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The EPL’s most unluckiest team – Off the crossbar or off the post – an inch either way can make all the difference




Which team was the unluckiest?

Off the crossbar or off the post – an inch either way can make all the difference.
We compare shots on target with number of times teams hit the woodwork.

2018/2019 Season Data

Team Shots on Target No. Times Hit Woodwork % Shots Hitting Woodwork
Man City 260 21 8.04%
Liverpool 226 19 8.40%
Chelsea 192 21 10.9%
Tottenham 189 13 6.87%
Arsenal 170 9 5.20%
Man Utd 225 9 4.00%
Wolves 151 14 9.27%
Everton 169 16 9.46%
Leicester 184 10 5.43%
West Ham 157 13 8.28%
Watford 151 9 5.96%
Crystal Palace 146 16 10.95%
Newcastle 142 14 9.85%
Bournemouth 163 12 7.36%
Burnley 115 12 10.43%
Southampton 162 13 8.02%
Brighton 108 6 5.55%
Cardiff 126 14 11.11%
Fulham 149 12 8.05%
Huddersfield 118 11 9.32%

‘Shots on target’ = Total Shots on Target
‘No.of Times Hit Woodwork = Number of times team hit the crossbar or post

The Results

Cardiff City were the Premier League’s most unluckiest side with over 11% of their 126 shots on target hitting the woodwork last season. Neil Warnock’s side were finally relegated despite shocking Manchester Utd 2-0 at Old Trafford on the final day of the season.


Could it have been different if those shots were turned into goals?

Now the dust has settled on the Premier League season, clubs will be wondering what they could have done during the season that would have improved their final league position. Finding the back of the net rather than hitting the woodwork would be one place to start.

We have looked at each club and ranked the clubs on the number of times they hit the woodwork and which player were guilty of doing so the most.

ARSENAL – 9 times – 5.2%

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished the season as the Premier League’s joint leading scorer with 22 and he also led the Gunners when it came to hitting the woodwork doing so four times. He was one of five Arsenal players to strike the frame of the goal during the Premier League season.

BOURNEMOUTH – 12 times – 7.36%

Ten different Bournemouth players were left frustrated after watching their efforts rebound off the crossbar or the post. David Brooks and Callum Wilson led the Cherries hitting the woodwork twice.

BRIGHTON – 6 times – 10.43%

Brighton hit the woodwork the least number of times with six – the same number of times as Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso managed on his own. Alireza Jahanbakhsh was one of five players to do so and he was the the only Seagulls player to manage it more than once.

BURNLEY – 12 times – 5.55%

When your surname is Wood, then you should not be surprised if you hit the woodwork regularly. Chris Wood saw five efforts strike the post or bar with the Clarets being denied 12 times.

CARDIFF – 14 times – 11.11%

Lady luck deserted Cardiff several times during the season with a number of dubious referee decisions going against them. Their opponents were let off the hook 14 times when they saw efforts by nine different Bluebirds rebound off the woodwork to safety.

CHELSEA – 21 times – 10.9%

Sarri-Ball didn’t please many who watch Chelsea on a regular basis, but the Blues, who finished third under Mauricio Sarri, can consider themselves unfortunate not to have done better after hitting the woodwork 21 times.

CRYSTAL PALACE – 16 times – 10.95%

Luka Milivojevic not only led the Eagles with 12 goals, including 10 penalties, but he also led the Selhurst Park club with four attempts at goal that ended up striking the uprights or the crossbar.

EVERTON – 16 times- 9.46%

Marco Silva’s side had more players hit the woodwork than any other team in the Premier League with 11. Lucas Digne and Gylfi Sigurdsson led the Toffees with three each, but it is a goal at the other end of the pitch that will be remembered by Everton fans for the wrong reasons when Toffees’ keeper Jordan Pickford palmed the ball onto the bar for Divock Origi to score the only goal in the Merseyside derby at Anfield.

FULHAM – 12 times – 8.05%

Craven Cottage saw three managers employed throughout the Premier League season, but it didn’t stop the west London side from the drop to the Championship after just one season.

Alexsandar Mitrovic managed to hit the post and crossbar four times during the course of the season.

HUDDERSFIELD – 11 times – 9.32%

Of the three sides relegated from the Premier League this season, Huddersfield hit the woodwork the fewest number of times. Even if all 11 of their attempts that came off the woodwork had gone in, they would probably still have been involved in a relegation battle.

LEICESTER – 10 times – 5.43%

Jamie Vardy fell two goals short of the magical 20 mark, but he could have managed it had three of his goal-bound efforts not come of the crossbar or posts.

LIVERPOOL – 19 times – 8.4%

Liverpool have the summer to reflect on the 38 games they played last season looking for occasions where they could have turned one of their seven draws into a win which would have won them the league. Only champions Manchester City and Chelsea hit the woodwork more than Liverpool who did so 19 times. Sadio Mane led the team with five while the Premier League’s player of the season Virgil van Dijk was next with four.

MANCHESTER CITY – 21 times – 8.04%

Sergio Aguero missed out on the Premier League’s Golden Boot by one goal and he will no doubt play over in his mind the eight efforts that came off the woodwork during the course of the season. Aguero finished the season with 21 goals – the same number of times City hit the woodwork. No player was as unlucky as Aguero with shots coming off the frame of the goal.

MAN UTD – 9 times – 4%

Only five United players hit the woodwork – the joint lowest of any team in the Premier League with Paul Pogba’s three the most within the team. As Liverpool and Manchester City showed, the more more efforts at goal, the greater the chances of scoring.

NEWCASTLE – 14 times – 9.85%

Salomon Rondon finished one goal behind Ayoze Perez in the list of goalscorers at St James’ Park but it could have been so different had Rondon not hit the woodwork six of the 14 times the Magpies did so during the season.

SOUTHAMPTON – 13 times – 8.02%

Nathan Redmond ended the season on a high with a goal as the Saints ended the campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Huddersfield. With four efforts hitting the woodwork, Redmond could have had a total of 10 goals to his name.

TOTTENHAM – 13 times – 6.87%

What a season it has been for Mauricio Pochettino’s side who missed out on third spot in the Premier League by a single point but reached the final of the Champions League. However, they lost 13 league games and they also hit the woodwork 13 times with Christian Eriksen leading the team with three efforts.

WATFORD – 9 times – 5.96%

Roberto Pereyra has enjoyed his best season at Watford so far with six goals and four assists as the Hornets finished 11th. The Argentine also saw four further efforts crash off the woodwork.

WEST HAM – 13 times – 8.28%

Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski may have been named Hammers’ player of the year, but Mikhail Antonio would certainly have run him close for the accolade. With six goals and four assists, Antonio was also denied further goals by the frame of the goal six times to highlight his worth to the side.

WOLVES – 14 times – 9.27

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side made the Premier League look easy as his promoted side finished the season seventh with his philosophy to play open and attractive football. Had they not hit the woodwork 14 times including Matt Doherty’s stunning strike at Anfield on the final day of the season, their season could have been even better. Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota both struck the frame of the goal three times each.

I have written for a number of sports based publications in the United Kiingdom for the last 20 years including many different genres, mainly football and horse racing which includes the Premier League and the Cheltenham Festival. Follow me on Twitter or my linkdin profile.

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