We all know that when Premier League teams play at home, they are more likely to get a favorable result than if they are playing away from home. Home ground advantage is a real factor in sporting events, which is why say ‘away goals’ can decide cup fixtures, and why many cup finals are played at a neutral venue in order to make then match and even encounter. But what are the implications of home field advantage on Fantasy Football? Should managers favour players with home matches for their EPL Fantasy Teams? First lets look at the data and gain insights into how to best use home fixtures to your advantage.
Home Field Advantage
Are teams more likely to score when playing at home?
This is a most resounding “Yes”. Premier League teams are more likely to score when playing at home than away from home. This is consistently the case over many seasons. Last season Chelsea scored in ever one of their 19 home Premier League matches, the only club to do so. In the recently completed 2014/15 season, there were 975 goals scored in total – a comparatively lean year of goals based on the past 5 season. The split between home and away goals was: 560 home goals vs 415 away goals, which puts the split at 57% of goals scored at home vs 43% of goals scored away. Interestingly this is the same split from the 2013/14 & 2011/12 season too. Looking at the average goals per game home and away, teams average scoring 0.38 goals more at home that that away over the past 5 seasons.
|Season||Home Goals||Away Goals||Total Goals||%Home Goals||%Away Goals||Ave Home Goals/Game||Ave Away Goal/Game|
Which clubs had the best goal scoring records home and away in 2014/15?
It is true that some teams play much better in front of a home crowd, and thus score more goals at home. But there are exception to that rule, as only 18 of the 20 EPL clubs score more goals at home than away last season. Those two who didn’t were champions Chelsea and Crystal Palace. The team who had the biggest percentage of total goals scored from home fixtures was Southampton. Southampton scored 54 goals last season, scoring 37 goals from their 9 home matches, but only 17 from their 19 away fixtures. That comes out at 69% of goals scored at home last season, so using Southampton attackers in rotating pairs to sit out home matches would have resulting in a better points return. Here’s a look at goals scored home vs away for last season:
|Team||Home Goals||Away Goals||Home Goal %|
|West Bromwich Albion||24||14||63|
|West Ham United||25||19||57|
|Queens Park Rangers||23||19||55|
Which clubs historically score more of their goals at home?
Looking at data from the past 5 Premier League seasons, Stoke City are the clear home grounds kings. Stoke have scored more than 60% of their goals at the Britannia Stadium for the past 5 season in a row. So if you’re looking for a team more influenced by home/away fixture scheduling, Stoke are right up there. West Ham, Southampton and Swansea are the other 3 clubs who are averaging 60% or more of their goals scored at home for the past 5 seasons. All those teams are above the 5 season average of 57% of goals scored at home. An interesting note is that Tony Pulis teams have a tendency to score a high % of goals at home, which is a nod to his tactical setup – keeping things tidy away from home, then have a crack at home. Here’s a look at home goal % over the past 5 seasons:
|Team||% Home Goals 14/15||% Home Goals 13/14||% Home Goals 12/13||% Home Goals 11/12||% Home Goals 10/11||Average Home Goal %|
|West Ham United||57||63||76||-||56||63|
|West Bromwich Albion||63||56||60||47||54||56|
Which clubs score the most goals at home over the years?
Quite predictably, it’s Manchester City who have the highest average number of home goals scored per season, over the past 5 season. They have scored a LOT of goals over the past few season, largely down to Sergio Aguero. Manchester City are averaging 47 home goals per season, from their 19 home matches – which is more than 2 goals per home match! The usual Champions League challenger round out the top four, with Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal all averaging more than 2 goals per home match. At the other end of the spectrum, Crystal Palace, Sunderland and Aston Villa have been having a lean time at home.
|Team||Home Goals 14/15||Home Goals 13/14||Home Goals 12/13||Home Goals 11/12||Home Goals 10/11||Average Home Goals|
|West Ham United||25||25||34||-||24||27|
|West Bromwich Albion||24||24||32||21||30||26|
How can I use this to my advantage when picking my Fantasy Premier League squad?
Given that home teams average scoring 0.38 more goals per game than away teams, picking players who are playing at home will statistically give you more goal and assists chances throughout the season. This is where rotations can come in handy, rotating players in pairs to collect more home marches throughout the season. Also keep this in mind when selecting your captain each week, favour home captains over away captains to have the adds in your favour. Teams like Manchester City consistently score a lot of goals at home, and teams like Stoke will score more of their goals at home. On the flip side, Crystal Palace have historically scored more goals away from home – and fewer goals in total. In general, the Fantasy Football team that has the most home matches should score more total points than teams who pick more players in away fixtures. Have the odds on your side by using your free weekly transfer to your advantage!