Real Madrid sit proudly on top of La Liga having won four out of their five games. Their only points dropped and the only game in which they failed to score came on match day 1, when Karim Benzema did not play.
Whilst he may not be a classic number 9, it is no coincidence that the presence of Benzema in the team adds to the performances of Cristiano Ronaldo and makes Real Madrid a more effective and lethal attacking unit.
When examining the data for Benzema’s first four games of this season compared to last season it is clear that the Frenchman is not only more heavily involved in the team’s play; but has been significantly more effective, scoring five times compared to only once in his first four games last season.
The data reveals that this season Benzema has increased his attempts at creating chances by over 50% over last season. From almost six attempts at creating a chance last season, he averaged just 1.3 chances a game, from more than nine attempts this season he is averaging well over three chances per game.
Last season Benzema reached just over three chances per game, attempting a shot on goal half of the time and scoring only once; but this season he has averaged close to five chances per game, with over 70% of these chances ending with a shot and more significantly five goals, two of which have ensured victory for Los Blancos.
Last season Benzema averaged 2.6 shots per game, this season he averages five per game, with a slightly higher percentage (40%) of his efforts on target and with a third rated as dangerous, compared to a quarter last season.
If the Frenchman remains injury free and can maintain his rich vein of form, will anybody be able to stop Real Madrid’s progress?