During the 2018 World Cup, an average of 9.5 corner kicks were taken per match. The rate of corner kicks proved to be slightly less than the previous tournaments, with the average number of corners per game usually around 10.
There are several ways to determine which teams are most likely to win corners and which teams are more susceptible to concede them.
The fundamental basics of corners are:
- An attacking team needs to have the ball
- They need to shoot for a goal
- The defending team need to deflect the shot
Corners can be one in other ways but keeping it simple like this allows us to analyze and predict metrics for which we have very good data; possession and shots.
If we use Brazil as an example, you can see that they have an average of 58.6% possession in the 2018 World Cup table and that they also recorded an average of 8.2 corners per 2018 World Cup match.
If you compare this to Sweden with an average of 37.6% possession you’ll find that they recorded fewer corners, an average of 3.2.
This supports the basic premise that more possession results in more corners and vice versa.
A good indicator of offensive dominance is a team that takes a lot of shots. Shots naturally flow from possession and contribute to corners, since they will often be deflected or saved and result in a corner. Germany’s 24 shots per match correlate with more possession and average corners.
When comparing these points in the table below, the connection between possession, shots, and corners is obvious.
2018 World Cup Team Stats
|Country||Avg. Corners||Possession %||Avg. Shots|
Corners often come in clusters, in bursts of 2, 3, or 4.
From the 2018 World Cup’s 606 corner kicks, more corners were taken in the middle time interval of both halves than any other interval:
- 107 corners (17.7%) between the 16th and 30th minutes.
- 126 (20.8%) between the 61st and 75th minutes.
Historically most World Cup corner kicks were taken in the first and last 30 minutes of the matches.
Corners per half
In the 2018 World Cup, the 2nd half featured more corners than the first.
- 1st half – 265 corners (43.7%).
- 2nd half – 341 corners (56.3%).
Whenever a team is pressing for a goal corners will occur more frequently (you can bet on it). The team that needs to score will take more shots at goal, some of which will be saved or deflected for corners.
This usually happens when a team needs to change the match result from a loss to a draw or a draw to a win. However, it can also happen on the final game day of the group stage when a team needs to improve their goal difference.
Total or Over/Under corners betting
This market refers to the total number of corner kicks taken during regular time. 10.5 is the most common line.
Example: Over 10.5 Under 10.5
You predict if the combined corners will either be Over 10.5 corners (11 or more corners) or Under 10.5 (10 or fewer corners). The .5 removes the possibility of your bet being a draw.
Handicap corners betting
This bet works the same way as an Asian handicap where one team is given a head start (+) and the other team a handicap (-) to level the playing field. The team that gets the most corners, after the head start or handicap is applied, wins.
Example: Spain +1.5 Germany -1.5
Germany would have to get at least 2 more corners than Spain for the bet of Germany -1.5 to win.
What has changed between previous World Cups and this one is the way teams play. High pressing is much more prevalent than it was 4 years ago. This means that putting pressure on defenders in their own defensive third is much more likely. As such, it means that when a high-pressing team is playing, corners are more likely to be conceded.
This will change betting plans for anyone who is looking to bet on corners. If a high-pressing team plays, then corner bettors will be much more likely to carry out a corner-betting plan. Once you’ve got your research put together, you can choose a site to play at, such as Stake, and then you’re all ready to start playing.