A network-science approach: How different are the attacks of football?

Necmi Gürsakal, Halil Orbay ÇOBANOĞLU, Sandy Çağlıyor


Network science is an emerging field. The purpose of this study is to investigate soccer attacks by using network science. In this study, by applying network science approach, four Turkish National Football Team’s attacks analyzed with an open-source NodeXL program. We have focused on two types of attacks: the attacks that end with goals and the ones that don’t. Our main aim is to see whether there is a difference between the network metrics of these two types of attacks? Using network metrics, for attacks in a same match we couldn’t find important differences but we have found real differences for networks’ metrics when opponent team changes. Our findings also support that micro measures can be used for new line-up’s.First of all it should be mentioned that our study is a case study and the results of this study should not be generalized. However our findings can be the start point for further researches with larger samples sizes. With the help of network science approach, the most effective players could be found, the most compatible line-up for the future games could be chosen and the opponent team’s key players could be analyzed.


Network science, network metrics, football, pass data.