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The effect of score-line on work-rate in English FA Premier League soccer

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Investigations finding that soccer players perform more work when the score is level than when leading or trailing have not considered hat the significant effects were due to fatigue rather than score-line. For example, two teams may be level for the early part of a game and the score diverges later on. The current study established a typical fatigue pattern using data from 79 player performances during five 0-0 drawn English FA Premier League matches. This typical fatigue pattern was used to adjust the work-rate of 90 player performances in five English FA Premier League matches where both teams were level, ahead and behind for at least 15 minutes each. There was a significant interaction between player position and score-line (p = .010) with forwards spending a greater percentage of time moving at 4 m.s-1 or faster when their team was leading than when level while defenders spent a greater percentage of time moving at 4 m.s-1 or faster when their team was trailing than when level. An explanation for this interaction effect is that forwards feel encouraged to work harder when their team has earned a lead with the work-rate of opposing defenders also increasing as a result.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-08-01

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