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How Random Are Goals in Soccer?

How Random Are Goals in Soccer?

Sports Analytics

Understand goal events through frequentist statistics

Towards Data Science
Soccer Goal — Photo by Chaos Soccer Gear on Unsplash

Football (or soccer for the USA readers) is an incredible sport. It could possibly’t be the world’s hottest sport by coincidence.

Football gathers people together, it’s an excuse to disconnect from our busy lives because game time is fun time. We order some fast food and eat it while Messi makes magic with the ball — how lucky we’re for having been capable of enjoy him. And we get to look at so many amazing teams like 2010’s Barça and even 2023’s Manchester City.

Many will say no game is equal. It’s football, and there’s nothing prefer it. But I’d say that’s unsuitable.

As outstanding because it is, it still is dominated by math. Like all the pieces else.

Life is filled with mathematical models. And football is not any exception.

I’ve been a die-hard Barça fan throughout my entire life. Add that to the present situation I find myself professionally in, and the result’s a real interest in sports analytics — obviously inclined toward football.

This post is the primary I’ll be writing about sports analytics, so I’ll keep it relatively easy. Nevertheless, I plan on writing quite a bit more to learn quite a bit about how math applies to football (and potentially other sports like handball) — and share the insights with you all.

The quantity of knowledge scientists getting hired for sports analytics roles is increasing strongly and it won’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. Using data in sports makes more sense than ever, especially on condition that the quantity of knowledge being generated can be increasing at a quick pace.

So, this post can be an important intro tool for all aspiring sports analysts or data-related folks thinking about sports.

Here, I’ll be using StatsBomb’s[1] open and free data[2] to examine the La Liga season of 2015–2016, which I’ve randomly chosen. I invite you to do the identical evaluation and see if it holds true for other seasons and leagues as well.

So let’s dig in!

Preparing The Data

There’s a beautiful Python module that may allow us to get all the information we’d like…


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