The study reveals first-ever findings from extracted data of the top seven European leagues over the past two decades, representing 43 competitions, 269 teams, and more than 61,000 fixtures. The 4-3-3 (31%), 4-5-1 (28%), and 4-4-2 (19%) were the most used team formation systems over the 15-year period.
You will also find in this study:
- Over the past five to six seasons, there has been a tendency for a greater uniformization of the tactical approach to matches across leagues, with a less and less marked preference for one formation vs. another.
- The decision to use one formation over another may result from the combination of several factors, including league and club culture, coaches’ experiences as ex-players and managers, overall tactical preferences and philosophy, and fixture context.
- The most tactically adaptable players may target/move to any league, while the less adaptable ones may target the leagues with low changes.