Evaluating the pinnacle of football match key statistics as in‐play information for determining the match outcome of Europe's foremost leagues. By: Xiaoyu, Fan and Shasha, Wang. 2024. Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell). p1.

Objectives  Methods  Results  Conclusion  The purpose of this study is to evaluate the pinnacle of football match key statistics as in‐play information for determining the match outcome of Europe’s foremost leagues, namely those in England, Scotland, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Belgium, Turkey, the Netherlands, and Greece. The study analyzed a sample of 98,849 matches across all sports leagues from the 2002/2003 to 2023/2024 seasons. The techniques employed include the zero‐inflated Poisson regression model and generalized ordered logit/partial proportional odds (gologit/ppo) models. The findings revealed that, for both home and away teams, the number of shots, shots on target, corners, and the changes from one season to another, as well as the occurrence of Covid‐19, are factors that encourage goal scoring. On the other hand, fouls committed, yellow cards, and red cards act as limiting factors for goal scoring. The effects are higher in the full‐time play than in the halftime. However, the impact of the number of goals scored in the last match and the effect of Covid‐19 are negligible for the home and away teams, respectively. Moreover, when comparing the impacts specifically within home teams and within away teams, it was found that yellow and red cards are highly detrimental, while the positive impact of shots on target surpasses these and other factors in home teams. In contrast, for away teams, the negative impact of yellow and red cards is more significant than any other factor. Football match key statistics including the number of shots, shots on target, corners, change from one season to another, fouls committed, yellow cards, red cards, last match outcome, and occurrence of Covid‐19 are essential determinants of the match outcome whether a team is at home or waybut the impact is higher during the second half of the play.