Football

Is home advantage still relevant?

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In the world of football, it has widely been accepted that playing at home gives you an edge.

But with Bayern Munich and Barcelona both dominating on British soil, and the away exploits of PSG and Atletico Madrid proving fruitful, It begs the question - can playing home still be called an advantage?

It would be easy to work under the assumption that the best team wins. Yet somewhat inexplicably, teams seem to excel and crumble under varied surroundings. But why?

Excessively lengthy away journeys, particularly in European competition are bound to play some part in matches, with fatigue or potentially jet-lag an issue.

Of course, many will cite the presence of fans as a catalyst for positive performances. Often known as the twelfth man, the vociferous support of a home crowd can both inspire teams and unnerve opponents.

However, Bayern Munich, unbeaten in the Bundesliga, seem relatively unfazed by their surroundings. In fact, their only losses this season have come on neural ground, in the DFL Supercup, and in the Champions League at home to Manchester City.

After all, league titles and cups are won on more than home form alone. And in the eyes of UEFA, home advantage does tell, with the aggregate rule in European competition favouring those who score away from home.

This of course puts the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the driving seat for their second leg at home.

Yet quite famously, Arsenal beat the Champions League holders Bayern 2-0 at the Allianz Arena after losing their first leg tie 3-1. Were it not for aggregate score, the teams would have been level.

Statistically, the majority of teams are bound to win on their own patch. Manchester City have been dominant at home, winning all but one of their 11 home games in the Premier League. Yet their away form has stuttered, with 4 losses and three draws.

However, It is also worth noting that certain clubs perform better away from home. Tottenham have won three more matches away from home than they have at White Hart Lane

Red Bull Salzburg's disarming of Ajax in the Netherlands is yet another indictment of the change in perception. Perhaps the differences between home and away are becoming fewer.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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