In Which Half

In Which Half

In Which Half

In my previous article, I focused on the reams of numbers across the major European leagues and how it may help this weekend in regard to our approach to data driven betting. However, in this article, I want to go back to home ground.

Which of course means another focus on the English Premier League and in this instance, I’m going to dive into the goal data as before, not only that though I am going to look at what halves the goals are scored and how they can help you make some data driven football predictions.

WHAT’S THE SPLIT?

Of course, any look at the Premier League table will give you the goals for and against column – a pair of figures that will tell you just how successful a club has been in front of goal and trying to keep them out at the other end.

However, that table won’t tell you in what half those goals were scored and if you are looking for this kind of information in terms of first half betting, then you will obviously be left a bit short in your pursuit of data driven excellence.

Fear not though, as I have managed to sort through the data and can provide you with exactly what you are looking for and in this table below, is each of the 20 Premier League teams (in table order at the time of writing) and the goals that they have scored in each half:

HomeTeam First Half Second Half Total
Liverpool 31 29 60
Man City 30 35 65
Leicester 21 33 54
Chelsea 22 21 43
Tottenham 20 20 40
Sheffield United 9 17 26
Man United 19 17 36
Wolves 9 26 35
Everton 19 12 31
Arsenal 15 17 32
Burnley 8 20 28
Newcastle 11 13 24
Southampton 14 17 31
Crystal Palace 5 17 22
Brighton 11 19 30
Bournemouth 15 10 25
Aston Villa 15 17 32
West Ham 14 16 30
Watford 12 11 23
Norwich 13 11 24

A quick scan at the table, highlights that Crystal Palace have scored just five goals in the first half of all their Premier League matches and when you consider that they have scored just 22 all season, that does not make for very good reading for Roy Hodgson’s men.

Liverpool are the team who have scored the most goals in the first half (that probably comes as no real surprise) while Manchester City are a team that seemingly play until the death, as they have scored the most second half goals with 35.

While Tottenham make for interesting reading, in that they have scored an equal amount of goals in the frirst half and the second, so it seems that they favour neither side of the interval as their most impactful.

Of course, this list of numbers is certainly interesting but they could do with some additional context and that context can be created by listing the values in percentage terms, so first up lets take a look at who scores the most first half goals on a percentage basis:

HomeTeam % 1st
Everton 61.29%
Bournemouth 60.00%
Norwich 54.17%
Man United 52.78%
Watford 52.17%
Liverpool 51.67%
Chelsea 51.16%
Tottenham 50.00%
Arsenal 46.88%
Aston Villa 46.88%
West Ham 46.67%
Man City 46.15%
Newcastle 45.83%
Southampton 45.16%
Leicester 38.89%
Brighton 36.67%
Sheffield United 34.62%
Burnley 28.57%
Wolves 25.71%
Crystal Palace 22.73%

With Crystal Palace scoring just five goals before the interval, it will come as no surprise that they are at the bottom of this particular list while it is actually Liverpool’s Merseyside cousins Everton who are top of the first half shop.

The Toffees seem to leave their opposition in a sticky situation early on as they have scored 61.29% of their goals this season in the first 45 minutes, while Bournemouth are on their tails with 60% of the Cherries goals being netted during the same period.

Of course, if we look at this from a second half point of view, we will get the inverse, but I will list it anyhow just to give us full continuity on the topic:

HomeTeam % 2nd
Crystal Palace 77.27%
Wolves 74.29%
Burnley 71.43%
Sheffield United 65.38%
Brighton 63.33%
Leicester 61.11%
Southampton 54.84%
Newcastle 54.17%
Man City 53.85%
West Ham 53.33%
Arsenal 53.13%
Aston Villa 53.13%
Tottenham 50.00%
Chelsea 48.84%
Liverpool 48.33%
Watford 47.83%
Man United 47.22%
Norwich 45.83%
Bournemouth 40.00%
Everton 38.71%

As you can see in percentage terms, Crystal Palace have scored the most goals in the second half – with more than three quarters of their attacking output coming after interval, while Wolves are just short of the three quarter mark themselves.

While Burnley are another team who seem to leave it later in terms of goal as more than 70 percent of their goals come after the break. While in total 12 teams score more goals in the second half than the first, which leads to more late drama in any given weekend.

WHAT CAN WE DO WITH THIS DATA?

As mentioned before, if you were looking at this from a data driven betting point of view, you could look at which teams are scoring more in the first 45 minutes and perhaps place some bets on the over/under in the first half than opposed to full time.

You could even split it further and look at the first half goals on a home or away basis and see if a team is scoring more goals in front of their own fans or on the road.

A deeper dive would be to look at exactly when the goals are scored and then break this down into 15 minute segments – I have done something similar in the past, but the data is not readily available in such an easy file format, so may have to park this idea for now.

There is also scope to build a BTTS in both halves model, a bet that a lot people like to place and more importantly you only need a couple of those (perhaps as little as two) for that bet to return positive results.

In fairness and pretty much as always there are always some action points to come from any new data set and I thinnk the BTTS in both halves model is certainly one to look at over the next few weeks and months, something that will definitely keep me busy.

Happy punting and thanks for reading. Dan

If this has grabbed your interest and you would like to discuss/feedback then please feel free to drop me a message at dan@realfootballman.com. While I am always looking for new football/data projects to work on and if you feel that my skills would be of use, I can be contacted at the same address.

Follow me on Facebook at Dan The Stat Man
You can also check out my Premier League Podcast on Soundcloud


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