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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

OT: Soccer Thread (2018-19 season begins!)

Let’s get it on!

August 3 - English Championship (Reading v Derby)
August 4 - Scottish Premier League, League One (ENG), League Two (ENG)
August 10 - English Premier League (Manchester United v Leicester City), Eredivisie, Primeira Liga
August 11 - Ligue 1
August 17 - La Liga
August 18 - Serie A
August 24 - Bundesliga (Bayern v Hoffenheim)
August 28 - UEFA Champions League Playoff Round
September 6 - UEFA Nations League

TV Rights:
UEFA Nations League - ESPN
UEFA Champions League - Turner Sports
EPL - NBC
EFL - ESPN+
La Liga - BeIN
Bundesliga - Fox
Ligue 1 - BeIN

Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 31, 2018 at 01:10 PM | 1217 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   1101. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 03, 2018 at 04:57 PM (#5781694)
flop ... Like Lloris getting down to save these shots from Wolves ...
   1102. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 03, 2018 at 05:16 PM (#5781701)
Well, Foyth gave away the penalty, but that one's really on Trippier's incredibly stupid attempted nutmeg in the corner.
   1103. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 03, 2018 at 05:26 PM (#5781707)
Well, no excuses on that one, Juan ...
   1104. spivey Posted: November 03, 2018 at 05:26 PM (#5781708)
Looks like it’s getting Spursy
   1105. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 03, 2018 at 05:42 PM (#5781713)
For my money, Spurs were significantly worse than Man U today. 538's xG had it at 2.5-2.0, in favor of Wolves, which includes penalties but doesn't include the bad offside call that negated a Wolves goal. Both teams were on the road against opponents of arguably similar quality. Spurs were very lucky to get a win while I thought Man U's win was deserved (though a draw would not have been unfair either).
   1106. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 04, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5781860)
< 20 minutes in and it's 3-0 City.

This one could be one for the record books ...
   1107. Mefisto Posted: November 04, 2018 at 10:50 AM (#5781863)
City should be forced to take off a player after every goal. That's the only way Soton might stay in the game.

ETA: Giving the Saints a PK for every City goal would help too.
   1108. The_Ex Posted: November 04, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5781864)
I mentioned this earlier in this thread but Man City are at home, facing one of the worst teams in the league, and have a champions league game midweek. So Pep sends out his best 11. No rest for anyone. Will these kinds of decisions have a kick back come February or March?
   1109. Mefisto Posted: November 04, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5781867)
Of course they will. Pep's teams always tail off toward the end of the season. He does seem to be expanding the roster a bit this year, but I doubt it's enough.
   1110. The_Ex Posted: November 04, 2018 at 11:15 AM (#5781870)
City City won the premier league so I would have thought the CL would be the #1 priority this season. With Real Madrid, Bayern and Barcelona all looking below par the cup is up for grabs this season.
   1111. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 04, 2018 at 11:51 AM (#5781876)
I don’t get why City aren’t putting more of an emphasis on the Champions League. The talent on hand should make them feel like they can achieve something incredible. A treble shouldn’t be dismissed as a real possibility.
   1112. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 04, 2018 at 12:19 PM (#5781882)
I mentioned this earlier in this thread but Man City are at home, facing one of the worst teams in the league, and have a champions league game midweek. So Pep sends out his best 11. No rest for anyone. Will these kinds of decisions have a kick back come February or March?
This is an excellent point and should be restated whenever possible.

However, let's not get too excited in this particular case until Pep plays all the same guys again midweek. City is already a 99% chance to advance out of their group, and a 90% chance to finish first in their group. Shakhtar is much better than Southampton, but still should be no match for City at home, and there could be other consideration for playing players today rather than Wednesday. (For example, City has Man U next weekend, and how are you going to sit anyone for that game?)
   1113. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 04, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5781886)
It's a somewhat unusual EPL season so far, with 3 undefeated teams and a few teams performing very poorly, but I don't think any records are actually projected (using best estimates of likely future performance, not merely prorating the results of the first 11 games over the next 27) to be broken except one: fewest points by a team avoiding relegation. I believe the current record is 34 (WBA in 2005). This year, Burnley is projected (by 538) to avoid relegation with 32 points, with Fulham, Cardiff, and Huddersfield below that.
   1114. The_Ex Posted: November 04, 2018 at 07:29 PM (#5781974)
There are seven teams that are at least three points below the "point per game" target. Someone speculated recently that the fact there are so many teams together at the bottom has contributed to no manager firings yet. No team is really getting isolated yet. Its like the two guys being chased by a bear, you don't have to be good, you just have to be better than three other teams. I think the owners of Huddersfield and Cardiff are somewhat resigned to their fate. If the other teams see that too, you only have to be better than one other relegation candidate.
   1115. spivey Posted: November 04, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5782001)
Giving the MLS some more run since it's the playoffs and the quality and style of play does seem to be improving. This NYCFC/Atlanta game hasn't had any great play in the final 3rd but it's pretty fluid and the dribbling and passing is up to snuff. It's been fun to watch. However! Watching these teams play on a god damn baseball field/stadium is clownshoes.
   1116. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 05, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5782165)
Spurs will need to dig deep into their bench for rotation and positional replacements, as the club announced this morning that six players will not feature against the Eredivisie leaders. Club captain and starting keeper Hugo Lloris is suspended for this fixture after picking up a red card late in the previous match in Eindhoven. There are also ongoing injuries to Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose, Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele, and Victor Wanyama.


If you'd told me that by the beginning of November, Spurs would be reduced to saying "well, at least Sissoko's healthy" and yet still be enjoying their 2nd best PL start ever ... Sir, I'd have called you a liar.
   1117. spivey Posted: November 05, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5782223)
If Spurs don't spend money during the winter transfer window I'm going to lose it.
   1118. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 05, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5782233)
If Spurs don't spend money during the winter transfer window I'm going to lose it.


At this point, I'm not sure it would make much difference, since it seems to take a ridiculous amount of time for anyone to slot into Poch's pressing schemes.

Spurs certainly had a use for Moura the 2nd half of last season, how much did he play?

Besides, when is there ever anything resembling fair value in the winter transfer window?

Levy shat the bed in July/August and Spurs are going to have to sleep in it all season.

   1119. I am going to be Frank Posted: November 05, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5782325)
Well depending on who you believe, United is going to give Mourinho a fair bit of money to buy the "right" type of central defender (i.e. not too old) and another striker. Of course there is no value in the winter window. On paper, it would seem United have "enough" depth right now, but it's too many players that Mourinho doesn't trust. I really don't want to see Smalling and Linelof against Juventus mid-week. Matic looks even more toasty than last season. Fred and Pogba give it away too much. Ashley Young plays way too much - even if he's just filling in for Valencia.
   1120. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 05, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5782354)
Have United considered, instead, giving Mourinho a fair bit of money to... you know... go away?
   1121. Mefisto Posted: November 05, 2018 at 02:24 PM (#5782365)
Wish they would. It'd be a lot cheaper than spending money on non-existent talent.
   1122. spivey Posted: November 05, 2018 at 02:40 PM (#5782380)
Didn't Spurs get Lucas Moura during the winter transfer for 25mill last year?

The highest tier players usually are not available in this window due to Champion's League and just general competing in the league, but lower tier guys can be - especially good players that are out of the rotation at big clubs. I mean, hell, I think Drinkwater would play meaningful minutes for Tottenham right now.
   1123. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 05, 2018 at 02:48 PM (#5782390)
Didn't Spurs get Lucas Moura during the winter transfer for 25mill last year?


Yes; he was like a "new signing" come this September ...


   1124. spivey Posted: November 05, 2018 at 03:02 PM (#5782411)
Yes and he was like a new signing come September ...


I think that's on Poch. They don't really press that much anymore, imo they play a pretty standard 4-2-3-1 type team that's not out of line with what most of the top teams that don't play 4-3-3 play. What they ask of their fullbacks and their central mids is pretty standard.

But even granting that it may take a while to get acclimated, injuries would potentially change that, and even if that wasn't the case then it gets the process started so that new signings next summer aren't worthless for half the year.

Moura also played a position that had significantly steeper competition. Although I do think part of this is Poch's reluctance to rotate.
   1125. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 05, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5782417)
Levy shat the bed in July/August and Spurs are going to have to sleep in it all season.


"New signings" for next year are certainly more appreciated than not, but anyone expecting the cavalry to arrive come January (for the remainder of *this* season), ought to hope in one hand and piss in the other and see which fills up first ...

[edit] Not trying to be grumpy, just not very sanguine about the winter window or the rest of the year for Spurs ...
   1126. jmurph Posted: November 05, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5782472)
This Wenger to Milan talk doesn't make any sense.
   1127. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 06, 2018 at 11:12 AM (#5782881)
Der Spiegel Tells Us What We Already Know

Also, any thoughts about the proposed closed European Super League? I think that might kill my interest in European soccer if it happens, which would be a bummer, but what can you do. The only thing that would probably save my fandom is if the Football League were to excommunicate the 5 mega bastard clubs so the rest of us could just enjoy the domestic league. But they won't do that. If Tottenham can't aspire to crack into the Champions League I'm not sure what the point is anymore. I think I'll hold off on my trip to London to see the team in the never to be complete new stadium until this gets sorted out. One of the very cool things about European soccer is that everything has to be earned. Existence in the top flight, access to the most prestigious tournament...that stuff has to be earned. I mean, yeah, some clubs have a heavy, heavy advantage (see the Der Spiegel article above) but they still have to earn it on the pitch. If the mega bastard clubs get their way, who cares anymore? MLS could be an option but I loathe the ownership groups of both my local teams. International soccer is already dead for me. I don't know, I guess I'm going to have more free time on my hands...
   1128. spivey Posted: November 06, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5782886)
I think if the Euro Super League happens, there's a chance I'd watch more of the non-Super League than the Super League.

I really don't think it's well thought out. Fans of teams like Tottenham/Arsenal/Dortmund/Inter/Roma/whatever are absolutely not going to want to be in a league where their team is like 2-3-11 some years. I think the Champion's League is the right balance.

Part of me wonders if the super league stuff is just to continue to squeeze leverage and turn the UCL more and more into the playground for the top leagues and less representatives from the lower leagues.
   1129. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 06, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5782897)
I really don't think it's well thought out. Fans of teams like Tottenham/Arsenal/Dortmund/Inter/Roma/whatever are absolutely not going to want to be in a league where their team is like 2-3-11 some years. I think the Champion's League is the right balance.

Tottenham is not invited to the party.

Part of me wonders if the super league stuff is just to continue to squeeze leverage and turn the UCL more and more into the playground for the top leagues and less representatives from the lower leagues.

Maybe, but Der Spiegel claims this is farther along than it usually gets. Here's the original article.
   1130. spivey Posted: November 06, 2018 at 11:34 AM (#5782900)
Tottenham is not invited to the party.

I saw that, but the point stands. They're even better than some of the teams listed, like Marseille. Those teams could be winless. I suspect there could be some jockeying/politicing/relegation aspects of teams that are and aren't in. Some of these teams are liable to stop being good if there are owner changes, too.

I give the whole thing a pretty short shelf-life if it were to happen. Edit: Though reading the article in 1129 it suggests this is maybe an alternative to the Champion's League. So, I still think it would be annoying... I dunno how I'd actually react. Seems like the domestic leagues would still occur. Yes, I think I'd be less likely to tune in and focus on domestic leagues. But hard to say, truthfully I'd probably still watch the late round knockouts.
   1131. jmurph Posted: November 06, 2018 at 11:49 AM (#5782918)
I'm skeptical, too, that this will be automatically be a success.
   1132. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 06, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5782926)
I give the whole thing a pretty short shelf-life if it were to happen


20 year guarantee!

20 YEARS!!!

As I stated back in #1086 (Cokes, #######) ... "Ahem, #### this Super League, now and forever".
   1133. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 06, 2018 at 11:59 AM (#5782927)
Though reading the article in 1129 it suggests this is maybe an alternative to the Champion's League.

I definitely is. They want it both ways. They want all the CL money no matter if their team is crap or not, and they want all that filthy, filthy Premier League money. This is heaven for the Kroenckes and the Glazers. Lots of money no matter their competence!
   1134. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 06, 2018 at 01:29 PM (#5783016)
2-0 Red Star. Liverpool is close to throwing the door wide open in this group.
   1135. J. Sosa Posted: November 06, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5783029)
Super League proposal sounds like a soccer UN with the founders talk and what not. I mean if there is one organization I would choose to emulate as a sporting enterprise, it would be the UN. /s

In all seriousness though there has been a lot of smoke for a few years. IIRC a Times reporter broke a story prematurely a couple years ago. It reminds me a little of conference realignment and the Power 5 shenanigans in a lot of ways. You can talk the talk like Dortmund did in the article, but ultimately if you are the footballing equivalent of Rutgers, Syracuse, Pitt, or BC like Dortmund they will ultimately push the women and children overboard to commandeer a life boat. Otherwise you end up being UCONN.

I don’t like the idea, but frankly, I think it would work. It drops the curtain. Mega clubs already game the system with disbursements. If they leave open a few spots for promotion from various domestic leagues it would probably fly. Similar to the NCAA March Madness. They admit a few token non power conference teams but not really. Same with CFP. UCF could win every game by a hundred and they wouldn’t let them in. It is the way sports are going.
   1136. J. Sosa Posted: November 06, 2018 at 02:14 PM (#5783047)
For all his talk of taking opponents seriously I don’t think Klopp took Red Star seriously. Injuries are a factor, but I threw up in my mouth a little when I saw the starting lineup.
   1137. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 06, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5783059)
Day of upsets so far--Club Brugge destroying Monaco 0-4 in Monaco. Henry maybe not ready for management...
   1138. spivey Posted: November 06, 2018 at 02:51 PM (#5783063)
Monaco seems to have given up. They were playing like this before Henry took over, right? They're 19th in the league table. It's ridiculous.
   1139. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 06, 2018 at 02:54 PM (#5783066)
Monaco is not good right now. In any competition.
   1140. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 06, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5783070)
Just a killer of a loss by Liverpool. Now it's neck and neck and neck in that group. Any 2 of those 3 could just as easily win it.
   1141. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 06, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5783071)
It seems Monaco's chairman is under arrest for "corruption", too. Corruption seems a very vague charge...
   1142. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 06, 2018 at 02:59 PM (#5783074)
Tottenham Hotspur: Gazzaniga Gazinga!; Aurier, Alderweireld, Sánchez, Davies; Winks, Eriksen; Moura, Alli, Son, Kane

Subs: Vorm, Trippier, Skipp, Walker-Peters, Sissoko, Lamela, Llorente


Winks, Eriksen midfield, eh?

Outscore the bastards it is!
   1143. J. Sosa Posted: November 06, 2018 at 03:02 PM (#5783077)
I need an eyewash. That was ghastly. The offense is becoming a serious worry. I think Klopp is probably going to have to switch to the two formation he has been tinkering with.
   1144. spivey Posted: November 06, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5783080)
Famous last words, but I think Eriksen in the deeplying playmaker role could save the season. I think the UCL is likely to come back from, but this gets way more of our best players on the field, and more of our worst players off it. We also get bossed in midfield too often because we can't link up play. This should help all of that. And since Eriksen isn't getting goals, it could conceivably help our offense too.
   1145. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: November 06, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5783085)
Glad I'm unable to watch this ####.
   1146. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 06, 2018 at 04:02 PM (#5783119)
I never thought I'd be in a place where I was thinking, "Bring back FOX, please bring back FOX" ... but here we are.
   1147. J. Sosa Posted: November 06, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5783126)
Yes, pining for Fox soccer coverage has to be among the most surprising sentiments I have ever expressed.
   1148. spivey Posted: November 06, 2018 at 05:19 PM (#5783178)
Spurs get the late winner, but Inter get the late equalizer on their only on-target shot. It'll be quite hard for Tottenham to go through now, though if Barca has the group wrapped up that could change things.
   1149. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 06, 2018 at 05:24 PM (#5783188)
Spurs get the late winner, but Inter get the late equalizer on their only on-target shot. It'll be quite hard for Tottenham to go through now, though if Barca has the group wrapped up that could change things.


THURSDAY NIGHT LIGHTS!!!
   1150. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 06, 2018 at 05:47 PM (#5783201)
Tottenham needs a 1-0 or 2-goal win against Inter later this month, but even that is unlikely to be enough. You never know though, because if they win and Barca at least draws, Barca will have nothing at all to play for in the final group game against Tottenham. Tottenham would "just" need to match the result that Inter gets while hosting PSV.

2 draws might be enough for Liverpool, but they really can't count on Red Star drawing PSG (or even less likely, beating Napoli on the road). Liverpool really needs to win one of their last two, and if that one win is Napoli at home, Liverpool probably needs to win by 2 goals. To finish first in the group Liverpool likely needs a win and a draw. The PSG game should be very interesting though, because a draw by PSG puts PSG in a bad spot if Napoli beats Red Star as expected. Napoli would have the tie breaker over PSG, and PSG could then lose to Liverpool and still advance. (fixed error).

In the other 2 groups the only real story is which team will finish first. Schalke needs at least a draw and probably a win at Porto to finish first, and Dortmund has a leg up on Atleti.
   1151. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: November 06, 2018 at 08:07 PM (#5783248)
But hey, at least Tottenham can focus all their attention on driving to win the league, right?
   1152. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 07, 2018 at 04:09 PM (#5783877)
3 changes in the City lineup today I think. If these scores hold up, they will have clinched after 4 games, despite that horror start against Lyon. First place would still be up for grabs.

Lyon is not in as great shape as you might think. They host City, who would want a win to clinch first in the group, while Shakhtar goes to eliminated Hoffenheim. If both results go the wrong way for Lyon, they have to face Shakhtar on the road in the final group game, with any win by Shakhtar enough for Shakhtar to take second in the group over Lyon. Unlikely sure, but not out of the question.

Juve looks a bit stodgy, but still should be ahead of United by now as they have hit the post at least twice. United has nothing going forward--by design.

   1153. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 07, 2018 at 04:22 PM (#5783892)
In Group G, the only real drama left is who will win the group. Roma would likely take the group with a home win over Real Madrid in their next game, while Real Madrid would be in excellent shape with a draw.
   1154. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 07, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5783919)
Not a good game by United, but a bit of a Mourinho special at the moment. United up 2-1 off of two set pieces. If United can hold on this changes things dramatically.
   1155. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 07, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5783928)
Rashford should have made it 3-1. Just chip it! Still that extra goal would have been meaningless.

edit: and don't look now, but United could still win this group. They would probably need to win their last 2 games while Valencia draws at Juve. Unlikely but not impossible.

If United wins against Young Boys, they will clinch advancement so long as Valencia doesn't beat Juve in Turin.
   1156. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 07, 2018 at 04:59 PM (#5783937)
Also, Hoffenheim incredibly has come back from 2 goals down, on the road, with 10-men. They are still alive in the group, and City has not yet clinched a spot.
   1157. jmurph Posted: November 07, 2018 at 05:11 PM (#5783948)
Oh my god the Sterling trip that was given as a penalty is amazing.
   1158. spivey Posted: November 07, 2018 at 05:37 PM (#5783963)
It happens so infrequently where there is clearly zero contact, usually there's slight contact for penalties and refs are determining how much they allow.

But man, there needs to be *some* process to not let that happen.
   1159. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 07, 2018 at 06:10 PM (#5783977)
The draw by Hoffenheim makes City's route to the top group spot much easier. Unlike the last couple years, it looks like most if not all of the top-rated teams will win their groups, so its a good year to finish top of your group.
   1160. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: November 07, 2018 at 07:00 PM (#5783991)
Juve-United was fun, and a nice contrast in scoring: Ronaldo's goal was absolutely gorgeous, whereas the match-winning own goal... derp!
   1161. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 08, 2018 at 04:09 PM (#5784467)
Early Europa game news:

Lazio, Frankfurt and Chelsea through. France continues to get slaughtered in Europe this year (Marseille is out after losing despite outplaying Lazio, and Rennes lost again). Rangers lost a heartbreaker, but are still in it. Villarreal had a tough draw, so that group remains close.

Sarpsborg, picked by 538 as worse than lowly Dudelange coming in, was a hair's breadth away from leading the group before settling for a road draw. Still have a shot to advance.

Vidi, another team picked as Dudelange's lowly equal, beat PAOK and are now sitting on 6 points and in good shape to advance.

But how are Dudelange doing, you ask? Down 4-0 after 45 minutes to Oly. Now GD of -10, still looking for their first goal.
   1162. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 08, 2018 at 05:20 PM (#5784511)
538 had Dudelange more or less equal with a group of 5 bad teams (as noted, I thought they were far worse):

Slavia Prague: 7 points GD +1, 69% chance to qualify (originally 10%)
Mol Vidi: 6 points GD 0, 58% chance to qualify (originally 6%)
Sarpsborg: 5 points GD 0, 19% chance to qualify (originally 12%)
Spartak Trnava: 3 points GD -3, 2% chance to qualify (originally 9%)
Dudelange: 0 points GD -10, 0% chance to qualify (originally 4%). They did score though!

To be fair, Dudelange is in a harder group than most of the others.

Race to the bottom isn't over yet. 2 games to go, and there is stiff competition:
Rosenborg: 0 points GD -9
Akhisarspor: 0 points GD -9

   1163. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: November 08, 2018 at 05:43 PM (#5784532)
Mol Vidi: 6 points GD 0, 58% chance to qualify (originally 6%)


In reality, I think this is higher, because Chelsea will likely have 1st place locked down before potentially sending their B team to sunny Hungary.
   1164. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 08, 2018 at 07:27 PM (#5784606)
Other news from the late games:

More teams clinch: Leverkusen, Zagreb, Zurich, Arsenal.

Celtic with a big win over Leipzig to stay alive.

2 decent teams, Leipzig (loss) and Milan (draw), are cutting it a bit fine. Milan probably only needs a draw in Greece to advance (a loss by 1 could also work if they get help).

That Salzburg/Leipzig (RBvRB) game could be the wrong kind of interesting. Salzburg has all but clinched, and will very likely advance in fist even if they lose 1-0 or 2-1 at home (though it is not total guaranteed). A win by Leipzig makes it very likely they advance. A draw is good enough for Salzburg to advance in first. How hard will they be playing?
   1165. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 08, 2018 at 09:34 PM (#5784660)
538 has it at about a 40% chance a 3rd-place team dropped from the CL will win Europa, and probably a 30% chance (in total) that the winner of Europa will be a team from one of the top 5 leagues that was dropped out of the CL into Europa. I don't really think these are the teams that need a second shot at winning the Europa league, so I'd be in favor of getting rid of the rule that protects 3rd place teams in the group stage.

FWIW, this year the most likely set of teams is the following:

Tottenham
Valencia
Hoffenheim
PSG
Brugge
Benfica
Galatasary
CSKA Moscow

honorable mentions (other teams with the highest chance of finishing 3rd in their groups):

Liverpool
Man U
Lyon
Shakhtar
Inter
Napoli
   1166. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 09, 2018 at 01:33 AM (#5784735)
No away goals rule in extra time in the MLS playoffs. 3-3 after 180, with the teams level on 2 away goals. Then 1-1 more in extra time. At least some of the Portland players were not aware of that... and had played the last 20 minutes of the extra time thinking they had a lead! Not all of them thought that, as the Portland striker was trying for a breakaway goal right at 120 minutes and was visibly upset at the ref for blowing final time, while other of this teammates were down on the ground celebrating their victory.

How does that happen?
   1167. aberg Posted: November 09, 2018 at 12:38 PM (#5784931)
I went to that game last night. It was an emotional roller coaster. Very fun. It was not technically beautiful, but the changing motivations made the styles change so many times. It was super entertaining.
   1168. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 10, 2018 at 12:03 PM (#5785362)
Nobody looks like they want to challenge for the top 6. Watford Bournemouth, Leicester fail to win. Wolves and Everton have tough road games tomorrow. Brighton (who had no chance anyway) also fail to beat Cardiff. West Ham also failed to beat lowly Huddersfield.

I'd like to see a team reach Europa that is going to take it seriously, so that might mean no Bournemouth or Watford (and definitely not Brighton), since their first priority next year might be avoiding relegation.
   1169. spivey Posted: November 10, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5785363)
Based on the games I've seen I think Wolves is the 7th best team. They seem like a team that could potentially take Europe seriously because trophies and it's also probably their only real chance to ever make CL. As opposed to a team like Burnley, they seem to have way more than just organization. They've got real talent - it seems like a quarter of Portugal's national team plays for them.

That said, we'll see if they're able to keep their team together. I hope they do.
   1170. spivey Posted: November 10, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5785374)
I'm happy Wanyama is healthy. I feel much more assured of the defense when he plays, mainly because he doesn't do those stupid ####### Dier passes where he passes back without his head up. Foyth... I mean, I'm ready for Vertonghen to be healthy again.
   1171. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 10, 2018 at 01:49 PM (#5785399)
Dortmund-Bayern has been as entertaining as expected. The Dortmund manager has been getting roasted for his tactical approach and rightly so. They conceded too much to Bayern. Playing at home, top of the table, they needed a statement of intent instead they have approached like a mid table team and now rightly trail 2-1.
   1172. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 10, 2018 at 01:54 PM (#5785403)
Twice in about three minutes Dortmund get glittering chances in the six yard box. Both times they dick around with the ball and are denied rather than just smashing it home.
   1173. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 10, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5785407)
The largesse of Bayern Munich granting chances has finally bitten them as Dortmund have struck twice and with 15 minutes and stoppage time left lead 3-2.
   1174. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 10, 2018 at 02:26 PM (#5785412)
Whoa, Lewandowski has his second goal of the game disallowed for offsides, both calls correct.
   1175. spivey Posted: November 10, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5785416)
Dortmund is actually better than Bayern at this point, right? GD and CL performance says yes to me.

Thank god for a clean sheet from Tottenham even without our best lineup going. Sissoko played well in first half.
   1176. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 10, 2018 at 07:27 PM (#5785548)
im Far from an expert but what I’ve seen the difference is the coaching. Bayern just don’t look cohesive when I see them play. There is a ton of talent, especially when Kimmich plays like today but it seems disjointed. I think part of the problem is Neuer, again in limited viewings, isn’t the player he was. He doesn’t have that same ability to be a fifth (or fourth) defender it seems.

By contrast Dortmund seem like they have a total buy in on what Favre is doing. They give up chances regulalry but they score so many it doesn’t matter. I’m not sure they are better but they are currently the better team if that makes any sense. Today was important because it creates a meaningful gap. 7 points isn’t insurmountable with 25 games left of course but Dortmund have seized the moment,
   1177. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 11, 2018 at 09:55 AM (#5785654)
Chelsea brining the hard fouls, and not much else, so far.
   1178. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 11, 2018 at 11:33 AM (#5785668)
Chelsea was much better in the second half, and was a little unlucky not to win. Still, I'm not seeing a team that will challenge for the title. I think they are closer to not qualifying for the CL than they are to challenging City.
   1179. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 11, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5785679)
Martino touched it at halftime. Chelsea are playing the way Sarri wants them to but that doesn’t seem an optimal use of the personnel they have.

United look terrrible so far. Not sure how much of that is them and how much is City but this 1-0 looks like getting worse before it gets better.
   1180. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 11, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5785680)
Betis put 4 past Barca at the Camp Nou, and now Barca are down to 10. Definitely seems like a down year for the traditional powers--City may be the best team in the world right now.
   1181. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 11, 2018 at 01:03 PM (#5785702)
Arsenal is playing poorly, but just missed two golden chances. The one by Auba was inexcusable.
   1182. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: November 11, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5785709)
City never really turned in on in the second half against United, but they didn't have to. United had a tone of possession only down 1, but rarely pushed into the final third of the field, and for the most part City was content to let them play around with the ball. It seemed like City were taking a slightly more cautious approach with the lead, but these teams are miles apart right now. United could have used Pogba once they were already down--he seems to thrive creatively in those situations.
   1183. Mefisto Posted: November 11, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5785738)
United xG = .2 Pretty much sums it up.
   1184. spivey Posted: November 11, 2018 at 08:02 PM (#5785802)
Yeah, I think I'd be inclined to say Man City is the best team in the world. Of course I'd have said that last year at this point in the season as well. They fizzled and Liverpool hit their stride and really became the perfect counter to what City do.

By the end of the year last year I think Bayern it has to be said were the best team in the world. Their xG against Real was insane, and I think last year Bayern struggled in the UCL group stages with PSG so maybe they will improve as well. I feel like with the increased money in the game they've falled off the pace a bit. They've managed because they have the great players they got before all that happened, and their home-grown Germans.

I was actually wondering if Juve was maybe who I'd consider the best team, but the Man U smash and grab made me pause.

Bayern, Real, and to a lesser extent Barcelona are all going through a bit of a changing of the guard. Barca's is maybe a couple years off, still, but it's coming. Bayern's I think is already here, but is being papered over by Lewandowski, kind of like the late Man U teams.
   1185. spivey Posted: November 11, 2018 at 09:34 PM (#5785817)
Tottenham is not capable right now of challenging for the title, and suggesting that they could is ridiculous, but here me out!

They're getting healthy right now. The international break is coming up. Wanyama and Alli are back, they've been able to rest Eriksen and Son a decent amount. Dier and Rose could come back after the international break though frankly I don't view either as a nailed on starter. Vertonghen is supposed to be back in December, and Sanchez will be back after the international break. Poch tinkered with Eriksen in a deeper lying role, which I strongly agree with in terms of maximizing talent but may have been something he felt forced into.

Aurier has been decently more reliable this year in moments.

And most importantly, despite a not great GD or xG performance this season, they've played 8 road games and 4 home games. I could see a scenario where they round into form and challenge for 2nd.

I can't see how they can challenge for first. City are just too good. Someone here mentioned they thought Sterling was the key guy for them. I don't think they have one, which is part of why they're so great. They're doing all of this without KDB, who was their best player last year. Silva is also one of their key spine guys, but I think you could probably mostly just give his responsibilities to Bernardo Silva and they'd get along fine. Fernandinho is important but Gundogan can mostly do all of that too. Aguero is a big goal-getter but Jesus is a great backup. Sterling is great at the final 3rd ball control and giving width, but Sane can give the same pace/width if not quite the same ball retention. Mahrez is settling in. It's just a frightening team. Their fullbacks with Mendy and Walker are so ####### good. That's 2 guys, but that's one of the things that makes that ship sail. Walker is never outplayed by his opposing number.
   1186. Howie Menckel Posted: November 11, 2018 at 10:11 PM (#5785824)
MLS Cup semifinals set

EAST
1 NY(ok, NJ) Red Bulls vs 2 Atlanta

WEST
1 Sporting KC vs 5 Portland

MLS Cup Dec 8, at home of East Winner

has been a lovely high of 40 degrees or so near the Red Bulls arena the past few days, so that could be a fun final

   1187. KronicFatigue Posted: November 11, 2018 at 10:38 PM (#5785829)
Chelsea was much better in the second half, and was a little unlucky not to win. Still, I'm not seeing a team that will challenge for the title. I think they are closer to not qualifying for the CL than they are to challenging City.


Cosigned. Chelsea's last two titles have come from nearly perfect season in terms of health and luck. In both of those seasons, I still don't fully understand how they did it. They certainly could do it again this season, but it's much more likely they won't. I'm uninspired by their bench and the league is just so top heavy with talent. Even without an injury, all it would take is a few ties to knock them out of the top 4.
   1188. Sean Forman Posted: November 12, 2018 at 03:53 PM (#5786175)
I was so happy when I saw Utd was starting Herrera, Fellaini and Matic in the midfield. They had no way to play balls into the forwards with that midfield. City was really sloppy for them I thought. A lot of loose touches and passes. Not as good as I expected. And Pogba would have picked up a couple of those and played a through ball for Rashford and Martial. Matic, Herrera, and Fellaini don't make those passes.

I'm hopeful that we'll see a big effort for the USMNT vs England on Thursday. A lot of young talent that may someday want to play in the EPL. Showing out vs England couldn't hurt in that regard. I'm sure more than a few English fans will be watching Pulisic to see what the big deal is. Would like to see Steffen get a move to england as well. Too bad Tyler Adams won't be available (I'm assuming he won't play).
   1189. Mefisto Posted: November 12, 2018 at 07:26 PM (#5786272)
Mike Goodman on United:

"As I work on this United piece I definitely think my confidence in United regressing to their numbers (which happened) has made me overlook just how much worse their numbers have themselves gotten. It's not normal for a team that doesn't suffer a talent loss to have numbers erode as dramatically as United's have."
   1190. Mefisto Posted: November 13, 2018 at 08:41 AM (#5786419)
Goodman's article on United is here.
   1191. jmurph Posted: November 14, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5787189)
Ranieri in at Fulham. What do you all think? They have been surprisingly terrible so far, I hope they can turn it around.
   1192. Mefisto Posted: November 14, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5787202)
Can't be any worse.
   1193. spivey Posted: November 14, 2018 at 10:52 AM (#5787203)
When Tottenham played Fulham, Fulham's defense was just awful for much of the game. Like way below the standard of an EPL team. That was early, but they look to be comfortably in last place in goals allowed. I've not seen enough of them to figure out if Ranieri will help or if they have the personnel. Weren't they supposed to be a pretty attacking side? I feel like I remember that prior to the season, but it doesn't look like they're capable of playing that style at this level.
   1194. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: November 14, 2018 at 12:22 PM (#5787341)
I'm hopeful that we'll see a big effort for the USMNT vs England on Thursday. A lot of young talent that may someday want to play in the EPL. Showing out vs England couldn't hurt in that regard. I'm sure more than a few English fans will be watching Pulisic to see what the big deal is. Would like to see Steffen get a move to england as well. Too bad Tyler Adams won't be available (I'm assuming he won't play).
Is Yedlin still relevant? I haven't heard much about him since the move to Newcastle. How's he considered these days?
   1195. Mefisto Posted: November 14, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5787458)
Looks like the latest Brexit plan is for the EPL to stop using so many foreign players. If I were the Brits, I'd offer to give them back Mourinho and leave the players alone.
   1196. jmurph Posted: November 14, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5787459)
Beaten to the punch by Mefisto.
   1197. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: November 14, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5787490)
Is Yedlin still relevant? I haven't heard much about him since the move to Newcastle. How's he considered these days?


Short answer? Yes he is. Longer answer is a bit tougher. He may not be a star but he’s probably as good an option as we have. Recognizing that Newcastle ain’t anything great he’s a guy playing regulalry in one of the best leagues in the world. Other than Pulisic, Brooks and McKennie I don’t think we have anyone else about whom we can say that.

At worst he’s a guy who when facing that top competition in a qualifier or big tournament isn’t going to be off-put by the speed, strength and talent of a Lukaku or an Eriksen. He may not be able to do anything about that but I think that’s why a guy like Geoff Cameron had such a nice run for us. The international game wasn’t a huge step up from his weekly games like it is for players based in lower caliber leagues.
   1198. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 14, 2018 at 07:15 PM (#5787597)
Foyth... I mean, I'm ready for Vertonghen to be healthy again.


He's what 20?

Janny Verts is what 32?

Point taken, but let's be reasonable here, not everyone is Ken Griffey Jr. or Mike Trout, it's not like he's played a lot the last couple of years.

I'm willing to wait it out, it's not like Spurs have a lot of other internal options ...
   1199. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: November 14, 2018 at 07:18 PM (#5787598)
Short answer? Yes he is. Longer answer is a bit tougher. He may not be a star but he’s probably as good an option as we have. Recognizing that Newcastle ain’t anything great he’s a guy playing regulalry in one of the best leagues in the world. Other than Pulisic, Brooks and McKennie I don’t think we have anyone else about whom we can say that


He's ... cromulent.

Mid-table EPL starter.

That's not nothing, especially for the USMNT.
   1200. The_Ex Posted: November 14, 2018 at 08:08 PM (#5787606)
Flip...
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