We play more, do we press worse?

Category: News

We analyze how the accumulation of matches affects the defensive pressure exerted by teams in the five major European leagues.

Published:02/03/2021

A few weeks ago, in a discussion in the office, the debate arose as to whether the number of games a team plays in a short period of time affects defensive pressure. At first, we only talked about some specific cases and specific teams, then we decided to investigate and find out what our data says about this issue. The hypothesis is that after the covid break and with a higher load of matches, teams do not put as much pressure on the opponent. To test this hypothesis we dug deep into the data and tried to explain the issue.

To begin the analysis we contrast if the style of play of the teams has changed with the break, since we will not be able to draw valid conclusions in the case that the teams have changed the way they play. We have selected the teams from the five major European leagues that have played all the matches in the last two seasons, discarding the teams that have moved up to the first division and also those that have moved down as we want to maintain robustness in the sample. In this way we do not bias the data on the style of play of the teams since we have the same clubs as the object of study both before and after the break.

To measure the teams’ style of play, we selected several passing metrics: number of passes that occur in the home and opponent’s field, average distance of passes in the home and opponent’s field, and percentage of passes in the home vs. opponent’s field. As we can see in the graph, there are no significant changes in the style of play of the teams between the periods before and after the break. We hardly find any variation in the distance and amount of passes made in the own and in the opponent’s field. Therefore, we can overcome the first possible bias of the analysis by having verified that the styles of play have not undergone significant changes.

Once we have verified that the teams have maintained a similar volume and style of passes in both periods, we proceeded to analyze the pressure exerted by the teams on their opponents. For this, the metric we used was PPDA (passes per defensive action). This metric measures the amount of passes you allow the opposing team for each defensive action your team performs. The higher this metric is, the less pressure you are putting on the ball because you are allowing the opponent to have more freedom to associate with the ball. We can see how the PPDA before the break had a value of 13.85, while after the break it has a value of 14.92. This means that on average teams concede more than one pass to the opponent for each defensive action. This change is high and therefore we consider it to be significant. The hypothesis that after the break for the covid and having a higher load of matches the teams do not press the rival as much is true according to our analysis.

We are Driblab, a consultancy specialized in the statistical analysis of players and teams; our work is focused on advising and minimizing risk in professional football decision-making in areas related to talent detection and footballer evaluations. Our database has more than 180,000 players from more than 180 competitions, covering information from all over the world. Here you can learn more about how we work and what we offer.

Autor: Marcos Delgado
For News we also recommend you:

The logical evolution of Eder Militao

Eder Militao is a good example of how players need to adapt to different styles of play. We review how the Brazilian has been evolving and why his performance this season is so different.

driblabPRO Release Notes August ‘21

During the lasts weeks of summer, we have developed new tools at driblabPRO that expand the resources we provide to our clients. Here are the details of the month’s new releases.

‘Loans’: find your next market opportunity

We explain how our ‘Loans’ tool filters to find players who may have lost prominence.

Club Atlético Talleres and Driblab sign multi-year renewal agreement

Club Atlético Talleres and Driblab sign renewal agreement.

Driblab nominated for ‘Best Supplier’ at World Football Summit Awards

Driblab nominated for ‘Best Supplier’ at World Football Summit Awards

Driblab and FC Lokomotiv Moscow announce multi-year partnership agreement

Driblab and Lokomotiv announce a multi-year partnership agreement.

Driblab Score: create your own way to measure talent

In the world of football, measuring talent can be done in many different ways depending on the needs. We present what the Driblab Score consists of and how each club can create their own based on their own needs.

Yes, measuring Aerial’s Goalkeeper Game is broken; but it doesn’t need to be

Today we are introducing Claim Accuracy, a new way to measure a goalkeeper’s reaction when facing crosses after studying 40,000 such actions

Deportivo Saprissa and Driblab announce partnership agreement

Our consultancy will work with the recruitment department of the Central American club, 36 times champion of Costa Rica

driblabPRO, already available in Italian and German

We have implemented two more options in the language selection of our tool, extending it to five (English, Spanish, French, Italian and German)

Driblab

Información corporativa

Somos una empresa con sede en Madrid fundada en 2017 por Salvador Carmona y Cristian Coré Ramiro. Desde nuestros inicios nuestro trabajo se ha centrado en el análisis estadístico de datos para ayudar a los clubes en la planificación deportiva. Somos una consultora big data que ofrece servicios personalizados para cada cliente y defiende un modelo de gestión mixto y una comunicación constante para acompañar el día a día de las instituciones. Nuestro punto fuerte es la más amplia cobertura disponible en número de torneos profesionales y juveniles. Para más detalles, póngase en contacto con nosotros.

Colaboramos con:

           

Hemos aparecido en:


Talk to our speciali