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Talking Tactics

Season trends: Away success rises as top sides falter

Adrian Clarke 6 Jun 2021
Stuart Dallas, Leeds

Adrian Clarke analyses why visiting teams enjoyed more wins and scored more goals in 2020/21

Adrian Clarke identifies tactical trends from the 2020/21 Premier League season. 

Home and away

Behind-closed-doors football eradicated home advantage in 2020/21.

For the first time in a season, more Premier League victories were claimed by away sides than those playing at home.

There was a nine per cent rise in the success of visiting teams, who scored more goals and conceded fewer compared to the previous campaign.

Season 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21
Home wins 181 172 143
Away wins 128 121 153
Draws 71 87 84
Home goals* 1.57 1.52 1.35
Away goals* 1.25 1.21 1.34
Home points 614 608 515
Away points 455 440 542

* Per 90 minutes

The data reflects how influential the presence of home fans could be.

Facing less vocal intimidation, away sides were encouraged to play with more confidence.

Fans' absence 

The most successful PL sides struggled with home matches played inside empty stadiums.

Champions Manchester City were beaten four times at the Etihad Stadium. Liverpool lost six in a row at Anfield, while Leicester City and Arsenal also struggled, with nine and seven home defeats respectively.

Overall, the top eight sides in 2020/21 lost nearly double the number of home matches compared to the eight highest finishers in 2019/20.

PL top eight combined home defeats
Season Total
2019/20 24
2020/21 47

Losing the backing of huge crowds inside large arenas made a telling difference to their prospects of success.

Across the EFL home advantage still remained, albeit with the gap closing on previous years.

The Championship had a one per cent reduction in home wins, while Leagues 1 and 2 showed a six and two per cent decline respectively.

Also in this series

Part 1: Patient passing produces record figures
Part 2: Headed goals back in fashion
Part 3: Free-kicks fall and penalties rise
Part 5: Busy schedule not reflected in rotation
Part 6: Season trends: Managers changing shape more often

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