Stat, Viz, Quiz is the Opta Analyst football newsletter. Our latest edition includes some of the most interesting numbers from the quarter-finals at Euro 2024.

With the quarter-finals over, there are only three games left of Euro 2024.

Try not to panic. Three games is still a lot and club football will be back before we know it. But the biggest party of the summer (in Germany, anyway) concludes on Sunday, with one of Spain, France, England and the Netherlands set to lift the trophy in Berlin.

The Three Lions rode their luck at times against Switzerland but came through what must always be known as the ‘dreaded’ penalties. Cole Palmer, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, Ivan Toney and Trent Alexander-Arnold fired England to glory, but their goalkeeper also more than played his part, as did his water dispenser. In the latest SVQ we investigate Jordan Pickford’s beneficial bottle.

Some are wondering how England have made it this far in the tournament without really playing well at any point. Those same people may also be curious as to how a team that can’t score goals is also in the final four. France have proven that goals are overrated, and we’ll look at their as-yet unpunished profligacy.

Once you’ve read those you can take our latest quiz, get creative with another caption, and share SVQ with your nearest and dearest… or just anyone you happen to pass in the street.

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STAT Pickford’s Got Bottle

Some drinks companies like to use their packaging to communicate with their customers. Whether it’s a bottle of orange juice with an interesting fact, a smoothie with a joke, or a bottle of wine with a list of suitable accompanying foods (what pairs well with a microwavable burrito?).

Luckily for England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, his water bottle came with a free list of Swiss footballers and where to dive in the event of a penalty shootout. Remarkable foresight from the manufacturers, you have to say.

Pickford bottle

OK fine, the list was prepared by the coaching staff, and it came in very handy as England were taken to penalties by Switzerland in the quarter-finals of Euro 2024.

Pickford got England off to an excellent start, following Cole Palmer’s successful penalty by saving from Manuel Akanji, as was foretold by the water bottle.

He didn’t save any more, but it mattered not as England’s five perfect penalties sent them through to the semi-finals, where the Netherlands await.

That level of preparation is commonplace among elite goalkeepers these days, but it’s not just the research and groundwork that goes into it; Pickford has proven himself to be England’s best saver of penalties ever, and by quite some distance.

The Everton goalkeeper has saved four of the 14 penalties he has faced in shootouts at major tournaments, twice as many as all other England goalkeepers combined between 1990 and 2012 (2 out of 36).

At club level, Pickford has faced 35 penalties in his career in the Premier League, saving five. That’s not a bad rate but it should be remembered that those penalties were of course in-game, so under different circumstances and usually facing the opposition’s best penalty taker each time.

We should also point out that the images of Pickford’s list showed that he actually dived the opposite way to the mystic bottle’s instructions for Fabian Schär’s penalty, but we’ll let him off given his crucial save from Akanji that preceded it.

As long as Pickford keeps his bottle, England can have faith in their primary penalty preventer.

VIZ France’s Finishing Failures

France xG Euro 2024 after QF
Viz by Jonathan Manuel

Look at France. Just look at them. In particular, their attacking options.

Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Ousmane Dembélé, Marcus Thuram, Randal Kolo Muani, Bradley Barcola, and of course, Kylian Mbappé, who is admittedly hampered by a sore nose.

Didier Deschamps’ men were one of the favourites for Euro 2024 at the start of the competition, primarily due to that strength in depth – evident throughout the squad – and their recent history of tournament success.

However, they have been remarkably inefficient in front of goal at Euro 2024, scoring just three goals, two of which were own goals while the other was a penalty.

That means, excluding penalties and own goals, France are yet to score in their five games at the tournament. No side has ever gone longer without an open-play goal in Euros history; yet here they are in the semi-finals.

It’s not been for a lack of trying. France have attempted 86 non-penalty shots in their five games but have yet to find the net with any. By comparison, England have scored five from 58 shots, Germany scored nine from 93, Spain 10 from 100, Turkey eight from 72 and the Netherlands eight from 74. Portugal were fairly profligate as well, but still managed three from 87.

Who have been the biggest culprits, though?

Unsurprisingly, Mbappé has had the most non-penalty shots with 19, while Thuram has attempted the next most with 12. Griezmann has had 11 unsuccessful attempts, as has Aurélien Tchouaméni.

Only Albania (0.07) and Scotland (0.06) had a worse xG per non-penalty attempt than France’s 0.08, though that is level with six other teams, including England.

You can never count France out, though, and even if Spain are the favourites with many in their semi-final, as Les Bleus know all too well, it only takes one goal to change everything.

If you want to read more about France’s goal shyness, head to the Opta Analyst website where we’ve investigated further.

QUIZ – Quarter-Finals

Four games, five questions. Answers at the bottom of the page.

1. Spain have reached their sixth ever semi-final at the UEFA European Championship. Who are the only team to have participated in more in the tournament’s history?

2. Florian Wirtz’s goal against Spain at the age of 21 years and 63 days made him Germany’s youngest ever goalscorer in the knockout stages of the European Championship. It also made him the youngest in any major tournament (World Cup/Euros) knockout match for the nation since which player scored in the 2010 World Cup third-place play-off vs Uruguay? Clue: He also played at Euro 2024.

3. There were 35 shots in the quarter-final between Portugal (15) and France (20), the most in a game that finished 0-0 at the European Championship since which 2012 quarter-final?

4. Jude Bellingham won his 34th cap for England, with all caps coming while playing for non-British clubs (24 for Borussia Dortmund, 10 for Real Madrid). Who are the only two players to have won more England caps while playing for non-British clubs?

5. The Netherlands have reached the semi-finals of the European Championship for the first time since 2004. Who did they play in that game?

OptaMax Euro 2024

Opta Games

If you haven’t already, get involved with Opta Max (Euro 2024 Edition), where you can predict the Player of the Match in four featured games each round and earn points for your predictions. Those points could then earn you big cash prizes. Player performance scores are powered by our new metric, Opta Points.

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Stat’s All Folks

Thanks for all your entries for the latest viz caption competition.

We offered you Kylian Mbappé’s xG map from the tournament prior to France’s quarter-final shootout win over Portugal.

Mbappe xG Euro 2024

The best response came from Reece Martin, who quipped: “France’s mask maker replied: ‘If Kylian wanted me to include eye holes, he should have said.’”

Mbappé had the last laugh, of course, and will be looking to put Spain to the sword before his move to Real Madrid following the conclusion of the tournament.

Our next caption takes us to the Copa America, where Uruguay beat Brazil on penalties in the quarter-finals on Saturday. Endrick will be Mbappé’s teammate next season at Madrid, but the Brazilian teenager might not be framing this particular pass map from the game, where he completed just two of five passes, one of which was from kick-off. What can you make of this?

Endrick pass map v Uruguay

Send your suggestions to, and your name and caption could be in the next edition of SVQ after the conclusion of the semi-finals.

What Are We up to at Opta Analyst?

Here’s some of the latest data-driven offerings you can find on our website:

France’s Concerning Attacking Output: Pragmatism Seemingly Best Chance of Winning Euro 2024

How Olmo, Yamal and Williams Are Driving Spain Towards Euro 2024 Glory

Why Gareth Southgate Knew He Had to Keep Bukayo Saka on England’s Right

Why Tijjani Reijnders Has Been One of Euro 2024’s Most Eye-Catching Midfielders

Cody Gakpo: Shining at Euro 2024, but Can Liverpool Also Benefit?

Marcelo Bielsa’s Blueprint Runs Deep in Resurgent Uruguay

Quiz Answers

1. Germany (8)

2. Thomas Müller (20y 300d)

3. England v Italy (45)

4. David Beckham (55) and Owen Hargreaves (39)

5. Portugal (losing 2-1)

Before you go…

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