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Soccer: Value of Corner and Goal Kicks

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How much are corner kicks and goal kicks worth to a team over the course of a season? In the English Premier League, there are approximately 30 such plays per game between both teams:

Per Game Pct
Corners 9.90 34
Goal Kicks 19.22 66

We can determine the value of each event by looking at the number of shots taken by each team after the kick. For corner kicks, we see a significant offensive boost for more than 10 seconds - it also takes the defending team at least 13 seconds to get down the field and get a shot on goal:


Ultimately, the value of a corner kick is approximately 0.05 shots, or less than 1-200th of a goal. The cumulative shot differential keeps going up well beyond the 20-second mark - this happens because the team that gets a corner kick is generally better than the team that gave it up, not because there's some lingering effect relating to the corner kick.

The instantaneous shot rate is also instructive:


Let's compare this to a goal kick:


Clearly a goal kick is a very low-outcome event compared to a corner kick, resulting in six times fewer shots between the two teams over the next ten seconds. There is, however, a slight offensive advantage for the kicking team from five-to-fifteen seconds after the kick:


Ultimately, the difference between a corner kick and a goal kick is approximately 0.06 shots, 1-200th of a goal, or 0.008 points in the EPL standings. Even if you had 200 more corner kicks than your opponents over the course of a single season - which would be incredibly unlikely - it would barely influence your overall point totals.