Leicester play higher percentage of long balls than most teams in Europe

Wes Morgan of Leicester City controls the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between A.F.C. Bournemouth

Leicester have done things differently to Europe's top clubs all season and now a detailed study reveals just how much their direct style contrasts with the continent's leading teams.

The CIES Football Observatory has revealed only two teams in Europe's top five leagues play more long balls than the Premier League leaders.

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While just three per cent of passes from the best-performing teams in the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 are long, this figure is almost seven per cent for Leicester.

Out of 98 clubs in those divisions, only German sides Darmstadt (10.7 per cent) and Ingolstadt (7.8 per cent) play a higher percentage of long balls.

In terms of total long balls, La Liga's Deportivo La Coruna have played the most (851), just two more than Leicester.

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In contrast, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich (both 1.1 per cent), Barcelona (1.4 per cent), Juventus (1.6 per cent) and Manchester City (2.4 per cent) have a very different style and rarely play directly.

Bayern Munich have played just 246 long balls in total all season in the Bundesliga.

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In terms of leagues, 4.6 per cent of passes in the German Bundesliga are categorised as long balls, while in Italy's Serie A the figure is just 3.8 per cent.

David Silva of Manchester City and Nathan Redmond of Norwich City compete for the ball
Image: While almost seven per cent of Leicester's passes are long balls, the figure for Manchester City is just 2.4 per cent

The Premier League and La Liga stand at 4.4 per cent, slightly more than France's Ligue 1 (4.1 per cent).

All the data is available in issue number 146 of the CIES Football Observatory Big-5 Weekly Post.

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