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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

OT - Soccer Thread - January, 2020

As we flip the calendar to 2020, there are many things we do not yet know about the year to come. One thing, though, is certain: there will be lots of complaining about VAR. And I for one am looking forward to it.*


*I am not actually looking forward to it.

The Marksist Posted: December 31, 2019 at 04:38 PM | 715 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: ot, soccer

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   601. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 19, 2020 at 04:29 PM (#5925439)
City v West Ham was a mismatch. Arguably best team in the league against one of the very worst. xG was 2.3-0.1. non-shot xG was 3.7-0.3
   602. jmurph Posted: February 19, 2020 at 04:41 PM (#5925444)
City v West Ham was a mismatch.

Had it on my phone next to my computer at work. Basically every time I glanced down City had it on the edge of West Ham's box.
   603. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 19, 2020 at 05:01 PM (#5925451)
xG for the Atalanta game: 1.7 -2.4 in favor of Valencia (538). Valencia also had the better of non-shot xG. 538 had it as a fairly heavily negative game for Atalanta's rating, despite actual goals counting 1/3 towards their ranking.

Leipzig had the better of xG over Spurs by about the same margin, and doubt the margin if you include penalties.

edit: oops sorry error above corrected.
   604. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 19, 2020 at 07:58 PM (#5925471)
I think it's weird how quickly a standard narrative about a game develops in the media based solely on the final score. Liverpool got got by a lucky bounce on a corner and then Athleti did what Athleti do. Liverpool pushed, but couldn't cut through maybe the world's most organized and committed defensive machine. This is about exactly what I expected going in (baring the weird bounce = goal in the 4th minute) and I honestly don't understand how anyone could have expected different? But I've seen like 3-5 headlines talking about how Simeone "outfoxed" Liverpool or Liverpool were terrible, etc. They weren't amazing, but Athleti are literally designed to make good teams look like they're "out of ideas" in attack. This shouldn't be surprising, right?

I would say most people don't like to acknowledge the role random chance plays in sports...or in our lives in general.
   605. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 19, 2020 at 11:23 PM (#5925486)
Tottenham down to 20% to advance, and Valencia 8%. Liverpool just under 50%, and PSG/Dortmund is 50/50
   606. manchestermets Posted: February 20, 2020 at 06:22 AM (#5925495)
So, following Ousmane Dembele's injury, Barcelona were given permission to make an emergency signing. This is a rule that exists only in Spain, the player isn't eligible for European competition and can only be signed from a Spanish club. They've now triggered the 18 million euro release clause on Leganes's Martin Braithwaite. Leganes are in the relegation zone, and without any say in it they've now lost a player without any opportunity to replace him. Understandably, they aren't happy about it.
   607. spivey Posted: February 20, 2020 at 08:27 AM (#5925511)
I really have a problem with that rule. Barcelona have, or should have, enough depth to weather an injury like Dembele. I mean, any team should, these are professional, top flight teams - but especially Barcelona. And Dembele is often injured, so they shouldn't have been caught off guard. Oh, to make matters worse, late in the window they sent off Carles Perez to Roma.
   608. manchestermets Posted: February 20, 2020 at 09:00 AM (#5925515)
At the very least, it should be adjusted to ensure that no club has to sell against their will.
   609. jmurph Posted: February 20, 2020 at 09:24 AM (#5925521)
Man, that's brutal, what a terrible rule.

I can only see the case for an emergency goalie signing- does that still exist in some leagues?
   610. spivey Posted: February 20, 2020 at 10:22 AM (#5925538)
At the very least, it should be adjusted to ensure that no club has to sell against their will.


I was thinking about this. I think that suggestion would be better than today, but I think Barcelona would still try their tactics of tapping up and unsettling a player. I mean, this guy surely would rather play for Barca over Leganes. So the team may be pressured or the player's form may suffer. So I think allowing it at all is not great. Maybe goalkeepers, like mentioned, but even there I'd want details on how it works, and and how that team can replace the player.
   611. Mefisto Posted: February 20, 2020 at 10:59 AM (#5925548)
With GKs you could make the rule that only backup keepers -- second or third -- could be purchased. That's usually pretty obvious.
   612. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: February 20, 2020 at 12:10 PM (#5925583)
All of this is, of course, theoretical and overlooking the fact the rule is doubtless working as intended--the intention, of course, being that the rest of La Liga exists only to serve Barca and Real's purposes.

The "fix" for this rule, obviously, is to remove it and let Barcelona deal with post-window injuries like everyone else.
   613. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 20, 2020 at 12:16 PM (#5925586)
Poor Barcelona, needing an emergency replacement in February for a player who has been injured since August.

I assume in the past they were able to do this for four or five seasons in a row because of Eric Abidal's very surprising injuries.
   614. aberg Posted: February 20, 2020 at 01:10 PM (#5925626)
Poor Barcelona, needing an emergency replacement in February for a player who has been injured since August.


He was due back in January and reaggravated it badly enough to require surgery, plus Suarez had a serious injury around the same time. The idea that Leganes is getting screwed is true, though.
   615. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 20, 2020 at 02:17 PM (#5925664)
Must be a frustrating year to be a Salzburg fan. They sell Haaland (and the other guys), then go behind in the league for the first all year, with their first loss, last weekend. Now already effectively out of Europa in under an hour.
   616. manchestermets Posted: February 20, 2020 at 02:32 PM (#5925676)
plus Suarez had a serious injury around the same time.


Suarez got injured while the window was still open didn't he? They had every chance to sign a replacement for him if they wanted.
   617. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 20, 2020 at 02:35 PM (#5925678)
I can only see the case for an emergency goalie signing- does that still exist in some leagues?


The EFL has a rule where a goalkeeper can be loaned for a short period (one week, but can be renewed) under emergency conditions, but Premier League clubs can't loan a goalkeeper to a lower division club under the rule.

57 Emergency Goalkeeper Loan
57.1 If all the Professional Goalkeepers at a Club are unavailable as a result of having been:
57.1.1 certified by an independent medical practitioner as being unfit to play;
57.1.2 suspended; or
57.1.3 called up to play for his national association representative matches in accordance with the requirements of FIFA as laid down from time to time,
a Club may register (either before or after the deadlines laid down in Regulations 43.2 and 43.3), a further goalkeeper on a short term basis in accordance with the following provisions.
57.2 The Club must supply to The League written evidence to demonstrate the circumstances set out in Regulation 57.1 apply, together with the appropriate form(s) for his registration and The League having confirmed that the circumstances conform to the provisions of this Regulation:
57.2.1 in respect of any fixture played on a weekday when the Office is normally open, at least three hours before the match; or
57.2.2 in respect of any other fixture:
(a) 12 noon on the day of the match; or
(b) at least three hours before the match,
whichever is the earlier.
Guidance
Medical evidence cannot be accepted from anyone connected to the Club, nor is it acceptable to obtain a report from another Club’s club doctor.
Goalkeepers that have been deemed unavailable cannot be named on a team sheet during the loan period.
Goalkeepers on an Emergency Goalkeeper loan may be recalled by their Parent Club during the period of the loan in exceptional circumstances and subject to the approval of the League (i.e. as per the similar rights in the context of Standard Loans of goalkeepers).
Clubs should be aware that the Premier League does not permit Premier League Clubs to send goalkeepers on seven day emergency loans into the EFL.
57.3 The period of any Emergency Goalkeeper Loan:
57.3.1 shall be for a period of seven days, inclusive of the starting date and finishing date; and
57.3.2 may be renewed for seven days at a time, subject to compliance with Regulation 57.2 in respect of each proposed renewal.
   618. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 20, 2020 at 06:33 PM (#5925742)
Sadly was way too busy to watch the games, but it seems Arsenal, shockingly, was very impressive on the road except for hitting the back of the net. Maybe one of their best games of the year, considering the stakes, their halfway decent opponent, and that it was on the road. Olympiacos had only one shot from the box, and only two from within 30 yards of goal. xG was 0.3 - 2.6 (538) or 2.1 (infogol).

United was not particularly impressive. Wolves had the finishing pixie on their side, but otherwise did not dominate a fairly weak (this year) Espanyol at home.
   619. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 20, 2020 at 08:13 PM (#5925750)
Germany was 5-0 this week in Europe, with only Bayern not in action. Italy was 3-0, with Juve and Napoli out of action. Suffice to say, England did not fare quite so well.
   620. Dale Sams Posted: February 20, 2020 at 08:48 PM (#5925756)
I think the teams in Europa are more interesting then CL

Manu
Celtic
Rangers
Wolves
Inter
   621. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 20, 2020 at 09:55 PM (#5925764)
Even if Tottenham had permission to make an emergency signing they probably wouldn't. Especially considering Kane was already out and they didn't buy any strikers in January.
   622. Dale Sams Posted: February 20, 2020 at 10:19 PM (#5925765)
If you don't have a player that can be an 'emergency striker'...then tough ####. Supposed to be the finest players in the world and you don't have one guy who knows to run channels and to press? Yeah...maybe your big problem is finding a guy who can finish but that's life. I'm not even particularly a fan of emergency keeper signings. The diff between Scott Walker and Willy Caballero is not that great. I mean give Willy a little more time and he'd probably be as good as Scott.


But fine....cry cry cry cry. You want emergency dispensation?? Allow FA signings at any time. You need a striker? Michael Owen looks like he can still kick a ball around.

Or maybe allow loan recalls at any time.
   623. frannyzoo Posted: February 21, 2020 at 10:14 PM (#5925973)
Love, love, love the Championship. Today's Derby/Fulham match was the antithesis to the widely perceived agriculturally dull 2nd Division tilt, right down to Wayne with a Panenka and an anybody might score closing stoppage time. Also great, Tim Ream is adjudged to have handled in the area (again, how many times does this make?) and there's that great relief that comes with the knowledge that we will NOT be going to VAR and that the decision is made. So refreshing. I had no dogs in this hunt, but what a fun game to watch.
   624. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2020 at 09:39 AM (#5925988)
I can't believe that stomp from Lo Celso wasn't given as a red card. That's as clear as they come.
   625. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 22, 2020 at 10:22 AM (#5925990)
The implementation of VAR should be used in business classes. It is a great example of how something that seems simple (“let’s use replay to fix obvious errors”) becomes very difficult in execution.

How did Benteke miss that?
   626. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 22, 2020 at 10:22 AM (#5925991)
Yeah. There was much gnashing of teeth on the Maguire to-the-balls no-call (which, to be fair, really could have been given but seemed like a grey area). This one was much worse.
   627. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 22, 2020 at 11:11 AM (#5925996)
Gladbach gets a penalty call their way after a handling right on the edge of the box, caught by VAR. On first view it seemed like an insane call, but on replay I can see what they were thinking. The ball was played as a pass and there was a chance that another Gladbach would have gotten to it, the defender's arm was way out, and as the ball was played at it he seemed if anything, to move his hand toward the ball. Barely clipped his hand, but it did change the flight of the ball slightly. Lots of arguing about it from the players though.

Much ado about nothing, as the penalty was missed. Still 1-0 Gladbach.
   628. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 22, 2020 at 11:33 AM (#5925997)
Proves quite costly, as Hoffenheim equalizes in extra time. Leverkusen is hovering, so Gladbach is by no means assured of a CL spot next year.
   629. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 22, 2020 at 11:56 AM (#5926001)
Rare empty-netter in the last second of the Southampton game with the Villa keeper up for the corner.
   630. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: February 22, 2020 at 12:06 PM (#5926002)
The announcers in Chelsea-Spurs said that later in the game word came from the VAR office that they'd made a mistake on the Lo Celso play and should've instructed the referee to look at it in the monitor (where presumably he would've given the red after seeing it once). I think that's as close as VAR can come to admitting that it made a mistake.
   631. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 22, 2020 at 12:11 PM (#5926003)
Newcastle got walloped again in xG, 1.8-0.2. This time at least they lost. Just how bad have they been this year? They haven't had a single game this year where they outperformed their opponent in xG per understat (though they have 2 or 3 where they are tied or a tiny bit better by 538).

Crazy VAR reversal goes against Bournemouth, where a Bournemouth player is deemed to handle on his own goal line prior to a break where Bournemouth scores at the other end. Goal waved off and penalty given to Burnley. An even harsher handling was deemed via VAR earlier, negating another Bournemouth goal.

In the Championship, Leeds and West Brom with wins, on a weekend where Fulham, Brentford and Forest all could only manage draws. In fact, of all the teams within a prayer of catching the top 2, only Preson and Swansea managed to win. Preston now has 56 points, and might be the next most likely to make the EPL after the top 2 (West Brom and Leeds) and the next 2 (Fulham and Brentford).
   632. jmurph Posted: February 22, 2020 at 01:37 PM (#5926015)
Just to make clear my anti-VAR stance is not partisan, I thought both questionable plays against City should have been called. The KDB handball and the collision.
   633. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 22, 2020 at 01:52 PM (#5926017)
So tired so I slept through all that. This call against Leicester seems correct though, if we are going to have these rules. Saved anyway on a questionable kick.
   634. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 22, 2020 at 07:57 PM (#5926038)
Rare empty-netter in the last second of the Southampton game with the Villa keeper up for the corner.


That was such an interesting situation. Reina came up for the corner and what he did which I thought was smart was position himself right next to the Southampton keeper. Suddenly you had two keepers side by side and I can see that creating a bit of confusion in a situation almost certain to be a bit chaotic. Ultimately it probably cost Villa because Reina couldn’t get back but even without the open goal Villa weren’t getting the point so it wasn’t a big deal.

Crazy VAR reversal goes against Bournemouth, where a Bournemouth player is deemed to handle on his own goal line prior to a break where Bournemouth scores at the other end. Goal waved off and penalty given to Burnley.


So I didn’t see this one but the same thing happened in the City-Liverpool game leading to the first Liverpool goal. Now on that one as I recall the handball by Liverpool was of the type where I suspect it wouldn’t have been given as a handball for a penalty but of course any handball in the buildup to a goal is a foul. I suspect in that instance the call wasn’t made because they didn’t want to give a soft penalty to City.
   635. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 23, 2020 at 10:12 AM (#5926067)
So that’s a hand ball but DeBruyne’s isn’t. They need to ####### change that rule so fast it’s not even funny.
   636. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 23, 2020 at 10:16 AM (#5926068)
Dawson seemed to try to intentionally use his arm when it was fully tucked into his side. It's a weird kind of handball that would never, under the current rules, be given on the defensive end.
   637. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 23, 2020 at 10:18 AM (#5926069)
That’s my problem with it. I hate the inconsistency of it.
   638. Jose Is Absurdly Chatty Posted: February 23, 2020 at 10:19 AM (#5926070)
Why on earth did the Watford defenders come off the goal line. I remember my high school coach telling us if the keeper had to come out the defenders needed to get on the line.
   639. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 23, 2020 at 10:21 AM (#5926071)
Unless one of these teams can come back , the bottom 7 teams (by odds, which included Newcastle but not Palace), will have achieved 1 point between them this weekend: Brighton against Sheffield United.

edit: all the bottom 7 were on the road this week. And it looks like I've already credited Liverpool with a win over West Ham tomorrow.
   640. Baldrick Posted: February 23, 2020 at 10:23 AM (#5926072)
Biggest game in England of the season in the WSL. Man City currently up 2-1 over Chelsea in a game that's (just about) the title-decider. None of the big three teams basically ever drop points against the rest, and this is the last game among the big three. Chelsea came in with a slight advantage, so a draw would suit them, if they can manage it.
   641. Baldrick Posted: February 23, 2020 at 10:42 AM (#5926076)
Fifteen minutes later and now it's 3-3 after some absolutely ridiculous (in both the good and bad sense) goals. Certainly exciting!
   642. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 23, 2020 at 12:24 PM (#5926084)
The weirdest thing is when announcers say that a goalie had "no chance" to stop the goal. In this particular case the ball went through Leno's legs, making significant contact on the way through. Sure, Richarlison touched it from close range, but barely. Might have gone through Leno's legs without the touch anyway.

Not at all saying Leno should have saved it, because it was a difficult situation for him, but "no chance" seems way off. He had to get pretty unlucky for the ball to get through him in the first place.
   643. Baldrick Posted: February 23, 2020 at 12:32 PM (#5926085)
Announcers believe in a deterministic universe. He had no chance because he did not in fact save it. Therefore, he could never have saved it.
   644. Baldrick Posted: February 23, 2020 at 12:34 PM (#5926086)
Edit: wrong thread!
   645. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 23, 2020 at 12:54 PM (#5926091)
63rd minute of Arsenal/Everton: 6 shots on goal, 5 goals.
   646. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 23, 2020 at 09:35 PM (#5926118)
race for CL spots is still quite on:

Team                Top4  Top5  Top6 
Leicester           88    95    98   
Chelsea             59    70    87 
Manchester United   20.5  47    59    
Tottenham           17    39    63   
Wolverhampton       6.5   19    36  
Sheffield United    4.5   11    20 
Arsenal             3.5   13    22  
Everton             1     5     8  
Burnley             0     1     2     
Southampton         0     0     2      
   647. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 23, 2020 at 10:32 PM (#5926119)
Only 5 EPL managers have been in charge of their teams for more than 2+ seasons (this being at least their 4th year).

Wilder for Sheffield United (4th year)
Guardiola for Man. City (4th year)
Klopp for Liverpool (5th year)
Dyche for Burnley (8th year)
Howe for Bournemouth (8th year).

12 of 20 are only in their 1st or 2nd year.


   648. Richard Posted: February 23, 2020 at 11:56 PM (#5926123)
Top 10 longest serving if you extend to the top 4 English Divisions:

Gareth Ainsworth, Wycombe Wanderers (League One), 7 years, 152 days
Eddie Howe, 7 years, 134 days
Sean Dyche, 7 years, 116 days
John Coleman, Accrington Stanley (League One), 5 years, 158 days
Jürgen Klopp, 4 years, 138 days
Nigel Clough, Burton Albion (League One), 4 years, 78 days
Lee Johnson, Bristol City (Championship), 4 years, 17 days
John McGreal, Colchester United (League Two), 3 years, 295 days
Mark Cooper, Forest Green Rovers (League Two), 3 years, 290 days
Chris Wilder, 3 years, 287 days.

Guardiola is 11th, having been appointed 50 days after Wilder.

Oddly, 3 of these 10 managed the same club in an earlier spell. Clough's first spell as Burton boss lasted 10 years and Coleman was Accrington manager first time round for over 12 years - both managed their clubs before they got in the football league - and Howe managed Bournemouth for a little over 2 seasons before a 2 year stint at Burnley, where he was replaced by Dyche.
   649. the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: February 24, 2020 at 12:38 AM (#5926126)
As a Spurs fan ... I fully accept that I wish they end in Europa again. Or out entirely.

I can't say I disagree with any of this ...

Of course, it wouldn't be ideal to turn to an 18-year-old with one senior appearance to his name, but why not try him? It seems to sum up Mourinho's demeanour at the moment, reacting to adversity by claiming it's not possible to overcome it, waving an exasperated hand at the remaining collection of internationals from which he's cruelly forced to pick a functional XI and saying it's all hopeless. You wonder how all of this is going down in the dressing room, too: Mourinho is not only creating a defeatist attitude, but denigrating the players he does have at his disposal.

Mourinho has pretty much done what was he was asked to do for this season, stemming the bleeding after the last sad days of Mauricio Pochettino, but his current wailing is in danger of already undoing his good work.

Having noted the above about Parrott and Mourinho's attitude, it's also worth mentioning that Spurs aren't being helped by some honking performances from their most senior players.

There was a moment in the second-half of Saturday's defeat to Chelsea when Mason Mount knocked the ball to the right of Jan Vertonghen, then ran around to his left, collecting the ball so easily that it looked like the Belgian was moving in slow motion. It was like a scaled-down version of Gary Neville's final game against West Brom, when the starkness of his decline caused him to instantly retire.

It's not that bad for Vertonghen, but he is surely done at Spurs. Thanks for the memories, Jan, but it's time.
   650. spivey Posted: February 24, 2020 at 09:03 AM (#5926141)
Spurs just aren't that good of a team right now. But they do have injuries, and some refreshing of the squad. They still have some very good players.

I think they can make a big jump defensively next year if they bring in a couple of guys that fill clear needs, kind of how Man U did this year. Ndombele also needs to get fit. If he comes into next season out of shape, I'd be inclined to just sell him.
   651. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: February 24, 2020 at 09:11 AM (#5926143)
That doesn't sound like Jose Mourinho at all!
   652. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 24, 2020 at 09:35 PM (#5926269)
Relegation odds. Norwich is not going to make it, and very likely it will be two of Villa, Bournemouth, West Ham, and Watford. Brighton is likely just far enough ahead and so far has been clearly better than all the teams below it except maybe Watford. Newcastle will likely steal a point here or there so will be ok too.

On current form, you really can't like Villa to stay up, and Watford generally looks capable. That leaves one of West Ham or Bournemouth.

Norwich       92 
Villa         57
Bournemouth   49 
West Ham      41  
Watford       37
Brighton      12
Newcastle     10
Palace        3    


edit: we are in a quirky 4-game scheduling block. Last week all 7 teams most likely to be relegated were on the road, and managed a single point in those seven games. This week they are all at home (though Villa is postponed against Sheffield United). Next week they are all on the road again, and the week after they are all once again at home.

The odds against that would be astronomical if it were random, but of course it is not, due to the way the schedule is constructed. Still quite unlikely.
   653. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 24, 2020 at 09:53 PM (#5926272)
Unless there is a crazy turnaround in the table, the next relegation 6-pointer won't happen at least until March 21, when Newcastle takes on Villa. And if you think Newcastle and Brighton are already safe, we won't have a relegation 6-pointer until Watford takes on Norwich April 18th.
   654. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 25, 2020 at 03:26 AM (#5926291)
Liverpool to win all home games (5 left): ~35%
Liverpool to go undefeated (11 games left): ~7%
Liverpool to win out: (11 games left): ~2%

Liverpool still has to go to Watford, Everton, City, Arsenal, and Brighton. Won't be easy to avoid a loss. None fo of those teams are playing like bottom tier teams this year.

With only 5 home games remaining, and 3 against bottom-tier teams, it's now decently likely that Liverpool finishes the year with a perfect home record. Their last home game against Chelsea could be quite interesting.


   655. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 25, 2020 at 03:30 AM (#5926292)
Fun with ELO:

Current rankings/ratings:

11  Chelsea    1832
12  Tottenham  1821
13  Arsenal    1819
14  Man United 1818
15  Leicester  1814


(Also, Newcastle 48th, which is quite farcical, but inevitable for an ostensibly midtable team in the best performing league over the last couple years.)
   656. jmurph Posted: February 25, 2020 at 04:15 PM (#5926406)
Bayern-Chelsea is gonna end like 5-0 at this rate.
   657. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 25, 2020 at 04:23 PM (#5926407)
Chelsea were ###### the second Bayern scored. It they had managed to keep Bayern out, maybe they could have stolen a 1-1 in the second leg or something. But they can't hang with Bayern, especially not if they are the ones that have to chase the game, and open themselves up at the back.
   658. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:00 PM (#5926448)
Now that they are almost assured of the QFs, Bayern is (for now) the slight favorite in the CL over City.

Bayern is the only of the 5 biggest favorites to win their first game (so far, since City has yet to play).

Also, Chelsea's loss made the ELO rankings even tighter. Ridiculously so, actually.

11 Chelsea    1819
12 Tottenham  1818
13 Arsenal    1816
14 Man United 1815
15 Leicester  1811
   659. spivey Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:24 PM (#5926454)
It’s good for the MLS and North America how great Davies has been. Hasn’t been a lot of talk about him here but when I’ve watched Bayern he’s legitimately one of their few best players every time, and his work to set up the third goal was incredible. I’d take him over Robertson right now.
   660. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 26, 2020 at 12:24 PM (#5926543)
Wide open game in Portugal with Braga chasing a goal. Rangers missed two huge chances already on breakaways, so it remains on a knife edge, with Rangers clinging to the narrow 3-2 aggregate lead (Braga with 2 away goals).
   661. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 26, 2020 at 12:49 PM (#5926549)
A major ###### by the Braga defender who handles the ball unnecessarily but clearly in the box, off a corner. Immediate pen called, but it's nicely saved! Stays on a knife edge going into halftime.

Braga's had their share of chances, but Rangers will be ruing those misses if they go on to lose.
   662. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 26, 2020 at 12:56 PM (#5926551)
Alfonzo Davies flies under the radar because he's Canadian, not an USMNT hero. I didn't realize how important he is to Bayern already.

When was the last time a Canadian player had a successful European career? A Canadian national team player that is (not Owen Hargreaves or Asmir Begovic).
   663. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 26, 2020 at 01:55 PM (#5926569)
Could be wrong, but I think the last time Scotland even got one team as far as the round of 16 in Europa was 2011, when Rangers beat Sporting on away goals but lost to PSV.

edit: looks like the last time they even had two teams in the KO rounds was in 2008, when Aberdeen joined Rangers in the round of 32. That year, of course, Rangers made it all the way to the final, to lose to Zenit. Part of the lack of teams in the KOs was Celtic being in the CL group stages some of those intervening years.
   664. Dale Sams Posted: February 26, 2020 at 03:03 PM (#5926591)
I've seen school-yard Sunday league pitches that were less wobbly then Braga's grounds
   665. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 26, 2020 at 03:06 PM (#5926592)
Could be wrong, but I think the last time Scotland even got one team as far as the round of 16 in Europa was 2011, when Rangers beat Sporting on away goals but lost to PSV.

edit: looks like the last time they even had two teams in the KO rounds was in 2008, when Aberdeen joined Rangers in the round of 32. That year, of course, Rangers made it all the way to the final, to lose to Zenit. Part of the lack of teams in the KOs was Celtic being in the CL group stages some of those intervening years.

I mean, another part of the lack of teams, was Rangers being liquidated in 2012, and having to restart from the 3rd division. When you only have 2 teams that can threaten the knockout rounds, and one is AWOL, and the other frequently in the CL by default...
   666. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 26, 2020 at 03:49 PM (#5926598)
All true. And still even with that, a shall we say less than stellar record by Scottish teams. The last couple years are a bit of a resurgence, especially with Celtic thriving a bit in Europa rather than being overmatched in the CL.
   667. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 26, 2020 at 03:55 PM (#5926603)
Juve down at the half. Would be wonderful if they go on to lose the tie (still pretty unlikely). They might be the most overrated team in the big 4 these last couple of years.
   668. Baldrick Posted: February 26, 2020 at 04:19 PM (#5926614)
Man City's commitment to not scoring is truly impressive.
   669. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 26, 2020 at 04:42 PM (#5926628)
You jinxed them.
   670. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 26, 2020 at 04:45 PM (#5926631)
This day keeps getting better.

edit: that's not much of a foul.
   671. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 26, 2020 at 04:47 PM (#5926634)
No that was a dive.
   672. spivey Posted: February 26, 2020 at 05:00 PM (#5926644)
He went down super easy but that’s a foul on Ramos. He impeded Jesus when he was through on goal. The fact he was in and going to have a super high xG chance makes me less willing to accept any impediment vs. say, a corner
   673. The_Ex Posted: February 26, 2020 at 05:25 PM (#5926657)
Ramos tried for a foul that looked like an accident. The ref didn't buy it but Ramos does have a reputation.
   674. Mefisto Posted: February 26, 2020 at 06:42 PM (#5926668)
Looked to me like Ramos definitely clipped him. Well deserved just on general principles anyway. :)
   675. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2020 at 12:29 AM (#5926696)
Fulham with a last minute equalizer to stay relevant in the race for top two, but West Brom is now almost out of reach and Leeds is looking string again.

Promotion odds:
West Brom   93
Leeds       84
Fulham      43
Brentford   41
Forest      18
Preston     10
Blackburn   4
Swansea     3
Milwall     3
Bristol     3
Cardiff     2


At this point you can't even get odds for West Brom or even Leeds to finish top 6, since the odds are very high (Leeds over 98 is my guess, and West Brom over 99.5). Fulham is almost considered a shoe-in for at least the playoff (90) and Brentford and Forest are also given quite high odds (over 80% each). That really leaves only one spot, with 50/50 it goes to Preston.
   676. Richard Posted: February 27, 2020 at 02:30 AM (#5926709)
Last season in top division for those teams:

West Brom 2018
Leeds 2004
Fulham 2019
Brentford 1947
Forest 1999
Preston 1961
Blackburn 2012
Swansea 2018
Millwall 1990
Bristol C 1980
Cardiff 2019

A promotion from someone who hasn't been up there since the 20th century would be fun. Actually, anyone except Leeds will do from that group.
   677. Dale Sams Posted: February 27, 2020 at 01:27 PM (#5926834)
Watched the start of a video called 'All yellow and red cards by Ramos in the UCL"

Wow, there were a #### ton of insane dives by players against Ramos. So glad VAR (no sarcasm) has cleaned *some* of that up.
   678. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 27, 2020 at 01:50 PM (#5926838)
A promotion from someone who hasn't been up there since the 20th century would be fun. Actually, anyone except Leeds will do from that group.

If you are going to have an "anyone except" tier, the correct answer is Millwall. #### those #######.
   679. Dale Sams Posted: February 27, 2020 at 02:07 PM (#5926840)
Ahh cmon. Leeds and Millwall in the EPL would be entertaining
   680. frannyzoo Posted: February 27, 2020 at 02:20 PM (#5926847)
Not a good morning for Portugal football. Porto bombing out, Sporting behind on away goals, even Portugal North (Wolves) is behind, although they still look very safe. Benfica better put it together against Shakhtar; Europa could be Portugal-free in three hours or so.

   681. frannyzoo Posted: February 27, 2020 at 02:31 PM (#5926850)
Sporting with a vital away goal. The Turkish side needs two in about ten minutes now.
   682. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2020 at 02:45 PM (#5926852)
One to draw level, right? Still unlikely.

Braga lost yesterday.

Russia and France are already out. Netherlands and Belgium could be out after today as well (now fairly likely). Next up in current rankings are actually Ukraine and Turkey, the two teams playing the Portuguese teams, so they could both be out. Finally you get to Austria and Scotland, both of which will still be alive.

It's the top 4, Portugal (currently 6th), and then a few straggler nations.

edit: and Basaksehir scores on cue. Going to extras I think.
   683. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2020 at 02:53 PM (#5926855)
2-legged xG for Roma/Gent: 1.9-3.4 (538). Roma not exactly impressing their way into the round of 16.
   684. frannyzoo Posted: February 27, 2020 at 03:14 PM (#5926859)
Oops on the two. I'll have away goals truly memorized in about 50 years.

Braga: I know. They didn't look good. I did find myself focusing on the trees and scenery around Braga's stadium, however, as I'm currently dreaming/planning my next bike tour there.

Edit: So long, too, Sporting...And Bruno Fernandes scores a penalty almost precisely when his old team goes out. Oh would if it wasn't taking 30 minutes for the easiest VAR check in handball history.
   685. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2020 at 03:27 PM (#5926863)
One player just cost Brugge any chance of advancing, going for the diving save in the box despite not being the GK. Wasn't even at all clear that Mignolet wouldn't have had it covered. Down a goal and a man now they would need a miracle.

For some reason they are going to VAR. That's ridiculous. It was on goal and you can't assume Mignolet would save it. That has to be a red. Review is taking forever and I have no idea why.
   686. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2020 at 03:37 PM (#5926867)
If these current scorelines hold up, it will be top 4 (3 from England/Germany, 2 from Spain/Italy), then a big gap for leagues 5-9, followed by Ukraine, Turkey, Austria, Scotland (10-13) and finally Switzerland (20).

Best of the rest is probably Shakhtar or Celtic, but it's not al lot to choose from.

edit: spoke to soon. Benfica/Shakhtar is now level on aggregate and way goals.
   687. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2020 at 03:42 PM (#5926869)
Germany is now 8-0 in this round, with one more game to go tomorrow (Salzburg hosts Frankfurt tomorrow).
   688. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2020 at 03:49 PM (#5926873)
Also worth pointing out that the teams from the Top 4 remaining are no slouches in their leagues this year. Even Wolfsburg has good underlying numbers. They all should be pretty big favorites against the other 6 teams.

edit: of course Arsenal. But they are not considered as average as their numbers have been.
   689. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2020 at 04:37 PM (#5926888)
3 games left still within a goal on aggregate.

Arsenal all square with Olympiacos.
Celtic needs a goal at home to force extras.
Sevilla is currently ahead to Cluj (!) only on away goals.

(and yes, Portugal is done unless Benfica gets a miracle.)

edit: Celtic got the goal they needed to draw level, but immediately gave up a road goal, so they are done.
   690. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2020 at 04:46 PM (#5926891)
Shocker!! Cluj with a road goal and now Sevilla will be scrambling for an equalizer to send this to extras!

Coming into this round, Cluj may have been the very weakest team left in Europa, and Sevilla one of the best. Definitely Sevilla was given the best chance to advance this round, with maybe some competition from Inter.

edit: oh, goal may have been waved off. False alarm. Sevilla will advance.
   691. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2020 at 04:59 PM (#5926896)
Celtic goes out despite a 4.4-2.6 edge in xG. A bit unfortunate.
   692. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2020 at 05:25 PM (#5926925)
Beautiful technique by Auba to likely send Arsenal through in extra time. Considering how much better they've been over two legs, would have been a shame to see them go out this round.

edit: but no! Olympiacos scores after a scramble following a corner, and the ball was crossed back in nicely. Keeper was even up at the time.

edit2: and Auba misses a sitter in the last minute, as the last kick of the game. I mean, it was a sitter sitter.
   693. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2020 at 05:41 PM (#5926931)
So Arsenal is the only of the big 4 to go out at this stage, other than underdog Espanyol (against Wolves). In a way fitting, because they have been pretty average this year in the EPL, but also not very fitting, because the 2-legged xG was 4.7-1.4. They basically dominated Olympiacos for most of the 3.5 hours, but went out anyway.
   694. Do Not Touch Fancy Pants Socially Distanced Handle Posted: February 27, 2020 at 05:44 PM (#5926934)
Celtic goes out despite a 4.4-2.6 edge in xG. A bit unfortunate.

This is how Scottish football rolls! Play great teams tough, and lose in painfully torturous fashion. And then flub the games against teams you should beat handily. There are no other types of international games. Formula works for both club and country btw.
   695. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2020 at 06:38 PM (#5926942)
Always unfair to do this after a big win, but Manchester United is now the third rated team by ELO in the EPL, and 4th by 538's system, just a hair behind Chelsea.

That's partly a testament to the fact that after City and Liverpool, the EPL doesn't have any excellent teams. Wolves and Leicester have caught up to Arsenal, Spurs, and United this year (at least so far), but haven't really surpassed them yet. Chelsea might be a half-step above, but they have stumbled of late so it's not so clear any more.

Of course, it's also a testament to the fact that United was never nearly as bad as people were claiming earlier this year.
   696. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 27, 2020 at 11:58 PM (#5926983)
Inter         18
Man Utd       17.5
Sevilla       12.5
Wolves        12.5
Getafe        7.5
Leverkusen    7.5
Roma          6.5
Frankfurt     4.5 (assuming they advance)
Wolfsburg     3
Shakhtar      3 
Olympiacos    1.5
LASK          1.5
Rangers       1.5
Basel         1
Basaksehir    0.5
Copenhagen    0.5


Only Wolfsburg and Frankfurt have less chance of a CL spot through their league, as they are effectively eliminated already from top 4 contention. Wolves would have slightly less too if Man City is reinstated.
   697. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 28, 2020 at 08:47 AM (#5927007)
Interesting Europa draw in some ways. La Liga faces off against Serie A twice, and all of the EPL and Bundesliga teams face teams out of the big 4. Least fancied of the big 4, Wolfsburg, takes on most fancied of the non bog-4, Shakhtar, in what could be a fairly interesting matchup.

United gets LASK and Wolves get to do what Arsenal botched, beat Olympiacos. With United having the easier opponent than Inter, United are back to being favorites to win it all, as they were before Inter dropped in from the CL.

And the two worst teams remaining face each other, Basaksehir and Copenhagen.
   698. aberg Posted: February 28, 2020 at 12:30 PM (#5927109)
Seattle Sounders looked like they had Concacaf CL game against Olympia (Honduras) won last night. They were up 4-3 on aggregate. 2-2 away and led 2-1 late at home. They felt secure enough to start bringing on players who don't figure to get playing time in the league. In the 86th minute, they cleared a header, and it bounced to the feet of an Olympia midfielder who smashed a 30' volley in to tie it. They went to PKs after 90 minutes and the Sounders lost. Meanwhile, LAFC stormed back from 2-0 to Leon after the first leg to win 3-2. Rest of MLS did really well and makes up 4 of the final 8.
   699. frannyzoo Posted: February 28, 2020 at 04:20 PM (#5927160)
As one whose latest FM adventure has me with Norwich up to about 2035, and generally favors them against anyone (the yellow and green are spiffy and different, don't ya think?), I am outraged that VAR considers the Iheanacho goal "handball" just now. On the situation/replays' face, it impossible to tell (if not actually a bit leaning to the fact it's not handball against Leicester). More importantly, the current interpretation seems to be that instead of "clear and obvious" we are instead enforcing "unclear and at least possible."

That's ridiculous.

Go Canaries.

   700. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: February 28, 2020 at 04:21 PM (#5927161)
Europa odds, in order of most likely to advance

Man Utd      79
Leverkusen   78

Frankfurt    66
Wolves       65

Shakhtar     56
Inter        55
Copenhagen   51
Sevilla/Roma 50
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