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Game Location Effects in Professional Soccer: A Case Study

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Abstract:

Game location effects (home versus away) upon technical and tactics-related behaviours were investigated in a professional English soccer team. Matches (n=30) from the 2004-05 domestic season of a top five side from the English Premiership league were notated post-event via a computerized system and compared as a function of game location using non-parametric analysis procedures. An overall home advantage was found for the sample in relation to home-winning and home-goal percentage. For technical performance the team exhibited more successful behaviours, such as tackles, passes and aerial challenges, at home than away. For tactics-related behaviours, more aerial challenges, corner kicks, crosses, passes, dribbles and shots on goal were performed at home in the attacking third of the pitch. In addition, more goal kicks, interceptions, aerial challenges and clearances were performed in the defensive third when playing away. These findings suggest that game location effects may exist at a strategic level within individual teams. Future research should consider the influence of other confounding variables such as weather conditions, game status, team form and opposition quality.

Keywords: BEHAVIOURAL ANALYSIS; HOME ADVANTAGE; PERFORMANCE INDICATORS; TEAM STRATEGY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-11-01

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