Is a social network approach relevant to football results?

Pablo Medina, Sebastián Carrasco, José Rogan, Felipe Montes, Jose D. Meisel, Pablo Lemoine, Carlos Lago Peñas, Juan Alejandro Valdivia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We study the relevance of considering social network analysis in determining soccer results. As a benchmark, we start using a simple regression model based on past performance to try to determine the main trends of a soccer match based on probabilities of winning, losing or tying, as home or visiting teams. The success of this simple model, based on historical performance, is improved by the addition of network descriptors of both teams in a game. Therefore, such network measures do offer additional useful information in determining match outcomes. We validate our approach using the data of the Spanish League (La Liga) 2012–2013. We observe that betweenness centrality seems to provide additional relevance information related to the performance of a team during the tournament.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110369
JournalChaos, Solitons and Fractals
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Complex networks
  • Football
  • Probabilistic models
  • Social network analysis


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