Plus-Minus Player Ratings for Soccer

Kharrat, Tarak, McHale, Ian G ORCID: 0000-0002-7686-3879 and Peña, Javier López
(2020) Plus-Minus Player Ratings for Soccer. European Journal of Operational Research, 283 (2). 726 - 736.

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The paper presents plus–minus ratings for use in association football (soccer). We first describe the general plus–minus methodology as used in basketball and ice-hockey and then adapt it for use in soccer. The usual goal-differential plus–minus is considered before two new variations are proposed. For the first variation, we present a methodology to calculate an expected goals plus–minus rating. The second variation makes use of in-play probabilities of match outcome to evaluate an expected points plus–minus rating. We use the ratings to examine who are the best players in European football, and demonstrate how the players’ ratings evolve over time. Finally, we shed light on the debate regarding which is the strongest league. The model suggests the English Premier League is the strongest, with the German Bundesliga a close runner-up.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: OR in sports, Ridge regression, Point-process, Sparse matrix
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2019 11:26
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2021 11:47
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2019.11.026
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