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Wednesday, August 26, 2020

OT - Soccer Thread - Brave New World

OK, 2019-2020 is over, 2020-2021 has begun, except for Celtic who have already ended the interesting portion of 2020-2021.

EPL - September 12
La Liga - September 12
Bundesliga - September 18
Ligue Une - Already underway
Serie A - Unknown, possibly September 12
UEFA Champions League - Playoffs September 22, Group Stage October 20

Euros next summer,  CONCACAF Qualifying starts October 7 (Alphonso Davies and Canada start October 8).  Olympics start July 21 (Women) and July 22 (Men).  Women’s Euros scheduled for next summer are moving to 2022 which might be a good thing for them (and us) with the World Cup in the winter.

Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: August 26, 2020 at 08:13 PM | 436 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   301. Richard Posted: October 04, 2020 at 10:02 AM (#5980978)
Lee Mason never gives Sheffield United anything.
   302. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 04, 2020 at 10:53 AM (#5980981)
7 straight losses by Sheffield United, but except for the game against Leicester to start off the streak and maybe the game against Wolves, they were decent in all the other games.

They are probably now third favorite to be relegated, but it's not that dire, yet. There's reason to think they are likely to be a better than relegation level team going forward, and the two teams behind them look to be terrible, which should provide the rest of the league with a cushion.

edit: Wolves continue not to impress despite 2 wins now, barely beating Fulham.
   303. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 04, 2020 at 11:36 AM (#5980987)
Lloris was well and clearly over the line when Bruno scored the penalty, so even if it had not gone in it would have been retaken. The jump move by Bruno never seemed that great to me, but if it's going to get a keeper off the line, allowing a retake upon miss, then it will be hugely valuable.

Then, some clever little touches in the box leads to a goal the other way! All the touches were by the United players though.
   304. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 04, 2020 at 12:03 PM (#5980992)
This one is well and truly over. Could set a record for xG differential.
   305. Richard Posted: October 04, 2020 at 12:04 PM (#5980993)
Sheffield United are going to be relegated by a considerable distance. They cannot create goals to save their lives and the defence is markedly worse. As someone who’s watched every game they’ve played for the last 4 seasons I can assure you that they are done. If they don’t beat Fulham they will have zero points from 8 games - the 3 after that are Liverpool, Man Ciry and Chelsea - and they won’t come back from that.
   306. jmurph Posted: October 04, 2020 at 12:51 PM (#5981000)
Manchester derbies in the Championship are going to be CRAZY.
   307. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 04, 2020 at 01:08 PM (#5981004)
ok you fans. Not all 5 of Sheffield United, the Manchester teams, and Fulham and West Brom can be relegated. Someone has to stay up.

edit: after the game today, it is abundantly clear that Manchester United will be the team most underperforming pre-season expectations.
   308. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 04, 2020 at 01:21 PM (#5981006)
I can't find a game with a larger xGD deficit for United going back 6 years. I didn't check for the actual scoreline, but likely the same there as well.
   309. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 04, 2020 at 01:40 PM (#5981011)
Still very early, but according to 538, teams that have most overperformed their original expectations:

West Ham                  3.3
Everton                   2.9
Tottenham                 2.8
Aston Villa               2.5 (playing now)
Brighton                  2.4
and least
Manchester United        -5.5 (in just 3 games!)
Fulham                   -3.5
West Brom                -3.4
Wolves                   -2.2
Manchester City          -2.1

Sheffield United would be 6th worst, at -1.8.

   310. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 04, 2020 at 01:43 PM (#5981013)
That game just catapulted Tottenham into a projected 4th in 538's rankings. I believe they were down around 6th or 7th before.
   311. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 04, 2020 at 01:54 PM (#5981014)
Wasn't expecting a good Bayern/Hertha game, but it looks like it took until extra time for Bayern to put away Hertha after they came from behind twice, the second time very late. Lewa had all 4 Bayern goals.
   312. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: October 04, 2020 at 01:55 PM (#5981015)
ok you fans. Not all 5 of Sheffield United, the Manchester teams, and Fulham and West Brom can be relegated. Someone has to stay up.

You forgot your obligatory mention, that all three relegation spots are going to be filled by Newcastle.
   313. jmurph Posted: October 04, 2020 at 02:57 PM (#5981018)
Ummmmmmmm?
   314. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 04, 2020 at 03:00 PM (#5981020)
Villa's had two other very good chances, too. One goal was gifted to them, and another was a deflection, but this is no fluke.
   315. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 04, 2020 at 03:03 PM (#5981022)
What team is 'AVL'? It can't be Aston Villa.
   316. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 04, 2020 at 03:07 PM (#5981024)
Avalon.
   317. jmurph Posted: October 04, 2020 at 03:11 PM (#5981025)
I just want to note that (pre-covid) Liverpool won every single game in which they looked even remotely like this last season. What an incredible run that was.

Edit: should probably say I half expect them to come back and win this.
   318. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 04, 2020 at 03:32 PM (#5981028)
And another deflection!

Has Liverpool given up more than 5 goals in any match since Klopp came on? They lost 5-0 at Villa when they started a youth team in the league cup last year. Also lost 5-0 to City in a league game in 2017.

5-2 now. Game on!
   319. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 04, 2020 at 03:44 PM (#5981029)
Holy ####. Another deflected goal. This has gone beyond absurd. Has to be the most Klopp has given up at Liverpool.
   320. jmurph Posted: October 04, 2020 at 03:45 PM (#5981030)
This is the dumbest game ever. Amazing.
   321. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 04, 2020 at 03:52 PM (#5981031)
I wonder if they even had odds on Villa scoring six goals, much less seven.
   322. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 04, 2020 at 03:54 PM (#5981032)
Liverpool last had this many goals scored against them in 1963.

Coming into the game, Liverpool's 4 goals conceded was tied for second fewest, after only Villa (0 in 2 games). Now they are tied for 2nd with 11, after only West Brom (13). Fulham and Manchester United have also given up 11.

9 combined goals is the third highest total ever for the EPL. 1 game had 11, and 5 more games had 10. The last time we had 9 was Leicester beating Southampton 9-0 in 2019.
   323. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 04, 2020 at 04:02 PM (#5981033)
I don't know why but Grealish's low socks bothers me. Now get off my lawn!
   324. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 04, 2020 at 04:18 PM (#5981034)
Villa poured on the xG late, after Liverpool stopped playing defense. Villa had been ahead all game but at one point in the second half it was fairly close. Finished with close to a 2-goal edge on infogol, but only 1.2 on 538.

A game that nuts really upsets the ratings. Now Liverpool makes the list of most underperforming teams, and Villa tops the list of most overperforiming.

most overperforming
Aston Villa               5.9 (in just 3 games!)
West Ham                  3.3
Everton                   2.9
Tottenham                 2.8
Brighton                  2.4
and most underperforming
Manchester United        -5.5 (in just 3 games!)
Fulham                   -3.5
West Brom                -3.4
Liverpool                -2.3
Wolves                   -2.2
Manchester City          -2.1


edit: oh, and a nice burn on Newcastle above, but I might have to lay off them a bit, since they now have two very good wins this year, along with 2 bad losses. 538 still thinks they are the third worst team in the EPL though, after only hapless Fulham and unmentionable West Brom.

edit2: also still 5th most likely to be relegated, after the above 2 teams plus Sheffield United and Burnley, both of whom are still looking for their first points on the year.
   325. spivey Posted: October 04, 2020 at 04:37 PM (#5981035)
Liverpool had bad luck, obviously, with the deflections, but they were out xG'ed 3.1-1.4 according to Caley. Leeds out-xG'ed City 2.9-1.8 in yesterday's match too. The league is really, really open this year. Everton are legitimately playing the best of anyone in the league. Though, they don't have the depth the other top teams do, and I think that could bite them. They really can't afford injuries to their best players.

It's sad in a way that James Rodriguez had so many prime years just wasted.

Tottenham has been good to very good 4 games in a row, with pretty significantly different starting 11s. By god, I'm starting to have faith in Mourinho.
   326. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 04, 2020 at 04:38 PM (#5981036)
After those two games, we go into the break with a whopping 3.79 goals per EPL game. This was the second week that had more than 40 goals (4 per game).
   327. spivey Posted: October 04, 2020 at 04:39 PM (#5981037)
If those odds for Leipzig are still around 38% to get out of their group with United, I think that's smart money right now. United look bad.
   328. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 04, 2020 at 04:43 PM (#5981038)
Everton is still big underdogs to win the Merseyside derby. Liverpool and City are close to 40% each to win the EPL, with the next best teams, Chelsea and Everton, at a little more than 5% each.
   329. spivey Posted: October 04, 2020 at 05:16 PM (#5981040)
The betting odds are smart to not overreact to the first 4 matches, but it's very interesting to me that City and Liverpool haven't looked great. City in particular have a negative xG-xGA over their first 3 matches (4.94-6.16). The Rodri signing feels like a huge miss to me. The way they play needs a more mobile 6 than what they have.
   330. spivey Posted: October 04, 2020 at 05:51 PM (#5981044)
I also think the drop between Alisson and Adrian is huge. It sounds like Alisson is going to miss several weeks. And the rest of their core has been run into the ground the last few years, it would not surprise me if that caught up to them. I could legit see Tottenham or Everton contending for a title this year.
   331. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: October 04, 2020 at 06:34 PM (#5981050)
edit: oh, and a nice burn on Newcastle above, but I might have to lay off them a bit, since they now have two very good wins this year, along with 2 bad losses.

They are so bad, they apparently lost more games than they have lost. I guess that is how you end up getting relegated more than once!
   332. MY PAIN IS NOT A HOLIDAY (CoB). Posted: October 05, 2020 at 08:37 AM (#5981118)
Presented as is


Nobody wants Mesut Ozil, including Arsenal ... who are stuck with him.
Arsenal have, however, managed to get much-loved mascot Gunnersaurus off the payroll, with reports suggesting Jerry Quy, who has occupied the dinosaur suit for 27 years has been let go in order to cut costs. No, really.
   333. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 05, 2020 at 09:02 AM (#5981120)
I saw that this morning, that is truly idiotic.
   334. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 05, 2020 at 09:29 AM (#5981124)
I had completely forgotten about the playoffs for the last Euro 2020 spots. Now happening this Thursday.
   335. The Marksist Posted: October 05, 2020 at 03:34 PM (#5981179)
Liverpool had bad luck, obviously, with the deflections, but they were out xG'ed 3.1-1.4 according to Caley. Leeds out-xG'ed City 2.9-1.8 in yesterday's match too. The league is really, really open this year.


Some of the xG piled up late, I think, when the game was truly, truly weird. That doesn't excuse it, but helps explain it.

I think this year is the one we'll put an asterisk next to, or at least I will. With players testing positive, the compressed schedule, no crowds, etc., there are just too many new factors and too much uncertainty. I expect a bunch of weird results and The Narrative will be working overtime.
   336. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 05, 2020 at 11:43 PM (#5981292)
If those odds for Leipzig are still around 38% to get out of their group with United, I think that's smart money right now. United look bad.
Not a lot of lines currently available on who will qualify. Doesn't seem like the odds have moved too much though, because United is still given a much higher chance than Leipzig to top the group. Something like 28% to 14%.
   337. MY PAIN IS NOT A HOLIDAY (CoB). Posted: October 06, 2020 at 10:25 AM (#5981323)
When they’re clicking, this Dortmund side is an absolute delight. What was so striking about their 4-0 win over Freiburg on Saturday was how it felt like Reyna had fully arrived at the level that Haaland and Sancho have already reached. Haaland scored the first and the third goals and Reyna finished with three assists. It was his best performance in a yellow and black shirt: The American teenager dominated almost every aspect of the game, bar putting the ball in the net. He became the first 17-year-old to register three assists in a Bundesliga game since the league began collecting data; he created four additional chances, won 12 ground duels, completed four dribbles, and won four tackles, best of any player in the game in each category.


Dare to Dream, Dortmund
   338. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 06, 2020 at 12:21 PM (#5981359)
One more datapoint on United versus Leipzig: United still has a little more than double the chance to win the whole thing, according to the betting odds. 2.25% or so to about 1%. United is probably too high there as well.
   339. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 07, 2020 at 04:35 AM (#5981550)
I know it's meaningless in the long and even the short run, but I'm continually surprised at how bad 538's ratings are for the worst teams/leagues in Europa. right now, for example, they have Dundalk as only 5th worst in the Europa group stage, with a 27% chance of advancing and a 5% chance of winning the group (includes Arsenal). That's one of the best odds for a team picked as worst in the group. Simply outrageous odds. Betting odds gives them 1% to win the group, by far worst of any team in Europa, not surprisingly. Another team vastly over-rated is Be'er Sheva from Israel, given a whopping 9% chance to win the group containing Leverkusen, Slavia Prague, and Nice, as well as 30% chance to advance. Be'er Sheva is considered by 538 to be the best 4th place team in Europa, ahead of all but Sparta Prague by a comfortable margin.

Be'er Sheva might be the 2nd worst team remaining in Europa, after Dundalk, though perhaps Omonia of Cyprus, surprise winners of the Cypriot league, or Sivasspor, surprisingly finishing 4th in Turkey last year, or Leberec, 5th in the Czech league, could argue for it. Be'er Sheva finished 4th in the Israel table last year. Be'er Sheva had an easy route to the group stage, beating a Georgian team and an Albanian team (two of the worst leagues in Europe), and a Scottish team (Motherwell, a perennial midtable Scottish team, currently battling rlegation) before pulling off the surprise upset over Viktoria Pizen.

Dundalk is a clear step below all these teams, only reaching the group stages through luck of the draw, facing mostly teams even worse than them (teams from Andorra, Moldova, and the Faroes, three leagues even worse than Albania and Georgia) after losing badly to the Slovenian champions in the CL qualifiers). Ireland is by far the worst league to have a team remaining in Europe. It's only the third time ever an Irish team has made the group stage in Europe, in any competition. Shamrock did it in 2011, and Dundalk in 2016, with Dundalk impressively managing to grab 4 points in the group stage, including a win over Maccabi Tel Aviv. In 2016, Dundalk shocked BATE Borisov in the CL qualifiers to earn a shock final CL qualifying game, which they lost, dropping them straight into the group stage. Dundalk's pedigree is slightly higher than Dudelange, but not by a ton.

In 2011, Shamrock beat Partizan in extra time to make the Europa group stage, but proceeded to go 0-6 with a -15 GD, worst in Europa that year. Spurs fans might remember that Tottenham finished a shock 3rd i that group that included PAOK and Rubin Kazan, only managing 4 points off those other 2 teams in 4 games, including a home loss to PAOK in the second to last group game, followed by a basically meaningless 0-4 win at Shamrock in the last group game. That 0 point, -15 GD showing by Shamrock was the 2nd worst of any Europa group stage team of the last 10 years.

To make matters worse, while Dundalk has owned the Irish Division for almost a decade, in 2020 they have dropped to a midtable spot for the first time since 2012, now well behind Shamrock and Bohemians. The 2020 season isn't over yet, so the results from 2019, when Dundalk finished top, are used for this year's Europa competition.
   340. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 07, 2020 at 07:57 AM (#5981552)
AuntBea - I'm not a bettor so I get a little (OK, more than a little) lost when odds start getting discussed. Are the odds for a team like Dundalk just kind of random in that they say more about the variances possible with the other teams in their group than about them? It seems to me that for most of the groups in the two European Leagues the team that is going to finish fourth will advance more because the teams ahead of them fall apart than because they suddenly become good. In other words if you flipped Dundalk and Omonia would Omonia's odds jump and Dundalk's fall simply because of the relative quality of the remainder of the groups?
   341. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 07, 2020 at 08:34 AM (#5981560)
Both Dundalk's quality and the other teams in the group will be important for their odds of advancing and finishing top. It's not totally clear which group's top 3 is stronger by betting odds. Arsenal is by far considered the best team of the 6 (Dundalk's group), with Granada and PSV both well behind, bu easily the next two best teams out of the 6 (Omonia's group). Advancement might be slightly easier out of Arsenal's group, while finishing top might be harder. The most important factor though is the quality of the team you are discussing: Dundalk v Omonia.

This website has odds for all the groups. I usually like to use odds aggregators to get a better idea, but they aren't currently available for qualification. Here Arsenal is given high 90s to advance (97%+, probably, though it is hard to say due to all the vig), and Dundalk is in the single digits (maybe 7%). To win the group, Arsenal is in the high 80s and Dundalk is below 1%. Both figures for Dundalk are the lowest of any team in any group. Omonia is being given over 20% to advance, and maybe 5% to win the group. They are just considered to be a much better team.

Teams like Sofia, Be'er Sheva, Lech Poznan, Omonia, Rijeka, and Zorya are standard bad teams for Europa. (Looking at the odds again, even Sivasspor and Liberec, two more teams hated by 538, wouldn't be on this level, but would be slightly better). If you put Dundalk in a group with three of the others, they'd still be long odds to win or even advance.

For 538 the problem appears to be their overall league ratings/adjustments, which are all jacked up. They haven't figured out how to rank even the top leagues that well against each other, and really struggle with these lower leagues.
   342. Richard Posted: October 07, 2020 at 09:00 AM (#5981562)
538’s system is also weak when assessing promoted teams in their new leagues, though I don’t blame them for that.
   343. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 07, 2020 at 09:11 AM (#5981565)
538’s system is also weak when assessing promoted teams, though I don’t blame them for that.
Right, this is hard. It's very much exacerbated though by their completely ridiculous gap between the worst team in the top leagues and the best teams in the 2nd tier leagues from the same country. This isn't so evident for England, where West Brom and Fulham are considered to be at the level of the top tier Championship teams, but it's a huge problem for La Liga and La Liga 2, for example, where in La Liga 2 only Epanyol is within a mile of any team in La Liga. Teams relegated/promoted in Spain every single year have massive changes in their 538 ranking that can only be explained because they are doing some wacky league adjustments to overcome the enormous gap between La Liga and La Liga 2. Why is the enormous gap their in the first place? It must have something to do with how they rate leagues, which basically isn't working very well, especially when you get past the top 7 or 8 (or so) leagues.
   344. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 10, 2020 at 02:49 PM (#5982292)
Gibraltar with a big win in their group of minnows, will now likely be in Tier C next year, potentially against a team like Serbia. Would be frightening. Faroes also with a draw and are now sitting pretty to move up. Faroes might actually be the best team in their group of very slightly less minnowish minnows.
   345. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 14, 2020 at 08:36 AM (#5982931)
Football Weekly has a fascinating discussion about the relationship between soccer and gambling. It starts with a really powerful discussion from a recovering gambling addict and just goes from there. If you are interested in gambling/sports I think it's worth the listen. I didn't feel I was being lectured but I did feel a lot more knowledgeable at the end.
   346. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 14, 2020 at 03:20 PM (#5983021)
Sheesh Maquire is having a bad year. I think the ref thought no need to leave his foot up after making the play, and it's probably the right call. Petulant from Maquire as he had already made the play, but not actually dangerous and contact seemed to be very minor or non-existent.

What? And now they called a penalty on a bullshit call. At least it wasn't Maguire's fault...

I think the Maguire one would have stood with VAR, but I have serious doubts about that penalty.
   347. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 15, 2020 at 07:41 PM (#5983253)
Odds have finally come out in force for the champions league. So, updating prior to next week's games.

                         odds to advance      538       ELO   
Group A                                        
Bayern                            89          91       2016      
Atlético                          72          67       1887
Salzburg                          30          38       1790
Lokomotiv Moskva                   9           4       1598

Group B
Real Madrid                       82          78       1929
Internazionale                    64          59       1843
Mönchengladbach                   35          35       1753
Shakhtar Donetsk                  19          28       1768

Group C
Manchester City                   93          94       1941
Porto                             51          46       1734
Marseille                         36          18       1692  
Olympiacos                        20          42       1717

Group D
Liverpool                         89          87       1965
Atalanta                          59          61       1841
Ajax                              45          43       1761
Midtjylland                        7           8       1596

Group E
Chelsea                           75          82       1819
Sevilla                           69          75       1875
Rennes                            38          27       1692
Krasnodar                         18          16       1686

Group F
Dortmund                          79          79       1832
Lazio                             62          36       1724
Zenit                             44          56       1714
Club Brugge                       15          29       1681

Group G
Barcelona                         89          93       1962
Juventus                          89          78       1846
Dynamo Kyiv                       15          23       1638
Ferencváros                        7           6       1548

Group H
PSG                               81          84       1906
Manchester United                 66          49       1822
Leipzig                           43          65       1851
Basaksehir                        10           2       1526
   348. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 17, 2020 at 08:22 AM (#5983480)
Pickford maybe should have been sent off early for a very bad tackle on Van Dijk, and probably would have been, had the play not been ruled offside (held up on VAR by an inch). Liverpool has looked the better team, but aside from the first 15-20 minutes when Liverpool dominated, it has felt relatively even.
   349. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 17, 2020 at 08:43 AM (#5983481)
Liverpool had two huge chances (one scored) plus the shoulda-been-red in the first 10 minutes. Since then Liverpool has had an edge in xG, but not by that much.
   350. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 17, 2020 at 09:12 AM (#5983483)
Yeah, as an Everton fan I’m pleased with how the team has played today. James has been interesting, quiet much of the game but a few touches that have been hugely impressive and impactful.

The Pickford play is an odd one. I don’t know the rule. He’s very clearly going for the ball but just as clearly wipes out Van Dijk. It’s not like he took him out just for the hell of it so I wonder if the rule says it since it was a legitimate ball playing attempt caused by the offside the red doesn’t count. Clearly if it CAN be ruled a red it should be.

Having said all that it’s a great example of VAR not working. First, there is NO way that review can be deemed anywhere close to conclusive that Van Dijk is offside. Second, why did the linesman raise his flag? Shouldn’t it have stayed down and wait for the play to unfold?

DCL!!!!
   351. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 17, 2020 at 09:23 AM (#5983488)
Richarlison gets a deserved red now. Terrible tackle. Not much time left now though, luckily for Everton.

With Everton getting two headed goals, have to wonder if Van Dijk's absence would have made the difference.

Liverpool has been the much better team again in the last 20 minutes, but we'll see how it ends.
   352. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 17, 2020 at 09:27 AM (#5983489)
I’m thrilled but that is an absolutely ridiculous call. VAR is Everton’s man of the match today.
   353. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 17, 2020 at 09:29 AM (#5983490)
Everton looked like Liverpool's equal for 50+ minutes in the middle of this game, but otherwise were clearly second best. Saved by two super-close VAR calls, and maybe a mistake by the refs not to look at Pickford's tackle as a red (which supposedly can be done even on a play that is ruled void by offside).
   354. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 17, 2020 at 09:39 AM (#5983492)
The Pickford challenge.

edit: I'm reading if there was no genuine attempt to play the ball, or serious foul play/violent conduct, a red could be given even if the play was void. I'm not sure Pickford's play qualifies for any of those, but reportedly it was never reviewed for them on VAR either.
   355. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 17, 2020 at 09:44 AM (#5983493)
Both VAR calls were a result of the liberalized handball rules, where the top of the arm is now legal. Van Dijk's, and Mane's arms, on the outside of the arm at armpit length, were the only parts of their body offside on both plays.
   356. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 17, 2020 at 10:15 AM (#5983495)
xG systems couldn't find much agreement on the game, with Liverpool ranging from slightly better to fairly dominant. By infogol and understat (which show tiing of events), Everton was at least equal for the middle 60 minutes of the game. Liverpool had the two VAR calls outside that stretch as well, which don't show up in xG.

538          1.4  - 3.0
infogol      1.35 - 2.65
understat    1.36 - 2.49
MCoA         1.7  - 2.3


   357. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 17, 2020 at 10:46 AM (#5983497)
How was Salah's goal xG? He made it look easy, but wonder if the stats say so. I've seen so many of those shots go wildly over or wide of the goal.

Lots of 'big' matches today. Merseyside Derby, Milan Derby, Dortmund-Hoffenheim seems like it might be and Napoli is shredding Atalanta. City-Arsenal is a 'Big Six' matchup but I can't imagine anyone having confidence in Arsenal. Of course we also have Man U fighting to stay out of regulation against Newcastle.

Haaland is on the bench. I'd still bet him to score if he comes on.
   358. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 17, 2020 at 10:57 AM (#5983499)
That was a fantastic, and not easy at all, goal by Salah. Wasn't the location he took it from though (within the box, with a good angle), nor that anyone was in front of him (there wasn't), but because it came at Salah somewhat unexpet=ctedly, so fast and not at ground level. Infogol had it at .08 and understat at 0.07. Seems reasonable. The other two systems don't publicly show individual shot stats.
   359. spivey Posted: October 17, 2020 at 11:21 AM (#5983502)
Chelsea’s defending and goalkeeping is so bad. A ton of good attackers. They should have spent some of that money on a top class defender though.
   360. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 17, 2020 at 11:30 AM (#5983504)
Yea, I didn't think it was easy, but great players make difficult skills look easy. It was almost nonchalant the way he hit it.

I was asking because I don't know if data websites just look at where the shot was taken from and how close any defenders were. So it does look like those two sites take into account 'degree of difficulty.'

Switched backed to Chelsea-Southamptom after finishing watching Dortmund. Reyna had some good chances but didn't finish. Still had a pretty good match. Haaland did not score, but assisted to Reus on the winner.

Chelsea's defense a real problem.
   361. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 17, 2020 at 11:58 AM (#5983505)
Another wild game, and another draw.

Reminder that the last team in the EPL with a perfect record is.... Villa.
   362. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 17, 2020 at 11:59 AM (#5983506)
Where are the good CB? Chelsea concedes again and drops two points. Other than Liverpool and maybe Spurs, is there any PL team happy with their CB starters/rotation?

PSA - Champions League group stage starts this week. You can get a month free of CBS All Access if you use the coupon code 'FALL' on checkout. It will get you through the first three matchdays.
   363. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 17, 2020 at 02:03 PM (#5983520)
BeIN saying VVD has torn his ACL and will be out 7-8 months.
   364. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 17, 2020 at 02:07 PM (#5983521)
Hot Take: I don’t like watching ManCity.

Look, they are a great team and there ability to possess the ball is genuinely amazing. Their style of play is rather dull in my opinion. Everything is so precise, so deliberate and when they lose the ball they foul so quickly that it never feels like there is anything happening. I rarely watch a City game and find myself enthralled. They have enough quality and the passing is so precise that eventually they find their moments and it can be beautiful to watch but over 90 minutes, it doesn’t do it for me. It’s the attacking version of parking the bus. They just keep the ball so relentlessly that it’s not that interesting to me.
   365. jmurph Posted: October 17, 2020 at 02:58 PM (#5983529)
Lot of fair points in there Jose but I think it’s less possession-based parking of the bus and more failing to create, to be totally honest. For a while now. Today’s second half is a mild exception I think.
   366. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 17, 2020 at 03:10 PM (#5983531)
Wow that's obviously really bad news for Liverpool.

United carved up yet again. Ole resting a lot of his team for Champions League.

City's talent advantage is such that pretty much every team is going to play conservatively against them. They're better equipped to open up opponents but I see your point. So much of their play seems perfunctory, but it works.
   367. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 17, 2020 at 04:01 PM (#5983540)
Real Madrid contrived to lose at home to newly promoted Cadiz. Picked to finish near last in La Liga this year, they've managed a perfect 3 wins oout of 3 on the road this year, also beating Bilbao and Huesca.

Only 2 shots on target for Real Madrid, who had the short end of the xG as well.
   368. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 17, 2020 at 04:07 PM (#5983541)
The four Atalanta Serie A games have averaged 5.75 goals (both teams, combined). Atalanta is 3-1. No game even finished with a 1-goal margin.
   369. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 17, 2020 at 04:18 PM (#5983542)
I was ready to say we made it through a Saturday without a penalty call, but then, Manchester United.
   370. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 17, 2020 at 04:56 PM (#5983549)
Two great finishes (one by AWB!) by United after missing a penalty, and this one is over. United looked shaky at times but the difference in quality these two teams is massive. Best chance of the night, missed by Rashford anyway (making it moot) was ruled offside, probably incorrectly.

I wouldn't take any win over Newcastle as a sign a team has turned the corner, but regardless a confidence booster is exactly what United needed right now.

(PSG will likely still crush them.)
   371. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 18, 2020 at 08:19 AM (#5983684)
Just a terrible handball by the Sheffield United defender for a penalty. Punching the ball over your head in the box is never going to work with VAR. No matter though, because Mitrovic found row Z ("Zed") with the ensuing penalty.
   372. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 18, 2020 at 08:45 AM (#5983686)
Penalty to Sheffield United. The only thing that saved us from a goal called back by a penalty at the other end was a great save by Ramsdale.
   373. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 18, 2020 at 10:55 AM (#5983693)
Palace looked far inferior today to Brighton, getting only a joke of a penalty on their side of the ledger (without that, infogol's cG was 0.04 t0 1.73. Almost won until a deflected goal in the 90th minute.
   374. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 18, 2020 at 11:22 AM (#5983696)
Actually, Palace had no shots other than the penalty, which was a joke of a call. I really hate that penalty call on minimal contact, on a cross, and especially when it is against the run of play, rewarded to the team that's barely playing soccer. The incentives are all wrong.
   375. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 18, 2020 at 11:40 AM (#5983697)
West ham not good at defense. Great individual play by son and Kane but west ham defenders are barely better than cones.
   376. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 18, 2020 at 12:44 PM (#5983700)
Atalanta games have averaged 5.75 goals per game this year, but that's not the most for the top 4 leagues. Honor belongs to Bayern, at 6.25. Same was true last year, with Atalanta at 3.84 per game, and Bayern at 3.88.

Of teams that have played at least 4 games so far this year, only Bayern, Atalanta, Liverpool and Manchester United are over 5 goals per game. Schalke was just over 5 (almost all against) in 3 games, but that will probably not be true after the game today, scoreless at the half.
   377. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: October 18, 2020 at 01:23 PM (#5983702)
Exactly like Newcastle. The opposition gets a free kick for a flop and score off the ensuing set piece at the death.
   378. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 18, 2020 at 01:29 PM (#5983704)
Another crazy draw. I watched the first 20 minutes, then again after it went to 3-1. Based on what I saw, which included a miss by Bale on a huge chance, an own goal for West Ham, and the unlikely goal in the last minute (low xG), I was expecting to see that Spurs dominated xG. By 538 it was somewhat close, and infogol had a light edge to West Ham, shockingly.

edit: infogol had the two kicked goals by Spurs as much lower chances than they probably were, which explains some of the difference.
   379. MY PAIN IS NOT A HOLIDAY (CoB). Posted: October 18, 2020 at 01:33 PM (#5983705)
It's good to know that in the crazy, topsy-turvy world that is 2020 ... Spurs are still comfortingly, reassuringly Spursy.
   380. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 18, 2020 at 01:54 PM (#5983709)
3 out of the first 38 EPL games resulted in draws. Now 5 out of the last 7.

8 draws out of 45 games is still very low, but especially considering the extremely high scoring this year, probably only a little low than you might expect by random chance (probably 9 or 10 out of 45).
   381. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 18, 2020 at 02:08 PM (#5983712)
Regarding the high scoring in the EPL, it's mainly not the result of more xG, at least the way xG is currently recorded. 18 out of 20 EPL teams are outperforming xG scored (understat), which implies great finishing, poor goalkeeping, or more likely, the shots are easier than they seem due to defensive positioning or disorganization. (Only exceptions are Fulham and Sheffield United. Sheffield United are underperforming xG scored by a large margin, which really stands out this year).

On the other side of the ledger, only 4 teams have given up fewer goals than expected (understat): Arsenal, Wolves, Palace, and Villa. None by a large margin.
   382. spivey Posted: October 18, 2020 at 03:59 PM (#5983717)
understat has the Son goal at 0.06 xG. I'm convinced most of the public-facing xG sites are not analyzing that situation well. When you have an inverted winger cutting inside on his preferred foot, at that angle, and has created a half step of space on the defender and the goalie is mostly unable to cover the far post because you're too close, the shot really isn't that much harder than than just side-footing it into the net.

I think Gnabry had 2-3 goals like this against Tottenham when Tottenham inexplicably out-xG'ed them.

I think there's too many crap shots, like Salah's goal from yesterday, that are probably getting bucketed into this same type of shot.

All that said, a draw was probably a fair result, but god damn, those last minutes were painful. Winks is not a ####### defensive substitution. Sanchez had a bad game, and I'm kind of ready to move on from him. I mean, he's ok depth, because he has great speed, but that's pretty much all he has at an above average level.
   383. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 18, 2020 at 04:18 PM (#5983721)
Not the best game, but Villa got the late winner in a very even game at Leicester. Four wins out of four, and this really does seem to be a much better Villa team than last year. Villa now definitely is the only team really overperforming their xGA by any significant margin. They've also generally been excellent on defense (best xGA in the league per game), in addition to only giving up 2 goals, with the second most in the league being 6. Villa was probably the worst defense in the EPL last year (maybe even with Norwich), so we can't expect them to finish with the best defense this year. Top half would be an achievement.

Also, still no 0-0 draws in the EPL. Must be getting close to a record most games to start a season without a 0-0 draw.
   384. The_Ex Posted: October 18, 2020 at 08:28 PM (#5983733)
In regard to all the goals I wonder about the number of games. There was a short off-season, then most teams have been playing two games per week. A league game and a Carabao game. So, play Saturday, off Sunday, prep for next game Monday, maybe travel Tuesday, play Tuesday or Wednesday, off day/light day Thursday, practice or travel on Friday, game Saturday.

Carabao is gone for a while now but the big teams play their European games this week. There has been little time for focused practice.
   385. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 19, 2020 at 08:08 AM (#5983867)
In regard to all the goals I wonder about the number of games. There was a short off-season, then most teams have been playing two games per week. A league game and a Carabao game. So, play Saturday, off Sunday, prep for next game Monday, maybe travel Tuesday, play Tuesday or Wednesday, off day/light day Thursday, practice or travel on Friday, game Saturday.

Carabao is gone for a while now but the big teams play their European games this week. There has been little time for focused practice.


Interesting point, particularly the lack of focused practice. Has anyone looked at the rate of set piece goals? I would think the lack of focused practice would result in a much higher rate of goals on corners and free kicks.
   386. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 19, 2020 at 08:15 AM (#5983868)
538 has an article about the increases EPL scoring, noting that it's not the result of higher shots/xG. The 4-week stretch was the most goals ever in the EPL by a large margin, and so far it has continued in the 5th week, with 27 goals in 8 games (3.375 average, so we now surely will have the most scoring 5-week stretch ever).

The EPL is now at 3.72 goals per game, almost a goal higher than recent average. Maybe it's pandemic-related but not obviously so, because while Serie A is up a lot as well (3.76 goals per game, after 3.06 last year and 2.68 the year before), La Liga scoring so far has been way down from past years (2.15 goals per game) and the Bundesliga has been slightly down from the last two high scoring years (3.08).
   387. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 19, 2020 at 02:01 PM (#5983932)
After what statistically looked like it must have been a very dry first half (I didn't watch), there's been quite a lot of action in the second. Both teams should have scored by now, but it is still 0-0. West Brom had a crazy flurry with a bunch of blocks and saves inside the 6-yard box. Burnley had two wide open headers on separate plays, one off the bar and another saved, and a third header after the save glance off the top of the bar.
   388. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 19, 2020 at 02:24 PM (#5983939)
0-0, and the streak is over. The bottom 4 teams all desperately needed a win, and they ended up drawing each other.
   389. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 19, 2020 at 03:16 PM (#5983951)
Despite the moments of drama I thought both teams played the last 15 minutes or so like they were content with a draw. I thought both teams should have been going for it. Getting a head to head win there would have been hugely valuable.
   390. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 19, 2020 at 03:42 PM (#5983954)
Definitely. Not at all too early to be fighting for all 3 points. West Brom will definitely need them wherever it can get them, and Burnley looks more and more after a bad start like they will need to get them where they can.

Watford was much better than a relegation level team last year, but their early terrible start put them in such a hole, they had a fairly small margin for error. Just because they looked like they were going to survive a few weeks prior to the end of the season doesn't change that at all. Burnley probably is no worse than the 6th worst team in the league, and not really relegation level, but should take note.

Leeds and Wolves are like day and night--Leeds being one of the most fun teams in the league to watch, and Wolves one of the least. It's been all Leeds so far, but they mostly can't quite make the last connection for a clean shot. No big chances yet.

Wolves has had one shot in 41 minutes.
   391. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 19, 2020 at 04:55 PM (#5983965)
Leeds did enough that they would have won most times, but not enough to ensure a victory, and indeed they lost.

Biggest disappointment today was probably Leeds' inability to turn their excellent possession into high xG shots. Part of that is Wolves, of course, as that's been a staple of theirs since they came up to the EPL, but to some extent it was true in the Leeds games earlier this year, just masked by good finishing.

Oh, and after all that this week turned out to be just an average one for goal scoring. 28 in 10 games is par for the EPL for the last few years.
   392. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 20, 2020 at 12:02 AM (#5983994)
Apparently it's very hard to find odds for advancement from the Europa League group stage, because nobody much cares. odds for group winners are easier to find. This year, there are 12 groups and 11 teams from top 4 leagues, almost one to each group. Group F has two (Napoli/Sociedad) and Group D and Group K have none. All 10 of the groups with a top 4 team has them as the heavy favorite (with Napoli over Sociedad in their group), except Granada is only a very slight favorite over PSV in its group. Benfica is the big favorite in group D. Group K has no good teams. Outside of the teams mentioned, there isn't anyone the slightest bit of note. The next most favored team is Lille, in a group with Milan and Celtic, so who may not even advance.

Arsenal and Tottenham are favorites to win Europa, with Milan and Napoli on the next tier. Also of course, the Champions League dropouts will be near the top when they arrive.

Then a tier of Leverkusen/Leicester/Sociedad/Roma/Villareal. Finally Benfica/Hoffenheim/Lille/Granada/PSV.

And way in the back: Dundalk.
   393. KronicFatigue Posted: October 20, 2020 at 10:29 AM (#5984017)
Looks like the rich clubs are trying to get richer

https://news.sky.com/story/top-english-clubs-in-bombshell-talks-to-join-european-premier-league-12109175

I would be disappointed if this happened. I don't like how the big clubs dominate their domestic leagues, but I also don't need to see them all join together. I'm so tired of the ONLY consideration in sports being "How can we make the most money as quickly as possible".
   394. jmurph Posted: October 20, 2020 at 10:46 AM (#5984021)
This really is quite the heal turn over the past few years for John Henry. Or maybe, as a Red Sox fan, I was just blinded to it previously with all the winning.
   395. Richard Posted: October 20, 2020 at 11:18 AM (#5984029)
No UK based “big six” fans want a format like that.

When they put forward last weeks’ power grab proposal it was claimed that Henry and the Glazers have gone out of their way to study how the English pyramid works and wanted to protect it. That seems to have gone out of the window.

Henry is a scumbag.
   396. Mefisto Posted: October 20, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5984041)
MCOA argues that LFC and United don't want to get out of the EPL -- it's a cash cow for them:

"the one thing that we've got going for us is that Liverpool and United don't want a pure breakaway Super League, they aren't going to kill the PL tv deal golden goose, so there really should be room to find a deal and keep the PL going"
   397. I am going to be Frank Posted: October 20, 2020 at 01:07 PM (#5984051)
I tend to agree with MCOA. I think they would drop any domestic cups in a heart beat though. They get so much money now playing the Burnley's and Brighton's of the world that it would be a risk to see if the money would compare if they were fighting for 8th or 9th in some European Super League.

Champions League starts today! CBS All Access is doing it's best to make it hard to find matches. I 'favorited' Champions League, but couldn't find any matches in my recommended list - but hey NWSL and the Women's Champions League came up. I search for 'champions' and it only comes up with the Zenit match. I finally search 'juventus' and it comes up. I know UEFA is always going to go for whomever gives them the biggest pile of cash, but they couldn't hire some consultants to tell them that CBS All Access is what, fourth or fifth on any streamer's priorities? Then, CBS spending that pile of cash and not even putting in front and center over Reno 911 (funny but at least 10 years old) or something called 'The Challenge'?
   398. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 20, 2020 at 01:12 PM (#5984052)
Seriously. Is anyone successfully able to find the matches on CBS?If I click the little "Watch Today" it just takes me to shows "like the CHampions League."
   399. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: October 20, 2020 at 01:14 PM (#5984053)
OK, I can find it on my computer but not my iPad which is my preferred watching place.
   400. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: October 20, 2020 at 02:34 PM (#5984063)
This Zenit Brugge game has been quite lively in the last 15 minutes. Both teams playing like they need to win.
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