Which Team Was the Most Aggressive Presser in the UEFA Champions League 19/20?

04-08-2020

In this post, we assess which team was the most aggressive presser in the UEFA Champions League 19/20 season. Pressing intensity is measured by PPDA (Passes Allowed Per Defensive Action). The PPDA metric is calculated by dividing the number of passes allowed by the defending team by the total number of defensive actions. A smaller PPDA value signifies a higher pressing intensity, as in essence, the defence has allowed a smaller ratio of uncontested passes to be made.

When we look at the teams who participated in the UEFA Champions League Group Stages (19/20), Liverpool's Jürgen Klopp comes out as the team which excecutes the most intensive pressing. Last season this pressing philosophy earned them the Champions League trophy, while this season Liverpool's pressing tactic was somewhat less effective, being knocked out by Atlético Madrid in the last 16.

Other teams who stand out as aggressive pressers are Ajax Amsterdam (NL), who entertained the fans with their attractive playing style. Being followed by Bayern Munich (GER) who is one of the favourites to win the Champions League trophy this year. Slavia Prague, who showed some interesting performances against Barcelona and Inter Milan, also comes out as a team who likes to press the opponent early.

Teams who are less likely to focus on agressive pressing methods can be found in Eastern Europe where teams like Red Star, Zenit, Lokomtiv Moscow and Shakhtar Donetsk are among the low-pressing teams in the table.