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Statistical Analysis: Which team has the worst injury record in the Bundesliga?

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

Injuries can strike players at any time, and have the potential to severely hamper their development. Football injuries can also wreak havoc with a club’s plans and tactics, affecting league positions and hindering the hunt for silverware.

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 teams in the Bundesliga. To do so, we looked at all the injuries reported for each of the 12 teams that have been ever-present in Germany’s top division over the past five seasons: Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, Wolfsburg, Bayer Leverkusen, Hamburg, Hoffenheim, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Werder Bremen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Mainz, and Augsburg.

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, the number of injuries suffered by Bundesliga teams is quite consistent season-by-season. The lowest number occurred during the 2012/13 season – 343, and the most occurred in the 2016/17 season – 455.

The amount of injuries is one thing, but what about how serious each injury is? There are some injuries on record that have been treated with an operation and recuperation, whereas others have been treated purely with pain killers and other substances that help reduce pain such as CBD flower and other cannabis products. We took a look at each individual injury and tracked how many games each player was ruled out of because of it. Some players were even taken to urgent care to get the treatment as soon as possible. And it takes a while for injured players to get into their best physical form.

Here’s how many games were missed due to injury across all 12 Bundesliga teams over the past five seasons:

The pattern for games missed largely follows that of the total injuries, in that it has stayed fairly consistent over the past five seasons. Interestingly, despite the highest number of injuries happening in the 2016/17 season, the most games missed due to injury was in the 2014/15 season.

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, Hoffenheim have the best injury record over the past five Bundesliga seasons with just 99 injuries. In contrast, Borussia Dortmund have had the most with 237, which is perhaps a bit unsurprising given their brand of football under certain managers.

And what about the severity of the injuries affecting each club? Here’s the amount of games missed through injury for each Bundesliga club over the past five seasons:

Dortmund may have had the most injuries overall, but when it comes to games missed through injuries, Werder Bremen have the worst record; their players missed a total of 928 games over the past five seasons due to being laid up on the treatment table. Something has to be causing the sheer amount of injuries these clubs are reporting and the management itself may be a cause. If this was America the players for those clubs would surely be reaching for a personal injury lawyer Visalia. But this is Germany so at most all we will getis a few matches without our favourite players.

It is also again worth noting that Hoffenheim have the best record in this area, registering just 445 games missed because of injury over the five season span. Such a finding could support their endeavors of establishing themselves as a yearly combatant in Europe, where teams expecting to make a run in the knockout stages have a much easier time doing so when the first-team isn’t struggling for fitness.

First-team quality does play a factor, though. Bayern suffered the third-most injuries overall (198), while their players compiled the sixth-most total matches missed (743). Yet still, Bayern remain the dominant force in the Bundesliga, given their impressive depth in the first-team, making it easier for them to deal with potential selection problems as the season progresses.

Our special thanks to CL Legal for their assistance in researching this article.

Luke Glassford

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