In this post and its follow-up Colin Trainor makes use of shot location in order to determine who are the most precise finishers in the Premier League. To do this, Colin divides the pitch into regions and computes the probability of a shot from a region being on target.
The problem with this is that there are substantially different locations within the same region. For example, taking a shot from the top of the penalty area is an entirely different proposition to taking a shot from the by-line.
The obvious solution is to use a greater number of regions. However, if we use too many, there won’t be enough shots taken from each region to have any statistical significance. A novel solution is to analyse shots depending on the ‘angle of view’ that the shot location has of the goal.By analysing all shots taken in the last three Premier League seasons (excluding headers, which statistically have 9.5% less chance of being on target, and penalties) it can be seen that there is a fairly good correlation between the ‘angle of view’ and the probability that the shot will be on target. The linear increase peaks at around 130 degrees (roughly 1 yard out), from where only an absolute howler would miss the goal.