Liverpool are European champions, world champions, Premier League leaders and unbeaten this season. As if life couldn’t get any better for the Reds at the moment they are also top of another table… drum roll… someone comfort Neil Custis… yes, it’s the fair play table.
Jurgen Klopp’s record-breaking gegenpressers have committed the fewest fouls per game in 2019/20 to date out of any of the clubs surveyed in 35 of Europe’s domestic leagues.
The next ‘cleanest’ teams are Silkeborg IF (Denmark) with 8.89 and Hamburger SV (Germany) with 8.94 per outing, while Newcastle are number two for English sides on 9.14.
Premier League sides actually make up eight of the first 18 least-fouling teams on the list, with CIES noting the ‘less strict refereeing style’ in England. In fact per league, England’s top tier has the lowest average number of fouls per game (20.4).
The countries with the most fouls per game (or at least strictest referees)? Serbia (34.9), Bulgaria (31.6) and Czech Republic (31.4).
And at the other end of CIES’ fair play table is Serbian side FK Vojvodina who concede a quite bizarre 22.89 fouls per game, or around one every four minutes.
The Premier League’s own ‘dirtiest’ team this season has been Southampton with 12.09 fouls per game.
Weirdly, however, the Saints have just 34 yellow cards this campaign – 18th out of 20 overall in the league. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men are obviously timing their digs well…
Perhaps unsurprisingly, seeing as they have had relatively little defending to do this season, Liverpool are second-bottom for yellow cards in the top flight this season with just 23 (slightly more than one per game) behind only Leicester (22), while they also have a joint-lowest one red in the Premier League in 2019/20.
That single red came in the win over Brighton as Alisson handled outside of his area.