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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 | 781 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   601. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5736480)
flop
   602. jmurph Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:15 PM (#5736483)
Atalanta played a barn-burner with Milan (3-3) on the road, Sunday (because, screw it, it's Europa League)

Roma and Monday, but otherwise yes! It was a fun watch.

EDIT: And it's over, that's a bummer.
   603. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5736488)
League Cup 3rd Round:

West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace
Arsenal v Brentford
Burton Albion v Burnley
Wycombe Wanderers v Norwich City
Oxford United v Manchester City
West Ham United v Macclesfield Town
Millwall v Fulham
Liverpool v Chelsea
Bournemouth v Blackburn Rovers
Preston North End v Middlesbrough
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leicester City
Tottenham Hotspur v Watford
Blackpool v QPR
Everton v Southampton
Manchester United v Derby County
Nottingham Forest v Stoke City

Liverpool - Chelsea is obviously the big one and a quick return game for Spurs and Watford. That game will probably be played at MK Dons.
   604. J. Sosa Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:23 PM (#5736489)
A part of the La Liga secret sauce for years was teams like Sevilla taking Europa seriously. Less so now, as teams like Man U, Arsenal, and Liverpool actually give a crap in Europa with the CL carrot. It is no coincidence.

Edit:

I root against Liverpool in the Carling/Milk/Caribou/League Cup. It used to mean something to me when Liverpool finished out of the top 4 every year but lately I have mostly been terrified that they will advance and have fixture congestion. I would argue that it screwed City over last season. Maybe prevented an Invincibles season or a CL win. Trying for the Quad hurt them.
   605. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5736490)
If "Caribou Cup" caught on, it would make me so very happy ...

Them, not so much, but maybe it would just go away, which is probably best for most involved ...
   606. frannyzoo Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5736493)
I appreciate Burnley playing starters today, but I worry that it is: A. Wasted; B. Foreboding. Putting ads in the local newspaper and recruiting citizens for today's fixture, down 1-3 after first leg, might have been the better strategy.
   607. frannyzoo Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5736494)
Sorry, Roma...criminy. And yes, Monday...because screw it, it's Europa League.

Atalanta is a good team to watch this year. Again. But not in Europe.
   608. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5736496)
Dudelange will have by far the worst ELO of any team in the group stages. Unless there is a fairly big upset in one of the few Europa playoff games remaining, the difference will be about 200 points worse than the next worst teams.

Just read they are the first Luxembourg team to ever make a group stage in UEFA.
   609. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 30, 2018 at 04:25 PM (#5736519)
Burnley dominated today and had numerous chances, but didn't turn them into many good shots. Now a foal for Olympiakos against the run if play, so it's game over.

edit: pulled one back but surely too little too late
   610. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 05:07 PM (#5736540)
Atalanta is a good team to watch this year. Again. But not in Europe.


#10 in The Ringer's "Watchability Index"!

Link

From TFA:


Gian Piero Gasperini has been coaching in some form in Italy for a quarter-century, and in that time he has been perhaps best known for his infamous tenure with Inter Milan, when he was sacked after just five matches during which his team posted four losses and one draw. But the 60-year-old Italian has consistently overseen a swashbuckling style—José Mourinho once called him “the coach that makes it the most difficult for me”—and that graph, which details the effect Gasperini’s move from Genoa to Atalanta for the 2016-17 season wrought on both clubs, reflects the instant impact a manager with a cohesive approach can make.

He gets results, too: In Gasperini’s first year at the helm, Atalanta finished fourth in Serie A, and although the club dropped to seventh last year, it was third on expected points based on its xG totals for and against. Thus far in 2018-19, Atalanta has romped 4-0 over recently promoted Frosinone and tied Roma 3-3 in a delectable affair. The two clubs combined for 48 shots, which was the most in any Serie A game since 2010. Keep (or start) watching Atalanta; Gasperini will make sure you enjoy yourself.
   611. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 31, 2018 at 07:39 AM (#5736808)
RB Leipzig v RB Salzburg. No conflict of interest there...
   612. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 31, 2018 at 07:41 AM (#5736809)
Group E
Arsenal
Sporting
Qarabag
FC Vorskla

Arsenal with a classic Europa League group.
   613. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 31, 2018 at 07:46 AM (#5736810)
Group L
Chelsea
PAOK
BATE Borisov
Vidi FC

Chelsea's group is also classic EL and looks pretty easy, too. They should walk that. Arsenal should, too, but Sporting can be tough and that trip to Qarabag is tougher than it seems. Spurs had to work hard on their trip to Qarabag. (God, it makes me happy that when Spurs are playing Barcelona Arsenal will be playing Qarabag.)
   614. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 31, 2018 at 07:47 AM (#5736811)
Full draw:

Group A
Bayer Leverkusen
Ludogorets
FC Zurich
AEK Larnaca

Group B
Red Bull Salzburg
Celtic
RB Leipzig
Rosenborg

Group C
Zenit St Petersburg
FC Copenhagen
Bordeaux
Slavia Prague

Group D
Anderlecht
Fenerbache
Dinamo Zagreb
Spartak Tranava

Group E
Arsenal
Sporting
Qarabag
FC Vorskla

Group F
Olympiakos
Milan
Real Betis
Dudelange

Group G
Villarreal
Rapid Vienna
Spartak Moscow
Rangers

Group H
Lazio
Marseille
Frankfurt
Apollon Limassol

Group I
Besiktas
Genk
Malmo
Sarpsborg

Group J
Sevilla
Krasnodar
Standard Liege
Akhisharspor

Group K
Dynamo Kiev
FC Astana
Rennes
Jablonec

Group L
Chelsea
PAOK
BATE Borisov
Vidi FC
   615. J. Sosa Posted: August 31, 2018 at 08:05 AM (#5736815)
Wonder what the odds would be for a group H vs CL group D matchup.

Rangers made it through playing with 9 men. I thought Gerrard made a mistake going there but making the group stage is an impressive achievement.

Re: Arsenal/Qarabag/Spurs/Barca

Oh boy, I hadn’t considered that angle. Spurs supporters must be brimming with schadenfruede.
   616. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 31, 2018 at 08:11 AM (#5736817)
Oh boy, I hadn’t considered that angle. Spurs supporters must be brimming with schadenfruede.

They dished it out for years and years and now they can fucking take it!
   617. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: August 31, 2018 at 08:31 AM (#5736823)
Rangers made it through playing with 9 men. I thought Gerrard made a mistake going there but making the group stage is an impressive achievement.


They were down a man after 37 minutes, down two men after 66 minutes and had they given up one goal in all that time they'd be out. That's a a hell of a job. Doesn't really say a lot for the quality of the Russian Premier League.
   618. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 31, 2018 at 08:36 AM (#5736827)
By all accounts Gerrard seems to be doing a good job with Rangers. The Gerrard-Rodgers history will make the Derby interesting, too. On Football Weekly they made the assertion that the SPL is becoming hip again. Just my luck Partick were relegated just when it was all becoming cool...
   619. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 31, 2018 at 08:57 AM (#5736837)
I am the manager of one of the greatest clubs in the world but I am also one of the greatest managers in the world. Did you read any philosopher or in your education you never spent time reading Hegel? Just as an example, Hegel says the truth is in the whole, is always in the whole. Do you ask that question to the manager that finished third in the Premier League or fourth? I had last season great success. I had great success last season that’s what you probably don’t want to admit. I analyse my performance, myself and for me is more important what I think that what you think. I repeat that two seasons ago we had a fantastic season by winning the Europa League, this season and last everybody thought Atlético Madrid amazing because they won the Europa League after being knocked out of the Champions League. We won the Europa League because that was our level. We are the last team in England to win a European cup. And last season, I repeat, I won eight titles, I am the only manager in the world that won Italy, Spain and England and by winning eight titles, not small titles or countries, my second position last season is one of my greatest achievements in football. I think.
   620. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 31, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5736865)
CL etting odds update:

Groups with very clear pecking order:
A (Atletico, Dortmund, Monaco, Brugge) (538 likes Brugge and hates Monaco. ELO likes Monaco and dislikes Dortmund)
B (Barcelona, Tottenham, Inter, PSV)
G (Madrid, Roma, CSKA, Pizen)
H (Juventus, Man U, Valencia, Young Boys) (538 and ElO both like Man U over Valencia, with ELO giving them a significant edge)

Groups with two favorites:
C (PSV/Liverpool, Napoli, Belgrade) (betting odds have PSV/Liverpool as very close. ELO/538 give Liverpool a slight edge. ELO thinks Napoli is not far behind, but betting odds and 538 think there is a fairly large gap)
D (Porto/Schalke, Lokomotiv/Galatasaray) (Group D also has no bottom dweller) (Odds here closely match ELO. 538 thinks Porto/Galatasaray are similar, with Schalke clearly behind and Lokomotiv by far the worst).

Groups with two or three teams fighting for 2nd place:
E (Bayern, Benfica/Ajax, AEK)
F (Man City, Hoffenheim/Lyon/Shakhtar) (Group F has three teams fighting for 2nd, with Shakhtar given slightly worse odds) (odds match ELO more or less, though ELO likes Shakhtar a bit more. 538 loves Shakhtar and hates Hoffenheim)




   621. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 31, 2018 at 10:24 AM (#5736866)
I love how petty he is.

He was asked about chants from the Spurs fans during Monday night's defeats that saw them sing to him "you're not special anymore."

“Yeah, but they didn’t have that song when we beat them at Wembley a couple of months ago, that final they had a big dream to go, a title they had a big dream to win, because they don’t win many. In that night at Wembley the United fans were singing the special one and of course they were not singing that,” Mourinho retorted.


   622. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 31, 2018 at 10:29 AM (#5736869)
Here's a fun one:
Galatasaray/Lokomotiv betting odds are very similar and ELO rankings at identical (1648). 538 has Galatasary as enormously better (Galatasary about as good as Dortmund, and Lokomotiv tield with Pizen as by far the worst team in the tournament).
   623. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 31, 2018 at 10:31 AM (#5736870)
#621 I thought that was a good line. Bantz! I liked how it got under his skin though, too.
   624. I am going to be Frank Posted: August 31, 2018 at 10:35 AM (#5736873)
His thin skin coupled with no filter is amazing at such a high profile position.

Apparently Mkhitarayan cannot play at Qarabog because Azerbaijan does not allow Armenians into the country. I'm sure UEFA will have a great fix for that immediately.
   625. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 31, 2018 at 10:38 AM (#5736876)
Apparently Mkhitarayan cannot play at Qarabog because Azerbaijan does not allow Armenians into the country. I'm sure UEFA will have a great fix for that immediately.

That is...bizarre. Sport, bringing peoples together in harmony for thousands of years. I mean, the Greeks invented modern sport and they never fought!
   626. J. Sosa Posted: August 31, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5736879)
Yeah, all the Totteringham day stuff would probably have me foaming at the mouth if I were a Spurs fan.

Re: Draw

I am not a gambler, but the way I look at LFC’s group is how would you rate a Napoli v Liverpool two legged knockout matchup. With Anfield, I feel pretty good about that.

Re: Mou

At one time I thought there was an element of smug performance art. It might just be me but lately it seems like he has had a shriller tone, I might just be tired of his act though.

Re: SPL

I have a soft spot for Gerrard, by most accounts he has taken a humble approach, hired a quality staff, been forthcoming about mistakes due to inexperience, etc. It has surprised me. The most interesting thing to me is how heavily he seems to have been influenced by Benitez.

Years ago there were Liverpool fans that claimed Gerrard and Rafa had a falling out. But I don’t go far back enough with following the club to know if that is true or not. Gerrard has had some very self aware things to say about coaching to his credit.
   627. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 31, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5736891)
They need to bring back Special One TV.
   628. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: August 31, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5736893)
I think PSG may be getting underrated. I think M'Bappe is really ready to make the leap into the Neymar class, and then you have well 2 ####### Neymars. I'm super excited to see them play Liverpool with the two managers.

I agree with Napoli/Liverpool. With Napoli, they lost one of their better players from last year and their manager. We'll have to see how that affects them, but I think there's a real chance they're not as good as their ELO (which, to me, basically says they were outstanding last year - which sure, but Liverpool isn't playing last year's Napoli).
   629. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 31, 2018 at 11:37 AM (#5736914)
Though 538 differs from betting odds at the margins at the top (see Man U / Valencia), the major differences come at the bottom of the groups. 538 really loves certain teams, most notably Brugge, Galatasaray, Shakhtar and Young Boys.
   630. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 31, 2018 at 11:39 AM (#5736917)
The ultimate hipster soccer accessory

It's over folks. Set you retro shirts, your St. Pauli shirts, all of it on fire. We have a winner.
   631. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 31, 2018 at 11:58 AM (#5736939)
So, Dudelanage got stuck in a group with the next worst team (Olympiakos) a cool 400 ELO points above them. Hard to believe they will even get a point from that group, though you never know. The only other group that has a third-best team that good is Group H (Frankfurt).
   632. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 31, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5736959)
I think PSG may be getting underrated. I think M'Bappe is really ready to make the leap into the Neymar class, and then you have well 2 ####### Neymars. I'm super excited to see them play Liverpool with the two managers.
All true. Even still, of all the Pot 1 teams (excluding Lokomotiv), PSG has the lowest betting odds to advance, at just 81% (Liverpool at 74%). Next lowest is Atletico/Juve at a much safer 89%.

Would be nice to see PSG go out early again, though I'm sure if that happens Neymar bolts for the exit.
   633. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 31, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5736978)
There were some very bad teams in the Europa league last year, most notably Albania's Skënderbeu and especially Macedonia's Vardar. Neither were rated as poorly by ELO as Dudelange though.

Skënderbeu actually did ok, managing to get home draws against Partizan and Young Boys, and a home win against Kyiv, all in meaningful games. GD only -4.

Vardar did not do as well, to say the least. Managed only a home draw against Rosenborg in its last, and meaningless, group game after being outscored 19-2 (with 5 losses) in the first 5 games. Easily the worst performance of any team in the Europa group stages last year. To be fair, they were in hard group, which contained two very good (for Europa) teams, Zenit and Sociedad.

Unfortunately Dudelange is worse, and their group is even better. Go Dudelange!
   634. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: August 31, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5736996)
The PL transfer window having already shut has led to a very boring transfer deadline day. Josh Onomah has been loaned to Wednesday from Spurs and Tammy Abraham to Villa from Chelsea. Disappointing for both players, I think. Both should probably be at a lower tier PL side this year.
   635. PepTech, the Legendary Posted: August 31, 2018 at 01:35 PM (#5736999)
(God, it makes me happy that when Spurs are playing Barcelona Arsenal will be playing Qarabag.)
If I'm reading the schedules correctly, Oct 3 features Barca @ Wembley, and Oct 4 has the Gunners at Qarabag.

Return matches Dec 11 and 13.

In other news, Ronaldo @ United 10/23, in Turin 11/7; 'Pool goes to Paris on Nov 28. The Anfield match in Sept 18, but the attention of the world will be elsewhere: Galatasaray hosts Lokomotiv.
   636. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 31, 2018 at 01:38 PM (#5737001)
To continue the theme... I believe two years ago there was some discussion of Dundalk, Ireland's valiant champions. They were almost certainly the worst-rated Europa group stage team from that year, certainly not much better rated than Dudelange.

However, they made it all the way to the CL play-off round before losing to Legia Warsaw. Then they managed ok in a weaker Europa group, finishing last but with a win and a draw (in their first two group games!), and a GD of only -3.

edit: average attendance for Dudelange games last year: 511.
   637. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 31, 2018 at 03:16 PM (#5737041)
They were down a man after 37 minutes, down two men after 66 minutes and had they given up one goal in all that time they'd be out. That's a a hell of a job. Doesn't really say a lot for the quality of the Russian Premier League.
All true. But to be fair to the Russian league, Ufa is currently rated in the bottom half of the Russian league, and wouldn't be much better than a mid-table Championship team most years.

Though Ufa qualified for the Europa playoffs as the 6th placed Russian team last year, a fun fact is a low-table team (Tosno) actually won the league cup. Since Russia only has 6 slots in Europe, Ufa only was selected because Tosno failed to obtain a UEFA license in time (announced by the club president immediately following the cup win). To top it off, Tosno was then relegated!
   638. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 31, 2018 at 03:37 PM (#5737046)
538 finally came out with their Europa predictions. Astoundingly, they don't have Dudelange as the lowest-ranked team. A Slovakian team (Trnava) gets the honor (I'd love to know how they figured that), with a Norwegian team (Sarpsborg) and a Hungarian team (Videoton) not far behind. Hard to understand that, as the Luxembourg league is tiny (so, no money really) and has had essentially zero success in Europe to this point. Norway and Slovakia have had much more success in Europe, and Hungary, though no great shakes, is still well ahead of Luxembourg.
   639. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: August 31, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5737058)
538 has Dudelange with a 12% chance to beat Milan at home on 9/20. I'd love to take them up on that.
   640. aberg Posted: August 31, 2018 at 05:35 PM (#5737077)
My beloved QPR brought in Geoff Cameron on a half-season loan. Hopefully that will help them save a few points in the first half of the year to stay out of League 1. Cameron isn't very good anymore, but QPR are a complete disaster and he can't make them any worse.
   641. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: September 01, 2018 at 12:06 AM (#5737288)
Nice to know ESPN2 has decided to show random US Open coverage rather that the USWNT game that they had scheduled (and I thought I was recording)...
   642. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 01, 2018 at 08:51 AM (#5737334)
What a mistake by Alisson for the first goal against Liverpool this year.
   643. frannyzoo Posted: September 01, 2018 at 12:09 PM (#5737385)
I like Pellegrini and want to like West Ham, but WAY too static and unimaginative, at least in the portions I saw.
   644. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 01, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5737395)
Who's the best team in the EPL after the top 6? Not a good showing by Everton today, and Crystal Palace lost at home to Southampton. Is it Leicester? Surely not Bournemouth? Leicester lost at home to Liverpool--though not that inspiring it was a decent showing considering the quality of the opposition.

My money's still on Leicester or Everton as 7th best, though who knows at this point. Man U could play as bad as the worst projections expect, and still finish 6th in the league.

For relegation, after the showing today by West Ham, it's either them or Burnley that will be (betting) odds-on for the third relegation spot. Definitely West Ham if Burnley get a point against Man U.

edit: despite their hot start, I don't think the 7th best team is Watford, but I did overlook them.
   645. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: September 01, 2018 at 02:51 PM (#5737410)
So, biggest Spurs news of the day?

SONNY WON GOLD!

HE STAYS!!!
   646. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 01, 2018 at 10:40 PM (#5737556)
More Dudelange fun. They performed very well in the Luxembourg league last year, finishing top with only 2 draws and 2 losses, and only one real competitor. Best league GD at +55. However...

Things are not going quite as well this year. In their first three league games they already have as many losses (2) as they had in their 26 games last year. Currently sitting at the bottom of the table. Sure that will change, but it might be a challenge to win the league again with the early handicap.

For their run to the Europa group they played 8 games: their opponent received a red card in 4 of them! (all critical 1-goal victories or draws). At least 2 of those likely had a significant on the final scoreline, and both were in ties where Dudelange advanced by a single goal.
   647. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 02, 2018 at 09:38 AM (#5737599)
538's rankings are very sensitive to big scorelines. For example, Galatasary dropped from Dortmund level to PSV level as a result of one bad league game, where they had to play with 10 men after 30 minutes. Similar (but smaller) effects happened with Young Boys, PSV, and to a lesser extent some other teams, based on league play scorelines.

At least that's consistent with there model, but this is not: they have adjusted Shakhtar downwards by a large 5 points, not based on any results (Shakhtar won in the their league yesterday). I think this is the result of them not modeling the Ukraine league, which they should have done in the first place. The adjustment to Shakhtar's ranking doesn't show up if you use the dropdown for the original rankings, so they have made a retroactive adjustment.

This may help explain my favorite topic: Dudelange!!! Without modeling a league, 538 seems to be just WAGing relative team strength. More generally, I really think 538 needs to do a lot more work on their interleague rankings, as they seem worse than pure ELO.

edit: I should have mentioned that prior to adjusting Shakhtar down, 538 had them as the 12th best team in the world, ahead of Arsenal, Man U, Inter, Sevilla, Roma, Valencia...
   648. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 02, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5737607)
I think I see part of the problem. 538 uses multiple statistics to model relative team performance in the biggest leagues (including actual scoreline, shot-based xG, and non-shot based xG). This has the effect of regressing large scorelines, because the other stats are seldom as high as the large scoreline (e.g., usually a large scoreline means exceptional finishing). However, in smaller leagues 538 doesn't do xG, so it appears large scorelines effectively are not regressed in the same way (all the weight is on the actual score). So a 3-0 Young Boys road league win moves the numbers much more than a 3-0 Chelsea road win over Huddersfield, even though the pre-game odds were given as similar.

ELO doesn't have this problem--since it only knows final score it regresses it fairly heavily.
   649. KronicFatigue Posted: September 02, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5737616)
How good of a dribbler is Eden Hazard currently and/or historically? When I watch him dribble I'm amazed by how fast he's able to move and how close he's able to keep the ball to him. Where does he rank among today's players and if that's high enough, my follow up question is where does he rank historically?
   650. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 02, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5737648)
Oh what is Paul Pogba doing there?
   651. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 02, 2018 at 01:01 PM (#5737665)
Tottenam played an uninspired game, but a loss is pretty harsh on them. Man U on the other hand looked quite good most of the game, even when they were down a man. Are they going to play a more offensive style now, or is Burnley just really no good?
   652. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 02, 2018 at 01:14 PM (#5737669)
What is set piece defending, etc.
   653. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 02, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5737684)
Schalke very unimpressive against Hertha Berlin.

And in Scotland Partick Thistle got three points despite this awful disallowed goal.
   654. J. Sosa Posted: September 02, 2018 at 02:31 PM (#5737695)
Re: Kronic

They are imperfect measures, but to give a general idea Hazard averaged 4.9 dribbles a match last season, generated 2.4 fouls, and lost the ball 2.3 times a game. Using those same three numbers Messi was at 5.1, 2.2, and 3.

We talked about Pulisic a couple pages ago, for a frame of reference Pulisic was at 2.4, 1.1, 1.7.

I don’t go back far enough as a fan to give an idea historically and the numbers don’t exist. Ronaldinho in his pomp would be fun to look at. Basically though, with Hazard, the stats match what your eyes tell you. Explosive dribbler with low center of gravity and retains the ball well. Messi is a little past it, but given that he is on a short list of greatest of all time players it shows how good Hazard is.

BTW, I mentioned Adama Traore a few pages ago having some hilarious metrics. For reference, Traore’s numbers in the Championship last season were 7.1, 2.5, and 2.5.

Why isn't he a great player you say? Lack of vision, he runs into blind allies a lot which also shows in his stats. Also shows in Pulisic’s. This next year or two is crucial for Pulisic.
   655. frannyzoo Posted: September 02, 2018 at 08:34 PM (#5737812)
I'm just glad Burnley didn't have to play Group Stage in Europa. If so, they'd surely be going down. As it is, mid-table might be a tad optimistic for them this year based on performance so far.
   656. Mefisto Posted: September 02, 2018 at 09:03 PM (#5737817)
I thought Burnley looked pretty bad today, but they had to play on Thurs. and they lack the roster depth for that. I have to assume they'll be better going forward.
   657. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 02, 2018 at 09:26 PM (#5737825)
Rooney has two assists and a goal tonight. The goal was a penalty on what should probably have been his third assist, as the pass to spring the forward for the penalty would have been the best assist of the night.

DC United is still chasing the last playoff spot, so every game is critical.
   658. J. Sosa Posted: September 02, 2018 at 09:36 PM (#5737826)
Re: Burnley

They look exhausted.

Re: Samp

Watched a little of the Samp/Napoli game today. Featured maybe the best back heel I have ever seen.

Re: Last post

Should have clarified, the lack of vision shows up in the passing stats of Traore and Pulisic which I didn’t post, re reading the post it seemed to imply otherwise although Pulisic’s dribble/possession loss ratio is not good.
   659. Richard Posted: September 03, 2018 at 04:29 AM (#5737862)
Burnley finished 7th last season despite scoring less than a goal a game. That performance was always going to be very difficult to repeat.
   660. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 03, 2018 at 07:07 PM (#5738044)
Betting odds have Dudelange as just a 4% chance to win (and 12% chance to draw) home to Milan.
   661. jmurph Posted: September 04, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5738164)
Arsenal are a lot more fun so far this year, at least. They combine what looks like reasonable effort (if not skill) pressing, at times, with a porous midfield and backline. And they have some solid attacking talent. Gonna be some goals this year, I think!
   662. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: September 04, 2018 at 10:33 AM (#5738167)
edit: average attendance for Dudelange games last year: 511.


Sure, they aren't a giant of the Luxembourg league like Progrès Niederkorn who knocked Rangers out last year.
   663. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 05, 2018 at 09:17 AM (#5738822)
There is a lot of evidence now that xG predicts future results better than past results (W/L/D score differential). ELO uses actual results only, and for the most part 538 uses only xG. 538 also uses an adjusted version of actual goals scored and goals allowed, but doesn't seem to actually track wins/losses/draws. For it's lesser leagues, as best as I can tell 538 uses actual goals only but not results.

I'm still not convinced 538 is more accurate. The main reasons are:
1. relative league strengths appear less accurate than ELO, especially for leagues that haven't been modeled completely (such as Ukraine or Luxembourg).
2. results in lesser leagues appear not to track xG, so appear to be using an unregressed GD differential only. This seems to have the effect of sometimes overrating top teams in weaker leagues.
3. actual result win/loss/draw is not a factor. I actually don't know if this matters much or at all.

The 538 model could be adjusted to fix points 1 and 2 so that the predictions better match the betting odds. Currently there appears to be a consistent bias.

Very interesting to me, this article on ELO finds that a modified ELO that ignores actual results, and instead plugs in betting odds predictions, outperforms actual ELO. In other words, if you want to know the relative team strengths in a league, and/or want to predict the outcome of an upcoming game, you are better off only knowing past expectations (betting odds) rather than knowing only past actual scorelines. Perhaps this result is not surprising, but it's pretty much the opposite of the adage that relative quality is proven via results.
   664. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 06, 2018 at 12:50 PM (#5739885)
Poisson distributions are a good first approximation of how goals are distributed in soccer. What 538 and other forecasting systems do for their game predictions is assume an average rate of goals scored for each team (adjusting for the quality of opposition), then use Poisson distributions to determine the likelihood of all possible scorelines (i.e. 0-0, 0-1, 1-0, etc.). This is a common method of forecasting, and generally works well as a starting point, most likely better than pure ELO, for example.

A well-known phenomenon in soccer is that there are significantly more draws than would be predicted by dual poisson distributions (one for the scoring rate of each team). 538 appears to simply make an adjustment for this in their matrix of all possible scorelines. This is a quick fix of course, but I think more interesting is why draws happen more often than expected.

Consider that teams will presumably play to maximize their winning percentage at all times. If the score is currently a draw and it is not late in the game for mismatched teams, teams will more or less generally play their standard offense/defense. The "standard" offense/defense being the one that maximizes mean goal differential in their favor, without taking into account variance. On the other hand, when one team goes ahead, the game usually changes rather significantly, because the trailing team, unless they are heavily favored and it is early in the game, has to open things up, leading to the potential for more goals on both ends and usually increasing variance. (You'll often hear something like: "what this game needs is a goal"). I would suggest, then, that broadly speaking the scoring rate goes up when one team is leading. This fits the well-known empirical result that draws are more common than expected (and, the empirical result that 1-goal victories are less common than expected, though to a smaller extent).

In other words, teams don't really have an offensive scoring rate and defensive rate, but they have multiple rates depending on the game state (leading, trailing, time left, quality of opposition). Of course modeling this effectively would be much harder. My main point here is that, if the above is true, I think it's possible that "result" (W/L/draw) becomes a proxy for a team's quality, because it takes into account a team's ability to leverage it's goals scored and allowed rates over and above the team's average rates (to some extent, like "pitching to the score"). Similarly, it's an argument for regressing further the effect of multiple goal wins, since these are to some extent the reverse consequence of a team currently losing to increase the variance by opening up the attack, rather than purely a measure of relative team quality.

Ultimately what I am saying is that I think there may be information being lost by pure (adjusted) Poisson methods like 538's that don't take into account results and don't regress goal differentials, both of which are done by pure ELO result methods.
   665. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 06, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5740035)
Trying to figure out which Nations League game to watch. The goofball in me wants to watch Macedonia-Gibraltar, but I think I'll just watch Germany-France.
   666. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 06, 2018 at 04:11 PM (#5740106)
I've been watching Germany - France. It hasn't been great but it's been entertainingly competitive with actual good players on the pitch.
   667. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 06, 2018 at 04:13 PM (#5740108)
Very sleepy game in Munich. Neither team doing much, but it's been fairly even. Predictably, the announcers are relitigating the World Cup, so are very critical of Germany's performace and somewhat complimentary of France's.

   668. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 06, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5740128)
The last half hour was a little livelier, with Germany getting the better of the opportunities.

It was nice to see the star players on the field, playing competitively even if it sometimes seemed like they were only putting out 80% effort.
   669. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 06, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5740136)
As it wound down I had the thought that it's similar to the World Baseball Classic. Maybe it's not life or death type stuff but it's at least competitive in a way that friendlies aren't.
   670. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 06, 2018 at 05:48 PM (#5740179)
I was working as I watched Germany-France, so I wasn't paying super-close attention. Did Löw really play Kimmich in the midfield and Ginter at right back? That's how it's listed on the Fotmob app and it seems goofy as hell.

I mean, if Jogi's going to try new things, I guess now would be the time to do it. But Kimmich always seems so damaging as an attacking fullback and Ginter is more like a center back who can play on the wing if you need him to.
   671. I am going to be Frank Posted: September 07, 2018 at 09:39 AM (#5740401)
Kimmich came up as a midfielder. I think there was a fair amount of criticism that Germany's midfield lacked athleticism and energy. Kimmich definitely has that. Playing a CB at FB is pretty commonly used at the international level (France did it to pretty good effect), and Ginter has played there in the past.
   672. Sean Forman Posted: September 07, 2018 at 06:06 PM (#5740716)
I know that
1) I have no historical basis, so I automatically discount just how good of a prospect someone like Jozy Altidore was (probably as good as anyone now bar Pulisic)
2) I'm overly optimistic about how much young players will improve.

but....

I'm started to get really excited by the current set of players from 18-20.

Sargent has scored a ton of goals for Werder Bremen II, 5 goals and an assist in 616 minutes.
Timothy Weah is getting playing time at PSG....more or less
Pulisic
Weston McKennie
and I'm starting to wonder if Tyler Adams might not be the best of the bunch. He just seems to thrive wherever he plays.
Chris Richards is playing for the Bayern u19s.
#$@#$@ #@$@ Jonathan Gonzalez

This doesn't count 5-10 other players who have recently moved to Europe like Richie Ledezma, Gio Reyna, and others. At current rates, there will be 40-50 kids who will have signed in Europe between now and the next world cup. I think that Pulisic's success is having a big impact, both on Euro club's interest and the willingness of young Americans to make the move.
   673. Sean Forman Posted: September 08, 2018 at 08:11 AM (#5740851)
Thoughts from the game last night. 4-1-4-1

Miazga, Brooks, Yedlin, Steffen were pretty good last night. Steffen's distribution looks better. He hit some nice passes to the fullbacks down the field.
Miazga and Brooks both looked really good. If they can stay healthy they might top out at Champions League level center backs, especially Brooks if he can stay healthy.
Douglas Costa is a beast and just abused LB Antonee Robinson multiple times. Hopefully, he learns from that, he's 21 and at Wigan, so no real shame in that.

Tyler Adams is going to have an impact at RB Leipzig when he moves. Will Trapp offers something I guess.

All of the attackers were pretty forgettable. Brazil had the US pinned back most of the match and the only offensive actions were corners and free kicks and some crosses from the wings and one nice cutback by adams to McKennie.
   674. Swedish Chef Posted: September 08, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5740942)
Poor Luke Shaw.
   675. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: September 08, 2018 at 09:37 PM (#5741093)
The Guardian's MBM said that he was up and walking and calling people afterwards, but I haven't seen any further update ...
   676. Mefisto Posted: September 08, 2018 at 10:29 PM (#5741131)
If there's anyone for whom the phrase "injury prone" was invented, it's Luke Shaw.
   677. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 10, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5741665)
Sigi Schmid resigns from LA Galaxy. The Galaxy aren't having a great year so it's not like he's the hot commodity and at 65 maybe he's too old but my first thought was that this was a pre-cursor to an appointment to the US. He's respected, he's got a good track record and he knows MLS and the US game so he would hopefully be able to integrate both the foreign players and home-based players better than Klinsmann did.
   678. I am going to be Frank Posted: September 10, 2018 at 03:53 PM (#5741682)
Shaw has been one of United's better performers so far - I guess that means Ashley Young on the left.
   679. aberg Posted: September 10, 2018 at 05:11 PM (#5741774)
Sigi Schmid resigns from LA Galaxy. The Galaxy aren't having a great year so it's not like he's the hot commodity and at 65 maybe he's too old but my first thought was that this was a pre-cursor to an appointment to the US. He's respected, he's got a good track record and he knows MLS and the US game so he would hopefully be able to integrate both the foreign players and home-based players better than Klinsmann did.


As a Sounders fan, I would not be very excited about that. He got pretty predictable tactically toward the end of his time here. Like any manager, he had security blanket players who he relied on beyond what they could do on the field, but it sometimes came at the exclusion of developing younger players. It has been a very long time since he had any contact with soccer outside of MLS, as well.

Also- not the greatest track record for recent LA Galaxy managers at USMNT.
   680. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: September 10, 2018 at 06:02 PM (#5741833)
Nations League results
Portugal 1-0 Italy
Sweden 2-3 Turkey
Scotland 2-0 Albania
Montenegro 2-0 Lithuania
Serbia 2-2 Romania
Andorra 1-1 Kazakhstan
Kosovo 2-0 Faroe Islands
Malta 1-1 Azerbaijan


Quick ... off the top of your head a) biggest mismatch in population ratio ... and b) best result, keeping the former question in mind?
   681. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 10, 2018 at 07:24 PM (#5741882)
I'll play. Andorra/Kazakhstan? I would guess that for both a and b, but since you asked two questions I get the feeling there should be two different answers.
   682. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 10, 2018 at 07:32 PM (#5741888)
By ELO, the only game with a moderately surprising result was Turkey over Sweden.
   683. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: September 10, 2018 at 07:38 PM (#5741890)
I'll play. Andorra/Kazakhstan? I would guess that for both a and b, but since you asked two questions I get the feeling there should be two different answers.


Actually, not sure myself ... looked up some of the matches, but not all. That would have been my choice as well, but a lot rides on the ratio in part a) (for part (b I mean))
   684. Sean Forman Posted: September 12, 2018 at 08:55 AM (#5742786)
Watched USA/Mexico last night. 1-0 USA win. Mexico's lineup was just as young and "experimental" as the USA's, so take it fwiw.

US look awful the first half. Absolutely nothing going forward. Starting 4 defensive minded midfielders and RB at LB and the 3rd or 4th choice RB along with Zardes and an 18yo up top will do that.

It was a pretty dysfunctional lineup.

I'm going to assume this may be Wil Trapp's last USMNT callup for awhile. If he's among our 30 best, we suck.

Timothy Weah didn't produce much results, but he was about the only person who had any ideas at all. He was constantly moving, showing for the ball, making secondary runs, trying 1-2's.

Tyler Adams scored the goal after Mexico had gone down to 10 men which happened a minute or two after Matt Miazga trolled one of the Mexican players really really hard. It was refreshing to see the USA concacaf someone else for once. You should look it up.

In the last year we've had
18yo Weston McKennie
19yo Tyler Adams
18yo Josh Sargent, and
18yo Timothy Weah all score goals for the team. Which is probably a good sign overall.

The team didn't look great, but there is no shame in a 2-0 loss to Brazil and a 1-0 win over Mexico.

Hopefully we have a new coach ahead of the next batch of matches because Dave Sarachan's 4-1-4-1 is pretty f'in dire at times.
   685. The Marksist Posted: September 12, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5742853)
Watched the first half, and it was not good for the US. I don't have the eye to be able to tell if it was tactics or personnel, but it felt like they had absolutely no midfield. Couldn't move the ball through the middle and the fullbacks offered nothing going forward. Plus the usual poor touches and misplaced passes. Grim stuff.
   686. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 12, 2018 at 12:05 PM (#5742906)
The US team was absolutely abysmal for a 30-minute stretch in the middle of the first half, seemingly on all parts of the pitch. After about minute 35-40 they became a little less incompetent, or perhaps Mexico lost some of their quickness, but they played Mexico more or less even until the red card. This second part of the game until about minute 67 or so wasn't particularly inspiring, but at least the team wasn't getting run off the pitch. After the red the US dominated for the most part, to their credit at least.

I wasn't impressed with Miazga in this game, as he seemed to make numerous positional mistakes. For example, his yellow came off a stupid play where he jumped in at midfield only to be easily maneuvered around to the point where he felt like he had to grab the Mexican player to avoid a break. In that situation the much easier play was just to stay in front of the Mexican player as there wasn't a lot of danger until Miazga created it. On a later play, he blamed the left side defender when a cross came in over Miazga's head for a free volley by the Mexican forward, but it sure looked (to me and the announcers) that the forward was Miazga's primary responsibility and he fell asleep a little.

In the last two games, Green has made some very good crosses and played decent balls into the box, but the announcers haven't liked him much. The US looked more dangerous after he came on.
   687. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: September 12, 2018 at 01:29 PM (#5742972)
It's over folks. Set you retro shirts, your St. Pauli shirts, all of it on fire. We have a winner.


Oh man, how did I miss that earlier. Awesome.
   688. Sean Forman Posted: September 13, 2018 at 12:07 PM (#5743585)

In the last two games, Green has made some very good crosses and played decent balls into the box, but the announcers haven't liked him much. The US looked more dangerous after he came on.


As someone on twitter pointed out, the US had zero creative mids on the field, so adding one made a huge difference.
   689. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: September 15, 2018 at 07:53 AM (#5744779)
Can't say I have much hope for Spurs today.
   690. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 15, 2018 at 09:00 AM (#5744785)
Your fears were well founded.

My parents are on a 50th anniversary trip to Europe and are in the Canary Islands. Despite not being soccer fans they are attending the Tenerife-Reus match (La Liga 2) on the Canary Islands today. I’m eager to see pictures.
   691. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 15, 2018 at 09:35 AM (#5744787)
Liverpool dominated in xG. Firmino's goal is no doubt way overvalued as a chance, because it would have been an own goal or out for a corner had the ball bounced anywhere else coming off of the defender, but still the game wasn't particularly close.
   692. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 15, 2018 at 09:37 AM (#5744788)
So Spurs were trash today yet should have had a pen at the end for a potential draw.
   693. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 15, 2018 at 09:39 AM (#5744789)
Leverkusen win a penalty three minutes in against Bayern. Neuer saves the pen and the follow up but the ref hadn’t blown his whistle for the PK to be taken. So they reset and Leverkusen send in a different taker and he buries it. 1-0 6 minutes in to Leverkusen.
   694. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: September 15, 2018 at 09:42 AM (#5744792)
Liverpool dominated in xG. Firminho's goal is no doubt way overvalued as a chance, because it would have been an own goal or out for a corner had the ball bounced anywhere else coming off of the defender, but still the game wasn't particularly close.


Yeah 0.9 to 3.4 ... that's a paddlin'
   695. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 15, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5744793)
538 calculates "shot xG" as well as "non-shot xG", which is nonshooting actions near the opponents goal, and averages them (along with adjusted actual goals scored) which smooths out a lot of this kind of stuff. This game was quite close in non-shot xG.
   696. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: September 15, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5744798)
Leverkusen win a penalty three minutes in against Bayern. Neuer saves the pen and the follow up but the ref hadn’t blown his whistle for the PK to be taken. So they reset and Leverkusen send in a different taker and he buries it. 1-0 6 minutes in to Leverkusen.
You jinxed it.
   697. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 15, 2018 at 11:14 AM (#5744804)
Boy did I ever.
   698. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: September 15, 2018 at 12:30 PM (#5744810)
That Firmino eye injury is gross as ####, and poorly timed with the start of the group stage.

It's reassuring to see Liverpool with only 2 goals allowed through five games, though. They keep that type of defense up and they're going to have a shot at the title.
   699. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: September 15, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5744817)
Man U without De Gea would be a lower half side. Watford is making their defense look Championship quality.
   700. SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY Posted: September 15, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5744842)
Longish Tottenham post ahead. Liverpool deserved to win, certainly. I think that Tottenham/Poch need to be looking in the mirror and thinking what this means. They got 9 points out of their first 3 games but I didn't think they looked like vintage Tottenham in those games, and really I think the shaky play started with a couple of months left in last season. Also, Poch is smarter than me, but with that said, here goes:

- Left back: Danny Rose was quite poor today, with a bunch of give-aways, and I remember at least one play where Liverpool was breaking and he wasn't really running hard back. He doesn't seem in very good shape, at least not the kind of shape fullbacks need to be in these days. It really has me wondering if he'll find the form he was in a couple of years back. This was an obvious weakness for the team going into the year and it's disappointing they didn't bring in someone to challenge him for the spot. Davies is mid-table filler.

- Central mid: I think plenty of people pointed this out as an area the team needed to improve as well, and didn't. It was also an area that really struggled today. I don't think Liverpool's press was particularly aggressive today, but nevertheless there were a lot of sloppy turnovers from Dier and Dembele that led to breaks. Dier has a habit of making backpasses when under pressure without lifting his head up, and I feel like about once a game it can lead to the center backs dealing with a 1v1 or 2v2 situation. Dembele is the same - he's kind of a shaky dribbler for someone who carries the ball so much. For much of his career he's been able to deal with it due to his strength, awkward dribbling/movement style, and feints. He's seemed a bit past it this year for me, having lost some of his burst. Dier was already not the quickest player, and Winks had a solid game but athletically is below average. These guys both struggle to create for the front 4, struggle with the press, and struggle with building out of the back. The building out of the back is important because Tottenham does (or tries) a lot more of that these days.

In fact for a lot of the game I thought Liverpool's best chances weren't from their own attacking play but from gifts that Tottenham gave them with really dangerous turnovers. It's a shame because this was another area where Tottenham needed to spend money in the offseason, but didn't. It's tough to look at Liverpool and see Henderson not even be a regular starter for them in midfield and know that he would easily be the best midfielder on Tottenham. This is easily the biggest difference between the two teams for me.

- Style: Over the last 3 years Tottenham has gone from a press-based team to more of a possession-based team. Some of that is natural as you move up the table pecking order, but they really didn't press worth a damn in the game today. 2-3 years ago they were an in your face, serious pressing side every single game. I don't completely chalk this up to fatigue from the WC, though that doesn't help. This transition was seen a bit last year too. But it's a big reason why City tore them apart last season is their press isn't up to the standard it used to be.

And when they're in possession, they really struggle at times to turn that into meaningful chances in the final 3rd. When comparing it to teams like Liverpool and City it's striking. Mourinho gets #### on for not knowing how to run a real offensive style, but I think you could ask a similar question about Poch. I don't know that I can really tell you what their style is other than they just have a bunch of world class attacking players and you hope they figure it out. But when Eriksen isn't on his game, it seems like they don't have a real identity.

Lamela is going to (rightly) have a tough time breaking into the winger/attacking mid rotation, but the team also can really use his athleticism and pressing. I'd think very seriously about if Lamela and/or Eriksen can play a bit deeper. You probably still need Winks/Dier/Wanyama out there, but I think that makes the team more athletic, and better at pressing and improves the link up play if they're going to play as a possession based team.
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