Players’ Performance During Worst-Case Scenarios In Professional Soccer Matches: A Systematic Review

Rico-González M., Oliveira R., Palucci Vieira L.H., Pino-Ortega J., Clemente F.M.

Since the analysis of worst-case scenarios (WCS) has been increasing knowledge about match demands and possible impacts for the training process, it seems important to summarize the evidence to provide useful information for the soccer community. Thus, the purpose of this systematic review was to summarize the evidence about WCS in professional soccer.

A systematic review of PubMed, SPORTDiscus, and FECYT (Web of Sciences, CCC, DIIDW, KJD, MEDLINE, RSCI, and SCIELO) was performed according to the guidelines for performing systematic reviews in sport science. From the 85 studies initially identified, 12 were fully reviewed, and their outcome measures were extracted and analyzed.

There was an inverse relationship between the duration of WCS windows and running output during match play. Occurrences of WCS during soccer matches were also position-dependent across studies, at least, when analyzing performance with the total distance covered variable, although different outputs were identified between women and men players.

Future research should consider analyzing the impact of contextual variables (match status, team formation, and match location) on peak match values and the weight of these moderators.

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