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Home/away results: pre-lockdown vs current season
SoccerSTATS.com - updated on: 16 Feb 2021
The current pandemic still requires most of today's football matches to be surrounded with that emptiness that feels impossible to get used to: no fans in the stadiums.
One of the hard lessons of these last few months that keeps pushing down on us has long made us realize that gathering, even with good intentions, is no longer safe. We adapt and carry on, as football adapts and carries on. Hopefully not to the point of getting used to it though.
Home advantage as we (used to) know it
While as fans we can't wait for football to get back to fully being football again, is there at least something we can learn from such
conditions? It sure feels that the football we're watching now does not taste the same, but is football itself played in the same way as
By "playing at home" we mean playing on home ground with the obvious assumption that home is where our fans are. Players fortunate enough
to play for teams used to carry large crowds of fans also on away days might feel at home most anywhere. But of course, most of the time
the home stadium remains the place where the players feel the most confident in their ability to win a match.
Home advantage these days
Is there still some kind of 'empty-home' advantage to be observed in these covid times, or does 'home advantage' strictly rely on fan
support only? While it would be difficult to provide a precise answer to that question, we can look at the numbers and differences in
match results between seasons.
The numbers we are looking at
The numbers below refer to match results observed in those five national leagues during each of the two time segments.
Segment 1: 2019-2020 season up until 31 January 2020
Segment 2: 2020-2021 season up until 31 January 2021
Segment 1 (partial 2019-2020) vs Segment 2 (partial 2020-2021)
In terms of total number of goals per match, the difference between both segments is quite small (2.76 for Segment 1, versus
2.81 for Segment 2). The segments differ more in terms of results structure though. Basically Segment 2 has recorded a lower
proportion of home wins (38.5%, compared to 44.7% for the pre-lockdown segment) and more draws and away wins. The balance
between home wins and away wins has been quite visibly affected (from 44.7% vs 31.1% to 38.5% vs 35.2%).
Premier League: Segment 1 (S1) vs Segment 2 (S2)
The level of draws remains relatively stable but we can observe a sharp shift from home wins towards away wins, which quite logically translates into fewer home goals and more away goals.
Serie A: Segment 1 (S1) vs Segment 2 (S2)
Perhaps the league with the least differences between both segments. A slight decrease in home wins, much smaller than in the other competitions, that has translated into more draws, as opposed to more away wins. In terms of goals, we still find more home goals than away goals, but both numbers have increased, so overall a significant increase in the number of total goals per match.
La Liga: Segment 1 (S1) vs Segment 2 (S2)
Clear drop in home wins, more draws and away wins. Fewer home goals, more away goals, yet not a very significant change in total goals per match.
Ligue 1: Segment 1 (S1) vs Segment 2 (S2)
Of all 5 leagues, this is where the fall of home wins has been the most significant, and the level of draws the most stable. Consequently, the increase in the proportion of away wins has been very strong (from 27% to over 37%), translating into a sharp increase in away goals per match.
Bundesliga: Segment 1 (S1) vs Segment 2 (S2)
The main difference between both segments is that big increase in the proportion of draws and, as with the other leagues, the decrease in home wins. Regarding goals, the total goals per match has decreased, and yet the Bundesliga remains the top scoring league of the top 5, although not by far, as the Serie A has seen their total goals per match increase to an average of 3.08.
Globally in the 5 leagues
One global trend that can also be observed in each of the 5 leagues is the decrease in the level of home wins.
The areas where the global trends carry a few exceptions relate to the number of goals. For example, the
number of home goals per match has been lower in Segment 2 for each league except for the Serie A.
Similarly, the number of away goals per match has increased in each league except in the Bundesliga.
The following tables provide an overview of the same metrics for each league, but this time including the three full seasons preceding the time segments we have been focusing on.
Premier League: Historical overview
Serie A: Historical overview
La Liga: Historical overview
Ligue 1: Historical overview
Bundesliga: Historical overview
- S1 and S2 time segments do not include the same number of matches as the 2020/2021 season has started later than usual in most European leagues. Consequently the total number of matches included in the analysis for Segment 1 (all leagues combined) is 1042, vs 996 for Segment 2.
- Not every single match in the 2020/2021 season has been played with zero attendance, as a few matches with a limited number of fans allowed have been played.
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