appearances at home but his rating of 7.12, while good, is not of the standards he reached at home in the previous campaign (7.67). The forward's rating away is up at 7.61 having scored three goals and picked up an assist in just four appearances, while he has also averaged more shots, passes and dribbles per game away from home comforts.

Martin Laurence - follow him on Twitter.

All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.

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