Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2020) 19, 78 - 83

Research article
Contextual Factors Impact Styles of Play in the English Premier League
Stuart Gollan1,2, , Clint Bellenger2, Kevin Norton2
Author Information
1 Adelaide United Football Club, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
2 Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA) School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Stuart Gollan
✉ Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA) School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Email: stuart.gollan@mymail.unisa.edu.au
Publish Date
Received: 29-04-2019
Accepted: 08-11-2019
Published (online): 24-02-2020
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ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of contextual factors on game styles in professional soccer. Interactions between styles and different playing venues, opposition quality, total match goals, and competing styles, were investigated using logistic regression and odds ratios. Game styles were characterised using the moments of play framework where three distinct styles have been identified: Style 1 – moderate strength in defence; Style 2 – dominance in transition, and Style 3 – strength in attacking phases of play. Results revealed that when playing at home against teams identified by Style 1, teams were more likely to play Style 2 (p < 0.05) or Style 3 (p < 0.001). Against top 10 opposition, teams were less likely to play Style 3 compared to either Style 1 (p < 0.001) or Style 2 (p < 0.001). Regardless of venue, teams were more likely to play Style 3 against bottom 10 sides compared to either Style 1 (p < 0.001) or Style 2 (p < 0.001), suggesting a hierarchical order between contextual factors. Competing game styles significantly impacted total match goals scored, whilst match results were also influenced by game style combinations. Overall, this study showed the significant effects of various contextual variables on game styles played by teams in the EPL.

Key words: Play patterns, match analysis, moments of play, game style, situational variables


           Key Points
  • Game styles in soccer are influenced by contextual factors such as opposition quality, playing venue, total match goals scored and competing playing styles.
  • There appears to be a hierarchical order between contextual factors, with opposition quality having a larger influence on game style than playing location.
  • The moments of play framework provides a practical and cost effective tool for assessing games styles in soccer.
 
 
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