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Doing some analysis work ahead of a football match should be routine. It’s good practice to get into the numbers and statistics surrounding a game because then it will help in spotting value bets in odds.

Just like you would find the best bet sites with welcome bonus offers that fit, you should do the same pre-event statistical study on your football markets. Statistics are deeply entrenched in football. But that can present a problem in trying to figure out which are the key areas to focus on for pre-match analysis.

Pros and Cons of Statistics

Statistics are great because they help the reader draw conclusions about the comparative quality of teams going head-to-head. The numbers will identify the strengths and weaknesses of teams, like a team not keeping any clean sheets on home turf.

When you have those pieces of information to hand, you can apply them to your football betting. It’s not possible to account for every variable that is going to happen in a match. That’s the beauty of sport – it’s sometimes unpredictable.

That leads us on to the slight disadvantage of totally relying on statistics as they don’t put everything into context. Stats are not going to tell you if a team is going to be extra fired up because of going into a local derby match, or a title-deciding match. So you do have to look deeper.

Goals Win Games

One of the main areas of focus for pre-match football betting analysis is the goals per 90 minutes by teams. All the rage now is the expected goals (XG) for a team (or individual player). There have been some deep insights into all this, to determine how likely a team is to score from a shot.

That can be broken down to probability of a goal from the position of the shot and even with what part of the body the ball is struck.  

Looking at a team with an expected goal stat of 1.7 for a game is going to give a good insight into potential performance output being good. XG is a great predictive model and should be looked at.

Head To Head

This is an interesting statistic to look at but it’s not a be-all and end-all. You commonly see streaks in head-to-head, perhaps Chelsea not having lost at home in the league against Crystal Palace for six seasons.  

It is worth incorporating some historical data into your research. Part of that can come from the overall league insights. If it’s a league that consistently that sees a high-percentage of games finish under 2.5 goals, that’s something to be noted for your totals picks.

Possession, Shots & Goals

Key areas to look at in the current form of teams are possession and shots (including shots on target). These are two perfect stats to marry together to create a bigger picture. Look for teams with high average possession per match and a high output of average shots and shots on target per game.

Possession is pretty much gold in the modern game. It gives teams who can control it, more chances of coming up with a creative solution in front of the goal. 

Key Passes & Big Chances

Another modern statistical insight that is heavily used is key passes. These are plays where chances lead to an unsuccessful attempt on goal. Spotting teams which have big creative players with high ‘key pass’ stats is important. That also ties into the ‘big chance’ stat where a player is expected to score from a key pass. That’s where you get back to XG for further insight.

Find Sites To Help

One of the best things that a punter can do is to set themselves up with several sites that offer stats insights. There are so many great sites out there that can be used as tools, like Transfermarkt.co.uk, Squawka.com, WhoScored.com and SoccerSTATS.

These are sites that you will use over and over again, and they can bring huge benefits. For starters, sites boasting statistics will already have done a lot of the leg work for you.

It means that you don’t need to go and figure out what percentage of West Ham’s away games have ended under 1.5 goals, that part is done. All you would need to do is to find out what the answer is by using a good analysis site.

Measuring the Game

The modern game is deeply broken down into so many nuanced stats. You don’t need them all. You just need some of the key ones that are relevant to the markets that you are betting on. It’s best to keep a few main statistics on your side that you study first.

Jot down a few and track how they pan out in real action, and that will allow you to go back and study your work and tweak where necessary. All the stats and data are out there, you just need to piece them together.