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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

OT Soccer Thread, v.2019

Looks like the last thread is closed, so onto the new!

Upcoming Matches of Interest
2/3 Madrid Derby
2/4 Manchester City v. Arsenal
2/10 Manchester City v. Chelsea
2/12 Manchester United v. PSG
2/13 Tottenham v. Dortmund
2/19 Liverpool v. Bayern Munich
2/24 Manchester United v. Liverpool
2/28 Chelsea v. Tottenham
3/2 North London Derby, Merseyside Derby, & El Classico
3/5 Dortmund v. Tottenham
3/9 Arsenal v. Manchester United
3/13 Bayern Munich v. Liverpool
3/16 Manchester Derby
3/30 Liverpool v. Tottenham

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 30, 2019 at 07:08 PM | 765 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   701. J. Sosa Posted: March 15, 2019 at 07:20 AM (#5822953)
That’ll do pig.
   702. J. Sosa Posted: March 15, 2019 at 07:22 AM (#5822954)
United vs Barca

Spurs vs City

Ajax vs Juventus

Liverpool vs Porto

Semis

United or Barca va Liverpool or Porto

Ajax or Juventus vs City or Spurs
   703. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 15, 2019 at 07:59 AM (#5822958)
That's as good a draw as you could have hoped for Liverpool. If they don't make at least the semis it'll be a major disappointment and they should have a solid shot against Barca (or a good shot against Manchester United if OGS's pixie dust holds out through the quarterfinals).

So lets go United (ugh), Spurs, Ajax, and Liverpool!
   704. J. Sosa Posted: March 15, 2019 at 08:17 AM (#5822960)
Yep, could not have gone better. Have to play the matches of course, but Robertson’s suspension is for home leg and if they win have home leg second match for semi. Also on other side of bracket from Juve and City, the two teams I most wanted to avoid.

Napoli vs Arsenal

Villareal vs Valencia

Benfica vs Frankfurt

Prague vs Chelsea
   705. J. Sosa Posted: March 15, 2019 at 08:26 AM (#5822961)
Semis Arsenal or Napoli vs winners of Villareal vs Valencia

Benfica or Frankfurt vs Prague or Chelsea
   706. spivey Posted: March 15, 2019 at 08:42 AM (#5822963)
Drawing City is very annoying. They're the best team, and they're also not a sexy matchup. After the second leg against Barca I actually felt we had a way better chance against them than City. I'd give Liverpool some stick for drawing Porto two years in a row, but they took on City in the QFs last year and took on Bayern last round, so it's not all been easy for them.
   707. spivey Posted: March 15, 2019 at 08:43 AM (#5822965)
Arsenal/Napoli should be pretty good fun though. Really all of the EL ties look good except Chelsea/Prague, but hey, they just beat Sevilla.
   708. J. Sosa Posted: March 15, 2019 at 08:45 AM (#5822966)
I am going to have to buy some Spurs merch. Will be the biggest fan alive starting in April.
   709. The_Ex Posted: March 15, 2019 at 09:05 AM (#5822969)
The top 4 favorites in the CL missed each other. The semis could be very interesting.
   710. jmurph Posted: March 15, 2019 at 09:10 AM (#5822971)
That's as good a draw as you could have hoped for Liverpool.

This could come back to haunt me of course, but the Ajax/Juventus potential semi-final draw seems obviously more desirable than Barcelona to me.
   711. spivey Posted: March 15, 2019 at 09:18 AM (#5822973)
This could come back to haunt me of course, but the Ajax/Juventus potential semi-final draw seems obviously more desirable than Barcelona to me.


Agreed. Not that it is likely to matter for Tottenham.
   712. jmurph Posted: March 15, 2019 at 09:29 AM (#5822976)
Agreed. Not that it is likely to matter for Tottenham.

I was just quibbling with the point that the draw couldn't have gone better for Liverpool, I think they got the easier quarterfinal matchup but a pretty tough semifinal.

As for Spurs/City, they will play each other 3 times in 12 days. I will be stunned if City win all 3, though of course that doesn't preclude them from winning the overall tie.
   713. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 15, 2019 at 10:26 AM (#5822985)
All CL ties this round have the favorite as a heavy favorite (80% or so), with Liverpool even higher. In Europa, there are two almost toss-ups (Napoli/Arsenal and Benfica/Frankfurt), one with a smallish favorite (Valencia/Villa), and the longest odds left in Europe (Chelsea/Prague).
   714. J. Sosa Posted: March 15, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5822986)
I think 538 had it at 85 percent for Liverpool.

I am happy with Barca for a potential semi. I want no part of Juve/Heysel and all that would go along with that. If you are City, sure Juve probably looks better. But not for a lot of LFC fans.
   715. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 15, 2019 at 10:41 AM (#5822988)
Chelsea got a very favorable draw. Not only do they face Prague, the two next favored teams square off against each other, on the other side of the bracket. Their odds of winning the CL are now in the low/mid 30s, which is not really that much lower than getting a top 4 spot in the EPL (mid 40s). Even one slip up in the EPL and their route through Europa becomes easier.
   716. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: March 15, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5822989)
If you are Liverpool and can only win one of the two titles which would you rather have; EPL or CL?
   717. J. Sosa Posted: March 15, 2019 at 10:50 AM (#5822991)
It is PL no question. If they finally got rid of the league curse it would be CL.

Klopp seems to be betting heavily on fixture congestion tripping up City. He got the most criticism I have ever seen him receive from Liverpool fans following the Everton game. He played that match for a draw. We will see. Personally I feel better about CL chances than PL. I think 538 has the reverse. One in four for CL and 1 in three for PL.
   718. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 15, 2019 at 10:52 AM (#5822993)
I'm not qualified to answer that, but I will note that Liverpool is actually in a somewhat similar situation to Chelsea. They are given about an 18% chance to win the CL, and about a 28% chance to win the EPL. Just one or two slip-ups in the EPL, and their chances of winning the CL would likely be higher.
   719. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 15, 2019 at 12:06 PM (#5823015)
I'd probably want the Champions League title over the PL one, but winning the PL would be a nice monkey off Liverpool's back.

Really, though, I'm greedy. Do the double, damnit.
   720. spivey Posted: March 15, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5823019)
Not a Liverpool fan, but if it were Tottenham, I'd want the league. League titles in a top league are just way harder and a better sign of quality IMO, especially the English league right now which is as good as it's been in 10 years. CL is nice if you have a league title or two under your belt.
   721. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: March 15, 2019 at 12:33 PM (#5823027)
Ugh ... City ... Blargh.

Last team I wanted in the draw, utterly and absolutely the last.

On any given day? Sure Spurs could win, but over 2 legs? No.

Loved to be proved wrong, but I'm pretty ####### sure I won't be.

Meh.
   722. spivey Posted: March 15, 2019 at 12:40 PM (#5823029)
Agreed, Spurs just really don't match up well with City. But, to make a deep run they were going to have to probably face City and/or Liverpool both. So, let's go.

The only silver lining is I think Spurs' best 11 hasn't really played together much all season, and I think they should hopefully be somewhat refreshed going into the stretch run here. Midfield is still going to be a real issue vs City, but we'll have DESK and we will have all of our CBs which we've rarely had together this year.
   723. OPS+ Posted: March 15, 2019 at 02:31 PM (#5823053)
Spurs will face City April 9th, 17th, and 20th. That's a rough stretch.
   724. J. Sosa Posted: March 15, 2019 at 02:54 PM (#5823061)
Give em hell!!!

City has Spurs, Palace, Spurs, Spurs, United. That’s the title right there. Get through that stretch will all the points and it won’t matter what Liverpool do. Liverpool have Porto, Chelsea, Porto, Cardiff. If they don’t gain ground in that stretch it is pretty much over.
   725. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 15, 2019 at 04:27 PM (#5823077)
CL and EL QF betting odds (538 in parens):

Liverpool: 81% (85%)
City: 80% (80%)
Juve: 78% (60%. the only outlier. 538 loves Ajax and dislikes Juve)
Barca: 76% (77%)

Chelsea: 86% (95%. 538 still hates Prague)
Valencia: 61% (64%)
Napoli: 54% (53%)
Frankfurt 52% (48%)



   726. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 16, 2019 at 10:38 AM (#5823126)
Sheffield United with the huge, possibly undeserved, win away to Leeds. Now the small favorite over Leeds to take the second automatic promotion spot. Still quite a few games left, and they could both pass Norwich.
   727. Richard Posted: March 16, 2019 at 11:22 AM (#5823140)
Undeserved? Leeds didn't have a shot on target, and the Blades would have had a second but for the red card challenge.

Huge win in the most exciting division in English football.
   728. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 16, 2019 at 12:13 PM (#5823150)
Undeserved may be the wrong word. "Quite fortunate"? I didn't see a minute of the game, but I just looked at the highlights. Leeds had more quality chances (according to the highlights, one of which hit squarely off the woodwork), a higher xG (1.5 to 1.0, according to 538, which doesn't give anything for the extra time challenge of course), and a much higher non-shot xG (2.2 to 0.9, according to 538). A draw wouldn't have been too much of a fortunate result, considering how the game seems to have been played, based on my limited knowledge of it, but a win for Sheffield sure seems to have been.

A win is a win of course.
   729. spivey Posted: March 16, 2019 at 01:52 PM (#5823163)
I love that Swansea is not afraid to play total football against City. Oh and they’re up 2-0 on the back of one of the best team goals you’ll see.
   730. I am going to be Frank Posted: March 16, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5823164)
Burnley managed to lose to Leicester who were playing down a man five minutes in.

I still think City wins this, but that was pretty impressive half by Swansea.
   731. spivey Posted: March 16, 2019 at 03:00 PM (#5823174)
Hell of a game. Not sure about that pen, and then ridiculous luck for how it was converted
   732. spivey Posted: March 16, 2019 at 03:02 PM (#5823175)
This is one of the most exciting games I’ve watched all year
   733. spivey Posted: March 16, 2019 at 03:08 PM (#5823176)
It’s a shame that Swansea went down on a couple of goals that were of dubious legality
   734. spivey Posted: March 16, 2019 at 03:14 PM (#5823177)
Also VAR would have been used if it was a premier league ground. This is stupid
   735. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 16, 2019 at 03:17 PM (#5823178)
I think Manchester United and maybe Wolves are just good enough to beat Manchester City on a good day. I'm less sanguine about Watford's chances. So this game this afternoon is pretty important.

Then again, Swansea almost pulled it off, so I guess you never know.
   736. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 16, 2019 at 03:25 PM (#5823179)
Dortmund looks like they got another late winner... in another game they dominated. Staying alive in the Bundesliga race!
   737. frannyzoo Posted: March 16, 2019 at 05:43 PM (#5823207)
Must admit the past two hours at Molineux are among my most enjoyed in quite some time. Push come to shove, I still hate ManU and Wolves, well, Portugal is the best, isn't it?
   738. spivey Posted: March 16, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5823211)
Wolves really play to the level of their opponents. Hopefully they get City in the final. That'd be a fun game.
   739. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: March 16, 2019 at 06:03 PM (#5823212)
I still hate ManU and Wolves


I get the antipathy for United, but why about Wolves? (Not a challenge, just that orange and black is great colour scheme, I love their icon, and they play a good, smart, pleasant game, what am I missing?)
   740. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 16, 2019 at 07:12 PM (#5823217)
I get the antipathy for United, but why about Wolves? (Not a challenge, just that orange and black is great colour scheme, I love their icon, and they play a good, smart, pleasant game, what am I missing?)


Good: yes
Smart: definitely
Pleasant: eye of the beholder and all, but no.

I thought OGS was badly outcoached today. United were only the better team for the first 20-30 minutes, and then only marginally. Most of the time during that period neither team really threatened at all, so being better wasn't likely to yield a lead. Wolves played exactly their game, so no surprises there, but United couldn't do anything about it despite having the better talent overall. I can't claim to know what they should have done differently, but they did exactly what Wolves wanted them to do, which was try to play through a densely packed deep-lying defense on the ground while leaving themselves open to the counter.

Color me skeptical that this approach has much hope against Pep's City. They are very disciplined and patient and generally much more solid at the back than United. They've also badly beaten Wolves overall in the two games this year, though they managed a 1-1 draw in Wolverhampton in the earlier game. At home they simply slaughtered Wolves 2.7 to 0.1 in xG (by understat it was even higher: 3.1 to 0.1).

I'm thinking a domestic treble now has a very high chance to succeed (certainly over 50%). The quadruple is still unlikely of course.


   741. Richard Posted: March 16, 2019 at 07:34 PM (#5823220)
Undeserved may be the wrong word. "Quite fortunate"? I didn't see a minute of the game, but I just looked at the highlights. Leeds had more quality chances (according to the highlights, one of which hit squarely off the woodwork), a higher xG (1.5 to 1.0, according to 538, which doesn't give anything for the extra time challenge of course), and a much higher non-shot xG (2.2 to 0.9, according to 538). A draw wouldn't have been too much of a fortunate result, considering how the game seems to have been played, based on my limited knowledge of it, but a win for Sheffield sure seems to have been.

A win is a win of course.


Ah, you didn't watch the game. I did.
   742. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 16, 2019 at 08:19 PM (#5823226)
ok. So you would be better served not using misleading stats like "no shots on target" in this particular game to make your point (Sheffield United only had one shot on target, and was outshot 17 to 10, and Leeds also hit the woodwork on a big chance). Possession was 70/30 for Leeds. xG, non-shot xG, passes completed, virtually every stat, and also the highlights, favored Leeds.

Because I'm generous, I'm willing to say a draw would not have been much of a fortunate outcome for Sheffield United. "I watched the game" and especially "no shots on target" is no argument that Sheffield was not fortunate in getting a victory under these circumstances.
   743. frannyzoo Posted: March 16, 2019 at 08:55 PM (#5823229)
I get the antipathy for United, but why about Wolves?


See, this is why commas are important. Should have written it as:

Push come to shove, I still hate ManU, and Wolves, well, Portugal is the best, isn't it?

Because I rather like Wolves and have for years. Even before all the Portugal. Sorry for the lack of comma.
   744. J. Sosa Posted: March 16, 2019 at 09:59 PM (#5823235)
With respect Bea, that post wasn’t a good look. The post doesn’t in any way acknowledge Richard’s point regarding the red card for starters. This type of analysis has many flaws, not least of which is game state/table state. Richard’s been around the game locally in Sheffield since the eighties at least IRRC, and is a level headed knowledgeable dude. A Holiday Innish pointing to xG and the highlights for scoreboard for what would be at best be a marginal quibble, ehhhh.

My two unsolicited bits. Have a good one.
   745. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 16, 2019 at 11:29 PM (#5823247)
Red card is in my post ("extra time challenge"). Interesting that you think my summary of events is the more flawed.
   746. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: March 17, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5823266)
Holy #### the last few minutes of the Liverpool game have been madness.
   747. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 17, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5823267)
Man, Fulham had looked great from about 10 minutes into the second half, and then bail out a flailing Liverpool with one of the dumbest penalties I've ever seen.

e: and that's after an absolutely astonishing combined howler from Van Djik and Alisson allowed Fulham to pull level.
   748. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 17, 2019 at 01:47 PM (#5823279)
Manchester city is going to win the FA cup (probably). They will have faced a very weak run of opposition:

Rotherham (relegation threatened in the Championship)
Burnley (relegation threatened in the EPL, but probably better than that in the second half to be fair)
Newport County (4th tier)
Swansea (midtable in the championship)
Brighton (relegation threatened in the EPL)
Watford or Wolves

Manchester United had a pretty easy run in 2015-2016, but they had to beat West Ham, Everton and Palace, which was at least a little more challenging at that time. Chelsea in 2009-2010 had an easy run too, with the best team they faced being 6th placed Villa. They also faced EPL midtable Stoke and haplessly relegated EPL Portsmouth in the final.

I didn't look back any further, but this competition is at par or worse with any faced by an FA cup winner, but not way weaker at least. Of course, this City team is much better than your average FA cup winner (if they win it of course), so in combination it's pretty extreme.

edit: on the other side of the coin, this Watford/Wolves tie could be quite interesting.


   749. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 17, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5823291)
Chelsea's betting odds of winning Europa are now very slightly higher than their betting odds of Top 4. It's basically considered about 1 in 3 for each.
   750. manchestermets Posted: March 17, 2019 at 06:45 PM (#5823336)
Messi is ridiculous.
   751. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: March 17, 2019 at 07:12 PM (#5823340)
That third Messi goal. No words. How do you even contemplate trying that, let alone pull it off?
   752. Sean Forman Posted: March 18, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5823550)
Almost as good as Dempsey versus Juve.
   753. spivey Posted: March 18, 2019 at 03:05 PM (#5823553)
Suarez had a ridiculous outside of his boot chip towards the end of his godlike Liverpool season that was probably the most absurd goal attempt I've ever seen that hit the post.

But I tried to find it and couldn't. Hopefully someone knows what I'm talking about.
   754. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: March 18, 2019 at 03:10 PM (#5823555)
That third Messi goal. No words.


Of course, when Messi did that to him, he did something few footballers can do. If most other footballers attempt that shot, the goalkeeper ends up simply catching it; either that, or the ball drifts harmlessly over the bar. But Messi is obviously nothing like most, if any, of his peers. The chip requires mastery of three specific techniques -- spin, precision and disguise -- and Messi simultaneously summoned them all.

If you watch that goal again, which of course you should, you will see at the instant of impact that Messi had his head bowed, with no indication as to what he would do next. He had cleared the ball for flight, an air-traffic controller plotting its path through the heavens. He then applied the spin -- my God, the spin! -- slicing his foot beneath the ball at such speed that the motion must have cut the surrounding grass. And, of course, the ball, with the glorious inevitability of our slowly dying sun, rose and fell.

Across the Universe, all sentient creatures knew what they had seen. The supervillain Thanos, now resting in his garden at the edge of creation, glanced mournfully upward and lamented: "Dread him. ... Run from him. ... Messi still arrives." The home crowd at Betis, though opposed to Messi, made a gesture of the most moving beauty: They rose to their feet in applause, chanting his name. It's never an easy thing to do when it's your beloved team on the receiving end, but they had to acknowledge the majesty they'd witnessed with their own eyes.

They did it because Messi transcends.

"To transcend" -- a verb defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as "to rise above, or go beyond the limits of." During that passage of play, Messi transcended football.

He was truly a thing to witness.
   755. KronicFatigue Posted: March 18, 2019 at 06:36 PM (#5823588)
Who are the best players who don't have an absolute lock for a starting position on their clubs?
   756. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: March 18, 2019 at 06:55 PM (#5823592)
THat's a good question and one I'll be interested in seeing the answer to from those more knowledgable than me. My gut reaction was going to be "Man City's second team" and frankly Mahrez and Jesus (12 and 16 substitute appearances respectively) are probably a pretty good starting point.

One other name, I'm not sure if it's changed but Paco Alcacer was leading the Bundesliga in goals for awhile despite coming off the bench every week.
   757. aberg Posted: March 18, 2019 at 07:27 PM (#5823598)
Who are the best players who don't have an absolute lock for a starting position on their clubs?


Real Madrid's lineup is up in the air right now, but if you consider the Solari version, then Isco, Bale, Marcelo probably qualify. If it's Zidane's lineup, maybe Courtois?

One of Barca's MF- Arthur, Vidal, Busquets, Rakitic- is not a regular. Same with Dembele/Coutinho.

Diego Costa hasn't started as much since Morata got to Atleti.
   758. Mefisto Posted: March 18, 2019 at 08:01 PM (#5823604)
If you can find a video of the reactions to Messi's goal, the ones by the Betis players are priceless.
   759. Richard Posted: March 19, 2019 at 01:47 AM (#5823635)
I didn't look back any further, but this competition is at par or worse with any faced by an FA cup winner, but not way weaker at least. Of course, this City team is much better than your average FA cup winner (if they win it of course), so in combination it's pretty extreme.


This puts me in mind of Liverpool's 1992 run (the season before the PL started)

Won 4-0 at Crewe (6th, 4th tier)
Won 2-1 at home to Bristol Rovers (13th, 2nd tier) after a 1-1 draw away
Won 3-2 at home to Ipswich (1st, 2nd tier) after a 0-0 draw away
Won 1-0 at home to Aston Villa (7th, top tier)
Won on penalties v Portsmouth (9th, second tier) after a 1-1 and 0-0 draws
Won 2-0 in the final vs Sunderland (18th, 2nd tier)

They only played 1 top division side. Sunderland are the second worst ranked team in terms of league position to reach the Cup Final since World War 2(Leicester, who finished 19th in division 2 in 1949, were the worst). I am not sure that anyone has had an easier run in terms of ranking of opposition since the Cup assumed its current form in the 1920s.

On the flip side, Man Utd were drawn against a top division side in all six rounds when they won it in 1948.
   760. Richard Posted: March 19, 2019 at 01:51 AM (#5823636)
With respect Bea, that post wasn’t a good look. The post doesn’t in any way acknowledge Richard’s point regarding the red card for starters. This type of analysis has many flaws, not least of which is game state/table state. Richard’s been around the game locally in Sheffield since the eighties at least IRRC, and is a level headed knowledgeable dude. A Holiday Innish pointing to xG and the highlights for scoreboard for what would be at best be a marginal quibble, ehhhh.

My two unsolicited bits. Have a good one.


Kind words.

Also relevant, regardless of what xG may say, are the goals conceded by Sheffield United in the previous 6 games: 0,0,0,0,0 and 0. One of the reasons Leeds had no shots on target is that they didn't get room or time from an execellent defence.
   761. spivey Posted: March 19, 2019 at 09:16 AM (#5823643)
Best guy without a locked in position is a good question.

I don't watch a ton of La Liga but I get the sense Dembele is pretty much the unquestioned starter over Coutinho there, though they rotate as a fair number of teams do (edit: it looks like Coutinho has more league minutes, although I think this sentence may still be true based on standing today, I think Dembele is getting more minutes in each of theirs preferred position, too). Similarly, I've not seen Vidal a ton this year, though I had gotten the sense with age and injury he wasn't nearly the player he was 4 years ago when he was maybe the best central mid in the world. Coutinho is interesting because he has world class talent, was Liverpool's best player, but has struggled to break into Barca and Liverpool has been better without him. He's great at scoring goals outside the box, but I don't love a lot of the other parts of his game. Not as much pace as I'd want from a winger, and I don't think he has the pressing/physicality/engine to play in the middle 3 band of a 4-3-3.

In the EPL, which I watch more, I think it's some of City's players. They've rotated their front a decent amount actually this year, so I don't even entirely know what Pep's preferred starting 11 is right now. But Sane was on the bench for a huge part of the first half of the season. He's playing a lot of games now, but if KdB and Fernandinho were healthy, he'd get more healthy scratches I think (with Bernardo taking some of his minutes at the wing). Gundo is another good one, and I think at this stage in their careers I'd rather have him than Vidal.

Fabinho started the second leg of the Bayern tie on the bench, and I think is one of the best defensive mids in the world, at least on the early form I've seen from him.
   762. Mefisto Posted: March 19, 2019 at 10:14 AM (#5823663)
If you count United under Mourinho, the answer is Pogba. If we include keepers, how about Romero? And Ter Stegen doesn't get many minutes for Germany (if national teams count).
   763. jmurph Posted: March 19, 2019 at 10:16 AM (#5823665)
In the EPL, which I watch more, I think it's some of City's players. They've rotated their front a decent amount actually this year, so I don't even entirely know what Pep's preferred starting 11 is right now. But Sane was on the bench for a huge part of the first half of the season. He's playing a lot of games now, but if KdB and Fernandinho were healthy, he'd get more healthy scratches I think (with Bernardo taking some of his minutes at the wing). Gundo is another good one, and I think at this stage in their careers I'd rather have him than Vidal.

Yeah Sane is the guy for me, and maybe Jesus as referenced above. Bernardo Silva has just really blown up this year, though, so I think the Sane thing makes sense to some degree.
   764. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: March 19, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5823808)
Sheffield United's first 31 games: GA 34, xGA 26 (0.84 xGA per game); last 7 games: GA 0, xGA 6 (.86 xGA per game).
   765. ckash Posted: March 19, 2019 at 08:59 PM (#5823908)
My daughter makes me watch all the Barca matches. Dembele and Vidal have started way more league games lately.
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