Bundesliga – Bayer Leverkusen showing early

It’s still early days in the Bundesliga, but like the English Premier League, early starts do have value – and three points dropped now is no different than three points dropped two months from now.

So what’s the value of an Index after just two weeks?  Well it does provide a reasonable place to begin tracking trends as each month passes by.

For now the early leader in overall team performance is Bayer Leverkusen, and while I’m not tracking the Champions League, yet, their early form in qualifying, and in the Bundesliga, should concern Bayern Munich.

So how do the teams look so far (excluding the league table)?


Not really enough information yet to separate the cream from the milk.

And sadly, since this is my first ever dig into the Bundesliga I have no recall about previous years; that’s probably a weakness as the season starts but I’m inclined to believe my lack of historical knowledge on the league may add some objective value on how things begin to play out later this year.

For now know that the Composite Possession with Purpose Index has an R2 of .57 to the League Table, compared to the CPWP Index in the EPL – which has an R2 of .79 and the CPWP Index for La Liga – which has an R2 of .65.

Finally, and perhaps more relative from a statistical standpoint the R2 for the Major League Soccer CPWP Index is .79

All told that’s pretty reasonable.

In looking at the Attacking PWP, so far, here’s the teams operating at peak performance in attack (left side) versus those who have an early season challenge:


With Bayer Leverkusen being top of the CPWP it’s no surprise they are near top here as well as Defending PWP.

What I’d like to point out is Hertha – here they are fourth best in overall APWP – yet they fifth worst in CPWP – it’s probably fair to say that if their defending team performance can improve they should actually do well in the league…???  Others who follow Hertha might know better.

Defending PWP Index:


As noted, Hertha are bottom of the league in team defending performance – also note Borussia Dortmund are far down this scale as well…  

Before closing – in Major League Soccer a soundbite that seems to have more value than possession percentage is overall Passing Accuracy – that league averages 77.10% in Passing Accuracy, and the winning teams are those who most often exceed that average.

For comparison, here’s the early season numbers for the Bundesliga:

PASSING ACCURACY 2014 WEEK 2 BUNDESLIGAThe average Passing Accuracy is 73.98% – I’m somewhat surprised by that – a major difference in this league is that there are five teams that exceed 80% in Passing Accuracy and only two teams in MLS that exceed 80%.

Of additional note – in MLS the high percent is 81.26% and the low percent is 72.92% – for the Bundesliga the high percent is 84.86% – while the low percent is 63.13%.

Without any other information I’d offer the level of competition, as a whole, is more equal in MLS than in the Bundesliga.

In Closing:

This should be an interesting year and I’m looking forward to the comparisons I’ll be able to offer between leagues separated by that big pond called the Atlantic.

In case you missed it here’s the latest on the English Premier League where Chelsea are showing early, as are Swansea City and Aston Villa.

If you’re not familiar with Possession with Purpose read here:

All for now, best, Chris

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