Does home advantage exist in the Hyundai A-League?

The importance of playing at home has been evident throughout football history. In the first installment of our new weekly Statistical Analysis, available in the Stats Centre, Opta uncovers the influence this has had over the first ten seasons of the Hyundai A-League.

The familiar environment, the support of the crowd and the occasional opportunity to make life difficult for the opposition (“I’m sorry, the hot water isn’t working today, and yes, the away dressing room is a little cramped”) have all combined to give football teams a healthy advantage.

Just how advantageous is illustrated by the fact that in the history of the Hyundai A-League's regular season the home team has won 45% of matches, a quarter of matches have been drawn, leaving 30% as victories for the visitors.

Round 1 this season saw the usual trend bucked with only one home win, two draws and two away wins; perhaps an indication of opening round jitters on display for the teams playing with the pressure of being in front of their home fans.

Hyundai A-League Home Record by Season

 

Home Wins

Draws

Away Wins

2006

33%

25%

42%

2007

45%

24%

31%

2008

32%

33%

35%

2009

52%

24%

24%

2010

50%

24%

27%

2011

45%

28%

26%

2012

44%

27%

29%

2013

53%

19%

28%

2014

49%

24%

27%

2015

40%

24%

36%

2016

20%

40%

40%

Overall

45%

25%

30%

Whilst the averages show a trend towards the home team, if we look at this team-by-team we can see there are some teams which thrive in the home environment. Melbourne Victory have had a 52% success rate at home in the history of the Hyundai A-League; significantly contributing to their success over the first ten campaigns. Whilst all teams maintain a home winning percentage over 39% there are teams on the list that have had to defy modest home form to qualify for the season ending Finals Series.

Team-by-Team All Time

Team

Home Wins

Home Draws

Home Losses

Melbourne Victory

52%

28%

21%

Central Coast Mariners

50%

24%

26%

Adelaide United

49%

24%

27%

Sydney FC

47%

25%

29%

Brisbane Roar

46%

21%

33%

Wellington Phoenix

45%

28%

28%

Perth Glory

44%

26%

31%

Western Sydney Wanderers

40%

29%

31%

Melbourne City FC

39%

30%

30%

Newcastle Jets

39%

24%

37%

Whilst the history books are interesting if we look at last season in isolation we can see that home performance is indicative of final ladder positioning. Last season’s Premiers’ Plate winner Victory won a huge 64% of all home matches. Sydney are the anomaly by finishing second despite a 29% home win ratio, the third lowest record of its kind last term. This is explained by the Sky Blues being the only side to go the season unbeaten on the road (W10 D4 L0) to well and truly buck the notion of home matches being must-wins.

Team by Team Recent Form (2014/15 Season Only)

Team

Home Wins

Home Draws

Home Losses

Melbourne Victory

64%

14%

21%

Perth Glory

57%

14%

29%

Adelaide United

47%

33%

20%

Wellington Phoenix

47%

20%

33%

Melbourne City FC

46%

38%

15%

Central Coast Mariners

43%

14%

43%

Brisbane Roar

31%

15%

54%

Sydney FC

29%

36%

36%

Western Sydney Wanderers

20%

33%

47%

Newcastle Jets

8%

31%

62%