Yet more exciting insights into the game through machine learning: Extension of the Bundesliga Match Facts
- Three new stats added to the real-time statistics
11 February 2021 – Since early 2020, DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have been working together on areas including data analysis. As part of this partnership, they have stepped up efforts involving live processing of data regarding innovative statistics resulting in features such as ‘Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS’. Those statistics are available to media partners, fans and the general public as well as the clubs themselves during match broadcasts and online. Three new statistics will be added in time for the forthcoming matchday 21 of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 season: ‘Attacking Zones’, ‘Most Pressed Player’ and Average Positions: Trends’.
This Match Fact visualises the areas in which the teams push forward into the box. This involves splitting the last third of the pitch leading up to the opposing team’s goal into four equally sized vertical zones (see graphic above). Any time players enter this third, the algorithm for the corresponding zone registers an attack. This can take the form of either dribbling or a pass. On-screen graphics show Bundesliga fans how each team’s attempts to press forward are distributed across the four attacking zones as percentages.
Media partners now have the option to overlay the attacking zones live on TV during matches. Fans can also use the Bundesliga app at any time to find out about teams’ preferred attacking zones in real time.
Most Pressed Player
The Most Pressed Player stat rates the pressure on a player in possession and determines how often a particular player is put under significant pressure by the opposing team. Relevant variables in this calculation include the number of defending players as well as their distance and direction of movement relative to the player with the ball. If a particular threshold is reached, the machine learning algorithm registers a pressure situation for the player in possession. It is then possible to determine which players on a team are put under pressure especially often in relation to their teammates.
While media partners can now show the Most Pressed Player in live broadcasts, fans can also use the Bundesliga app whenever they like to call up details of the pressure put on individual players, ranked by percentages, in real time.
Average Positions: Trends
The ‘Average Positions’ Bundesliga Match Fact, which shows where all players actually are positioned on the pitch on average, has been available since the 2019–20 season. With ‘Average Positions: Trends’, this information can now also be visualised for selected sections of a match and compared. Media partners and commentators can choose for themselves which time spans to analyse and so make it easier to identify tactical trends, such as whether a team visibly reacts or begins a period of upping the pressure after a significant event such as a goal, red card or substitution. It is also possible to contrast the tactics of a team when it does and does not have the ball, or the real formations employed by the two teams during a particular phase of the match.
Audiences can see these ratings as TV graphics. Bundesliga app will soon also have the option to view real formation details customised to suit their own preferences.
Goal Probability and xGoals, Average Positions and the Speed Alert have already been introduced to Bundesliga Match Facts in the past. In editorial terms, all Bundesliga Match Facts are integrated on the digital platforms and channels of the Bundesliga and the international broadcasts. Media rights holders in German-speaking markets also have the option of incorporating them into their broadcasts.
Further information on the Bundesliga Match Facts, along with a weekly column by Simon Rolfes, the Bundesliga Match Facts expert, can be found in the BMF Zone at bundesliga.com.
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