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Leagues in numbers: Italian shooting machines and the quick card triggers

Passionate as we are for numbers here at ORTEC Sports, it doesn’t come as a surprise that we find ourselves comparing stats from different competitions quite often. So why not making a regular feature out of it? This month we had a look at goal attempts (inside and outside the box), completed pass percentage, fouls per card and offsides. We took into account all matches played so far in England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal.

There are some visible differences across the main leagues in Europe. The fact that the Italian Serie A leads in total goal attempts might well be the most striking of them all, considering the defensive label we all got used to putting on it. This dominance comes mostly from outside the box, where Italian teams have slightly more than 50% of all their shots.

How good are teams at passing the ball?

Another common idea is that teams in countries like Spain or Netherlands rule when it comes to accuracy in passing. However, the top league in completed passes is the French Ligue 1, with 84.3%, followed by the English Premier League and the Serie A. The bottom-ranked competition is the Belgian Pro League, with 80.6%. So the gap isn’t that big.

There comes a yellow card

English referees are praised for their ability to control a game without stopping it too much or showing too many cards. But how many fouls it actually takes for a player to see a yellow card? We looked at the numbers and found out that the Dutch Eredivisie and the German Bundesliga are the closest to heaven an aggressive player can find. In these two leagues, an average of 9 fouls is needed for an infractor to get a card. The opposite happens in Spain, where the chances are you will get a yellow on your fifth foul.


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