Goals For And Against, 2018/19 - Which League is Most Competitive?


The distribution of goals for and against clubs over a season can be taken as a simple proxy as to the competitiveness of a league. So let's plot this ratio out for the 4 biggest leagues in the world:

  • The Premiership
  • La Liga
  • Bundesliga
  • Serie A

I've also highlighted the teams that have won their respective league at least once in the last 5 years. The markers are sized by a team's points thus far this season, and I've applied a simple linear regression between GA and GF to represent a trend line between the different teams.

The data includes games up until is until the weekend of April 1st 2019.

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So a fairly consistent trend trend line with this seasons' two leaders, Man City and Liverpool ahead of the pack. Do note Leicester City in the middle there, a reminder of their historic win in 2016!

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The trend line is a lot flatter than the other leagues, with Barcelona having an insane GF:GA ratio.

Atletico Madrid with a rock-solid defense! Also highlighted for their heroic league win in the 2013/14 season.

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Similar to the premier league, we have a fairly linear trend with Dortmund and Bayern Munich being the only 2 real outliers. Note though that only Bayern have won the league 5 years running now, and are on course to do so again, unless Dortmund can cause an upset!

Like with the Bundesliga, their has only been one winner of the Italian Serie A over the last few seasons, with a 6th looking likely.

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Going by the GF:GA ratio alone, it seems that La Liga is the most uncompetitive league this season.

Hope you like the graphs! I plan to continue the analysis into the competitiveness of these top European football leagues using data from previous seasons, looking at the points difference between the top 4 to 6 teams in each league. I'll also take a look at The Euro Club Index (ECI), a well-renowned ranking system for soccer teams across leagues in Europe.

And then I can also delve into the economic inequalities driven by the circularity of big city size, big fan base, big revenues and big football success.

All data is taken from DataHub.