If you want to place a bet on a football match then one of the things that you might consider is opting for something such as Both Teams To Score. This is a wager that depends on both of the sides taking part in a football match getting on the scoresheet, which means that there is no clean sheet involved in the game. It might seem like one side is always getting a ‘nil’ next to their name, but a quick look at the likes of the Golden Glove award will prove that that isn’t the case. Petr Cech is the Premier League’s most successful goalkeeper on that front, earning 202 clean sheets during his career.
That was across 443 matches, which means that more than 50% of his games saw him concede at least one goal. The next highest number of clean sheets belongs to David James, who enjoyed 169 shut-outs during a career that spanned 572 appearances. In other words, clean sheets aren’t easy to come by, which is why it’s often tricky to place a bet concerning them and have any sort of confidence that it’s going to pay off. The question is, how often do football matches end with at least one of the sides taking part scoring no goals even if the other team scores multiple times?
Quick Answer: How Many Football Matches Have Clean Sheets?
Between 2017-18 and 2021-22, 949 games out of 1900 (49.9%) in the Premier League finished with at least one team keeping a clean sheet. This was 1375/2760 (49.8%) in the Championship and 955/1900 (50.3%) in La Liga across the same five seasons.
In the Premier League, Championship and La Liga, the most common scoreline where a game was won to nil was 1-0, followed by 2-0.
Looking at the Premier League
When it comes to attacking football, the Premier League is one of the best divisions in the world. Over the years, players such as Mohamed Salah, Robbie Fowler and Sergio Agüero have plied their trade in the English top-flight, seemingly scoring goals for fun. When we look back at give seasons’ worth of data, starting with the 2017-2018 campaign and going forward from there to the 2021-2022 season, we can soon see whether any sort of pattern develops in terms of the number of times that teams manage to make it through a match without conceding a goal.
Across the 1,900 games that we’ve looked at, there were 949 matches in at least one of the teams finished the game with a clean sheet. That is 49.94% of matches, which is pretty much 50% of the time. In other words, if you’re thinking of betting on the Both Teams To Score market, as an example, then you’ll be right to say no about as often as you would be to say yes. There are also other markets that you can use this data for, such as Correct Score, where at least one team will have a ‘0’ in their scoreline just shy of 50% of the time.
Most Common Scorelines
Knowing that a team is likely to keep a clean sheet around 50% of the time is one thing, but knowing what the most popular scoreline is is something else entirely. That is one of those things that would help you with a bet such as Correct Score, if you have a sense of how often the likes of 0-0 is going to come up. In order to figure that out, we’ll have a look at the popularity of such scorelines across our five seasons in question.
The most popular scoreline involving a clean sheet, then, is 1-0, either to the home side or the away team. In terms of the breakdown, the home side won 1-0 on 176 of the 313 occasions that it happened during the period of time that we’ve looked at, which works out as being 56.23% of the 1-0 wins were for the team playing at home. If you’re thinking of placing a Correct Score bet, therefore, then doing it on a 1-0 win to the team playing at home will have won you your bet 176 times out of the 1,900 matches that we’ve looked at, or 9.26% of the time.
How Do Things Work in the Championship?
The reality of life in the Championship is that it is mostly populated with players that either weren’t good enough to make it in the Premier League or haven’t had a chance to prove it yet. Oftentimes they will be young players who are playing there to gain some experience before either being bought by a top-flight side, gaining promotion with their club or else because they were on loan and will be returning to their parent club at some point. Here is how the games with clean sheets work out across the same five seasons that we looked at for the Premier League:
Across the course of the 2,760 games that took place during the five seasons that we’re looking at, there were 1,375 matches in which at least one of the teams concerned managed to keep a clean sheet. That works out as 49.81% of the games, which is only slightly lower than the 49.94% of times that a clean sheet was kept in the Premier League. It is suggestive of it being about the same in football, that at least one team will fail to score in around half of all matches played.
Most Common Scorelines
As with the Premier League, it is helpful to be able to look at how many times a particular scoreline involve at least one team failing to score tends to occur during a season. Here is a look at all of the scorelines that have occurred with at least one of the teams concerned keeping a clean sheet, breaking it down by season:
When it comes to life in the Championship, it isn’t all that different to the Premier League in the sense that the most common scoreline for matches in which at least one of the teams involved gets a clean sheet is 1-0, either to the home or the away side, with that occurring 546 times. Given that fact that there were 2,760 games played during the five years in question, that means that 19.78% of them ended up with a single goal being scored. In terms of the breakdown, 301 of them went the way of the home team, with the other 245 being a 1-0 away win. That means 8.87% of all games finished as 1-0 wins for the team playing at home.
As well as looking at the divisions in the United Kingdom, it is also worth having a quick look across the continent at a league in Europe. In that case, we’ve chosen to look at La Liga thanks to its similarity with the Premier League. How do matches in Spain work out when it comes to clean sheets being kept by at least one of the sides involved? Here is a look at the same five seasons that we’ve been looking at so far:
Over the course of five seasons and 1,900 games, there were 955 games that ended with at least one team recording a clean sheet. That is 50.26% of the matches played, which is higher than both the Premier League and the Championship but still close enough to mean that our theory that about half of all matches will end with at least one team failing to score.
Most Common Scorelines
Having looked at the most common scoreline in which at least one of the teams gets a clean sheet for both the Premier League and the Championship, it is only right that we do the same thing for La Liga. We will look at the same scores that we looked at for the other two divisions even though, as you’ll see, higher scores are far less common in Spain’s top-flight:
The first thing to note about La Liga is that it is in-line with both the Premier League and the Championship in terms of 1-0 being by far the most common scoreline on occasions when at least one of the teams concerned didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet. It occurred 370 times, which is 19.47% of the games played. In terms of how it broke down, 218 of those 1-0 wins went in favour of the home team, which was 58.91% of the time. In other words, of all the games played across our five seasons, 11.47% of them finished as a 1-0 win to the team playing at home.
The other point that is worth mentioning about Spain in comparison to the English leagues is that 6-0 was the highest scoreline involving a clean sheet at any point during our five chosen seasons. That doesn’t mean that a match in Spain has never finished 8-0, for example, but if you were thinking of having a bet on it then big scorelines to nil are perhaps ones to avoid.