The Night Owl Effect in the Premier League


  • Daragh O'Leary University College Cork



Football, English Premier League, Fair competitive structure, Performance analysis, Home advantage


A novel dataset of all the fixtures in the English Premier League’s 2021/2022 season is used to analyse the impact which kick-off time has on home advantage. Results show that late kickoffs significantly increase home advantage. During late kick-offs, home teams are significantly more likely to win fixtures and win fixtures by greater margins compared to early kick-offs. Furthermore, away teams are significantly less likely to keep clean sheets in middle-of-the-day and late kick-offs compared to early kick-offs. The night owl effect is proposed as a term to refer to this finding where late kick-offs facilitate increased home advantage.


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