FC Arouca, who gained promotion to Liga Portugal after finishing third in the second division two seasons ago, are currently placed seventh this season, two points ahead of other teams eyeing a top-half finish. In Liga Portugal 2022/23, Arouca have won six, drawn four, and lost five matches thus far. They have picked up 22 points at a reasonable rate of 1.47 points per game.
Armando Evangelista’s team has recorded some commendable results against the likes of Sporting CP, Casa Pia, and Vitoria SC this season. They have shown relatively decent form in the league campaign and have three wins and two defeats in their last five matches. Arouca finished 15th last season. There have been some improvements in the team’s performances this year, which have increased their chances of a top-half finish. Below are some stats looking at Vizela’s overall performances in Liga Portugal 2022/23.
The viz above shows the percentile rank of Arouca’s stats in comparison to other teams in Liga Portugal. In the attacking department, Arouca possesses above-average stats for goals per 90 but is below par in the rest of the indicators, like shots and crosses per 90. In the possession department, the team has comparatively better stats for passes, key passes, and accurate passes per 90. Meanwhile, Arouca have a high percentile rank for PPDA and an average rank for recoveries per 90 but have shortcomings in the rest of the areas under defence.
Improvement in goals scored
Arouca have scored 17 goals this season with an xG count of 12.91 (excluding penalties). It’s a consistent goalscoring outcome in comparison to teams outside the top four. They are scoring 1.13 goals per match, which is higher than their xG rate per match of 0.91. The team averages ten shots per match with an accuracy rate of 34.7%.
The viz above shows the shot map of Arouca from Liga Portugal 2022/23. They have taken more shots from outside the penalty area than from inside. The team has found their luck from distance by scoring eight long-range goals. The remainder of the nine goals, including one penalty, have come from close-range attempts inside the box. Another observation is that a good proportion of their shots, both inside the box and from a distance, have missed the target or have been blocked.
The above viz represents the overall ball progression by FC Arouca in Liga Portugal 2022/23. We can observe the team’s significant utilisation of the two flanks to progress up the pitch rather than the central zones. They create 21.8 positional attacks per match, with 24.8% of such plays resulting in shots. On the other hand, they launch 1.67 counterattacks per match, with 64.1% of them ending in shots. In terms of the efficiency rates of these attacks compared to other teams, Arouca are much more potent with counterattacks than positional plays.
Compared to the 2021/22 season, Arouca scored 30 goals with an xG per match value of 1.15. They scored at a rate of 0.88 goals per match and took 12.03 shots per match, with an accuracy rate of 31.3%. Armando Evangelista’s team has shown improvement in terms of their goal-scoring potential this season. Even though they are taking fewer shots, their shot accuracy and rate of scoring goals have increased.
Arouca’s defence can tighten up
Defence is the department where Arouca will be keen to do better. Thus far, they have conceded 24 goals and have a goal difference of minus seven. They concede 1.6 goals per match while averaging an xGA rate of 1.64.
The viz above illustrates Arouca’s defensive territory in Liga Portugal 2022/23. The team possesses a comparatively low defensive line and makes lots of defensive actions in the defensive third and even inside their penalty box.
Currently, Arouca makes 82.9 recoveries along with 47.73 interceptions per match and commits 14.33 fouls on average. Additionally, the team wins 57.2% of the defensive duels contests and 45.5% of the aerial duels contests per match. It is important to note that these defensive numbers are inferior to most other teams in the league.
Compared with last season, Arouca conceded 54 goals and had a goal difference of -24. They allowed 1.59 goals per match with an average xGA rate of 1.47. Thus far, the team has been conceding goals at a similar rate this season. The team’s average defensive line also bears a similarity to the previous season with respect to its deep positioning. While Arouca are averaging more recoveries and interceptions than last season, they will want to curb their habit of conceding more goals than they score.
Arouca will be keen for more consistent results in the following weeks to carry on with their momentum and achieve a top-half finish. While they have enhanced their attacking gameplay, they will certainly want to tighten up their defence for the remainder of the league campaign.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine