Analysis: Stoke City's goalscoring struggles

Stoke City are the Premier League's lowest goalscorers, having scored just nine times in 11 league games this season.

This is an unwanted record for Mark Hughes but it is not as though they are lacking in attacking intent but a lack of end product, something the Potters boss will be eager to find a solution to his side's attacking woes and quickly. 

A look at the statistics

Following Stoke's goalless draw with Newcastle United last Saturday and Aston Villa's goal in their Monday night defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, the Potters have scored fewer goals than any other top-flight side this season.

Not only are Stoke the Premier League's lowest scorers, but they have attempted the fewest shots in the league - only attempting 100 shots - and, depending on which stats you believe, the Potters have also created the fewest chances too.

Not scoring goals is the reason why Stoke have already suffered three defeats in their opening five home matches and why they failed to capitalise on the chance to take all three points at Newcastle last weekend.

Stoke did not look particularly prolific in pre-season either, scoring more than two goals in a match just once and that was against National League side Wrexham. Other than the six they scored against the Welsh side, they scored just three goals in five games.

Not short of attacking intent

Stoke are not failing to find the back of the net because of a lack of attacking intent because their side features many attack minded players and attacking talent.

Stoke have plenty of options for forwards. Mame Biram Diouf has scored three goals in seven appearances this campaign after scoring 12 goals during his first season at the Britannia Stadium.

Joselu has failed to score since his summer arrival from Hannover 96, however he is a viable option up front and the striker is still adapting to the English top-flight.

Hughes also has the option of Peter Crouch, who has been frustrated with his lack of game time, and at 6ft 7in, he does not only have excellent aerial power, but also his ability to hold the ball up.

They also have the attacking talents of Marko Arnautovic and Bojan Kirkic as well as Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri after he signed from Inter Milan for a club-record fee in the summer.

Further back on the pitch and the Potters also feature attacking minded players including midfielder Charlie Adam, who has an eye for goal scoring seven goals last season, along with attacking full-back Glen Johnson.

How can it be solved?

Stoke have shown promising signs and appear to have most of the right ingredients, however they have not been able to produce the final product on a consistent basis this season.

They have struggled with missing players; top scorer Mame Diouf missed two games after being granted compassionate leave following the tragic death of his mother. 

The Potters have also appeared to have not settled on their best attacking approach. Last season, Stoke thrived on being a quick-counter attacking team, turning defence into attack quickly in order to catch teams out. However, so far this season it has appeared not to work.

With 12 summer signings including Xherdan Shaqiri, Mark Hughes is still trying to work out his best attacking approach.

There was great excitement when Shaqiri moved to the Britannia Stadium for a club-record fee of £12 million and his signing showed Stoke's intent and how far Stoke have come under Hughes.

The Swiss international has played for some of the best teams in Europe including Bayern Munich and Inter Milan, however he is still adapting to the Premier League and Stoke supporters are yet to see the best of him.

It could be worse though...

It could be worse for the Potters if goalkeeper Jack Butland has not been in the form of his life.

The England international has made more saves than any other Premier League goalkeeper this season and he was the difference against Newcastle United last Saturday.

The 22-year-old made a number of crucial saves to deny the Magpies from taking all three points and if Stoke continue to fail to find the back of the net then they will need to rely on Butland being on top form even more.

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