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Unfortunately, our offsides stats table is no longer available. We encourage you to visit our football stats page, where you can explore our wide range of available stat tables.

As defined in the FA’s laws of the game, a player is considered offside if any of their body parts – except the hands and arms – are in the opponents' half of the pitch, and closer to the opponents' goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent (the last opponent is usually, but not necessarily, the goalkeeper).

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    Law 11, offside, has undergone quite the evolution since it was first established in 1863 by the Football Association (FA). To begin, a player was offside unless three players (including the goalkeeper) of the opposing side were in front of him. The idea was to encourage rather primitive English ideals of how the game should be played, where physical power and strength were celebrated much more than technique.

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    The law was tinkered with before the next major alteration came in 1925 following years of dullness. Teams had become so adept at catching opponents offside that goals were hard to come by. Change was required and the FA opted to reduce the number of players the attacker had to be behind from three to two. The change brought about an upsurge in goals and thus, entertainment, that is before the same problems were encountered as revolutionary outfits such as Rinus Michels’ Ajax and Netherlands sides began to deploy the offside trap with tremendous effect. The thrilling nature of Total Football, however, ensured that the interest of supporters was retained.

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    The sterility of Italia ’90, though, forced another change to the law. Now, a player was onside if they were level with the second-to-last defender. Then, in 2005, it was clarified that a player is offside only if a part of his body with which he is legally able to play the ball is beyond the penultimate defender. The alterations favoured the forward, who could outwit both defenders and linesmen with savvy play. It’s important to consider that players cannot be offside if they’re positioned in their own half. This has been the case since 1907.

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    The introduction of technology, most notably VAR, saw the law scrutinised further. During the early usage of VAR in the Premier League, a multitude of goals were ruled following the technology’s intervention. So IFAB clarified ahead of the 2021/22 season that a player’s shoulder is not part of the arm for handball, and when deciding an offside call ‘the upper boundary of the arm is in line with the bottom of the armpit’.

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    That’s the latest tinkering of a seemingly ever imperfect but pivotal law.

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    The table above shows the tally of offsides for each player, and is sorted by the one who has been caught offside the most at the top. Apart from that, the table shows how many minutes each player has played with starts and substitute appearances noted, too. We have also calculated how many times a player is caught offside per 90 minutes played, as well as how long, on average, it takes a player to be flagged for this offence.

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    This way, you can easily spot the players across some of Europe’s most popular leagues who are constantly caught offside. We suggest looking out for a combination of low minutes per offside or a high number of offsides per 90 minutes when it comes to picking out a betting option.

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    You may also filter the list to only see players from the Premier League or any other league you wish. The tool is great for managing personalised content for a particular team or player. If you type in a country, the names appearing in the list will belong to players who play in that country. For instance, if you type in England, you will see a list with players playing in the Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two.

Betting on offsides remains an unpopular market despite its greater presence on online betting sites and the availability of statistics. This is because there are very few offside markets available. For example, bet365 – the first premier bookmaker to introduce offside markets – hide such markets in their ‘Specials’ tab.

Typically, punters can predict how many offsides will occur in a single match, with bookies offering lines (e.g. over/under 2.5 offsides, for example) or ranges (e.g. 6-9 total offsides). In some instances, you can bet specifically on how many times a particular player will be caught offside. This is becoming a more popular option for Bet Builders.

When it comes to betting on offsides, many variables could affect your judgement. It’s important to consider these:

Individual player and team statistics

How many times, on average, are teams or particular players being caught offside per game.

The defensive line of opponents

While law changes mean we no longer see bold offside traps once deployed by Arrigo Sacchi’s great AC Milan side, the emergence, evolution and prominence of pressing in the modern day means we see many teams play with incredibly high defensive lines. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern Munich are two examples. These sorts of teams are more likely to catch opponents offside compared to teams that sit deep in their own half. Obviously, the game state plays a huge role in the aggressiveness of defensive lines, so that must be considered too when betting in-play.

A team’s style in possession. How direct is a team when they have the ball? Do they look to exploit the space in behind? Where are their favoured points of attack? It’s important to consider these questions.
The profiles of forwards. Players that sit on the last defender looking to burst in behind are more likely to be caught offside than withdrawn forwards who enjoy operating from a deeper position.

All-time offside statistics are difficult to access, especially outside of the Premier League. However, the official Premier League website does provide some stats (from 2006/07).

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    Emmanuel Adebayor was caught offside 328 times in his Premier League career, the most since 2006.

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    Among current players, Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy has been caught offside the most times. He’s been flagged 239 times, which ranks fourth since records began.

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    Other current Premier League players Christian Benteke (223) and Romelu Lukaku (196) also sit in the top ten.

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    Marlon King holds the record for most offsides in a single Premier League season (68 in 2008/09).

While the offside law has undergone several alterations, a player is deemed offside if any of their body parts (except the hands and arms) are in the opponents’ half of the pitch, and closer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent. The last opponent is usually, but not necessarily, the goalkeeper.

Offsides per 90 is a ratio used to calculate the number of times a player is caught offside per 90 minutes played. This ratio gives a clear indication of how often a player is flagged offside over a sustained period of time, and is more useful than analysing total offside figures.

In some instances (usually in the higher-profile matches), you’ll be able to bet on the total team or player offsides. Lines and ranges are offered.

Few bookmakers regularly provide offside markets on matches. One of those is bet365 – a superb bookie for football betting.

While offside betting is never going to be as popular as more prominent football markets, it’s starting to emerge as a useful option for punters, especially in Bet Builders. Thanks to ThePuntersPage’s statistical coverage, bettors can make more informed decisions when it comes to offsides. There’s profit to be made, that’s for sure.

WRITTEN BY James Cormack View all posts by James Cormack

Big sports fan specialising in football. Experienced the lows of Vlad Chiriches and Tim Sherwood as a Spurs fan along with the more recent ‘success’ under Pochettino. My following of the New England Patriots since 2012 somewhat makes up for the lack of silverware produced by Spurs in my lifetime.

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