An Update On Our Continued Commitment To The Women’s Game

StatsBomb is continuing its support of the women’s game by offering free access to our StatsBomb IQ analytics platform to teams in the top five European leagues and the NWSL ahead of the 21/22 season.

The women’s game continues to grow on and off the field. As well as new TV deals and investment, there’s been an steady increase in the uptake of data and analytics by women’s teams across Europe. After our initial offer back in 2018, we have seen encouraging and consistent growth in the usage of our StatsBomb IQ platform, and last season in particular saw two title winners in the top five European leagues and two of the four UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-finalists all frequently using the platform to aid their match and data analysis: a fact that reflects the initiative’s success.

As we embark on the new season, we are pleased to confirm that the offer of FREE access to our StatsBomb IQ analytics platform to ALL teams across the top women’s leagues in England, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and the USA will continue for the 2021/22 campaign. Each club will be able to access state-of-the-art analytics for the league they’re competing in to support their performance, match, and opposition analysis.

There is no reason why women’s football should miss out on the data revolution happening in the men’s game – this offer ensures that will not be the case. It also potentially opens up more career opportunities for women in sport, and the more opportunities available, the more women will be encouraged to enter the sports data analysis industry. The more educated people in the industry, the better the industry will be overall.

Speaking of which, this year saw us add the first female data scientist to our team. Nicole Kozlova joined StatsBomb in May on a data science internship to support her studies at Virginia Tech University, where she’s majoring in Computational Modelling Data Analytics. Not only does Nicole have a very strong quantitative background, she is also an international footballer for Ukraine: the combination of football plus data knowledge meant she was someone we had to pay attention to. You’ll see more of Nicole at our Conference in October, where she will present the findings of the research conducted during her internship.

We have already seen advancements with regards to the number of women taking up positions within the sport, but we’re not done yet, and so it only makes sense to extend the initiative for another campaign.

How can IQ help you?

The StatsBomb IQ platform is industry-leading and provides a level of detail that isn’t available from any other data provider, thanks to StatsBomb’s deep and contextual event data. We collect over 3,300 events per game on average; including goalkeeper and defender locations for every shot; pass footedness; and pressure events to allow for deeper analysis of where and how a team likes to defend.

The analytical insights and breakthroughs that you can make with StatsBomb IQ are endless, and we’re excited to see what our existing and potential women’s customers can achieve next season.  Interested in taking us up on the offer? Contact us at sales@statsbomb.com today, and we’ll provide a free demo and induction to the platform as soon as possible.

Thanks

The StatsBomb Team

Learn More About The StatsBomb IQ API

Read more about how StatsBomb data supports the internal processes and workflows at clubs and organisations around the world.

One of the major benefits of using StatsBomb data is the ease at which it can fit into existing systems and infrastructures within data and analysis departments.

Our two main products are the raw event data and our analytics platform, StatsBomb IQ. The event data allows for research, analysis, and modelling on a large-scale basis, whilst IQ packages the data into a quickly digestible and visual format. One of the most valuable features of the product is the IQ API.

The IQ API makes it easier to work with StatsBomb metrics in an automated fashion. All the data that can be viewed in IQ – either in the Team/Player stats tables or in IQ Scout – can be pulled directly into the user’s software without the need to download a CSV and import it first. Crucially, it saves analysts time and forms a part of an efficient workflow: everything that IQ was designed to be.

Not only does this make the process much faster and automated, but it also allows the user to customise and filter the metrics as much as desired, without having to do it from within StatsBomb IQ. You can even create new metrics of your own by working with the ones we offer, should you want to.

There are a total of three APIs as part of the overall IQ API:

Player Match – provides stats for all players in a given match. This match-by-match data makes it easy to perform post-match analysis with the most detailed and contextual event data available. We know some customers prefer to create their own bespoke match reports rather than use the ones provided in IQ: this API allows them to do that

Player Season – services per 90 aggregated data for all players in a league season. These are the same stats that are available in our league-player, squad, and IQ Scout pages

Team Season – supplies aggregated per game data for all teams in a league season. Containing the same metrics as those found in the Team Stats page in IQ, plus some new ones, these metrics allow the analysis of a team’s performance in their relevant competition

StatsBomb Director of Football James Yorke said: “The IQ API is a quality-of-life addition that makes our customer’s lives significantly easier, and allows for the interaction between the end-user and the IQ platform to be automated. This means the customer’s analysis and reports can be updated at the click of a button, pulling StatsBomb data directly into their software and platforms to allow quick and easy analysis of their team or players performance.”

Users can access the API through the StatsBomb Data Hub, where documentation detailing the names and definitions of the metrics provided can also be found.

If you’re a football club or organisation and would like to speak with us about how StatsBomb data and services can enhance your operation, get in touch today.

The StatsBomb Team

StatsBomb announce partnership with Europa League winners Villarreal CF

StatsBomb are delighted to have agreed a deal to provide our cutting edge data and analytics services to Europa League winners Villarreal CF.

Villarreal CF are one of over 100 professional clubs and federations across the world to benefit from StatsBomb’s industry leading data covering over 3,400 events per match across more than 80 global competitions, enhancing their ability to scout and recruit players, analyse upcoming opponents and evaluate team performance. StatsBomb data and the powerful and highly customisable analysis platform StatsBomb IQ will provide key support to the daily work of various departments within the club.

Pablo Peña Rodríguez, Head of Innovation at StatsBomb, said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with Villarreal CF, a very well-managed club who have a long history of operating in an intelligent manner, as demonstrated by their recent successes domestically and in Europe. We wish them the best of luck for the season ahead.”

StatsBomb Live Online Launch Event Set for August 12th

The eagerly anticipated, StatsBomb Live data set is about to launch. Engineered by the same experts, with the same commitment to accuracy and quality, StatsBomb Live brings the best of StatsBomb, but now in a real-time format. Save the date for August 12th, where you can expect a first look at the exciting features that make up this game-changing new product. The online event will cover:

  • Exclusive insight as to how StatsBomb Live was designed and created, keeping customer feedback central to decision making processes
  • Meet the team who brought the StatsBomb Live product to life and hear about how they have tackled the challenge of balancing speed with quality in a real-time environment
  • Sneak peaks as to how StatsBomb Live clients will be able to access, analyse and visualise this exciting new data set

This completely unique product offering is perfect for those who need to analyse the highest quality football data, in real-time. Be sure to tune in to see how StatsBomb Live can work for digital media, broadcasting, betting and gaming and professional football. Join StatsBomb’s co-founder and COO, Charlotte Randall and many other key members of the StatsBomb Live team on August 12th to find out more. Everyone is welcome, all you need to do to register for this free online event is sign up here. We can’t wait to see you! And to book in for your free StatsBomb Live demo, please contact: sales@statsbomb.com

Opposition Scouting In StatsBomb IQ: England vs Denmark

Data has become an integral part of team and opposition analysis in the modern game. Creating a repeatable and automated process can quickly identify trends and insight, saving valuable time for the busy analyst. Teams and federations use StatsBomb IQ to support their team and opposition analysis, exploiting edges found in the platform to secure victory over their opponents every matchday. Let’s demonstrate how this can be done by looking into the England vs Denmark semi-final at Euro 2020.

England

First, let’s look at a selection of attacking and build-up metrics and compare England’s performances to the eight Euro 2020 quarter-finalists:

  • xG (7th of 8)
  • xG/shot (1st of 8)
  • Shots (8th of 8)
  • Counter Attacking Shots (8th of 8)
  • High Press Shots (8th of 8)
  • Box Cross % (8th of 8)
  • Pace To Goal (7th of 8)
  • Directness (7th of 8)

We know England have been a safety-first team in this tournament, rarely letting the handbrake off and often withholding a body or six from participating in the attacking phase, so it’s little surprise to see their attacking metrics compare poorly to their rivals. The big caveat is, of course, that they’ve been superb defensively, but we’ll come onto that later. The first thing to note is England’s shooting habits. You get the feeling that Gareth Southgate’s perfect match would be a 1-0 victory where the shot count matches the scoreline. The Three Lions have averaged just 7.6 shots per game so far in Euro 2020, the fewest of the eight quarter-finalists, but there’s been little-to-no wastage which reflects in their 0.13 xG per shot. They may not create much, but they tend to be quality chances when they do. 18/38 of their shots have come from within 12 yards of goal, with an impressive number of them coming in central areas right between the posts.

England’s build-up play has been under the microscope for most of the tournament. Those who haven’t enjoyed it may label it stagnant and sterile; others who see the bigger, risk-averse picture may describe it as comfortable. Their Pace To Goal – the speed of build-up in m/s for possessions that end in shots – of 1.95m/s was the second-slowest of the eight quarter-finalists, with England refusing to commit bodies in the attacking transition and instead looking to combination play in the advanced wide areas to plot their way to goal.

Their precise approach to build-up can be seen in their final third entries. England have passed into the attacking third 127 times in open play this tournament. Of those 127, 84 are what you would call short ground passes; the type of which England fans can probably clearly envisage should they close their eyes: the short, risk-averse pass to a nearby teammate on the wing with the opposition crowding out the centre of the pitch. You would classify few of these passes as penetrative, with England preferring to do their damage from within the final third.

StatsBomb data contains pass height information, with High passes defined as played above shoulder height and Low passes defined as above ankle height but below shoulder height. Of England’s High and Low passes into the final third – 43 of the total 127 – there’s still little direct penetration on show, with many receptions on the wing and very few going beyond the 18-yard line. We know England take a risk-averse approach in everything they do, emphasising completing the next action in the chain towards goal, rather than spontaneous, high-risk play.

Raheem Sterling (23) and Luke Shaw (18) have been the most common recipients of passes into the final third, a left-sided lop-sided trend that continues into their box entries. England have passed their way into the opposition box 37 times in Euro 2020, 20 of which have been into the left-hand channel. Just ten came from the right flank.

  Defensive Approach:

  • xG Conceded (2nd of 8)
  • xG/shot Conceded (2nd of 8)
  • Shots Conceded (4th of 8)
  • Counter Attacking Shots Conceded (1st of 8)
  • High Press Shots Conceded (3rd of 8)
  • Clear Shots Conceded (1st of 8)
  • PPDA (6th of 8)
  • Defensive Distance (3rd of 8)
  • Aggression (3rd of 8)
  • Pressures In Opposing Half % (3rd of 8)

Defensively, England have been exemplary, keeping five clean sheets in five games. They’ve defended their penalty box superbly, conceding just a couple of attempts from between the posts at close range and blocking a large percentage of shots faced.

England generally look to defend higher up the pitch and have been effective in preventing the ball from reaching their danger zone too often, bombing out most opposition possessions in the middle third.

Germany caused England the most issues, creating the only two clear-cut chances England have conceded at the tournament, through Timo Werner (the shot left of the six-yard box) and Thomas Müller (the high-value shot on the edge of the box). Both chances came from England mistakes and rapid, direct transitions through the middle – something Denmark will be aware of and look to exploit.

  Set Plays:

  • Shots per Corner (3rd of 8)
  • Shots per Indirect FK (4th of 8)
  • Shots per Corner Conceded (4th of 8)
  • Shots per Indirect FK Conceded (3rd of 8)

As in the 2018 World Cup, England’s set plays have been solid, scoring twice and conceding nothing from set-piece situations so far. Defensively they’ve been very stingy, winning first contacts on all but one of the corners played into the central zone.

Denmark:

  • xG (3rd of 8)
  • xG/shot (5th of 8)
  • Shots (3rd of 8)
  • Counter Attacking Shots (2nd of 8)
  • High Press Shots (1st of 8)
  • Box Cross % (3rd of 8)
  • Pace To Goal (2nd of 8)
  • Directness (1st of 8)

Denmark’s tournament got off to a tricky start, but they find themselves in the semi-finals and attracting plaudits for their approach, playing with energy and aggression both in and out of possession. They lost their opening two fixtures to Finland and Belgium, but the signs were always there that they could be a threat at Euro 2020: they won the shot count 42-7 across the two games and were unfortunate not to come away with at least one win.

As if they were wearing their boots on the wrong feet, but either way, they found their scoring touch before it was too late, scoring ten goals from their next 43 shots to sweep aside Russia, Wales, and the Czech Republic to reach the semi-finals. Contrary to England, Denmark have looked to attack quickly and directly. Their Pace To Goal of 2.8m/s and Directness rating of 0.90 – a ratio of the distance towards goal at the start of the possession, divided by the total distance travelled in the build-up – reflect the verticality with which Denmark play, as does the number of opportunities they create on the counter, with 2.4 counter-attacking shots per game.

There are two key players to Denmark’s possession: Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Joakim Mæhle. Højbjerg has taken on the chief playmaker role in the centre of the Denmark midfield, receiving the ball from the centre backs and distributing it wide to the advanced wing backs or into one of the front three of De rød-hvide’s 3-4-3. Højbjerg leads the Danish team for ball progressions to the final third (45) and has also made the 2nd-most passes within the final third (82).

Joakim Mæhle’s performances down the left have received huge credit, offering width to Denmark’s attacks. In our recent article on our Similar Player Search tool, he appeared in our search for lateral defenders with a similar output to Trent Alexander-Arnold, and his performances showed up well according to our possession value model, On-Ball Value.

He’s been a critical outlet for the Danes, with 29 final third receptions, second only to Martin Braithwaite in the Denmark squad.


Defensive Approach:

  • xG Conceded (3rd of 8)
  • xG/shot Conceded (5th of 8)
  • Shots Conceded (3rd of 8)
  • Counter Attacking Shots Conceded (6th of 8)
  • High Press Shots Conceded (4th of 8)
  • Clear Shots Conceded (6th of 8)
  • PPDA (2nd of 8)
  • Defensive Distance (2nd of 8)
  • Aggression (7th of 8)
  • Pressures In Opposing Half % (4th of 8)

Defensively, Denmark have proven difficult to break down. They’ve conceded five goals, but three of those were in their opening two defeats and since then they’ve outscored the opposition 10-1. Their 3-4-3 provides a lot of central cover: the wide forwards Damsgaard and Braitwaite tuck in to take up a narrow position out of possession to help Delaney and Højbjerg in the middle and as a result, Denmark are able to defend in a higher block with an emphasis on crowding the central channels.


Their higher defensive line coupled with their lower Aggression % (the percentage of opposition ball receipts that are pressured, tackled, or fouled within 2 seconds) of 18% highlights that they prefer to retain their shape. Denmark position themselves higher up the pitch and then funnel the opposition into areas where they know they can apply heavier pressure, squeezing their opponents against the touchline and forcing the play backwards or regaining possession through a turnover.


What To Expect
With Denmark lining up in a 3-4-3, it remains to be seen whether Gareth Southgate will mirror that shape, as he did to great effect versus Germany, or stick with the same XI and 4-3-3 that breezed past Ukraine in the quarters. Denmark also have food for thought having taken a front-foot approach to their matches so far – will they play a more conservative game in a high stakes match, in what could also be classed as an “away” fixture at Wembley?



That’s just an overview of the various insights that can be drawn out of StatsBomb IQ. Teams and federations continue to source match-winning insight out of our analytics platform and data to give them an edge on matchday. For a full demo of the platform, contact us today.