Biology of Sport
eISSN: 2083-1862
ISSN: 0860-021X
Biology of Sport
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4/2022
vol. 39
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Contextualised peak periods of play in English Premier League matches

Wonwoo Ju
1
,
Dominic Doran
1
,
Richard Hawkins
2
,
Antonio Gómez-Díaz
3
,
Andres Martin-Garcia
4
,
Jack D Ade
5
,
Andy Laws
6
,
Mark Evans
6
,
Paul S Bradley
7

1.
The Research Institution for Sport and Exercise Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, England, UK
2.
Football Medicine and Science Department at Manchester United Football Club, Manchester, UK
3.
The Poland National Football Team, Polish Football Association, Warsaw, Poland
4.
FC Barcelona Sports Performance Department, Barcelona, Spain
5.
Liverpool FC Academy, Liverpool Football Club, Liverpool, UK
6.
Department of Computer Science, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK
7.
Football Science Consultant, UK
Biol Sport. 2022;39(4):973–983
Online publish date: 2021/12/30
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The present study aimed to determine the physical-tactical trends of elite players/teams during peak 1-, 3- and 5-min periods of match-play. A total of 50 English Premier League matches (n = 583 player observations) were analysed by coding the players’ physical-tactical activities through the synchronisation of tracking data and video. The contextualised data showed that during the peak periods (i.e., the most demanding passage of play), players/teams covered the largest distances for ‘Recovery Run’ (28–37%) out of possession and ‘Support Play’ (9–13%) in possession. In the following periods, players covered less high-intensity distance versus the average with a more pronounced decline in the next 1-min period than longer duration 3- and 5-min periods (48% vs ~25–30%, ES: 0.4–0.5, P < 0.01); team data showed similar trends with different relative patterns (31% vs 17–30%, ES: 0.5–0.8, P < 0.01). After peak periods, players/teams performed 20–53% less high-intensity distances for ‘Covering’ and ‘Recovery Run’ (ES: 0.2–0.7, P < 0.01) out of possession. However, players covered 28–91% less distance for ‘Run with Ball’ (ES: 0.1–0.5, P < 0.05) when in possession. Some physical-tactical actions exhibited inconsistency in different time durations of the next periods; however, these physical-tactical data were position-specific. This may signify that each position has certain physical-tactical actions to execute even after the peak periods, especially when they are tactically required to do so. As the data demonstrates unique physical-tactical trends of players/teams during the peak and next periods of play, this could help practitioners prescribe position- and player-specific drills, and better understand transient decrements in high-intensity running after intense passages of play.
keywords:

match performance, peak periods, transient decrements, physical-tactical data, football

 
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