FSI Football Science Update


External and internal training load comparison between sided-game drills in professional soccer.

Beato M, de Keijzer KL, Costin AJ.

Front Sports Act Living. 2023 Apr 4;5:1150461. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2023.1150461. eCollection 2023.

This study with 24 male professional soccer players of the same club analyzed 7 training drills categorized as large-sided games (LSG): 10vs10 (84 × 60 m or 72 × 60 m), Hexagon possession 9vs9 + 3 (36 × 48 m), Possession gate 8vs8 + 2 (36 × 44 m), Possession 7vs7 + 3 (30 × 32 m) or as Small-sided games (SSG): 6vs6 (48 × 42 m), and Possession 6vs4 (30 × 60 m) found that sided-games can replicate and sometimes exceed some match-specific intensity parameters, however, HSR and sprinting were consistently lower compared to official matches.


Comparison of the neuromuscular response to three different Turkish, semi-professional football training sessions typically used within the tactical periodization training model.

Garrett JM, Leduc C, Akyildiz Z, van den Hoek DJ, Clemente FM, Yildiz M, Nobari H.

Sci Rep. 2023 Apr 20;13(1):6467. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-33630-0.

This study examined the neuromuscular responses to 3 typical football training sessions and found that peak speed (PS) measured during a submaximal running test (SRT) before and after each training session was shown to be a viable measure of monitoring neuromuscular fatigue status.


The influence of ball in/out of play and possession in elite soccer: Towards a more valid measure of physical intensity during competitive match-play.

Jerome BWC, Stoeckl M, Mackriell B, Seidl T, Dawson CW, Fong DTP, Folland JP.

Eur J Sport Sci. 2023 Apr 20:1-23. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2023.2203120. Online ahead of print.

This study in 1083 matches from a major European league found that the rate of distance covered, an index of physical intensity, was >2-fold greater during ball in play than out of play. Thus, whole match physical metrics underestimated the physical intensity during ball in play. Ball possession markedly effected physical intensity, with the rates of distance covered running (+31%), at high-speed (+30%) and in total (+7%) greater out than in possession.


Tier-specific contextualised high-intensity running profiles in the English Premier League: more on-ball movement at the top.

Ju W, Hawkins R, Doran D, Gómez-Díaz A, Martín-García A, Evans M, Laws A, Bradley APS.

Biol Sport. 2023 Apr;40(2):561-573. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2023.118020. Epub 2022 Jul 21.

This study on physical-tactical data of 50 English Premier League matches found that 1st-5th ranking teams covered 39-51% more high-intensity distance for ‘Move to Receive/Exploit Space’ and ‘Run with Ball’, and 23-94% more distance for ‘Over/Underlap’, ‘Run in Behind/Penetrate’, and ‘Break into Box’. Central and Wide Defensive Players in these teams covered 65-551% more high-intensity ‘Move to Receive/Exploit Space’ distance.


Recovery time variation during sprint interval training impacts amateur soccer players adaptations – a pilot study.

Diker G, Darendeli A, Chamari K, Dellal A, Müniroğlu S, Ön S, Özkamçı H.

Biol Sport. 2023 Apr;40(2):417-424. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2023.116008. Epub 2022 Jun 1.

This study in 23 amateur soccer players compared 2 different running-based sprint interval training protocols: 30-s all-out running, 6-10 repetition either with 150 s recovery intervals or 30 s, respectively. Both protocols were shown to improve Yo-YoIRT1, Yo-YoIRT2 and VO2max performance, nevertheless, the one with 150s recovery was more efficient in improving the Yo-YoIRT1 and Yo-YoIRT2 than the one with 30s recovery.


Predictors of linear sprint performance in professional football players.

Barrera J, Figueiredo AJ, Duarte J, Field A, Sarmento H.

Biol Sport. 2023 Apr;40(2):359-364. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2023.114289. Epub 2022 Jun 1.

This study in 33 professional Portuguese football players found correlations between isokinetic concentric knee extensors and flexors peak torque at 180°·s-1 velocity with 10m linear sprint time, and between SJ, CMJ and isokinetic knee extensors peak torque at 180°·s-1 with 20 and 30 m sprint times.


Mechanisms of ACL injuries in men’s football: A systematic video analysis over six seasons in the Qatari professional league.

Rekik RN, Bahr R, Cruz F, Read P, Whiteley R, D’Hooghe P, Tabben M, Chamari K.

Biol Sport. 2023 Apr;40(2):575-586. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2023.118024. Epub 2022 Jul 21.

This study assessed the mechanisms of 15 ACL injuries in male professional football players in Qatar across 6 seasons using systematic video analysis. A knee valgus mechanism was observed in two-thirds of the cases. Non-contact/ indirect contact 4 main situations were observed: pressing (n = 6), tackling or being tackled (n = 4), blocking (n = 3) and screening (n = 2). Contact injuries represented only 20% of ACL injuries and were suffered by 2 players during tackling and 1 whilst being tackled.