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Statiscal Analysis: Which team has the worst injury record in La Liga?


Luke Glassford provides us with a statistical look at the injuries suffered by various La Liga teams over the past 5 seasons.


We all know the feeling when an important player is injured and forced to spend a prolonged period on the sidelines. Injuries have the potential to ruin not just an individual player’s season, but also the hopes of their team and supporters.

As injuries can have such a huge effect on a club’s prospects, we decided to take a closer look at the injury records of La Liga teams. To do so, we looked at all the injuries reported for each of the 10 teams that have been ever-presents in La Liga over the past five seasons: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao, Malaga, Real Sociedad, Espanyol and Celta Vigo.

First, let’s take a look at the spread of injuries across all of these teams over the past five seasons.

As we can see, there is a very clear pattern over the past five seasons of La Liga teams suffering more and more injuries. During the 2012/13 season there were only 75 player injuries – a figure which jumped to 334 in 2016/17.

Season No. of injuries
2012/13 75
2013/14 137
2014/15 180
2015/16 253
2016/17 334

 

The amount of injuries is one thing, but what about how serious each injury is? We took a look at each individual injury and tracked how many games they made the player miss.

Here’s how many games were missed due to injury across all 10 La Liga teams over the past five seasons:

The pattern for games missed shows that the last two seasons (2015/16 and 2016/17) have seen a lot more games missed by players due to injury than the preceding three seasons.

Season Games missed
2012/13 366
2013/14 611
2014/15 668
2015/16 1066
2016/17 1252

Now let’s look at the total amount of injuries for each team over the past five seasons:

In terms of the amount of injuries, Celta Vigo have the best injury record over the past five La Liga seasons with just 57 injuries. In contrast, Real Madrid have had the most amount of different injuries with 130 – that’s an average of 26 injuries each season.

Team Amount of injuries
Real Madrid 130
Barcelona 123
Atletico Madrid 83
Valencia 92
Sevilla 120
Athletic Bilbao 104
Malaga 118
Real Sociedad 82
Espanyol 72
Celta Vigo 57

What about the severity of the injuries affecting each club though? Here’s the amount of games missed through injury for each La Liga club over the past five seasons:

Real Madrid may have had the most injuries, but when it comes to games missed through injuries Sevilla have the worst record. Their players missed a total of 612 games over the past five seasons because of injury.

Espanyol have the best record here, registering just 258 games missed because of injury.

Team Amount of injuries
Real Madrid 413
Barcelona 451
Atletico Madrid 297
Valencia 306
Sevilla 612
Athletic Bilbao 355
Malaga 497
Real Sociedad 449
Espanyol 258
Celta Vigo 325

Thanks to CL Legal for help with researching this article.

Luke Glassford

Luke Glassford

Luke Glassford is a Spurs fan living in Leicester (the 2015/16 season was fun!) who ranks Glenn Hoddle, Paul Gascoigne, Teddy Sheringham, Jurgen Klinsmann and Harry Kane amongst his many footballing heroes.
Luke Glassford

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