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Tuesday, November 03, 2020

OT - Soccer Thread - Winter Is Here

Not sure why the other thread no longer allows comments but…new thread!

Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: November 03, 2020 at 11:16 AM | 719 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   601. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 08, 2021 at 02:55 PM (#5998384)
Interesting moment on the Gladbach/Bayern game. Handball pen given on what must have been the lightest of touches, and no effect on the ball. Announcers are absolutely aghast and are blaming VAR.

I'm not so sure on this one, because the Gladbach defender appeared to intentionally, specifically try to touch the ball with his hand. That's very rare, so (if you think that was the intent) even the most mild of actual contact is rightfully a penalty and a yellow.
   602. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 09, 2021 at 08:59 AM (#5998563)
Sixth tier Chorley about to knock out Wayne Rooneys Derby.
   603. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 09, 2021 at 10:02 AM (#5998569)
Sociedad has 1 win in their las 9 La Liga games. Their schedule got harder and they've had a little hard luck with results, but they haven't been a top 4 La Liga team over that stretch either. They've now played exactly half the schedule (more than most teams in La Liga) and are projected to finish 6th.
   604. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 09, 2021 at 10:13 AM (#5998571)
Sociedad had a very good year last year, deservedly finishing 6th in the league and not that far behind Sevilla and Villarreal. On a whole so far this year seems to be more or less a repeat. With half the season left a lot could change of course.
   605. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 09, 2021 at 12:35 PM (#5998599)
So I knew Schalke have been bad, but they've been on a historic winless streak. That ended today with a hat trick by an American! Matthew Hoppe - never heard of him, he's only 19 and has only played five matches for the first team. By virtue of being an American scoring a hat trick in a top league there is now going to be a lot of attention.
   606. spivey 2 Posted: January 09, 2021 at 01:56 PM (#5998621)
Leipzig/Dortmund first half was entertaining but cagey, and no real chances came of it.

Witsel looked to have a non-contact injury that could have been an achilles, and was replaced by Emre Can. Can is much more athletic and progressive than Witsel, and they've been much better winning the midfield battle and pressing. Of course that's not just him, but I do think the double pivot of Delaney/Witsel isn't dynamic enough and holds them back against top teams.

Anyways, the first 20 minutes of this second half have been all Dortmund, and they've collected a few high xG chances. And now Dani Olmo did a beautiful feint to create space and got a good shot off that hit the post as well. Fun second half so far. Big match for both teams, of course.
   607. spivey 2 Posted: January 09, 2021 at 02:04 PM (#5998623)
Haaland is just a ####### monster. He may be better than Kane.
   608. spivey 2 Posted: January 09, 2021 at 02:07 PM (#5998629)
Dortmund can have these halves where they look like the best team in the world. Such a frustrating team to semi-root for.
   609. spivey 2 Posted: January 09, 2021 at 02:19 PM (#5998641)
I do appreciate that infogol only gives 0.49 xG on a Haaland goal where he rounded the keeper and tapped it in.
   610. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 10, 2021 at 10:04 AM (#5998797)
Fourth tier Crawley Town is up 3-0 on Leeds. Aside from Villa, who lost to Liverpool when fielding a team of children, Leeds will be the best team to go out so far. The other prem teams that have gone out so far have been bottom-tier (West Brom, Palace (to Wolves), and Newcastle (to Arsenal)).
   611. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 10, 2021 at 12:05 PM (#5998814)
Worth checking out the Marine/Spurs game just to see the field.
   612. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 10, 2021 at 12:24 PM (#5998815)
Not only are there almost no stands and the grass is not in great shape, the field is clearly not level.

Still, all of it seems higher quality than Joe Hart, who almost gifted Marine a goal on a decent attempt from 35 yards from a plumbing student at the local college.
   613. MY PAIN IS NOT A HOLIDAY (CoB). Posted: January 10, 2021 at 12:34 PM (#5998818)
I'll always love a ground where neighbors across the street can watch the match through their windows.
Marine's shorts are being sponsored by Cartilage Free Captain (which is a little weird, but cool in the amount CFC raised for Marine and charity for the privilege).
It does not seem that Spurs will be going the way of Leeds; even Joe Hart can't muck it up at this point, I imagine ...
   614. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 10, 2021 at 12:43 PM (#5998819)
I don't really mean to pick on the field--it's only poor by EPL standards. It's in much, much better shape virtually all the fields I played on growing up.
   615. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 10, 2021 at 09:52 PM (#5998895)
I was watching Atletico playing Copa Del Rey earlier this week. They played a team in the 3rd tier called UE Cornelia. The field was turf and it had extra lines on it, like a college intramural field. Cornelia did end up winning and play Barcelona next. Cornelia lost to Barcelona 'B' last month.
   616. spivey 2 Posted: January 11, 2021 at 09:05 AM (#5998948)
Fourth tier Crawley Town is up 3-0 on Leeds.


I'm not sure if that's worse, or Derby losing 2-0 and getting thoroughly outplayed by 6th tier Chorley. Seriously, Chorley had 19 shots, 6 on-target - compared to 2 (1) for Derby. Chorley is in the National League North, which I understand is semi-pro level.
   617. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 11, 2021 at 09:18 AM (#5998952)
I'm not sure if that's worse, or Derby losing 2-0 and getting thoroughly outplayed by 6th tier Chorley. Seriously, Chorley had 19 shots, 6 on-target - compared to 2 (1) for Derby. Chorley is in the National League North, which I understand is semi-pro level.


I learned after the fact that Derby were basically playing their U-23 team. Apparently due to COVID they were missing their entire first team and something like 9 of the 11 starters were making their full squad debut. Chorley actually were favored by the bookies in the immediate run up to the game.
   618. Richard Posted: January 11, 2021 at 10:03 AM (#5998961)
The whole of the Derby team made their professional debuts. There was no disgrace in that defeat. Same for Villa.
   619. spivey 2 Posted: January 11, 2021 at 10:16 AM (#5998968)
That's too bad. I was hoping for cup magic. Sounds like it was just pandemic magic.

Speaking of pandemic magic, Tottenham is having their Wednesday Villa match rescheduled to be Fulham. They were supposed to play Fulham last week, but Scott Parker said - I think reasonably - that he would have set up his team differently in the FA cup if they knew they had a mid-week match.

Tottenham's schedule is extremely crowded and will stay like that for a while given we should at least expect them to get past their first knockout match in the Europa League. Part of me does feel like the burden for rescheduling should be a little bit more on the team that had the COVID outbreak, but I need to think about that a bit more.

Anyways, between now and when the players get the vaccine in England, I think it's going to be a mess. Same for the NBA, stateside.
   620. spivey 2 Posted: January 11, 2021 at 12:43 PM (#5999004)
I'm interested if people think Messi is still the best player in the world. I was trying to think about it. He's still sitting around 1.1 xG+A/90, and he's still one of the very best dribblers in the world (whoscored shows him as the best dribbler in La Liga by over 1 more successful dribble per game vs. his competition). But he doesn't defend or press. Neymar looks statistically like the best dribbler in the world, though he misses so many games.

I'm inclined to think he's fallen back into a lump with your Lewandowskis, Mbappes, etc.

I actually think Kevin DeBruyne may be the best player in the world now. He's been the best midfielder for a couple of years. But this year his xG+A/90 is over 1. It was about 1 last year. And while he does occasionally play as an attacking midfielder or false 9, he most commonly plays as a box-to-box midfielder who seems to take the defensive side of the game pretty seriously.
   621. KronicFatigue Posted: January 12, 2021 at 08:15 AM (#5999186)
People need to answer #620 so I know what to think (and can pass it off as my own opinion)
   622. jmurph Posted: January 12, 2021 at 09:28 AM (#5999202)
I just don't watch enough of La Liga or Ligue 1 (I guess I should just say PSG there) to have a strong opinion. I'm pretty confident the best player in the world does not play in Serie A, though, I watch enough of that.

Despite many years now of watching high level soccer I'm still GOALS! biased enough to think that there must be someone better than KDB because he's not a big scorer. That said, as a City fan, I'm very aware of his importance to them.
   623. Mefisto Posted: January 12, 2021 at 10:08 AM (#5999213)
You might want to define "best player in the world". For example, say Babe Ruth was the best player in MLB from at least 1920 through 1932. That doesn't mean he was the best player every single year though (e.g., 1922 or 1924). Messi might not have been the best in 2020 (I haven't tried to analyze it), but he might still be "the best in the world" in some larger sense.
   624. Baldrick Posted: January 12, 2021 at 02:21 PM (#5999288)
I haven't watched a ton of Messi in 2020, but from what I have seen he's dropped a LOT from his peak. I certainly don't expect him to be the best player in the world in 2021, or any future year. But he's still good enough to be among the best and anyone in that range could end up actually having the best year.

Which I think is basically what Mefisto is saying but with a little more certainty about where he fits into the mix.
   625. Mefisto Posted: January 12, 2021 at 02:26 PM (#5999290)
Yes.
   626. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 12, 2021 at 02:32 PM (#5999294)
It's Sheffield United's day? Newcastle went down to 10 on two quick yellows at the end of the first half. Then with another Newcastle player taking a knock they were temporarily down to 9. A ball over the top was swiped at in the box by the Newcastle defender's hand, for a penalty given on VAR, which seemed to be the right call. Sheffield United up 1-0.
   627. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 12, 2021 at 03:56 PM (#5999316)
Curious incident in the Manchester United - Burnley game. Cavani taken down outside the box on what looked like it could be a DOGSO. VAR spent a bunch of time looking at an earlier moment at the beginning of the move where Shaw got the ball but followed through and got the man as well.

Weirdly, the announcer (Neville?) repeated over and over again that Shaw "missed the ball", which was very clearly not the case. Follow-through was high though and justly a foul, so it was probably the right call to not let the DOGSO stand. They must have decided it would have been DOGSO or there would be no reason to give the Shaw foul to reverse it. IOW, Burnley was very close to being down a man.

And now Maguire gets a goal reversed on a marginal call. If they hadn't given it on the field probably no way VAR reverses. Maybe it's Burnley's day.
   628. Richard Posted: January 12, 2021 at 08:29 PM (#5999382)
It's Sheffield United's day?


Yes, at last. We needed that.
   629. jmurph Posted: January 13, 2021 at 03:11 PM (#5999524)
Ooh, the battle of former Spurs managers in Ligue 1 right now, Poch vs AVB's Marseille.
   630. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 13, 2021 at 05:21 PM (#5999582)
By 538, only the 5th time this year an EPL team had more than 4.0 xG. All the others were victories by at least 2 goals.

West Brom 0 - 4 Arsenal
Villa 3 - 0 Palace
ManU 6 -2 Leeds
Chelsea 3 - 1 Leeds
Liverpool 3 - 0 Leicester

edit: Spurs for a while were way up on their xPoints. They've given most of that back with some "hard luck" results and now are only slightly ahead of even.

It probably wouldn't surprise anyone that ManU, leading the league, has been out-resulting their underlying xG. Two teams right there with them (slightly ahead, actually, per understat) are Everton and Southampton.
   631. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 13, 2021 at 06:35 PM (#5999604)
Looks like the finishing fairy deserted Tottenham today.
   632. MY PAIN IS NOT A HOLIDAY (CoB). Posted: January 13, 2021 at 06:55 PM (#5999610)
Sure, but when you field Hjoberg, Winks AND Sissoko in midfield, together, with Dele on the bench, against Fulham, at home? You deserve *any* and *all* satchels of Richards that might come your way.
   633. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 13, 2021 at 07:06 PM (#5999613)
Believe me, I hate that lineup, but I don't think they're responsible for Son missing chances he'd usually bury.
   634. MY PAIN IS NOT A HOLIDAY (CoB). Posted: January 13, 2021 at 07:27 PM (#5999620)
They're not. They are, however, the cost of *not* playing a lineup that might have, well, compensated for Son missing chances he'd usually bury ...
   635. Mefisto Posted: January 13, 2021 at 08:15 PM (#5999626)
It looks as if United/LFC will be available only on Peacock. Perfect for those of us who can't get that.
   636. MY PAIN IS NOT A HOLIDAY (CoB). Posted: January 13, 2021 at 10:53 PM (#5999648)
4 PL matches on Sunday.
1 on NBCSN, 3 on Peacock.

   637. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 14, 2021 at 08:08 AM (#5999669)
Forgive an ignorant question but why can't you get Peacock?
   638. jmurph Posted: January 14, 2021 at 08:57 AM (#5999676)
Forgive an ignorant question but why can't you get Peacock?

Well anyone can get it on their computers/phones. But it's still not available on Amazon devices, which is a pretty sizable share of the streaming market.
   639. Mefisto Posted: January 14, 2021 at 09:04 AM (#5999678)
638 is correct. Watching a game on my cell phone is hopeless (bad eyesight). Watching on my computer is possible but not all that enjoyable.
   640. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 14, 2021 at 10:21 AM (#5999702)
Penalties aren't random. Good teams over time will tend to be positive in penalty differential, and bad teams will be negative. Also playing style matters.

Of the EPL Top 6, all have positive differential over the last 6+ years except Arsenal. Spurs (positive) and Arsenal (negative) are close to even. The others all have significant differential, led by the team that has been best of all, City. That's not a coincidence. Expanding it to top 9, Everton is flat and Leicester highly positive. (Wolves is slightly negative in 2+ years.)

West Ham hasn't had a year with a positive differential in the last 6.5 years. Newcastle is +1 this year but otherwise hasn't been positive in any of the past 6 years. Burnley's been negative every single year but one. All the teams that get relegated each year are generally negative.

One surprise is that Palace has had positive differentials almost every year recently, but they were a decent team not that long ago.

Taking penalties completely out of the analysis of how well a team is likely to perform going forward might be close to as inaccurate as leaving them in without adjustment. The truth is somewhere in between.
   641. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 14, 2021 at 10:24 AM (#5999703)
I didn't know that about Peacock and Amazon. That's idiotic.
   642. jmurph Posted: January 14, 2021 at 11:02 AM (#5999712)
I didn't know that about Peacock and Amazon. That's idiotic.

It's maddening. I almost literally never use Peacock, just pay for it every month for kicks.
   643. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 14, 2021 at 03:49 PM (#5999775)
Arsenal looked bad in the few minutes of that half I saw.

Bellerin must be the only player who still tucks in his shirt. Has he always done that?
   644. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 14, 2021 at 04:52 PM (#5999792)
Second half was basically a mirror image of the first, this time with Palace doing absolutely nothing. Arsenal couldn't get the goal though, and without any really good chances either way 0-0 seems fair.

Definitely Arsenal's worst performance over the last few games.
   645. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 16, 2021 at 11:02 AM (#6000095)
Leeds had only one shot in the first half, from way out.
   646. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 16, 2021 at 12:14 PM (#6000100)
I have to admit I expected a lot more from Brighton-Leeds. BHA played really well, I won’t say they parked the bus but they played an organized game, they never really let Leeds have any space especially once they got the lead.
   647. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 16, 2021 at 01:27 PM (#6000112)
Fulham started overmatched, then came on strong at the end of the half but missed their chances. Pretty disappointing by Chelsea. With Fulham's red at the end of the half it looks like Chelsea is likely off the hook though.
   648. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 16, 2021 at 02:52 PM (#6000129)
Kind of interesting to see where the seams are in the top 4 leagues, according to 538. Defined as the biggest gaps between consecutive ranks.

EPL:
1. between 19th (Newcastle) and 20th (West Brom) = 9.7
2. between 1st (City) and 2nd (Liverpool) = 5.1
3. between 13th (Wolves) and 14th (Leeds) = 4.1. More of less the line between mid and bottom table teams. Also by 538 Wolves is barely hanging on to midtable. Between 12th (Brighton) and 14th (Leeds) is a gap of 6.3.

LA Liga:
1. between 6th (Sociedad) and 7th (Getafe) = 8.5. Currently there is a very solid top tier in La Liga
2. between 19th (Huesca) and 20th (Elche) = 5.3. They are no West Brom, but Elche have been very bad.
3. between 1st (Barca) and 2nd (Real Madrid) = 4.7. Barca still considered head and shoulders above the others.
4. between 3rd (Atleti) and 4th (Sevilla) = 4.6. La Liga has atop tier within a top tier, along with a top team. According to 538, all the variation is at the very top, with Elche straggling. The other thirteen teams are fairly tightly bunched.

Bundesliga:
1. between 1st (Bayern) and 2nd (Dortmund) = 6.3
2. between 4th (Leverkusen) and 5th (Gladbach) = 4.8. The CL spot race might not be very exciting this year.
3.between 15th (Bremen) and 16th (Koln) = 4.8. Germany also has a bottom tier per 538.

Serie A:
1. between 7th (Lazio) and 8th (Fiorentina) = 5.6
2. between 6th (Roma) and 7th (Lazio) = 4.2. There is a very strong top tier in Serie A, and Lazio is barely hanging on. Between 6th and 8th is a gap of 9.8. Unlike the other top leagues, Serie A does not have a dominant team at the moment per 538.
3. between 14th (Torino) and 15th (Benevento) = 3.6.
   649. frannyzoo Posted: January 16, 2021 at 03:32 PM (#6000132)
My EPL viewing has been spotty for a while now, but this Leicester/Saints 1st half has been the best viewing in that stretch. Countering the counter-attack and vice-versa is fun to watch with quality squads.
   650. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 16, 2021 at 03:57 PM (#6000133)
Southampton has a serious problem getting good looks from open play. They are near bottom of the table in xG, propped up mostly by JWP's excellence giving them (per understat) 4 set piece goals, which is almost top in the EPL right now, and 3 more direct free kick goals, with only a handful of other teams even having 1.

Lack of ability to generate good looks from open play is holding them back, and probably means they won't end up in the top half of the league this year. (Finishing as high as 7th is possible, but 11th seems more likely.)
   651. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 16, 2021 at 04:09 PM (#6000134)
Only Burnley and hopeless West Brom have been worse than Southampton at generating xG from open play this year. A few other teams are in the same neighborhood: Sheffield United, Newcastle, Fulham, and Palace. Basically it's the whole bottom tier plus Southampton.
   652. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 16, 2021 at 04:58 PM (#6000145)
xG on that one will be a slaughter. Good example of how game state doesn't necessarily mean less xGD for the team leading most of the game.
   653. spivey 2 Posted: January 17, 2021 at 11:24 AM (#6000178)
Bayern is living an extremely blessed life in the Bundesliga this year. Freiburg just rocketed a shot off the crossbar in extra time that would have tied it up. I think Bayern is only in third in xPoints and maybe even xGD. They aren’t nearly as scary as last year. Their press is way worse, probably because of COVID fixture congestion, and their defense is still just as leaky as it was when the press could justify it.

Edit: Bayern deserved to win, but that was the kind of match that Dortmund has been drawing recently.
   654. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 17, 2021 at 12:25 PM (#6000182)
United might be slightly lucky not to be down a goal, but their counterattack has made Liverpool uncomfortable despite not getting any shots. So far it's pretty much the game the teams drew up coming in.

538 has Bayern down a bit from the start of the year, and that seems to be well deserved. They had a huge edge in ranking over the other two coming into the year, and a chunk of that is gone now.
   655. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 17, 2021 at 01:26 PM (#6000185)
by xG the second half was probably won by United, who maybe had the two best chances of the game.

Maybe the "unlikeliest" 0-0 draw of the season, considering the chances created. Only real competition is probably Leeds v Arsenal.
   656. spivey 2 Posted: January 18, 2021 at 12:38 PM (#6000277)
We don't talk about Serie A a ton, but there was a very big match between Inter and Juve yesterday.

I watched the first half and the last 10 minutes of the second half, and Inter basically dominated the match. They dominated xG, but also dominated the middle of the pitch and it felt like all of the little moments in the game that could have led to decent chances but didn't were basically on Inter's side as well. Juve are now 7 points back of both Inter and Milan, and both on the eye test and xGD/xPoints, the top 6 of Serie A is all pretty even this year. The results of the top teams against each other have been pretty inconsistent as well. I have a hard time picking a winner, but it's very much in play for Juve to not only not win the league, but also not qualify for Champion's League. They're in 5th, but most importantly, they don't really deserve to be higher.

Juve really don't have a very good midfield, especially without McKennie being fully fit just now. It's kind of outrageous how poor their midfield is based on what they're presumably spending on wages for the collective group.
   657. jmurph Posted: January 19, 2021 at 12:16 PM (#6000524)
In the games I've seen, Napoli and Inter have been the most impressive, but they clearly haven't been consistent enough. I think Juve still has a lot of quality, but you're right that there isn't much separating any of those teams.

I weirdly watch a lot of random Serie A games- like I would never put a Burnley-Brighton game on if I had any other choice, but I'll watch like Genoa-Spezia without thinking. Parma has been my pet team since they came back up, but they look hopeless so far- not sure why the managerial change happened.
   658. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 19, 2021 at 02:52 PM (#6000596)
Juve remind me of the 2002 Yankees. They are still good but I think there are a lot more names than talent on that roster. I heard a term recently that I like a lot; "donut team." It's a team with former and future stars but no one in their prime (i.e. a hole in the middle like a donut). I think that's Juventus right now.
   659. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 19, 2021 at 03:33 PM (#6000605)
Leicester is outplaying Chelsea pretty convincingly so far.
   660. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 19, 2021 at 04:05 PM (#6000613)
The game doesn't seem to be called this way, but Vardy came from way offside to try to make a play on the goal kick. He jumped, challenging for it along with a Chelsea defender. The ball went off the Chelsea defender's head straight to a Leicester player (and then straight downfield for the second Leicester goal). If I were in charge of the game, that would be offside.

A Chelsea loss today would be devastating for their top 4 hopes.
   661. Mefisto Posted: January 19, 2021 at 04:05 PM (#6000614)
I don't see how Lampard survives this.

Havertz looks lost out there. H-O looks ineffective (as usual, IMO). The midfield can't get the ball to the forwards, and the defense is leaky.

ETA: Perhaps Abramovich can shift his attention away from (allegedly) murdering dissidents to his team.
   662. Mefisto Posted: January 19, 2021 at 04:14 PM (#6000618)
@660: That's how I saw it too. I was sure VAR would reverse it.
   663. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 19, 2021 at 04:22 PM (#6000620)
You can't be offsides from a goal kick. They just said at half time that Lampard is very close to being fired - and that a loss today would seal it.
   664. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 19, 2021 at 04:28 PM (#6000621)
You can't be offsides from a goal kick.
Heh. Didn't know. Makes sense then.

Leverkusen has just beaten Dortmund, which makes both the race for the Bundesliga winner and the race for top 4 less interesting. Who knows though--maybe Leverkusen will challenge for the title. Seems a bit doubtful.
   665. Mefisto Posted: January 19, 2021 at 04:30 PM (#6000623)
My understanding is that you *can* be offside when it's your own goal kick, but not when it's the opposing team.
   666. spivey 2 Posted: January 19, 2021 at 06:03 PM (#6000646)
Part of me can't help but feel like Chelsea has been pretty unlucky during Lampard's tenure there. They've underperformed xGD by quite a bit. And the talents they have now, while talented, all mostly like to play in the same spaces and many of them have the same weaknesses, which is unlocking a parked bus. And some of them are just plum overrated, like Chilwell. They also brought in a lot of new talent this year, it was hard to expect it to gel quickly. I think he deserves the whole season, really, but Chelsea have been very, very quick to fire managers.
   667. Mefisto Posted: January 19, 2021 at 10:20 PM (#6000712)
Part of it is luck. As MCOA points out, Chelsea are 4th in xGD. But as he also points out, they're worse this year than last after spending a ton of money.
   668. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 20, 2021 at 12:00 AM (#6000739)
By betting odds, Chelsea is still expected to have the third most points in the 2nd half of the season, barely ahead of Manchester United and a little bit ahead of Tottenham.

Arsenal and Leicester are even at 6th most projected for the second half. That all pretty closely matches 538's rankings as well, FWIW.
   669. manchestermets Posted: January 20, 2021 at 09:37 AM (#6000764)
Law 11 - Offside

There is no offside offence if a player receives the ball directly from:

* a goal kick
* a throw-in
* a corner kick


Until a few years ago, it wasn't possible to score directly from a goal kick. But that has now changed, and last night someone did!
   670. Mefisto Posted: January 20, 2021 at 09:45 AM (#6000765)
Man, that was a hell of a kick.
   671. spivey 2 Posted: January 20, 2021 at 10:11 AM (#6000769)
Until a few years ago, it wasn't possible to score directly from a goal kick. But that has now changed, and last night someone did!


I could have sworn Tim Howard did this like a decade or so ago?
   672. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 20, 2021 at 10:48 AM (#6000777)
I thought the same thing, but that wasn't actually a goal kick. Also wind aided.

Howard felt bad about celebrating even a little bit as it broke the keeper code to celebrate an accidental goal.

edit: Also, here's video of some other long keeper goals. Most feature a bounce over the opposing GK's head. Two from deadballs around the box (so, very similar to a GK, but of course not).
   673. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 20, 2021 at 01:57 PM (#6000807)
Hard to understand how City isn't up a couple goals already. If this game continues like this, it will put a serious dent in Villa's to date excellent xGD.

Coming into the game, these were the top two teams in non-pen xG per game and xPoints per game (understat). Of course, playing City can put a hurt on that.

By betting odds, in terms of expected quality they were not close, with Villa near the bottom of the midtable pack and City of course top in the league by a good margin. 538 has liked Villa quite a bit more than betting odds--8th after Arsenal and Leicester.

edit: after City ran circles around Villa in the first half, the announcers are spending halftime criticizing City's setup and praising Villa's defense, just because it is still 0-0. It's so stupid.
   674. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 20, 2021 at 02:16 PM (#6000810)
Infogol ridiculously called that Cancelo chance off the bar a 5% opportunity. Um, no.
   675. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 20, 2021 at 02:51 PM (#6000818)
Villa played valiantly, but let's not pretend they played well. This was a beatdown except on the scoreline until late.
   676. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 20, 2021 at 03:04 PM (#6000823)
By 538, 2nd highest combined xG and non-shot xG in a single game by a team. Highest was Manchester United against Leeds, where Leeds decided to play all out offense for the full 90, despite trailing by a lot of goals. edit: highest without a penalty was Chelsea's 3-1 win over Leeds. Leeds is on the short end of a lot of these, in fact.

As far the goal from play, it was pretty clearly not offside the way the rule is written and has always been interpreted. The City player clearly didn't make a play on the ball, or interfered with play in any way, until after the ball was already controlled by the defender. The defender has to know better than that. IF it were a much closer case, such that it was not so clear whether the offensive player was getting involved in the actual receipt of the pass than I would have more sympathy.

There are so many more obvious cases where an offensive player interferes with play due to his offside position, and just because he doesn't touch the ball no offside is given. If we want to broaden the offside rule, let's take care of those first.
   677. I am going to be Frank Posted: January 20, 2021 at 05:14 PM (#6000841)
Pogbomb! Another away win after going down.
   678. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 21, 2021 at 05:18 PM (#6001077)
EPL winner odds percentage (538 in parens):
ManchesterCity        67.5    (80)
ManchesterUnited      13.5    (11)
Liverpool              9.5     (5)
Leicester              4.5     (2)
Tottenham              3.5     (2)
Field                  1.5     

Basically, at the halfway point, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Arsenal have given up most, all, and all, respectively, of their shares to the other four.
   679. The Marksist Posted: January 21, 2021 at 05:19 PM (#6001078)
Long way to go, but I think that might be it for Liverpool's title hopes this year. I'm not about to complain after the run these last three seasons and COVID doing it's thing, but I am definitely sad about it.
   680. spivey 2 Posted: January 21, 2021 at 05:22 PM (#6001081)
The penalty that Burnley got was so, so weak.

Liverpool was long overdue to get some bad results, though. It's amusing how frustrated their fans, players, and Klopp seem. I think they had it so good, they forgot what #### luck several matches in a row felt like.
   681. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 21, 2021 at 05:32 PM (#6001085)
It's very hard to feel sorry for Liverpool right now, after last year. If it's more of the same next year than we'll talk. By the way, by xPoints (understat), City is still underperforming their results by more than Liverpool, and neither are doing so by a significant margin.

As a (mostly) neutral, would have been a lot more exciting if Liverpool had spread last year's fortune over two seasons instead of one.

   682. The Marksist Posted: January 21, 2021 at 05:50 PM (#6001087)
OK. I will complain: f###ing Burnley, man. What a bunch a sh#thousers. I think I hate Burnley more than I hate United.
   683. Mefisto Posted: January 21, 2021 at 08:19 PM (#6001102)
Woah. I didn't think that was possible.
   684. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 22, 2021 at 08:46 AM (#6001140)
EPL Top 4 odds (538 in parens):
ManchesterCity        97      (99)
ManchesterUnited      76.5    (80)
Liverpool             72      (66)
Leicester             50      (46)
Tottenham             45      (38)
Chelsea               27      (26)

Everton               12.5    (12)
AstonVilla             6.5    (14)
Arsenal                6       (6)
WestHam                3.5     (8)
Southampton            2.5     (4)
Field                  1.5     (1)

The main reason for the differences is that 538 reacts very strongly to recent performance, probably more than is justified. As I've mentioned several times here, one reason they seem to overcompensate for individual games is that they don't do in-season league adjustments.
   685. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 22, 2021 at 09:01 AM (#6001143)
EPL Relegation odds (538 in parens):
SheffieldUnited            92.5     (93)
WestBromwich               79       (91)
Fulham                     53       (51)
Newcastle                  28       (27)
Burnley                    19       (14)
Brighton                   15        (9)
CrystalPalace               6.5      (6)              
LeedsUnited                 3.5      (3)
Wolverhampton               3        (4)
Field                       0.5      (1)

Betting odds still has hope for West Brom, and hasn't been as impressed with Brighton's great underlying numbers,
   686. spivey 2 Posted: January 22, 2021 at 12:27 PM (#6001214)
DeBruyne is out for 4-6 weeks. Of course City is god damn loaded and this probably just means that Bernardo and Foden will play a lot more, I think it does open the door for some other teams. City rely on DeBruyne a lot imo, especially since they've moved to the more pragmatic setups recently with a double pivot and trying to regularly keep 3 defenders back.

I'd be tempted in Vegas to put some money on United.
   687. jmurph Posted: January 22, 2021 at 02:40 PM (#6001251)
Yeah that's rough. I expect no tears to be shed but De Bruyne is clearly their most important player. Should be interesting.
   688. jmurph Posted: January 22, 2021 at 02:47 PM (#6001253)
This is fine as long as they make deals with everyone to carry Peacock:
John Ourand @Ourand_SBJ
NBC has told distributors and some sports leagues that it plans to shut down its NBCSN sports channel by the end of the year. Story coming in SBD
   689. The Marksist Posted: January 22, 2021 at 04:49 PM (#6001273)
I'd be tempted in Vegas to put some money on United.


If I were a gambling man, I'd probably put small bets on United, Leicester, and Tottenham.
   690. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 23, 2021 at 05:13 PM (#6001387)
About as close as we will get to halfway through the EPL season. Home teams are exactly .500 (71 -43-71).

5 games still delayed. Everton/City, Villa/Everton, Vila/Spurs, Southampton/Leeds, Burnley/Fulham.

Performance so far v. pre-season rating (538 and ELO, normalized for league)
Aston Villa                  +11.9     +86   (off the charts)

Brighton                      +5.9      -2   (great underlying stats)
West Ham                      +5.2     +52

Arsenal                       +4.1     -10   (538 hated them preseason)
Leeds United                  +3.5     +30   (same) 
Tottenham                     +3.2     +27   (kind of the same)
 
Leicester                     +1.9     +51   (not great underlying stats)
Southampton                   +1.4     +28 
Fulham                        +1.3      -3

Everton                       +0.8     +29   (not great underlying stats)  
Chelsea                       +0.3      -1
Manchester City               -0.3      -4                 
Crystal Palace                -0.8      +4

Manchester United             -1.7      +9   (538 liked them preseason)
Burnley                       -1.7     -24                                        
Liverpool                     -2.7     -69   (538 was never super high on them)

Newcastle                     -4.3     -33 
Sheffield United              -6.1     -95   (not as bad as their record)
Wolverhampton                 -6.3     -51   
       
West Brom                     -8.7     -43  (terrible underlying stats)
   691. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 23, 2021 at 05:21 PM (#6001389)
Performance so far, by xPoints per game and non-pen xGD per game (understat). Games remaining to round out first half indicated.

                                xP     npxGD
Manchester City               2.19     1.23     (Everton)

Liverpool                     1.86     0.74
Chelsea                       1.82     0.58
Aston Villa                   1.82     0.66    (Spurs, Everton)

Manchester United             1.69     0.37
Leicester                     1.67     0.01     +9 in pens
Tottenham                     1.60     0.47     (Villa)

Brighton                      1.52     0.21
Arsenal                       1.50     0.14
West Ham                      1.48     0.35

Everton                       1.35     0.13     (City, Villa)
Leeds United                  1.31    -0.18     (Southampton)

Southampton                   1.18    -0.26     (Leeds)
Wolverhampton                 1.14    -0.13   
Crystal Palace                1.14    -0.38
Fulham                        1.09    -0.53     (Burnley)  

Sheffield United              0.99    -0.57  
Newcastle                     0.95    -0.75
Burnley                       0.91    -0.49     (Fulham)

West Brom                     0.50    -1.38
   692. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 23, 2021 at 05:50 PM (#6001395)
Expected team strength for second half of the season, measured by expected points to be earned. First betting odds, then 538. Games in hand are noted to put teams in the right order.

remaining points expecte    odds     538
 
Manchester City               46      47        (Everton)

Liverpool                     40      37     
        
Chelsea                       35      34                               
Manchester United             35      34
Tottenham                     34      33        (Villa)

Arsenal                       30      30
Leicester                     29      30

Everton                       29      27        (City, Villa) 
West Ham                      27      26
Aston Villa                   29      31        (Spurs, Everton)

Wolverhampton                 25      23                          
Southampton                   26      26        (Leeds)
Leeds United                  25      23        (Southampton)
Brighton                      23      25                            
 
Crystal Palace                20      21
Burnley                       21      22        (Fulham) 
Fulham                        21      21        (Burnley)  
    
Sheffield United              17      18
West Brom                     17      14                        
Newcastle                     16      17

Total                        545     539

Betting futures odds, as usual, very slightly inflate team totals, as optimistic fans tend to bet on their own teams. Probably should subtract close to an average of 0.5 points for all betting odds numbers above.

Doing that, biggest disagreements are Liverpool and West Brom (betting odds likes both much better) and Brighton and Villa (betting odds likes both much worse). Not too surprising for West Brom and Villa, since their performance so far has been off opposite ends of the charts and is likely to regress quite a bit. Also, betting odds hasn't been a total believer in Liverpool's mediocrity, or Brighton's excellence (relatively speaking, of course).

   693. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 24, 2021 at 09:33 AM (#6001446)
Brentford is playing a bunch of backups against Leicester. Saving it for the Championship race probably, where they are still angling for auto-promotion. It does put a damper on the FA cup though.
   694. Mefisto Posted: January 24, 2021 at 09:41 AM (#6001447)
I personally don't care about the FA Cup and always root for United to be eliminated as quickly as possible. I'm sure this puts me in a significant minority.
   695. Mefisto Posted: January 24, 2021 at 09:57 AM (#6001449)
I personally don't care about the FA Cup and always root for United to be eliminated as quickly as possible. I'm sure this puts me in a significant minority.

ETA: I think managers fail to rest their players often enough and that scheduling so many games, especially close together, is bad for the players (and the team, eventually). My distaste for cup games stems from prioritizing the competitions. Because I'm a fan of a (usually) top 4 team, the CL is more significant to me and that makes the league finish important also. The rest just interferes with those priorities.

If I were a fan of, say, West Ham or Everton or a similar team, I'd prioritize the FA Cup because the CL isn't available.

If teams rotated their players better (and tbf, Solskjaer is decent at that), I'd be happy to enjoy all the various cups.
   696. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 24, 2021 at 12:37 PM (#6001457)
Whether or not you like the FA Cup, this game has been pretty exciting so far. United has probably had more chances, even.
   697. spivey 2 Posted: January 24, 2021 at 12:57 PM (#6001460)
Yeah, I've enjoyed this game quite a bit. The cups have grown on me. There's certainly, for the top teams, kind of this no-man's land of the cups where you're kind of early on and draw a good team, do you rotate or not. Tottenham did that in the EFL when they got Chelsea kind of early on, then had a couple of weaker teams, and now in the final I would expect them to play their best team.

Today, both teams are playing a lot of their starters and playing with good effort.

I agree that top teams should rotate more in the cups, but I don't think that means they don't matter. Top teams should have top players on the bench that should be hungry for more minutes and to try to win a starting spot.

Brentford is an interesting situation, and I suppose makes some sense since the financial windfall of making the EPL is so large, and they just barely missed out last year despite probably being one of the 3 best teams. That said, that match was fairly interesting too. Their second team outplayed Leicester's strong lineup in the first half, before Leicester played a very strong second half.
   698. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: January 24, 2021 at 04:16 PM (#6001487)
I generally enjoy the Cups immensely. The one off nature creates a drama which perhaps is artificial but drama nonetheless and there always seems to be a greater atmosphere than regular league games.

Also a proposed rule change: no keeper is allowed to yell “AWAY!” On a corner kick. Ever.
   699. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: January 25, 2021 at 08:30 AM (#6001540)
Tuchel in at Chelsea.
   700. The_Ex Posted: January 25, 2021 at 08:34 AM (#6001542)
Bump
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