April 8 – The Premier League prides itself that any team could beat any other on any given day. It is a boast made by a number of other top European leagues. According to a new set of stats, the competitive balance in the big European leagues isn’t as balanced as they pretend.
A review by the CIES Football Observatory compares 72 top division leagues worldwide looking at the percentage of matches in which a team won by at least three goals.
Taking just UEFA leagues, only Spain’s LaLiga out of Europe’s Big 5 leagues makes the top 10 of most balanced fixtures – ranked seventh with 11% of matches won by three or more goals. France’s Ligue 1 is the next highest out of Europe’s Big 5 leagues in 19th position – 15% of matches are won by three or more goals.
The French figure is higher than the global average of 14.5%, says the CIES. The Premier League comes in at an unbalanced 17.2% and Italy’s Serie A at 17.8%. Germany’s Bundesliga comes in as UEFA’s fourth most unbalanced league with 20.9% of matches won by three or more goals.
“The lowest proportion of uneven fixtures was recorded in the Colombian Categoría Primera A: just 5 out of 126 (4.0%). At the opposite end of the table is the Solomon Islands top division: 41 uneven games out of 110 (37.3%),” says the CIES report.
In Europe the spread is from 8.8% in the Albanian Superliga to 31.2% for the Moldovian Divizia Națională.
Looking worldwide the CIES highlight “the Arabian Gulf League in the United Arab Emirates (22.2%) and the Stars League in Qatar (21.7%) stand also out as particularly uneven competitions.”
Click here to see the full report.
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