By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, May 19 (Xinhua) -- The most significant changes of games behind closed doors are visible and easy to hear. With no fans around, it seems obvious why football matches in empty arenas in Germany are called "ghost games."
After the successful restart of the German first and second-tiers, many talked of an unusually spooky atmosphere. Instead of enthusiastic chants, individual, gruesome sounding voices were audible.
But what about the impact on the game itself?
Ahead of the second round without a crowd next weekend, German fans puzzle over the question which teams are going to benefit most of the bewildering situation?
Is the Bundesliga's second-placed side Borussia Dortmund going to get the opportunity to outpace the league leaders of Bayern Munich? With 8 rounds of matches to go, the Bavarians count on a narrow lead of four points.
It seems undisputedly apparent that technically well-equipped sides might have an advantage as fewer emotions are part of the competition. Smaller teams have lost the support of their fans.
Players like Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer speak about a mental issue. Bayern striker Thomas Mueller spoke of a new challenge "you either accept the circumstances or you worry about."
"It is on us players. It's a matter of motivation, attitude, and the awareness of what kind of game is coming up," Neuer said, He added that a new challenge might be waiting to repeat the procedures of the first ghost-game matchday. "We haven crossed the finish line yet."
Despite the mental stress-test that figures indicate, changes might affect the competition under the new circumstances.
The coaching staff might pay additional attention to the increasing number of goals scored by the away teams. 1.63 goals, on average, stand against 1.5 before the season came to hold.
The figures for home-teams dropped from 1.75 to a low point of 1.13.
The numbers might explain that only one home team (Dortmund) could achieve a win (4-0 over Schalke).
It might be an effect of an unusual premiere that the performers went for less dribbling's as the numbers decreased from 19.5 on average to only 14.5. It seems players took less risk.
Sprints decreased from 2200 to 2018 as the number of man-to-man duels went down from 223 to 205.
The teams completed a lower number of running kilometres' of around 115.5 on average.
Dortmund's average figures dropped from 116.3 to 109. Most teams showed some of the lowest amounts of running miles this season.
Five substitutions allowed the number of changes during the games to hit a new record mark of 79. Most teams used the opportunity to change more than the usual three performers. Most coaches claim their squads haven't yet reached a full fitness level after the break of two months.
Net playtime increased from 55 to 57 minutes. 25 percent more passes were noted.
The first matchday behind closed doors produced no yellow card due to the complaining of a player. On the previous 25 rounds, there had been 65.
Pundits speak of Dortmund as the first ghost-game-round winner as the Blacks and Yellows not only crushed rival Schalke but delivered the most advanced performance of all sides. Next week Tuesday evening Borussia is expecting Bayern for the league's top act. Enditem