On the advantage of playing the second game at home in the knock out stages of european soccer cup competitions

Ronnie Lidor, Michael Bar-Eli, Michal Arnon, Asaph A. Bar-Eli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study explores, in the case of two soccer teams playing against each other twice in a knock out system, whether it is more advantageous to enjoy home advantage in the first game or to play the second game at home. Our data analysis included 398 soccer games (199 played at home and 199 played away): 220 (110 home and 110 away) games played in the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League and 178 (89 home and 89 away) games in the UEFA Cup. Multiple chi-square (χ2) analyses indicated that the teams playing the second game at home had a substantially higher chance of advancing to the next round than the teams playing the first game at home. Analysis of variance conducted on the number of goals scored in each of the two games revealed that the average number of goals scored by the home team increased in the second game. It was also found that both effects decreased when the level of competition was higher. We argue that in the first game both teams attempt to achieve the maximum potential, whereas in the second game, goal specificity exists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-325
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010

Keywords

  • Goal specificity
  • Home-field advantage
  • Skill level
  • Soccer

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