Possession v Goals: Which Bundesliga sides take advantage of their possession?

In this simple comparison we take possession and goals scored to see how effective teams are when they have the ball

10:00am on Saturday 20th June 2020
Martin Macdonald

There has been some focus recently on the usefulness of possession, and how a player's pass completion rates and indeed number of completed passes aren't much of an indicator of what a player does well, other than the fact they retain the ball.

FootballCritic previously took two statistics - possession percentage and goals scored - and applied it to the Premier League.

We looked at how 'possession effective' teams are by taking their goals scored and dividing it by their average % possession across the season.

Now, we will use the same formula for the Bundesliga.


We could argue that the Bundesliga has been one of the most competitive leagues this season, with Bayern having just won the league with three games to go. Up until the restart, it had been a fairly close race with Dortmund and RB Leipzig both in contention.

However, since the league recommenced Bayern have won every single game, steamrolling their way towards the title.

Indeed, the aforementioned three teams are the not only the top three highest scoring teams in the Bundesliga, but out of all five top leagues in Europe.

Even though Bayern have ran away with the championship, it is actually Leipzig who have the best goals-to-possession ratio with 1.4. In this case, the only reason the Bavarian side's is lower is because of their extreme hold over possession, with them having the highest percentage of possession per match than any other team in the top five leagues.

Ausburg are the only club in the top five leagues that have a possession effectiveness of +1x compared to other clubs that have sub-49.8% possession. They could become a team to watch if they continue to refine their high press system.

Schalke may be in midtable in the Bundesliga, but if you were to judge their performances solely on goalscoring they would be nearer the bottom. With just 37 goals scored so far this campaign, they achieve a goals-to-possession ratio of 0.67.

Numbers calculated 16 June, 2020.

Latest news

Champions League

Stephanie Frappart: The history-making ref who will lead Juve v Dynamo Kyiv

Stephanie Frappart will become the first female to referee a male Champions League match on Wednesday - and her appointment has been achieved purely on merit.

  • 3 hours
Premier League

Ederson and Klopp back calls for concussion substitutions

There should be more leeway for clubs to make substitutions for players suffering potentially serious head injuries, Ederson and Jurgen Klopp have argued.

  • 4 hours
La Liga

Atletico Madrid reach nearly A BILLION euros in debt

The Spanish giants are recording major revenue losses with debt continuing to escalate.

  • 8 hours

Is Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski getting more clinical with age?

The Polish striker has already scored 15 goals this season and his underlying stats suggest he's getting better and better at scoring.

  • 9 hours

Aubameyang isn't entirely at fault for Arsenal's poor start to the season

While the Gabon forward has hardly been in form, Gunners manager Mikel Arteta has bigger problems to deal with in midfield

  • 10 hours
Premier League

Edinson Cavani facing ban as FA opens investigation into social media post

The Uruguayan made headlines on the pitch but is making them off it for the wrong reasons after his now-deleted message

  • 12 hours

Most read