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With the increasing emphasis on data and statistics, the way we watch football has become more sophisticated than ever before.
Not satisfied with merely watching the action play out in front of them, many fans also trawl the internet in search of the best numbers and insights to help illuminate individual matches, runs of form or even player-to-player performances.
Competition between the outlets is fierce but with that, there is an incredible range of places you can go to find the numbers which bring context to the beautiful game, and the standard is very, very high.
With that in mind, here are 10 of the best outlets for football stats.
With live scores from across the globe, Soccerway are a great outlet to use if you just want to keep up with the day’s games.
However, what gets them onto this list vast player history, which shows where a player has plied his trade, how many goals they scored and even how many cards they received in a simple and convenient one-page format.
Primarily set up to bring live scores and betting tips, the thing which really sets Infogol apart is their free-to-use Expected Goals (xG) maps.
xG has quickly become one of the most popular metrics analysts use across the board, from live match coverage to a tactical lowdown of a team or individual player.
Infogol gives users both on their website and mobile app access to xG maps from a number of leagues across the world – including Europe’s top five and MLS – which show a team’s xG generated in any given game, as well as the individual quality of each shot taken, while users can also bring up a team or player’s xG across an entire season.
Like most other apps and outlets, Infogol gives you the basic stats from a game, too, but it’s this unique insight which draws users to them.
8. American Soccer Analysis
Primarily focused on the game Stateside, American Soccer Analysis (ASA) finds a comfortable spot on this list purely down to the sheer level of detail they put into their content.
From individual xG to the xG chain of an entire passing sequence, you can break down every single interaction with the ball from any given game with their incredible interactive and static tables.
Alongside the mountain of data to be had on their website, ASA also record regular podcasts and publish blog posts, focusing on the data-driven side of MLS and NWSL.
The Statsbomb team have been operating on the front edge of football analytics for some time now.
Whether it’s the raw numbers you’re after, or presenting data in easy-to-digest graphs and radars, there isn’t much you can’t find with Statsbomb – their regular podcast is also a great listen for those wanting to further digest the numbers behind the beautiful game, while they also have some great online tutorials which are well worth your investment.
Okay, you can’t get the full Statsbomb experience without a paid subscription but take it from us, it’s worth every penny.
The Fbref website may look old fashioned and basic, but don’t let that fool you. From here, you can find everything from passes completed to a team’s pressing stats, from leagues around the world including the Premier League, La Liga, MLS, Liga MX and way, way beyond.
Using Fbref’s data, you can put together some brilliant analysis on individual players, pick out fundamental flaws in a team’s style of play or see just how clinical or wasteful a particular striker has been with their chances in the men’s and women’s games.
Head over there now and get lost in a wonderful sea of data.
If you’re in the football industry and haven’t heard of Transfermarkt, where have you been hiding?!
Transfermarkt are the go-to site if you want to uncover the details behind a transfer, fees, wages and contract lengths and all.
But more than that, using Transfermarkt, you can also unearth brilliant narratives such as an individual player’s record against a particular team, or how they performed in a certain position.
Does Mohamed Salah score more from the right or left flank? How many goals has he scored against Chelsea, the club which cast him out? You can find it all on Transfermarkt.
Okay, disclaimer: You’re not going to get the full experience of Twenty3 yourself without taking out a plan with them. However, once you get that, you’ll have access to stats, visualisations and player discovery tools which will set you far apart from your competitors.
But if you’re just the casual fan looking for a good read on tactics and analytics, head over to their blog where their expert team of writers will dissect the biggest stories from respective leagues.
Want to know how Marcelo Bielsa has adapted Leeds United to the challenges of Premier League football? Who should Man Utd sign as an alternative to Jadon Sancho?
Another of the best free-to-use platforms, Whoscored.com have a brilliant array of stats from leagues across the globe.
Using Whoscored, you can rank players or teams by league in terms of tackles made, shots on target, goals and so much more. Even better, you can also display these numbers on per game, per 90 minutes, and per position played basis.
What’s more, the team also regularly update their team of the week and team of the season sections to show you which players are performing best in each position from any given league.
Squawka originally made their name as the go-to second screen for football fans, firing out unique stats from the biggest leagues across Europe to help you come become the king of your football group chat.
They’re still top of that particular food chain even now but furthermore, their editorial side has undergone a transformation in recent years, with news, features, match previews and in-depth analysis now part of their daily cycle, again, all with a data-driven narrative.
If that isn’t enough for you, Squawka’s famous Comparison Matrix is now live again, allowing you to compare players from across the globe in a way that is incredibly easy and satisfying to digest.
Was there ever going to be anyone else topping this list?
Opta are the ultimate stats gurus, powering some of the industry’s leading names with their incredible array of minute-by-minute stats.
From the Premier League to the Champions League, with so many other competitions in between, Opta are the kings when it comes to the numbers behind the game we all love.
For the casual fan, however, we highly recommend you browse their various Twitter feeds, which drop unique and interesting – and often quirky – stats to illuminate the game, or even make you laugh at the hilarity of it all.
Opta, we salute you!