Turkey vs Denmark – Data Analysis

1996 European Championships

Group D – Match Round 3

Turkey 0 – 3 Denmark

Hillsborough, Sheffield

Wednesday 19th June 1996

By Alistair Bain (@allybain)


To give us some context on the data here is a quick overview of each team:

Denmark Attacking Structure

  • Denmark would bring back a natural target striker to their set up for this match, with Erik Bo Andersen now the foil to help link with the Laudrup brothers in the final third.
  • Schjonberg remained a target for the Danish direct attack play, typically via a diagonal ball from the right hand side, allowing him to attack the ball in the air or run onto a pass & cross. 
  • Alan Nielsen gave Denmark a different dynamic in midfield, as he gave them more pace & an ability to make late runs into the box. Steen Nielsen would layer his support to ensure he could balance defending & attacking duties also.

Turkey Attacking Structure

  • Turkey would return to a single target man, with Sukur leading the line on his own. Hami, while deployed as a striker, liked to drop deep and carry the ball forward on the dribble. This would enable Turkey to connect the midfield and front line more in attacking transition, added to this Hami would also shoot from distance consistently.
  • Tayfun and Orhan gave Turkey an energy in midfield, again to help contribute to their efforts in transition.
  • Abdullah remained an important part of the attack play, drifting in from the left wing to help create chances & thread through balls for the strikers.

WHAT DO THE NUMBERS TELL US?

Value of Chances

xG Timeline:

At this stage Turkey had been eliminated from the competition, and in the unlikely event that Denmark would go through they required a large swing in goal difference. This therefore created a freedom in the game that would see 35 attacks on goal (19 for Denmark & 16 for Turkey). Both sides traded punches consistently for the duration of the match, with Denmark’s chance quality being the differentiating factor.

Chance Creation:

It was yet another disappointing return for Turkey, registering 0.90 expected goals from 16 attacks, none of which categorized as a “big chance” (Opta def: A situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score). While they had less of the ball to work with in the match, when they did enter the final third they resorted to many snap shots & showed little creativity to fashion a more valuable attempt on goal.

Denmark would create 7 big chances during the match, a feat that could well go unrivalled throughout the tournament. So while they will be happy with both the result and performance, given the circumstances, there is however a case to say this scoreline could have ended up far higher.

Type of Chances Created

Denmark showed a nice variety of attack creation in the match, both in the patterns of play that attacks were generated from, but also from which parts of the field they originated. The system they use naturally favors central players, but we see from the size of the marks (which are sized by the value of the eventual attack) that the attacks created in the central area brought about a positive outcome. When breaking down how the chances were created we see Denmark favored a crossing action, which again speaks to how confident they are in winning 1st balls, but also attacking the 2nd ball should it be knocked down or flicked on by an attacker.

Turkey’s attack play was very one dimensional, which was evidenced in the numbers returned. Almost all of the passes into the final third resulted in a shot on goal, which shows a lack of patience & creativity. We can see from the key pass map that they simply couldn’t get close enough to Denmark’s box to create enough penetration to break down their opponent.

Where Chances are Created

Taking into account Turkey’s attacking data, probably the best visual representation of their troubles in this match can be viewed by looking where their shots would take place. In an all too familiar story this tournament we saw lots of speculative efforts on goal from outside the box, 13 in total but 9 of which would come from open play. Turkey would record 25% of their expected goals on target, which in any situation simply isnt a recipe for success.

Denmark completely let loose in this game, and their performance in the final third underlined the quality they had at their disposal. With 13 efforts inside the box, 10 of these would come inside the golden zone (area of highest goal probability), and from this area all 3 of their goals would be scored. Denmark did well to take the chances that were presented to them, even considering how regularly they would come their way, but im sure that even the most modest within the group would have felt they could’ve scored more.

Who Created Chances

Brian Laudrup was undoubtedly the most influential player on the field in this match, and has been a real driving force throughout Denmark’s games at the tournament. He would score 2 goals from his 4 attacks in the match, which was made more impressive by their (0.53 expected goals value). He would also create 2 attacks for his teammates to round off a terrific display.

Through sheer force of persistence alone Hami Mandirali was Turkey’s most active statistical performer. His 6 attacks would only bring 1 effort on target, returning an expected goals total of 0.32 (Translated this shows he had a 32% chance of scoring given the opportunities he was presented with).

Match Predictor

Using our very own Retro Football Analysis Match Simulator, we use the probability rating of each attack to calculate the odds of the matches outcome. Here are the results we got back.

Out verdict:

The predictor returning the outcome that I would have expected in this scenario, I guess my biggest surprise is how Turkey managed to break double figures.

Why not check out the Full Match Report from this match? CLICK HERE to do so.

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