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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 | 1297 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   901. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 02, 2018 at 05:03 PM (#5757659)
CSKA Moscow up early on Madrid, as I think we all anticipated.


And closed it out for all 3 points 1-0!
   902. J. Sosa Posted: October 02, 2018 at 05:07 PM (#5757665)
That Valencia Man U game was dire.

From Mourinho’s United that is to be expected but wow do I not like La Liga clubs. A good reminder of why I find La Liga unwatchable. The diving and playacting is absurd.
   903. spivey Posted: October 02, 2018 at 05:28 PM (#5757688)
Not only did Real lose to CSKA, but Bayern drew 1-1 at home to Ajax and the chatter is that Ajax definitely got the better of the chances. The top of the pack seems a bit more unsettled than has been typical.
   904. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 02, 2018 at 06:50 PM (#5757754)
The ManU game was dire, but they still had the better of the chances (538 xG 1.0-0.4, with MCoA's xG a bit closer) and probably would have won close to 50% of the time, which is what the odds said coming in. A poor showing, but not any worse than what we expected, especially considering the Mourinho drama around the team.

Real and especially Bayern definitely underperformed by xG. It means little though since their groups are so easy.

edit: City caught a break with Lyon only drawing at home, despite dominating the game. Now first in the group is again very likely.
   905. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 03, 2018 at 12:40 PM (#5759362)
Steve Bruce is out at Villa. What a bummer this season must be for Jack Grealish. Instead of an England call up and preparing to play against Barcelona (which he probably would have because of injuries) he's stuck in the shower of shit that Aston Villa have become.
   906. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 03, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5759471)
Spurs: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies; Wanyama, Winks; Lucas, Lamela, Son; Kane.

Subs: Gazzaniga, Rose, Dier, Walker-Peters, Skipp, Sissoko, Llorente

Interesting that Poch is going with Wanyama over Dier. No really our best lineup there but what can you do. Maybe this will be Winks' coming our party.
   907. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 03, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5759476)
I's a lousy time for Spurs not to be at their best, because they really need a win and Barca has not looked sharp of late, so could have been primed for an upset.

ELO and 538 have the game as almost even, but betting odds fairly heavily favor Barca.
   908. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 03, 2018 at 02:32 PM (#5759484)
In the interest of fairness:

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suarez, Coutinho

Subs: Cillesen, Vermaelen, Rafinha, Dembélé, Munir, Vidal, Denis

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomes, van Dijk, Robertson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Keita, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Mignolet, Fabinho, Lovren, Henderson, Sturridge, Moreno, Shaqiri.

Napoli: Ospina, Maksimovic, Koulibaly, Albiol, Mario Rui, Allan, Hamsik, Fabian, Callejon, Milik, Insigne.
Subs: Karnezis, Hysaj, Diawara, Rog, Zielinski, Mertens, Verdi.
   909. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 03, 2018 at 02:43 PM (#5759503)
McKennie with the huge game-winning (probably) header for Schalke. I know it's early, but an away win in this group, even if it's only over Lokomotiv, goes a long way towards sending the team on to the knockouts.
   910. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 03, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5759524)
Interesting that Poch is going with Wanyama over Dier


I'm fine with it, Dier's been pretty dire at times this season. Hopefully this means Big Vic is feeling fully recovered from his knee troubles.

I'm excited and scared for this one ... Davies and Trips on the wings in a back 4 could be real trouble against Barca.
   911. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 03, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5759530)
PSG beating up on another weak team in the group stage (I had Belgrade as probalby the worst team ledt in the CL). To their credit of course, but doesn't do much to answer whether they can beat the good teams. What it does do is show how much of a hole Napoli put themselves in by not beating Belgrade two weeks ago. The game today should be interesting.
   912. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 03, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5759531)
Maybe the Barca players will get confused and pass the ball to Coutinho's English doppleganger, Harry Winks.
   913. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 03, 2018 at 03:01 PM (#5759535)
Ernesto Valverde, the man who ended Pochettino's playing career...
   914. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 03, 2018 at 03:03 PM (#5759537)
Someone tell Vic to stay in his fucking position.
   915. aberg Posted: October 03, 2018 at 03:03 PM (#5759538)
Wow. That's a Lloris boner.
   916. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 03, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5759560)
Koulibaly with a totally idiotic and dangerous tackle, for a deserved yellow. Van dyck was jogging into the play from yards away at 3/4 speed because he had it easily measured up, and Koulibaly made a desparate tackle in a pointless cul-de-sac in the opposing half under the impression (mistaken, but apparently genuine) that he could reach the ball before van dyck.

Especially as a center back, I can't fathom what he was thinking. He needs the cushion of not sitting on a yellow when he is playing defense.
   917. aberg Posted: October 03, 2018 at 03:34 PM (#5759563)
Rakitic just scored a screamer on a half-volley from outside the box [slow whistling sound].
   918. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 03, 2018 at 03:38 PM (#5759569)
PSV is up on Inter for now, at least.
   919. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 03, 2018 at 03:46 PM (#5759578)
Gah. Very obvious and very effective professional foul at midfield by Napoli--no yellow. That's so annoying. It wasn't even close to the right call.

I can sometimes forgive players who make a genuine effort to play soccer (no matter the result), or even players who have little impact on the play (no matter the intent). But a play that is neither has to be a yellow every time.
   920. aberg Posted: October 03, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5759602)
Messi hit the post twice within about 3 minutes. Looked like they were about to put the game away, then Kane came back the other way, juked Semedo with a drag-back and bent it around Ter Stegen. Will make the rest of the game much more interesting.
   921. aberg Posted: October 03, 2018 at 04:15 PM (#5759607)
And once again, about 2 minutes later, Messi goes for that same post on a nice cross from Jordi Alba and puts it just inside this time. 3-1 Barca.
   922. spivey Posted: October 03, 2018 at 04:19 PM (#5759610)
I've not been able to watch the game but looking at the write up from The Guardian it seems like Tottenham has no answer for Messi. Jesus it's frustrating they didn't bring in some midfield depth.
   923. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 03, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5759612)
And now Inter is up on PSV. If the games end like this, Tottenham is in very bad shape.
   924. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 03, 2018 at 04:25 PM (#5759619)
I am recording the game but the fact that Vermaelen is still on Barcelona and made the bench is pretty amazing.
   925. aberg Posted: October 03, 2018 at 04:26 PM (#5759620)
Lamela just smacked one from outside the box with his left foot. It looked like Ter Stegen was on it, but it careened off of Lenglet and bounced into the net.
   926. spivey Posted: October 03, 2018 at 04:28 PM (#5759622)
Lamela!

I think when everyone's healthy I'd just go

Kane
Son - Alli - Lucas
Lamela - Eriksen
LB - Vert - Toby - Trippier

I mean, it's not the best defensive midfield ever (understatement), but their holding midfielders are so bad that you may as well just play your best players. I also think Lamela and Eriksen can at least fake it better than Winks and Dier.
   927. spivey Posted: October 03, 2018 at 04:34 PM (#5759625)
A draw for Liverpool at Napoli is really good. If they lose, that makes the group pretty interesting.
   928. aberg Posted: October 03, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5759626)
I am recording the game but the fact that Vermaelen is still on Barcelona and made the bench is pretty amazing.


It is weird. He was 6th string CB before the year. They sold Mina, loaned out Marlon, and Umtiti is hurt, so Varmaelen is now the top CB on their bench.
   929. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 03, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5759630)
Liverpool "under the cosh" a bit over the last 20 minutes. Before that it was slow but pretty even. Still not a lot of good chances either way.
   930. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 03, 2018 at 04:38 PM (#5759631)
Sissoko and Llorente.

Those are sure some game-changing subs!

To do is too dull, evidently.

   931. spivey Posted: October 03, 2018 at 04:45 PM (#5759639)
Win or lose, I'm happy to see it looks like Spurs have acquitted themselves pretty well after being run off the field the first 55 minutes of the match.
   932. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 03, 2018 at 04:49 PM (#5759645)
Oh for ####'s sake, Sissoko (et al).

That was a thrashing.
   933. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 03, 2018 at 04:50 PM (#5759646)
Messi was almoist embarrassed to score such an easy goal.

edit: and now Napoli scores, fairly deservedly.
   934. Textbook Editor Posted: October 04, 2018 at 01:02 AM (#5759965)
I think when everyone's healthy I'd just go

Kane
Son - Alli - Lucas
Lamela - Eriksen
LB - Vert - Toby - Trippier


If you're going to go with a back 4 (and note I'm not sure that's their best defense if everyone is healthy... but of course everyone is NEVER healthy, it seems...), then you have to provide more of a cover for the 2 CBs than one of Lamela/Eriksen.

That said... I think Lamela should start, certainly at least every game Alli in not healthy. If you go with a back 4, though, I would maybe slide Lamela up for Son on the left and bring in Wanyama to pair with Eriksen. It's been a while (more than a year, I think), but at one point they did have Eriksen back in the 2 of a 4-2-3-1; having him lie deeper to connect with the attacking band isn't a bad idea.

That Lloris error for the first goal put them on the back foot all night. This isn't the first data point in the "Lloris may be losing a step" data set, and I'm getting more than a little worried our previously-though-of-Top-10-GK... may not be there that much longer (or even right now). GKs don't usually drop off a cliff all of a sudden (though, I suppose, see: Hart, Joe), but the downward trend that started last year doesn't seem to be reversing itself.
   935. spivey Posted: October 04, 2018 at 08:30 AM (#5759998)

If you're going to go with a back 4 (and note I'm not sure that's their best defense if everyone is healthy... but of course everyone is NEVER healthy, it seems...), then you have to provide more of a cover for the 2 CBs than one of Lamela/Eriksen.


They've done the 5-at-the-back a good amount this year. I feel like they've gotten completely overrun in midfield when they do it. Now, they've also gotten overrun in midfield in other scenarios because a midfield rotation of Winks/Dier/Wanyama is midtable fodder. But I think the 5-at-the-back plays against the pressing style - which maybe they're abandoning, but I don't think they should.
   936. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 04, 2018 at 09:40 AM (#5760045)
But I think the 5-at-the-back
covers up for Trippier's defensive deficiencies ...
   937. Textbook Editor Posted: October 04, 2018 at 10:34 AM (#5760114)
covers up for Trippier's defensive deficiencies ...


He's kind of a man without a position, really. Too offensive (and slow) to really be a RB in a back 4 against top-quality competition. His optimal position is out wide in a 3-5-2, but then you have to have 3 good CBs (and a cover guy from the midfield 3)... but even then his pace isn't ideal. (England could get away with it, I think, because they had Walker's speed covering for him out of the back 3 on the right.)

   938. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 04, 2018 at 10:51 AM (#5760126)
Not good, Bob

Though that data includes Derp Aurier's "contributions" to the cause as well.
   939. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 04, 2018 at 01:18 PM (#5760264)
Dudelange has been surprisingly cromulent so far. Yeah they're gonna get beat, but they at least look like they comfortably belong on the same field with Betis, in Spain no less.
   940. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 04, 2018 at 01:22 PM (#5760269)
Oh well now there is a "cooing break". It's "only" 89 degrees in Seville (weather sites say) and the players haven't looked like they were suffering too much.

edit: I'm seeing that cooling breaks are taken when the kickoff is greater than 31 degrees Celsius. Not sure if "greater than" means 32 or just 31.1, but either way 89 is just at or over the cutoff.
   941. spivey Posted: October 04, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5760287)
Though that data includes Derp Aurier's "contributions" to the cause as well.

I mean, that data is pretty damning. I will note that they seem to build out of the right a lot more because Ben Davies should be in the Championship. That leaves space there because that's where they get all of their width. I will also note that with the way fullbacks play these days, it's heavily on the central midfielders to provide some of this cover. But their central mids suck at, well, everything.

With Dembele I'm hoping he can find form and that he's not just fallen off a cliff. With Dier, I think it has to be said that his performance a couple of years back was an anomaly and he just isn't good at soccer. He sucked last year and he's sucked this year.
   942. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 04, 2018 at 01:53 PM (#5760302)
I will note that they seem to build out of the right a lot more because Ben Davies should be in the Championship.


I'd go with mid/lower table Prem (where he came from at the time), but yeah, Danny Rose returning to form (and he's looked better) would be a welcome sight. plai

Of course, that means his leg will probably fall off playing for England during the upcoming International break.

Super Jan is now reportedly out for a month, injuries are piling up for Spurs.

At least Harry's looked more and more like his old self with each passing game.
   943. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 04, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5760321)
538's shot xG for Liverpool was 2.0-0.2 (or under MCoA: 1.4-0.1). They didn't seem quite that bad live, and that's backed up by non-shot XG (1.1-0.7). Still, no way getting around the fact that it was a very bad performance by Liverpool, especially in the second half.

The only redeeming factor is that they are effectively still ahead in the group. Can't have another game like that though and expect to finish top.
   944. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 04, 2018 at 05:01 PM (#5760492)
Rangers with a big win and Celtic with a big loss today. Chelsea barely squeaked by a very weak team (Vidi) at home. Arsenal didn't impress but still won easily against weak Qarabag.

The biggest result of the day thought might have been Frankfurt's drubbing of Lazio. They had the better of the chances and were already up 2-1 when Lazio went down to 10 at the end of the half. Finished 4-1. Frankfurt is now odds on to advance out of that tough group. They only squeaked into the tourney as German cup winners and are a midtable team in the Bundesliga again this year.
   945. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 04, 2018 at 05:10 PM (#5760496)
And if you care about these things, Sarpsborg, who 538 tagged as the weakest team in Europa (yes, as significantly weaker than my pet team Dudelange) easily outplayed Genk today for a 3-1 victory. (Don't forget, Trnava, the other team 538 pegged as significantly worse than Dudelange, won last round against Anderlecht 1-0, in a fairly even game).
   946. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 05, 2018 at 10:43 AM (#5760992)
Someone pointed out that Newcastle's schedule has been ridiculously hard. And it has. They've played 4 of the top 6 and Leicester (my current pick for 7th best team in the EPL), and they have ManU this weekend. Their only other two games were both toad games that they drew, one against Palace (probably mid-table this year), and one against Cardiff, where they played with 10 men for most of the second half and were unlucky not to win anyway.

Newcastle didn't do too badly in most of those games, only losing by 2 goals once. They had low xG in a few of them though, and not getting any points at all against the top teams in the league will put any team in a hole. It's early, and they are currently a bubble team for relegation, but considering their schedule, I think we don't really know enough about them yet to say how good they are.
   947. jmurph Posted: October 05, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5761012)
I'm mildly concerned Liverpool are going to roast City again this weekend but I still kind of love this quote from Pep (on why he won't play defensively at Anfield):
"It is boring and secondly our team is not built that way, I will try to convince our players to be ourselves, even at Anfield."
   948. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 06, 2018 at 12:42 PM (#5761635)
Mourhino might not make it to halftime.
   949. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 06, 2018 at 01:33 PM (#5761641)
I hope Mourinho goes. I never liked his personality (except for the occasional genius quip) and the style his teams played. If his team isn't performing at a very high level then I have no use for him.
   950. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 06, 2018 at 02:03 PM (#5761648)
The Newcastle goal has become a bit of a shooting gallery.

edit: Pogba provided another one those delicate, stylish assists.

Chances both ways now.
   951. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 06, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5761653)
Announcers made comparisons to the 3-2 victory over City last year. Other than the scoreline and the timing of the goals, I don't think the games are very similar. City was much better than United over 90 minutes last year--though United outplayed City in a very good second half, overall they were certainly lucky to win. Here United had to be the better team over 90, and though they obviously started poorly it was a bit of an unlucky shock to go down by 2.

In other news. Bayern's mini-swoon continues, this time with a 0-3 home drubbing by Gladbach.
   952. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 07, 2018 at 12:10 AM (#5761866)
Jose Mourinho's post-match interview ... in toto:

“It wasn’t the substitutions that won the game – it was the desire, mentality and commitment. This is not about me, this is not about the players, this is about the club, and in the second half the players gave absolutely everytthing. Nothing more to give.

“I am 55 years old, I am mature, I can cope with it and live with being hunted. I think some of the boys are not coping well with it. The way they started the game was panicking (sic). I thought at some moments we could score in our own goal. It’s not easy for them.

“For me it’s not easy too but I think life is made of experiences and some are new and some are déjà vu. This is new but I think it makes me a better manager and a better person because I understand things in human nature… the industry I work in is different, a lot of wickedness, too much wickedness in something that should be beautiful.

“I cope with it, with some sadness, but I’m a big boy. Clearly some of the boys... Marcus Rashford was sad on the pitch, Scott McTominay was scared on the pitch. All the players committed mistakes that were not normal. I think at half-time we had a good conversation.

“We didn’t promise to each other that we were going to win the match, but we promised we were going to give absolutely anything – without any fear, without any pressure. Just give everything, and they did. I don’t want to say we were lucky because we fought so much for that. Even if we don’t score the last goal, the feeling would be positive. Nobody can promise to win matches but a professional should promise to give everything.

“It’s ridiculous talk [that the players aren’t playing for him] – they don’t play for the manager, they play for the club. It’s not about that. What I asked the players is to give absolutely everything. We had little tactical touches of course, we risked a lot - we were trying to find the best way to play.

“In the end we won the match and I think we deserved to win. I think the fans deserved to win. At 2-0 at half-time, with all the dynamic of the man-hunting, I think they behaved amazingly well for the team. This is what a football club is.

“As a friend of mine was saying to me this morning, If it rains in London tomorrow, it’s my fault. Brexit, it’s my fault. I have to be ready for this. There is a lot of wickedness and a clear manhunt. It’s my life, it’s the life I love, it’s the life I’ve worked for since I was a kid, and I will love it until my last day.”
   953. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 07, 2018 at 08:27 AM (#5761880)
Very pretty team goal started and finished by Ramsey. A bit reminiscent of that classic from years ago with the Giroud flick assist.
   954. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 07, 2018 at 09:07 AM (#5761885)
Arsenal have won 9 straight, but have had an easy run of opponents, and haven't dominated xG in any of their 6 league games. In fact, they've been on the short end of 538's xG in each of the last 3 EPL games (including today), despite outscoring their opponents 9-1 in aggregate in those 3 games.

By odds the hardest game in that streak by odds was probably Newcastle on the road.

Games:
West Ham
at Cardiff
at Newcastle
Vorskla (Europa)
Everton
Brentford (League cup)
Watford
at Qarabag (Europa)
at Fulham
   955. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 07, 2018 at 09:25 AM (#5761888)
At the other end of the table, as expected Cardiff and Huddersfield are bad. The third relegation spot is still wide open, but Burnley, Fulham and Newcastle are currently the most likely to go down.
   956. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: October 07, 2018 at 11:32 AM (#5761913)
Jose Mourinho's post-match interview ... in toto:


I don't care what any of you think, Jose Mourinho is a treasure.

edit: I really enjoy how he carried on like he's so proud of his team's magnificent accomplishment giving everything they had... to scrape by Newcastle with a 90th minute winner at home in October.
   957. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 07, 2018 at 11:40 AM (#5761916)
edit: I really enjoy how he carried on like he's so proud of his team's magnificent accomplishment giving everything they had... to scrape by Newcastle with a 90th minute winner at home in October


While managing to slag off Rashford and McTominay along the way!
   958. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 07, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5761938)
Looked like a clear penalty on van dijk, but Mahrez skied it. Maybe just, because seemed to be an obvious but uncalled foul to take down Salah at midfield immediately before that (I'd have to rewatch to be sure).

30 seconds later, the announcers say the Mahrez penalty is "still perhaps rising".
   959. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 07, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5761939)
That was horrid from Mahrez.
   960. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 07, 2018 at 01:22 PM (#5761941)
It was a lively enough game, but there were surprisingly few good chances either way. Certainly didn't live up to the hype.
   961. jmurph Posted: October 07, 2018 at 01:29 PM (#5761945)
That was stressful!

Mahrez may have been the worst player on the field prior to the penalty. After... I'm not sure I have words for that.
   962. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 07, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5761947)
538 had it as 0.4-1.1 xG in favor of City. Since I think they include penalty attempts in their xG, pretty much confirms that it was fairly even with little xG either way.
   963. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 07, 2018 at 01:38 PM (#5761948)
I was in and out a bit but I thought Lovren played as well as he’s ever played for Liverpool.
   964. The_Ex Posted: October 07, 2018 at 02:34 PM (#5761960)
Given that Pep has lost a couple to Klopp, I think he set up more defensively than they normally do. There were a huge number of give-aways in the game, very little sustained possession for any team. I am not sure if it was sloppy play, trying to play too fast, or excellent defending.
   965. jmurph Posted: October 08, 2018 at 09:50 AM (#5762260)
I see you guys reference 538's xG numbers every once in a while but for the life of me I can't find them (honestly I can rarely ever find anything on their basically unnavigable website). Any help?
   966. Sean Forman Posted: October 08, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5762458)
I was pretty happy as a City fan. Some more shots would have been nice, but the Liverpool press puts so much stress on teams with the ball. City was able to pass through it a lot, but it was stressful. I was waiting for the gaffe that would turn the game, but it never happened.

Van Dijk had the penalty, but he's just phenomenal overall. Best centerback in the Premier League imo. I always find him very impressive. The game was pretty loosely called overall which I think would normally favor Liverpool, but City probably got the better of it this time.
   967. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 08, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5762465)
I see you guys reference 538's xG numbers every once in a while but for the life of me I can't find them (honestly I can rarely ever find anything on their basically unnavigable website). Any help?
Yes! Go their soccer predictions page, select the relevant league, and then click "matches". The completed matches show xG.

The nice thing about 538's xG is that they are available within minutes of the end of the game. The not so nice thing is they only cover certain competitions.
   968. jmurph Posted: October 08, 2018 at 02:25 PM (#5762488)
Thanks Bea!

I was pretty happy as a City fan. Some more shots would have been nice, but the Liverpool press puts so much stress on teams with the ball. City was able to pass through it a lot, but it was stressful. I was waiting for the gaffe that would turn the game, but it never happened.

Just about entirely agree with this. I'd only add that I felt a City goal was possible for much of the 2nd half, even setting aside the penalty. So even though I would have gladly taken a draw coming into the game, and overall it's a good result, part of me feels like they missed an opportunity to steal all three points.

The first 15-20 minutes of the first half, though, hoooooooo boy. Liverpool are terrifying at their pressing best.
   969. jmurph Posted: October 09, 2018 at 01:29 PM (#5763213)
Thierry Henry to Monaco, apparently. Getting on the Wenger pathway I guess.
   970. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 11, 2018 at 07:56 PM (#5764897)
US Squad:


12 Zack Steffen

6 John Brooks

3 Matt Miazga

17 Antonee Robinson

2 DeAndre Yedlin

16 Julian Green

23 Kellyn Acosta

4 Michael Bradley

7 Bobby Wood

10 Kenny Saief

11 Tim Weah


Star Spangled Blanner ... oops.

Interested to see how the back 4 does this game, it could be our best lineup.
   971. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 12, 2018 at 02:47 PM (#5765223)
Woohoo ... Croatia v England ... with a crowd of several, at least.
   972. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 12, 2018 at 03:03 PM (#5765235)
Woohoo ... Croatia v England ... with a crowd of several, at least.


It's bizarre to be watching a match where there's no supporters allowed. The randomly colored seats are interesting - it looks like the tiling in a 1960s bathroom...
   973. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 12, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5765239)
Looks like the Columbus Crew are staying in Columbus. Official announcement at 4:15 PM Eastern. Austin is apparently still a thing for MLS; the most likely way this plays out is that both cities get teams.
   974. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 12, 2018 at 06:27 PM (#5765365)
What is the upper limit of teams in one league? The nfl has 32 while the mlb and nba has 30. Does mls have a round robin format regular season like the European leagues? Regulation isn’t going to work.
   975. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 12, 2018 at 09:52 PM (#5765462)
MLS doesn't have a round robin format. I don't know specifically what the schedule is like anymore, but at one point it was something like "play the teams in your conference twice and the teams in the other conference once". MLS says it plans to stop expanding at 28, but I'm not sure I believe them - they always say they're going to stop expanding because that makes expansion slots that much more valuable. I could see 30 or 32 happening in the next decade.

IIRC, Argentina had 30 clubs in their first division at one point and talked about having 40. This was their "oh crap, River Plate is being relegated, what the hell do we do now?" plan.
   976. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 12, 2018 at 10:04 PM (#5765469)
The NHL has 31 teams - three divisions of eight teams and one of seven. I have no clue how they formulate the schedule.
   977. Baldrick Posted: October 13, 2018 at 11:31 AM (#5765580)
I wrote about the Cuba Women's National Team, who got outscored 29-0 in the group stage of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, and still managed to really impress me.
   978. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: October 13, 2018 at 11:14 PM (#5766084)
The NHL has 31 teams - three divisions of eight teams and one of seven. I have no clue how they formulate the schedule.

They'll be expanding to 32 teams soon. Seattle seems to be locked in for a couple of years from now.
   979. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 15, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5766999)
'Arry with a hockey assist and an actual assist, England up over Spain 2-0 at the half-hour mark, Sterling and Rashford with the goals!
   980. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 15, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5767008)
Another assist from Kane and another goal for Sterling.

3-0!
   981. The Marksist Posted: October 15, 2018 at 04:37 PM (#5767074)
I wrote about the Cuba Women's National Team, who got outscored 29-0 in the group stage of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, and still managed to really impress me.


Enjoyed this very much, Baldrick!
   982. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 15, 2018 at 04:46 PM (#5767085)
Very exciting game in Seville. Ramos got a goal at the very (very!) last second, but since the first tiebreaker is head to head (including away goals), it turned out to be meaningless. England was just holding on for the entire second half.

If Spain fails to beat Croatia in Croatia on November 15, then a win by England at home against Croatia in the last group game would give England the group.

Announcers said England hadn't beaten Spain in Spain since 1987, and that Spain hadn't lost at home at all since 2003. (In each case, in a competitive game. Admittedly the Nations League hasn't always been competitve, but the teams certainly played hard today.)
   983. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 15, 2018 at 04:48 PM (#5767088)
and that Spain hadn't lost at home at all since 2003.


Wasn't that just in that stadium though?

I thought they said something about 13 matches, which has to be far fewer than the number of home matches Spain has played since 2003 overall.

[edit] Nope, you heard right. From the Guardian MBM:


Spain lose a competitive home match for the first time in 15-years, ending an unbeaten run of 38 games.


Dayum.
   984. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 15, 2018 at 05:43 PM (#5767118)
In other oh so exciting Nations League news, Finland has almost clinched its group, and Luxembourg is in great shape to win their group after a shock home draw by Belarus against Moldova. Winning their respective groups would be a big achievement for both.
   985. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 16, 2018 at 04:21 PM (#5767920)
In other oh so exciting Nations League news, Finland has almost clinched its group, and Luxembourg is in great shape to win their group after a shock home draw by Belarus against Moldova. Winning their respective groups would be a big achievement for both.


Was watching FRA - GER, but #### that, Gibraltar are 15 minutes +stoppage from winning back-to-back matches!

Go [consults Wiki] TEAM 54!!

UP THE ROCK!!!
   986. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 16, 2018 at 04:40 PM (#5767938)
Heh. Gibraltar, unlike Germany, are not out of it yet in their group. Even if they shock Armenia again, which is pretty damn unlikely, they have to go to Macedonia in their last game. No way they can get a result there.
   987. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 16, 2018 at 04:47 PM (#5767951)
Doesn't matter much though, 2nd competitive international win ever, 1st at home, 1st time scoring more than one goal in a match.

Watching them celebrate on the pitch afterwards was enough to melt the most cynical, FIFA-hardened heart ... almost.
   988. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: October 16, 2018 at 05:32 PM (#5768014)
Definitely! Let them celebrate into the night! I don't think Gibraltar even had any competitive points (at all, let alone wins) before the past few days.

FWIW, it's not clear they are any worse than Liechtenstein. Their ELO rating is almost the same, and they have the same population more or less.
   989. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 17, 2018 at 08:05 AM (#5768703)
Over the past 10 combined league games, Munich, Madrid, and Barcelona have been winless. The odds of that happening, based on the pre-match betting lines? One in 1,212,367. Bayern have lost two Bundesliga games in a row for the first time since May 2015, and they’ve already lost as many games as they did in the entirety of the 2015-16 or 2016-17 seasons. Madrid have lost two of their last three and have not scored a goal in more than 400 minutes in all competitions. And Barcelona’s four-game winless streak is their longest run without a victory since 2015-16. The Catalan club sits second in La Liga, while Madrid are in fourth. Munich, meanwhile, are all the way down in sixth in the Bundesliga.


The Ringer
   990. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 19, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5770934)
I'm late to the party, but I guess Eric Dier is everyone's favorite player now?
   991. The Marksist Posted: October 19, 2018 at 10:24 AM (#5770981)
I'm late to the party, but I guess Eric Dier is everyone's favorite player now?


It was a very good bad tackle.
   992. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: October 19, 2018 at 10:30 AM (#5770995)
But he got the ball! He got the ball!
   993. spivey Posted: October 19, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5771016)
That Dier tackle was absurd and amusing at the same time. And it was definitely to send a message, and #### Ramos. Ramos' last touch before the tackle was pretty loose and did invite a tackle. Obviously Dier's sprinting up from like 20 yards away suggested that tackle was going to happen regardless.
   994. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 20, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5771691)
This has been a Kimbrel like save by Spurs, the last 15 minutes was all West Ham.
   995. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 20, 2018 at 12:06 PM (#5771698)
3 points!

3 London Derby points!!

LINE DRIVE IN THE BOX SCORE!!!

(ugh ... what an awful game to watch)

Hey Poch, you know what also kills off a game?

SCORING ANOTHER ####### GOAL.

Good thing Lloris brought his gloves ...
   996. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: October 20, 2018 at 01:32 PM (#5771714)
Wow, I don't really pay attention to Ligue 1 and Serie A, so I wasn't aware that Juve had 27 from 9 and PSG had 30 from 10.

Two titles races essentially over by the end of October?
   997. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 20, 2018 at 02:06 PM (#5771726)
And just like that Juve draw at home to Genoa.

Far from an expert but I feel like Juve are more impressive than PSG. Both are clearly best in their league but I think that Serie A is tougher than Ligue Une. PSG should be winning that league comfortably while in my opinion Juve could conceivably be pushed.
   998. strong silence Posted: October 22, 2018 at 04:30 PM (#5772629)
Arsenal in the last 10 minutes evokes great Brazil teams of yore. With Ozil playing the role of Socrates, and Aubameyang Zico.

Leicester are chasing shadows.
   999. aberg Posted: October 22, 2018 at 05:07 PM (#5772662)
I know that Arsenal's defensive personnel remain uninspiring, but it seems like they're probably right on par in quality with everyone beneath City/Lpool with their various attacking options.
   1000. strong silence Posted: October 22, 2018 at 05:12 PM (#5772667)
Flip Junior.
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