In American sports, people started counting as soon as there were things to be counted in the various sports that are played in America. Unfortunately, soccer did not develop in America and as such, statistics were not applied to it that deeply. Statistics started applying to soccer/football only recently.

Statistics did not apply to soccer that much because the game is very fluid and the only thing that people could count were goals, at least officially. With the advent of the 21st century, things started to change as private data collectors in football started doing it more publicly. Today, there are different tools, strategies, and formulas that have been developed for the purposes of collecting and analyzing data. Let us take a look at data collection in football below.

Shots
We have seen that initially, people only bothered with the number of goals in football because they didn’t think it was necessary to collect other pieces of information. However, that has changed and today, shots are part of the vital data that is collected and analyzed. Soccer usually involves very few goals that it becomes ineffective to gauge a team’s strength based solely on the number of goals scored and conceded. Goals simply don’t have enough predictive power and that is why it is important to include shots in order to increase the data to be analyzed. Analyzing shots can provide some really accurate predictions.

Shots are not perfect because there are usually bad shots and good ones and there are teams that are good at giving good shots and other aren’t that great. Basically, comparing the number of shots a team gives and the ones it gives can provide very good statistics.

Possession
Statistics regarding ball possession are a great proof for the premise that correlation doesn’t always mean causation. Good teams tend to have greater ball possession than bad ones. The reason good teams have better ball possession statistics is because they tend to have better players and better players tend to hold the ball better when they receive it and then accurately pass it to other players. The players that receive the ball also pass it more accurately to other players, which increases possession statistics. However, it should be understood that possessing the ball more doesn’t necessarily mean that the team is a good one.

Different teams train in different styles that they rely on to play and that is why they make different tactical and personnel investments.

Expected goals
The gold standard for predicting future performance of a team remains to be the number of expected goals. The concept behind this prediction is very simple. What happens is that sports analysts collect statistics regarding the number of shots a team tends to take in a match. Each shot is then assigned a value based on the likelihood that it can be a goal. That way, it is possible to predict FOOTBALL RESULTS (ผลบอลมีเสียง) in any given match before the game is played.