With all but two of Scotland’s major leagues postponed for a number of weeks, we suddenly find ourselves in the rather unfortunate position of not having quite as much football to look forward to as we’d like.
We can cross our fingers and pray every night for the next fortnight in hope that football will be back to normal again soon, but how will we keep ourselves entertained in the meantime?
How about some numbers? You might not all be the biggest fans of stats in football, but I’ve done my best to select some of the more interesting examples here. These are the most intriguing stats in Scottish football so far this season.
It may be surprising considering their lowly league position, but St Johnstone have actually attempted the third most shots in the Premiership this season – behind only Rangers and Celtic.
The Saints have pulled the trigger 275 times, which places them 14 clear of Hibernian in the standings.
However, their goal tally stands at just 19 (the fifth lowest in the top flight). This could be explained by their tumble down the list to seventh when it comes to shots on target – only 67 of their efforts have troubled the goalkeeper. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hamilton Accies have shot the least of all twelve teams (178).
Expectedly, Old Firm players dominate both the goalscoring and assist charts, but the extent to which they have done so this season has been stark.
Hibs’ Martin Boyle is the only non-Old Firm player to have registered more than three assists so far this Premiership season; he has laid on four goals for his teammates. That’s only good enough for joint sixth on the list, however, with Ianis Hagi and James Tavernier top with eight apiece.
Interestingly, Boyle has also been the most fouled player in the Premiership this campaign – he has been brought down 60 times so far.
It should come as no surprise that Rangers have recorded the most clean sheets in the Premiership so far this season, having only conceded six goals in twenty-three matches so far.
What is interesting, however, is the fact they have two goalkeepers in the top three clean sheet-collectors; Allan McGregor is joint-first with ten, while Jon McLaughlin is joint third after keeping out the opposition in eight of his nine league appearances.
With the two keepers starting fourteen and nine games respectively, it shows just how great Rangers’ strength in depth in that position is.
The goalkeeping stats don’t get any less interesting in the Championship, with Viljami Sinisalo punching above the rest when it comes to keeping out the opposition.
The Ayr United shot-stopper has made nearly double the number of saves of any other goalkeeper in the league so far, having got in the way of 54 shots.
To give that number some context, the second most have been made by Owain Fon Williams of Dunfermline with 28, highlighting how busy Sinisalo has been. Ayr have still conceded the fourth-most goals in the Championship so far, but it could have been a whole lot worse without the Finn.
Elsewhere in the Championship, Dundee hitman Osman Sow has racked up the best minutes-per-goal ratio of any player in Scotland to have scored more than three goals this season.
The striker has scored six goals in nine appearances, converting his chances at a seemingly impressive rate of one every 86 minutes.
However, his stats have been boosted by the fact that all of his goals came in one three-game streak, and included a hattrick against Queen of the South. On top of that, he only completed ninety minutes in one of these matches, a factor which has undoubtedly helped to bloat his numbers considerably.
Truly interesting stats are in lower supply down in League One, but there is an intriguing comparison that can be made to the Premiership when it comes to shots on goal.
While top-flight teams’ shots attempted and shots on target don’t always seem to directly correlate (think back to St Johnstone’s misfiring), League One sides’ certainly do. In fact, the top seven shot-taking teams are also the sides who have hit the target the most – in the same order.
Falkirk lead when it comes to shots (138) and shots on target (68) while East Fife are seventh with both attempts (84) and attempts on goal (26), and everyone in between are equally as consistent. Those are some neatly organised tables.
While Falkirk are placed first in League One having shot the most of any side, it’s not been quite as rosy for Stirling Albion in League Two.
They’ve had 114 attempts at goal (the most of any side), but are only the fifth top goalscorers in the division. The Binos still find themselves second in the league standings thanks to some stellar defending (they have kept five clean sheets in ten matches), but a higher standard of chance conversion (they have hit the target with just 38% of their shots) would help them to push on to even greater heights.
If you are looking for some lower-league excitement, you should tune in to Albion Rovers’ matches. There have been an average of 4.5 goals in the games they’ve played, with 75% of these matches bearing witness to over 2.5.
There is no doubt they’ve served up some enthralling encounters, including a 3-2 win against Annan Athletic in November and a 5-2 loss to Edinburgh City last month.
Unfortunately for Rovers, the latter result has been the more common; they’ve won just twice so far this season and the majority of the excitement has come from the twenty goals they’ve shipped. Exciting for us, perhaps, but not for them.
Back in the Premiership, basement boys Ross County have been the real journeymen of the division so far; they’ve spent match days in nine different league positions so far, more than any other side.
After one game they were up in second place, and they proceeded to sit in third until matchday five. Since then, unfortunately, it’s been a slippery slope to the bottom of the table, and the Staggies have spent five of their last six games at the foot of the standings. At least they got there in enthralling fashion.
Jordan White has played eighteen times for Motherwell this season, with fifteen of them being cameos from the bench.
This means he has made the most substitute appearances of any player in Scotland so far this season. Starting or not, White has still to score his first goal in claret and amber; he better hope one of these opportunities from the bench pays off for him soon.
And there you have it; the standout stats in Scottish football so far. If we’re lucky, lower league football will return soon and there will be ample opportunity for players and teams to create even more of these gripping numbers. Until then, we’ll try to keep you entertained here.