For the second time in its 10 year history, the Hyundai A-League Grand Final will see Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC face off for Australian football’s ultimate prize -the Hyundai A- League Championship.

Source: Youtube/Fox Sports Australia

At 4pm Sunday, crowds of excited fans will gather at AAMI Park Victoria to watch Melbourne Victory play host to Sydney FC in the 2015 Hyundai A-League Grand Final. Both teams have had a successful season, won their Semi Finals convincingly, and it promises to be an action-packed grand final match for supporters.

Despite the excitement, statistics show the ‘home ground advantage’ is having little influence over teams – nationally and internationally.

A specialist in Australian Football figures, Andrew Howe is a statistical analyst who (in an article for the Guardian) suggests teams are “unlikely to benefit from playing on their own turf.”

“Home ground advantage has been turned on its head for several clubs over the past seven months or so,” he said.

Mr Howe said statistics have been unusual for this 2014-15 Hyundai A-League season in particular.

“Grand finalists Sydney FC lost five games during the regular season – all of those defeats came at home. Outgoing champions Brisbane Roar scored fewer and conceded more goals at Suncorp than at all other venues combined. Even the Newcastle Jets won twice as many games away than they did at home,” he said.

Mr Howe attributed the decline in benefit to modern preparation rituals for ‘away’ teams and the performance of match officials.

“More than likely it’s (the decline) from better preparation for away teams in the modern era, including more comfortable travelling and accommodation environments than in previous years.,” he said.

“Another theory is, a more balanced performance of match officials – being less swayed by the home crowd in their decision-making (consciously or otherwise) compared with referees of the past,” he said.

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