Analysis of the home stadium advantage in football matches

In this post, we will analyze the home field factor in soccer betting. How to measure the home team’s advantage? In most sports, and in football in particular, by definition, the home arena factor is considered a plus in favor of the host side. But is this factor really that big and how to measure it quantitatively?

If we talk about the matches of the most popular club football championship in the world, the English Premier League, we will find that in one of the last seasons the hosts won 135 matches (scoring 1.6 goals on average), while while as guests – in 92 fights (with an average performance of 1.2).

However, if we use the traditional Poisson distribution betting model, we find that home and away teams have different defensive and offensive strengths, and thus different goals scored prediction scores.

Goal difference analysis

In recently published studies of home advantage in the Premier League, goal difference was the primary metric studied, not match results themselves. In other words, if one of the teams lost at the home arena with a score of 0: 1, and away, for example, 0: 3, this means that it still had a certain home advantage, albeit in both cases. I didn’t score any points.

This study also explains the results of some, including the top teams, in home matches, when some have declining performance at home, while others, on the contrary, increase.

Factors Affecting Home Advantage

If we look at the Premier League teams that have played in it over the past several seasons, we find that the longest distances have to be covered by clubs visiting Swansea and Newcastle, located in Wales and the North of England, respectively. Moreover, the distance between these two cities in itself is almost 570 kilometers – the maximum for the submarine teams.

Russian football fans at the sight of such numbers can only grin, saying that compared to flights from St. Petersburg to Khabarovsk (when the Khabarovsk SKA team was an RFPL team), this is just “baby talk” will, of course, be right. However, just in our League or in European cup tournaments, the long-distance factor can play a certain positive role for the host side.

Developing the thought, let us recall that quite recently the football players of “Manchester United” had to fly to the capital of Kazakhstan Astana for the Europa League match; the distance between the two cities is almost 6000 kilometers. The next match in the Premier League Manchester United played at home (and, by the way, he could only achieve a draw with not the strongest Aston Villa), but imagine that the calendar would not be so supportive of the Mancunians, and they would have to visit again – for sure, accumulated fatigue could well affect the result even more.

Commentators and journalists often use the common phrase that fans are sometimes the “12th player” of a team. Indeed, often the support of a team by numerous fans at a home stadium (especially such a noisy one like in Turkey or Greece) has a significant impact on the home game, becoming an additional factor in their favor. But there are always exceptions to this rule. Thus, the recent relocations of Tottenham and West Ham to newer and more spacious stadiums did not in any way affect the results of these teams for the better.

Let’s not forget about the involuntary sympathy of the judges for the owners of the field. Now, with the introduction of video replays, this factor is largely leveled out, however, disputes still often arise over this or that moment, interpreted by the arbitrators in favor of the host side, sometimes under the influence of the stands.

In general, all these factors can undoubtedly become a significant plus for the hosts, despite their status as favorite or underdog in a single match.

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