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No crowd, no problem for elite football teams says new research

Judo

No crowd, no problem for elite football teams says new research

For sports fans across the world, it’s been a difficult 12 months. No access to stadiums and live games has meant an even greater reliance on radio and TV – but how has it affected the athletes?  
  
A recent study of some 40,000 elite football matches, played before and during the period of the pandemic, found that playing at home remains an advantage, despite the absence of crowds.  
  
Dr Buscombe, who has looked at the findings and carried out his own analysis, recently presented his thoughts to The Conversation, detailing several other factors aside from crowds.  
 
“There are a number of other potential issues to consider, including familiarity and travel fatigue, and that will certainly aid preparation at the elite end of the game,” he said. 
 
“Playing in front of a partisan crowd is of course going to give you a boost, but there are so many other factors that come into play which make this a very interesting point of discussion for supporters. 
  
“What the no crowd environment has done is change patterns of behaviour in both officials and players, which may go unnoticed. We’ve seen fewer fouls, yellow, and red cards and, actually, home teams have tended to take less shots on goal. That’s partially benefitted away teams, but home advantage remains strong. 
  
“There is also a psychological element to this. Teams at home are now playing with less pressure, perhaps, happy to take their time rather than rush their efforts to score. However, that comes at a benefit to away teams also, who traditionally set-up more defensively but can now adopt a slightly different strategy.” 
   
You can read Richard’s piece on The Conversation website in full, here, which includes a link to the study compiled by a group of German academics.