DATA DEPENDENT: Which formations were the most successful in the 2022 World Cup?

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It’s been a pretty special World Cup so far. It started slow with lots of goalless or low-scoring games but once the tournament found its feet, it made for compelling viewing. The teams stacked up in numerous ways to suit their personnel, situations, and footballing philosophy. Set-up is where it all starts. Even if a team has the best players, setting them up wrong will negate most of their talents. Get it right, a smaller team can punch way above its weight. 

We’ve compiled data that reflects what teams played certain formations and how effective they were from an offensive standpoint. The most common formation was the very balanced 4-2-3-1 and right behind that is the fundamentally sound 4-4-2. Take a look at how teams performed when they changed formation. We’ve added charts to make parsing through the data a little easier.


3-4-1-2

SHOTS

TeamTotalOutOfBoxSixYardBox
Netherlands8.230.6
Serbia1211

GOALS

TeamTotalSixYardBoxPenaltyArea
Netherlands20.21.6
Serbia202

PASSES

TeamTotalAccLBInAccLBAccSPInAccSP
Netherlands539.623.623.8431.860.4
Serbia466213134272

KEY PASSES

TeamTotalLongShort
1. Netherlands6.41.45
2. Serbia1129

ASSISTS

TeamCrossCornerThroughballThrowinTotal
1. Netherlands0.60001.6
2. Serbia10001

POSSESSION LOSS

TeamUnsuccessfulTouchesDispossessed
1. Netherlands14.48.6
2. Serbia146


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3-4-2-1

SHOTS

TeamTotalOutOfBoxSixYardBoxPenaltyArea
Belgium9306
Costa Rica4301
Tunisia10.7406.7
Denmark10505
Serbia10406
Ecuador15519
Canada224018

GOALS

TeamTotalSixYardBoxPenaltyAreaOutOfBox
Belgium1010
Costa Rica1010
Tunisia0.300.30
Denmark1010
Serbia1.5010.5
Ecuador1100
Canada0000

PASSES

TeamTotalAccLBInAccLBAccSPInAccSP
Belgium520253440754
Costa Rica443254432846
Tunisia394.32338277.356
Denmark528332142351
Serbia454.519.528.534858.5
Ecuador413193530950
Canada429212833248

KEY PASSES

TeamTotalLongShort
Belgium826
Costa Rica202
Tunisia7.30.76.7
Denmark716
Serbia716
Ecuador927
Canada18315

ASSISTS

TeamCrossCornerThroughballFreekickThrowinOtherTotal
Belgium0010001
Costa Rica0000011
Tunisia000000.30.3
Denmark0000011
Serbia0000.5011.5
Ecuador0000000
Canada0000000

POSSESSION LOSS

TeamUnsuccessfulTouchesDispossessed
Belgium169
Costa Rica1313
Tunisia17.316.3
Denmark1510
Serbia17.58
Ecuador2015
Canada188

3-4-3

SHOTS

TeamTotalOutOfBoxSixYardBoxPenaltyArea
Japan7.540.53

GOALS

TeamTotalSixYardBoxPenaltyAreaOutOfBox
Japan1.50.50.50.5

PASSES

TeamTotalAccLBInAccLBAccSPInAccSP
Japan310.517.529.521449.5

KEY PASSES

TeamTotalLongShort
Japan606

ASSISTS

TeamCrossCornerThroughballFreekickThrowinOtherTotal
Japan000001.51.5

POSSESSION LOSS

TeamUnsuccessfulTouchesDispossessed
Japan167.5

3-5-1-1

NOTHING TO SEE HERE.


3-5-2

SHOTS

TeamTotalOutOfBoxSixYardBoxPenaltyArea
Denmark11443
Wales8.5314.5
Uruguay11416

GOALS

TeamTotalSixYardBoxPenaltyAreaOutOfBox
Denmark0000
Wales0.500.50
Uruguay0000

PASSES

TeamTotalAccLBInAccLBAccSPInAccSP
Denmark595353246662
Wales4523933.531069.5
Uruguay403153128077

KEY PASSES

TeamTotalLongShort
Denmark1046
Wales6.51.55
Uruguay10010

ASSISTS

TeamCrossCornerThroughballFreekickThrowinOtherTotal
Denmark0000000
Wales0000000
Uruguay0000000

POSSESSION LOSS

TeamUnsuccessfulTouchesDispossessed
Denmark1612
Wales16.59.5
Uruguay198

4-1-2-1-2

SHOTS

TeamTotalOutOfBoxSixYardBoxPenaltyArea
Portugal151104

GOALS

TeamTotalSixYardBoxPenaltyAreaOutOfBox
Portugal2011

PASSES

TeamTotalAccLBInAccLBAccSPInAccSP
Portugal603283447368

KEY PASSES

TeamTotalLongShort
Portugal11011

ASSISTS

TeamCrossCornerThroughballFreekickThrowinOtherTotal
Portugal0000011

POSSESSION LOSS

TeamUnsuccessfulTouchesDispossessed
Portugal148

4-1-4-1

SHOTS

TeamTotalOutOfBoxSixYardBoxPenaltyArea
Poland9216
Saudi Arabia9.53.515
Australia4211

GOALS

TeamTotalSixYardBoxPenaltyAreaOutOfBox
Poland0.500.50
Saudi Arabia1010
Australia1100

PASSES

TeamTotalAccLBInAccLBAccSPInAccSP
Poland3892136281.550.5
Saudi Arabia401.521.527.529755.5
Australia440203034842

KEY PASSES

TeamTotalLongShort
Poland5.514.5
Saudi Arabia5.50.55
Australia202

ASSISTS

TeamCrossCornerThroughballFreekickThrowinOtherTotal
Poland0000000
Saudi Arabia000000.50.5
Australia0000011

POSSESSION LOSS

TeamUnsuccessfulTouchesDispossessed
Poland15.56.5
Saudi Arabia20.58
Australia1214

4-2-2-2

NOTHING TO SEE HERE.


4-2-3-1

SHOTS

TeamTotalOutOfBoxSixYardBoxPenaltyArea
France174.5210.5
Cameroon7205
England10.52.508
Mexico261628
Brazil19.36.51.311.5
Germany2372.713.3
Ghana8.531.54
South Korea14.55.518
Switzerland92.715.3
Japan12.53.51.57.5
Belgium1342.56.5
Senegal135.70.76.7
Wales7601

GOALS

TeamTotalSixYardBoxPenaltyAreaOutOfBox
France2.811.50.3
Cameroon1010
England3030
Mexico2101
Brazil1.50.31.30
Germany20.31.70
Ghana1.50.510
South Korea10.50.50
Switzerland1.30.310
Japan10.50.50
Belgium0000
Senegal0.70.30.30
Wales0000

PASSES

TeamTotalAccLBInAccLBAccSP
France535.526.524435.8
Cameroon2992822203
England6694020554
Mexico4262737293
Brazil567.818.813.5482.5
Germany609.326.317505.3
Ghana37616.529282.5
South Korea4733330.5357.5
Switzerland470.32626.3359
Japan425.52029.5327.5
Belgium622.528.520520.5
Senegal34023.731.7237.3
Wales3293130226

KEY PASSES

TeamTotalLongShort
France14.33.311
Cameroon725
England826
Mexico15312
Brazil13.80.813
Germany17.31.715.7
Ghana615
South Korea11.52.59
Switzerland716
Japan817
Belgium10.528.5
Senegal8.71.77
Wales514

ASSISTS

TeamCrossCornerThroughballFreekickThrowinOtherTotal
France1.300.3001.32.8
Cameroon1000001
England1000023
Mexico0000011
Brazil000.3000.81
Germany0.7000011.7
Ghana0.500000.51
South Korea1000001
Switzerland000001.31.3
Japan0000.5000.5
Belgium0000000
Senegal0000000
Wales0000000

POSSESSION LOSS

TeamUnsuccessfulTouchesDispossessed
France11.59.8
Cameroon1310
England12.56
Mexico2211
Brazil15.811.8
Germany14.713.7
Ghana1611
South Korea13.58
Switzerland15.311.3
Japan139.5
Belgium15.57.5
Senegal1411
Wales122

4-3-2-1

NOTHING TO SEE HERE.


4-3-3

SHOTS

TeamTotalOutOfBoxSixYardBoxPenaltyArea
Iran211407
England144.31.78
Argentina18.53015.5
Brazil13319
South Korea13616
Mexico11416
Croatia9.43.80.65
Spain10.840.86
Morocco7.43.60.43.4
Uruguay10406
Portugal12.84.51.56.8
France10514
Cameroon10.52.526
USA11.741.76
Denmark132011
Ecuador9315

GOALS

TeamTotalSixYardBoxPenaltyAreaOutOfBox
Iran2011
England2.30.31.70.3
Argentina2020
Brazil1010
South Korea2110
Mexico0000
Croatia100.80.2
Spain2.30.51.80
Morocco10.20.60.2
Uruguay0000
Portugal2.50.81.80
France0000
Cameroon1.50.510
USA10.70.30
Denmark0000
Ecuador1100

PASSES

TeamTotalAccLBInAccLBAccSPInAccSP
Iran298224617555
England5622719.7463.352
Argentina781.5191868658.5
Brazil550181546552
South Korea357293825238
Mexico487252738253
Croatia546.427.218441.459.8
Spain870.836.513.3757.863.3
Morocco309.422.228217.441.8
Uruguay548393040970
Portugal57731.827466.851.5
France622222851260
Cameroon41727.535.5304.549.5
USA536.729.320.7425.761
Denmark664493849978
Ecuador434203931659

KEY PASSES

TeamTotalLongShort
Iran15114
England101.38.7
Argentina14014
Brazil11110
South Korea844
Mexico817
Croatia7.21.26
Spain8.31.56.8
Morocco5.61.83.8
Uruguay817
Portugal9.51.87.8
France725
Cameroon72.54.5
USA9.31.38
Denmark1028
Ecuador716

ASSISTS

TeamCrossCornerThroughballFreekickThrowinOtherTotal
Iran0000011
England0.300001.31.7
Argentina0.5000011.5
Brazil0000011
South Korea0010001
Mexico0000000
Croatia0.400.2000.41
Spain0.500.3000.51.3
Morocco0.400.20.200.20.8
Uruguay0000000
Portugal0.30.30.3001.52
France0000000
Cameroon000.5000.51
USA000.3000.71
Denmark0000000
Ecuador0000011

POSSESSION LOSS

TeamUnsuccessfulTouchesDispossessed
Iran124
England11.35.7
Argentina13.58
Brazil209
South Korea93
Mexico1611
Croatia14.68
Spain1610
Morocco16.66
Uruguay135
Portugal14.35.5
France2315
Cameroon137
USA19.312.7
Denmark193
Ecuador286

4-4-1-1

SHOTS

TeamTotalOutOfBoxSixYardBoxPenaltyArea
Iran4112
Canada5122

GOALS

TeamTotalSixYardBoxPenaltyAreaOutOfBox
Iran0000
Canada1000

PASSES

TeamTotalAccLBInAccLBAccSPInAccSP
Iran466384232363
Canada524192243449

KEY PASSES

TeamTotalLongShort
Iran413
Canada413

ASSISTS

TeamCrossCornerThroughballFreekickThrowinOtherTotal
Iran0000000
Canada0000000

POSSESSION LOSS

TeamUnsuccessfulTouchesDispossessed
Iran218
Canada1710

4-4-2

SHOTS

TeamTotalOutOfBoxSixYardBoxPenaltyArea
Uruguay12516
Ecuador6303
Senegal133010
Poland6.510.55
Argentina103.515.5
Australia7.330.34
USA10406
Saudi Arabia10316
Canada8701
South Korea8413
Costa Rica0000

GOALS

TeamTotalSixYardBoxPenaltyAreaOutOfBox
Uruguay2110
Ecuador2020
Senegal3030
Poland1010
Argentina1.5010.5
Australia100.70
USA0000
Saudi Arabia1010
Canada1010
South Korea1001
Costa Rica0000

PASSES

TeamTotalAccLBInAccLBAccSPInAccSP
Uruguay433272930869
Ecuador486242838846
Senegal502332539945
Poland3073035.5206.535
Argentina5621321.546463.5
Australia363.32936.3235.362.7
USA421192833341
Saudi Arabia287214714574
Canada473282437150
South Korea529271843153
Costa Rica230202714538

KEY PASSES

TeamTotalLongShort
Uruguay826
Ecuador431
Senegal1037
Poland5.51.54
Argentina7.516.5
Australia5.31.73.7
USA909
Saudi Arabia725
Canada505
South Korea523
Costa Rica000

ASSISTS

TeamCrossCornerThroughballFreekickThrowinOtherTotal
Uruguay0000011
Ecuador1000001
Senegal1100012
Poland000000.50.5
Argentina0000011
Australia000000.30.3
USA0000000
Saudi Arabia0000011
Canada1000001
South Korea0000000
Costa Rica0000000

POSSESSION LOSS

TeamUnsuccessfulTouchesDispossessed
Uruguay1914
Ecuador174
Senegal1812
Poland138.5
Argentina11.510.5
Australia16.37.3
USA177
Saudi Arabia198
Canada1712
South Korea117
Costa Rica1613

4-5-1

NOTHING TO SEE HERE.


5-3-2

SHOTS

TeamTotalOutOfBoxSixYardBoxPenaltyArea
Argentina7403
Ghana9612
Qatar6.7402.7
Mexico4301

GOALS

TeamTotalSixYardBoxPenaltyAreaOutOfBox
Argentina2020
Ghana2110
Qatar0.300.30
Mexico0000

PASSES

TeamTotalAccLBInAccLBAccSPInAccSP
Argentina396163029654
Ghana387202329549
Qatar430.728.729321.751.3
Mexico370173026756

KEY PASSES

TeamTotalLongShort
Argentina404
Ghana606
Qatar5.314.3
Mexico202

ASSISTS

TeamCrossCornerThroughballFreekickThrowinOtherTotal
Argentina0010001
Ghana0000000
Qatar0.3000000.3
Mexico0000000

POSSESSION LOSS

TeamUnsuccessfulTouchesDispossessed
Argentina109
Ghana1412
Qatar14.77.3
Mexico128

5-4-1

SHOTS

TeamTotalOutOfBoxSixYardBoxPenaltyArea
Costa Rica8233
Iran8206

GOALS

TeamTotalSixYardBoxPenaltyAreaOutOfBox
Costa Rica2200
Iran2020

PASSES

TeamTotalAccLBInAccLBAccSPInAccSP
Costa Rica337283522450
Iran215123213041

KEY PASSES

TeamTotalLongShort
Costa Rica514
Iran716

ASSISTS

TeamCrossCornerThroughballFreekickThrowinOtherTotal
Costa Rica0000000
Iran0010001

POSSESSION LOSS

TeamUnsuccessfulTouchesDispossessed
Costa Rica145
Iran57

DATA SOURCE: whoscored.com


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