Goal and Sure have partnered to create the Pressure Index, the only way to measure how players are handling the stress of the most competitive league
Liverpool travel to struggling Leicester City on Monday hoping for a repeat of their stunning 4-1 victory over the Premier League champions in September.
Liverpool came into that weekend on the back of a mixed start to the campaign, following up a stunning opening-day 4-3 win against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium with a defeat by Burnley and a 1-1 draw Tottenham.
With the Reds’ summer spending underlining their intentions to re-establish themselves as a domestic superpower and secure a return to the UEFA Champions League, the pressure was on.
Philippe Coutinho was left out of the side against Leicester, having only just returned from international duty with Brazil, putting the onus on his compatriot Roberto Firmino to lead from the front.
And Firmino didn’t disappoint, turning in one of the most devastating performances of the Premier League season to score an impressive 94/100 on the Goal Pressure Index, presented by Sure and powered by Opta data, which provides the first ever system to measure and rate a team and player’s performance under pressure.
The Goal Pressure Index uses more than 750,000 data points as well as factors including league position, point in the season and the opposition to calculate a rating out of 100 for every Premier League player every week.
Firmino scored twice and created four chances that afternoon, in what was his most impactful PL appearance so far.
And Liverpool will be hoping for a repeat from the Brazilian next Monday as the race for Champions League qualification intensifies.
Cross-town rivals Everton will also be looking for more of the same from one of their stars. Ronald Koeman’s side host Sunderland on Saturday, with the reverse fixture seeing Romelu Lukaku score 90/100 on the Pressure Index as the Belgian hit a hat-trick from just nine shots to secure a 3-0 win at the Stadium of Light in September.
Lukaku ended a run of almost 1,200 minutes without a goal in that game, and another inspired performance from the striker could see Everton gain ground on the top six over a weekend in which Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal will all be out of action.
Third-placed Tottenham will be thinking the same, as a repeat of the Dele Alli and Son Heung-min-inspired demolition of Stoke City could see them climb to second.
Alli scored 88 and Son 89 on the Pressure Index in September when Spurs strolled past Stoke 4-0 at the Bet365 Stadium.
Down at the other end, meanwhile, joint-bottom Crystal Palace will be desperate for more inspiration from Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke, who grabbed Pressure Index tallies of 87 and 88 respectively when they last met this weekend’s opponents Middlesbrough.
Both found the net that day in September to secure a 2-1 victory – one of just five to have arrived all season. The win that day was the first of three consecutive Palace triumphs – a run that would be more welcome for a club who have managed to take just five points from their last 11 Premier League matches.
The Goal Pressure Index is presented by Sure, Official Partner of Chelsea FC, Everton FC and Southampton FC. Join the conversation on Twitter @Sure.