2.1.1 The English Premier League
Association football, also commonly known as soccer in America, is undoubtedly the best sport in the world. Often referred to as the king of sport, football can be played almost anywhere, from grass fields to indoor gyms, streets, parks, or beaches, due to the simplicity in its principal rules and essential equipment. Europe is known to be the birthplace of modern football, and the European soccer culture is unlike any other. The Old Continent is home to numerous top-level professional football leagues, and the English Premier League (EPL) is certainly the best of them all, because of its competition quality, overall balance, and popularity. Some of the best football coaches and players in the world come together to compete for the prestigious Premier League trophy.
The EPL was founded in 1992, and over the last three decades, we have witnessed numerous memorable matches and countless outstanding performances by clubs and their players. The EPL is currently a competition of twenty English football clubs. At the end of each season, the bottom three teams get relegated to the second-highest division of English football, in exchange for three promoted teams. A Premier League season usually takes place from mid-August to mid-May. Each team gets to play every other team twice, once at home and once on the road, hence there are a total of thirty-eight fixtures in a season for each team.
2.1.2 Goal Scoring in Football
The most important aspect of the game of football is indisputably scoring goals. Despite the importance of other factors like ball possessing or disciplined defending, we have to admit that the main reason we pay to watch soccer is to see the ball being put in the back of the net. The rule is very simple: in order to win, you must score more than your opponent. In the Premier League, each match happens within the span of 90 minutes (plus stoppage time), and the match consists of two 45-minutes halves. Each team can get one of these three results after each match: a win, a draw, or a loss. If there’s a draw, the two clubs receive a point apiece, and for non-drawing matches, the winner is rewarded with three points and the losing team gets punished with zero points. Thus the club with the most points at the end of the year will have their hands on the exquisite EPL trophy, and the total points also determines the fates of teams in the relegation zone. This makes every single match so critical, as losing one tiny single point could end up costing a team’s chance of winning a title or remaining in the top tier soccer league in England.
2.2 Report Overview
The structure of this report will be based off of the above diagram of Data Science. Before any analysis, data is first imported from data files and stored in R data frames. Then data cleaning and preparing take place, which then allow us to manipulate, model and produce different visualizations during the process of analysis. After that we must communicate the insights gained from data. Programming is utilized in every step of the data science process, which improves the efficiency of data problem-solving.