There's More To "Form" Than Meets The Eye

I thought I'd knock a little blog post up about form. Some rely on it more than others, some don't rely on it at all, but we now have a lot more information at our fingertips that we can use to look a little deeper. Flashscores in particular has come a long way over the last few years and for those of us who are going about our busy day, it's a great tool to quickly look into things, but more recently has become a great tool for looking into things in more detail. There's so much more than looking at a form table and considering that a home side with WWDWW will beat an away side with LDLLD next to their name, so here's a little guide on a few other things to consider:


What is form?

Firstly, when I'm talking about form I'm talking about the little indication of how teams have played in their last X games. It's normally represtented by a series of red, amber and green boxes or W (win), L (loss) and D (draw). Its great for a quick little glance at how teams are performing in their recent games but there is much more you can do, and relatively quickly too.


Who played who...

The first thing to consider when looking at form is who played who. Sure, a team could have won three on the bounce and that's great, but if they were against three dire teams, then those three wins aren't really worth as much as three wins against better sides. With any kind of form, it's always worth having a quick glance at the individual games involved in that run, It's also worth noting the competitions that the games were played in. A league form table will always be specific to that league, but sometimes a general form table can include things like cup matches. Have a little click around and make sure you're happy that the wins or losses are actually worth considering in your analysis.


How the games were won...

A win is a win right? But if it was from a 95th minute penalty to win 1-0, you've got to consider that it's worth a little bit less than a dominant 5-0 battering of a side who are decent. Again, taking Flashscores as an example, there's always the option to drill into those results and quickly see how the games were won. By clicking around you might also notice a few trends like all of their goals coming in the 2nd half, that the team has had four penalties in their last five games or that they're opening the scoring early on. Rather than taking a WWDWD as "unbeaten in their last five", click into those results. It takes 30 seconds to quickly skip through and process the information and you might find a valuable little gem.


Injuries and absences...

Now if you are using Flashscore, one thing they added about a year ago was an update on injuries and suspensions. It's worth bearing in mind that this might not be a complete list of players, but it's still pretty decent and covers most of the top leagues. On the summary page you can quickly have a glance over players who are missing in leagues like the Bundesliga, Eredivisie and Premier League. But even in the lower leagues, you've still got access to a little bit more information than you think. When skipping through the last five games for a lesser known team, you can still see if a player was sent off and who that player was. If they were sent off, they won't be available for the game you're looking at. Maybe you might spot a star striker being subbed off in the 20th minute, if so, he's more than likely injured and that's also worth considering. If you're clicking through the games anyway, it's always worth noting these little player related trends too like goalscorers and cards, you never know what you might find.


Highlights...

A great little addition on some of the big leagues (and licensed leagues) over the last few months has been highlights on Flashcore. Even if you don't have Flashscore, you could still use Youtube, as the vast majority of leagues (not England because of our ridiculous licensing laws) are now sticking highlights of every game up on Youtube. If it's there, use it. Spend a couple of minutes watching the highlights of their last game and see how they played. If it's a reel of shot after shot after shot from your boys then its always a good sign and it's another great little tool to have in your back pocket when considering whether to back a team or not.


I know it's easy to look at a little form table and make decisions from it, but taking the extra few minutes to use all of this information which is literally sitting at your fingertips is always worth doing and will definitely improve your long term results!

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