There’s a surprise big name at the bottom of our alternative league table rating the top flight’s most action-packed arenas…
It’s been a very special milestone for FORZA this week, with our flagship football goal and equipment range getting eye-catching new websites jam-packed with enhancements so customers will benefit from faster load times, easier browsing navigation, and improvements on mobile.
Our hugely popular FORZA garden goals made their debut back in the autumn of 2013, and in the four years since the range has grown to include sturdy Steel42 goals, premium Alu60 and Alu110 aluminium training plus match goals that are on The FA approved list having passed rigorous independent safety tests. More than 100,000 FORZA football goals are now bought every year by customers in more than 100 countries, making Net World Sports the UK’s biggest-selling goal manufacturer.
But FORZA is about much more than just goals – it’s footballs, it’s goalkeeping gloves, it’s football nets, it’s training gear, it’s ground equipment, it’s referee accessories. It’s everything teams of all ages and abilities need for training or match action.
To mark the relaunch of our new and improved FORZA websites, we wanted to see which Premier League stadium combines all the thrills, spills, drama, and incidents that our fantastic football equipment helps recreate every day on football pitches throughout the world.
Using data from football statistics website FootStats, we’ve analysed every Premier League match from the start of the 2013-14 season – when FORZA first took the footballing world by storm – and ranked the top flight’s current 20 venues based on the combined number of goals, shots, corners, and red cards recorded by home and away teams, to come up with our list of the most gripping grounds.
And it’s Manchester City’s 55,097-capacity Etihad Stadium which is the most action-packed Premier League venue – while the Old Trafford home of arch-rivals Manchester United is the least entertaining top-flight ground.
The period of matches analysed covers Manuel Pellegrini’s league championship winning 2013-14 campaign, plus subsequent seasons under both the Chilean and current manager Pep Guardiola where the Citizens have combined phenomenal attacking play with somewhat slapdash defending and goalkeeping, keeping home and away fans alike on the edge of their seats.
Matches at the Etihad Stadium have averaged a net-busting 3.46 goals per game, well clear of Liverpool’s Anfield (3.08) in second place. The venue has also seen the most total goals (277) a figure matched by Huddersfield Town’s John Smiths Stadium, which up until this season had been hosting Championship clashes.
Over the past four seasons the Etihad Stadium tops the Premier League for:
But while City fans have been royally entertained in recent seasons, matches at the Old Trafford home of their big rivals Manchester United have been in danger of sending crowds at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ to sleep.
The Red Devils’ comparative struggles under David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal, and even the ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho last term, in comparison to the Sir Alex Ferguson glory years, sees the famous football cathedral rank bottom for action out of the current 20 Premier League venues, below Burnley’s Turf Moor and Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium.
Match-goers to Old Trafford have seen the lowest average of total shots per game (23.67), while the stadium hovers around the relegation zone for average goals per game (2.43) too. In fact, only Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park (189) has seen fewer Premier League goals netted than the measly 194 notched at Old Trafford during the last four seasons.
The Eagles’ fans have also had their wings clipped the most, with Selhurst Park having recorded the highest number of home defeats (42) since 2013. It’s little surprise the next two happiest hunting grounds for visiting Premier League teams over the last four years – Sunderland’s Stadium of Light (36 away wins) and Aston Villa’s Villa Park (30 away wins) – have both seen their sides suffer recent relegations from the top division.
Visiting strikers have found Swansea City’s Liberty Stadium the most welcoming of Premier League venues, with the home team conceding 109 goals in the last four seasons, the leaky Swans just edging out Sunderland (108) and Crystal Palace (105) for that dubious honour. Huddersfield Town’s John Smith Stadium and AFC Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium have actually seen more away goals over the course of four seasons (130 and 120 respectively), but those two teams have played a significant number of extra games in the Championship.
While since 2013, tempers have been most likely to fray at whichever stadium West Ham United are hosting matches. Whether it’s Upton Park or their new base at the London Stadium, the Hammers’ home stadium has seen 20 red cards, 7 for the hosts and 13 for the visitors.
‘Home Comforts’: Most Premier League Home Wins
‘Happy Hunting Ground’: Most Premier League Away Wins
‘Net Busters’: Venue With Most Premier League Goals
‘Goals Galore’: Venue With Highest Average Goals Per Game
‘Hot Shots’: Venue With Most Average Shots Per Game
‘Red Mist’: Venue With Most Premier League Red Cards