Study: Half of soccer games determined by luck…

Researchers at the German Sport University  analyzed 7,263 goals scored in the English Premier League in seven years, starting with the 2012/13 seasons.

Here’s what they found…

> Premier League soccer games games typically have only 2 or 3 combined goals scored goals

> More than 60% of all matches ended either in a draw or with a goal difference of one goal

Accordingly, each goal scored is a very big deal


Further, almost half (46%) of all scored goals had some form of random influence to them.

The researchers defined “random” as unintentionally deflected shots, defensive mistakes (e.g. “own goals”), rebound shots, etc.

They observed that many of the random scores came off of corner kicks or long-range kicks, especially long distance free-kicks.

In other words, “chance” (i.e. “luck”) plays a significant role in deciding the outcome of a near-majority of matches.


By implication, the research results suggests that teams have a tendency to play very conservatively … trying to avoid mistakes … rather than relentlessly attacking.

And, the analysis validates some common soccer sense: free-kicks (awarded based on referees’ judgement) often determine the difference between winning and losing.


Yeah, luck is a factor.

But, keep in mind the famous sports quote attributed to golf-great Arnold Palmer:


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