Bundesliga Match Facts: DFL and AWS present 'Attacking Zones'

Since the start of 2020, the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga and Amazon Web Services have collaborated on, among others, the area of data analysis. The partnership has enabled the live processing of data into innovative statistics, resulting in ‘Bundesliga Match Facts powered by AWS’, a feature available to broadcasters and fans during matches. Here we explain our latest real-time statistic: ‘Attacking Zones’.

After xGoals, Average Positions and Speed Alert, the DFL, in cooperation with AWS, is now introducing further innovative real-time statistics. One of these new features is ‘Attacking Zones’. These are the areas - or danger zones - into which the teams advance when on the attack.

The final third of the pitch in front of the opponent’s goal is divided into four vertical zones of equal size. Each time a player enters the final third – either by dribbling or passing - the algorithm assigns an attack to the corresponding zone. When dribbling, it is the zone where the player with the ball enters the final attacking third that counts. In contrast, with passing, it is the area where a player receives that ball that counts. For example, it a player delivers a high cross from the left-hand side across all four zones to the right, where a teammate converts the cross, the attack is tallied on the right-hand side.

Important: What happens next in the final third of the attack - i.e. in which zones the ball and player are in, and from which direction a shot on goal may be taken - is irrelevant. Only the initial advance into the corresponding attack zone is counted per attack.

Thanks to graphical illustrations, Bundesliga fans can now see at a glance which ‘Attacking Zones’ a team has used percentage-wise, and how often they have attempted to attack using a particular route. In turn, conclusions can quickly be drawn about the match plans of the coaches: Does a team prefer to attack down a particular wing? Is a team having more joy through the middle? Do some teams act unpredictably by using the four ‘Attacking Zones’ equally?

Broadcasters now have the option to show ‘Attacking Zones’ live on TV during games. Fans can also find out about preferred attack zones on the Bundesliga App in real time.