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Sunday, November 28, 2021

OT Soccer Thread - Domestic Cups, Congested Fixture Lists and Winter Breaks

Champions League Group Stage End - December 7/8
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Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: November 28, 2021 at 10:39 AM | 517 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   401. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: February 17, 2022 at 02:24 PM (#6065399)
Over here it was pretty hard to miss the Aubameyang drama at Arsenal.

Yeah, when Dortmund are bad, they are really, really bad.
   402. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 17, 2022 at 02:29 PM (#6065400)
All the news pundits had the Auba trade as a massive win for Barca. Purely on the field, in the short term, that might even be true. How can it be the case over the longer term especially taking into account salary implications? (Not saying Arsenal came out way ahead, just that it wasn't a massively lopsided deal in the other direction once you take into account all the factors.)
   403. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 17, 2022 at 02:36 PM (#6065401)
Sheriff wins again. Braga is not very good, but they shouldn't be losing to Sheriff.
   404. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 17, 2022 at 02:46 PM (#6065403)
Dortmund pulled one back, so they are not out of it yet. Safe to say they are no longer one of the favorites to win Europa.
   405. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 18, 2022 at 08:30 AM (#6065453)
I knew about the Auba/Arsenal drama, I guess I just wasn't paying attention when he did move to Barca. He's a good player, but he's getting up in age. I'm not sure he's better than Griezmann (I know they are different types of players).

Barca are just a mess. Newymar, Messi and Suarez are impossible to replace, but there is a lack of high-end talent. Adama and Memphis are all decent players, but Barca should be aiming a little higher. I guess Fati, Torres, Garcia and Pedri are just a bit too young to be relied upon just yet, but to assume they're the 'next generation' and will bring Barca back to the top seems presumptuous as well.
   406. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 18, 2022 at 01:21 PM (#6065479)
Lots of talk about how great Salzburg was against Bayern. And they were good! But, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Salzburg is a very decent team and a draw at home despite being significantly outplayed (xG wasn't actually that close) is not really that great of an achievement.

538 had it as a neutral event for quality of both teams, and the betting odds haven't changed at all for Bayern to advance: still 91% or so.

The only big surprises of the week were the two already mentioned: Rangers away over Dortmnund and Sheriff over Braga, plus a third: Celtics losing to Bode at home.

For a hard luck team, look no further than Vitesse losing away to Vienna despite dominating the stats. Vienna went down to 10 players in the 65th minute when they had a 2-0 lead already, so maybe there were mitigating factors.
   407. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 18, 2022 at 02:57 PM (#6065490)
It's windy and wet in England today and tomorrow. Some games might be postponed. Bournemouth today was already postponed.
   408. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: February 18, 2022 at 04:36 PM (#6065496)
It's windy and wet in England today and tomorrow. Some games might be postponed. Bournemouth today was already postponed.

Stated in a typically British understated fashion. Well done.
   409. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 19, 2022 at 07:43 AM (#6065522)
West Ham's first completed pass in the Newcastle half was in the 11th minute.
   410. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 19, 2022 at 11:10 AM (#6065526)
Not a good day so far for the pack chasing the top 6. With 3 home games against inferior competition, they have 1 draw so far (West Ham, who might have been second best today against Newcastle), a likely loss (Brighton down 0-2 to Burnley), and another that could go either way still (Villa against Watford).

You wouldn't expect the scoreline to hold up, but Norwich has the shock lead off a deflected shot away to Liverpool. At like 3.5% to win coming in, that would be the upset of the season.

edit: already 1-1. and now 2-1.
   411. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 19, 2022 at 11:22 AM (#6065528)
Villarreal has been on a domestic tear since December. Now they are squarely in the conversation for Top 4, and are actually rated by 538 as the second best team in La Liga, even with Barca and ahead of Atleti and Sevilla.
   412. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 19, 2022 at 12:00 PM (#6065533)
Huge away wins by Burnley and now Watford. The relegation race just got a bit more interesting. Everton, Brentford, and Leeds might start to get a little bit worried again. None of them are any good this year, and a run of bad luck could see them right in the thick of it in a couple months.

I didn't see the Everton game, but it looks like they were completely embarrassed at Southampton. Brentford was no match for Arsenal in London, but that was expected. (I guess they got a late goal after doing almost nothing offensively all day.)
   413. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 19, 2022 at 12:13 PM (#6065535)
With the group chasing the top 6 not exactly being very impressive the last few games, this is the first time since September that the top 6 are rated as such by 538.

Of course, betting odds has had them as the top 6 teams going forward all year, without exception, but 538's ratings are much more backward looking so are more sensitive to recent performance on the field.
   414. jmurph Posted: February 19, 2022 at 12:45 PM (#6065536)
Spurs making the "the league is over" talk look pretty silly early in this one.
   415. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 19, 2022 at 01:38 PM (#6065539)
xG since the Spurs goal in the 4th minute is 1.1-0.02 (infogol).
   416. jmurph Posted: February 19, 2022 at 01:48 PM (#6065540)
The thing where Spurs play like trash against everyone but Manchester City is not my favorite.

(mild exaggeration)
   417. jmurph Posted: February 19, 2022 at 02:02 PM (#6065542)
Extremely, extremely fine.
   418. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 19, 2022 at 02:03 PM (#6065543)
Wow! Spurs actually has played a much better second half than first. Three big chances and scored two of them, while limiting City much more than they did in the first half.

Oh well--offside, game still on though. Should be an interesting last 15 minutes.
   419. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 19, 2022 at 02:20 PM (#6065545)
Seemed like a penalty. Arm can't be up there when going for the block with the body.
   420. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 19, 2022 at 02:28 PM (#6065546)
In the end, what made this game special by Spurs was just how much they had going forward against City. Their defense wasn't all that great yet again, but City almost never gives up so many big chances as they did this game. Only game close in xGA this year was the 6-3 over Leicester (all after City was already up 4-0).

edit: and they had none like this last year after their very early struggles against Leeds. They did give up more xG in a few games late last year against United and Newcastle, and very early against Leicester, but that was all due to giving up a bunch of penalties.
   421. jmurph Posted: February 19, 2022 at 02:35 PM (#6065547)
Yeah I haven't checked the final numbers, I'm sure they'll slightly favor City, but I imagine that unfolded pretty much exactly according to plan for Tottenham.
   422. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 19, 2022 at 02:38 PM (#6065548)
Oh is there a title race now? Not exactly, at least not yet.

City is still about 80% chance to win. Liverpool the other 20%. Chelsea maybe 0.5%.
   423. jmurph Posted: February 19, 2022 at 02:43 PM (#6065550)
Oh is there a title race now? Not exactly, at least not yet.

City is still about 80% chance to win. Liverpool the other 20%. Chelsea maybe 0.5%.

If Liverpool win their game in hand they're only 3 points back with 12 matches to play. Including one at City. Certainly doesn't feel like an 80-20 outcome to me!

(I understand you're just reading odds, I'm not arguing with you personally.)
   424. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 19, 2022 at 04:01 PM (#6065554)
The unexpected win by Spurs puts them right back in the top 4 race, and coupled with the other games likely closes the door for anyone other than the traditional top 6 (field is at 10% now, which is not much different than the odds that Chelsea somehow drops out of the top 4). Arsenal still has the edge but it's pretty close. All three of these hopefuls play again before next weekend, due to Arsenal and Spurs both having makeup games this week. All 3 are big favorites for top 6 Europa League now too, with only West Ham and Wolves having a bit of hope. Wolves have Leicester tomorrow, then Arsenal midweek, then West Ham next weekend. It's now or never for them.
   425. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 19, 2022 at 04:15 PM (#6065555)
Chris Wood just became my new favorite player.

Meow!
   426. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 19, 2022 at 07:00 PM (#6065564)
Burnley is still close to 60% to be relegated. Even if you like Newcastle much more than their record, that seems a little high. They have 9 home games left out of their last 16, and have already played Liverpool, United, and Arsenal twice. They have yet to play Spurs though.

Of the bottom 3 Norwich is pretty much gone and I like Burney quite a bit more than Watford. So, it's really a matter of whether Burnley can put together a few results and one of those teams above them goes into a swoon. It's not that unlikely.

Burnley hosts Spurs in a midweek makeup game this week. Spurs are just over 50/50 to win.
   427. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: February 19, 2022 at 07:42 PM (#6065568)
Oh is there a title race now? Not exactly, at least not yet.


Yes there is. I’d bet on City without much question but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a race. The fact is that right now Liverpool control their own destiny. Win the game in hand, win the game in Manchester in six weeks and there is your six points. Now of course City will be home for that one needing just a draw and City are better than Liverpool so probably should be favored to take all three points but saying there isn’t a race is kind of silly IMHO. It reminds me a bit of the “it’s over” proclamations about the 2011 Red Sox. There are a lot of ways this can go Liverpool’s way that don’t require all kinds of machinations.
   428. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: February 19, 2022 at 07:43 PM (#6065569)
And man, that game was something else. It really had everything you could ask for in a big game. Goals, close officiating decisions (correct, I thought Taylor had a great game) and the big stars making plays.
   429. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 19, 2022 at 08:19 PM (#6065571)
I love how Spurs are somehow City's bogey team.

Reffing was fine overall but somehow City escaped cards, despite the usual tactical fouling.
   430. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 19, 2022 at 08:38 PM (#6065572)
"Own destiny" is meaningless when there are 13 games remaining. Liverpool's chances of winning out are less than 1%, so if they had to win out it might as well be over.

That said, 21% chance for Liverpool is certainly not nothing, and is much better than the 12% they had coming into this weekend. It's also better than Liverpool had coming into the year, which was around 15%. I think this is the first time that's been the case since the calendar year started.

EPL title odds:
City        78.5
Liverpool   21
Chelsea      0.5

   431. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 19, 2022 at 11:22 PM (#6065577)
Betting odds and 538 have converged a lot on United and Newcastle now. Those two teams are still among the most differently rated by betting odds (both rated higher by betting odds than 538), but now by a margin that's not higher than a few other teams.

The biggest difference now is Burnley, which betting odds hates as compared to 538.

The other teams with the biggest current difference are Arsenal, Tottenham, Wolves, and Villa. Betting odds likes Tottenham (understandable) and Villa (less so) and dislikes Wolves (also understandable) and Arsenal (probably a little less so).

The two that are the biggest mystery to me from the betting odds perspective are Villa and Burnley. I can easily understand where the others are coming from but I really don't get why betting odds thinks Villa is any better than 10th or 11th in the league, and why it has Burnley as solidly relegation level and not a step above.
   432. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 20, 2022 at 10:21 AM (#6065584)
Leeds score two goals in under a minute after being badly outplayed for the entire first half. The first goal was a misplayed cross that was perfectly placed in then top corner. 2-2 now and the field is so wet anything could happen.

Bayern were terrible at home in the first half against bottom dwellers Greuther Furth. Reminiscent of the Leipzig game. against the same team.
   433. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 20, 2022 at 12:32 PM (#6065586)
Maybe it's just anecdotal and random, but it seems like the last few years in the EPL there have been teams that have come up after a long time away, taken the league by surprise a bit, and had their best run in the first half of their first season up. This year it's Brentford, who looked very good for 10 games or so and have been mostly crap since. Last year was Leeds, who have been somewhat similar and are now flirting with relegation. The year before that was Sheffield United who had a great run when they first came up. The year prior it was Wolves, who have been very decent in the EPL overall but have never really matched their excellent first half season up. And, the year before that it was Huddersfield (ok they were always crap, but they were just decent enough in their first half season up to earn them a second year in the EPL, and that first half of the first year was their best stretch by far).

Potentially there's an adjustment period for the EPL especially for teams that have not been in the EPL for many years and play a bit of a different style, which probably applies to all the above teams, though some a bit more than others.

Long story short--this Leeds team is going backwards and Bielsa's style really seem to have both a ceiling and some vulnerabilities that teams have learned to exploit ruthlessly. They probably won't get relegated this year but I don't like their long-term prospects under Bielsa.
   434. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: February 20, 2022 at 01:41 PM (#6065588)
Yeah, when Dortmund are bad, they are really, really bad.

Such a Jekyll and Hyde team...
   435. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 20, 2022 at 02:02 PM (#6065589)
Top 4 is very tight. One more week like this one and top 6 might be decided.

Relegation all of a sudden got a little interesting.

relegation
norwich       87
watford       74
burnley       57

brentford     22
leeds         20
newcastle     18
everton       15

palace         5
villa          1
leicester      1
  

top 4
liverpool    98.5
chelsea      92

arsenal      39
united       34
tottenham    27

west ham      5
Wolves        4

field         0.5


top 6
arsenal      83
united       82
tottenham    71
  
west ham     30
wolves       26.5

brighton      2.5
leicester     2.5
southampton   1.5
villa         1

   436. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 20, 2022 at 10:14 PM (#6065604)
Three own goals by a single player in the New Zealand / USWNT game.
   437. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: February 20, 2022 at 10:40 PM (#6065606)
Hat trick!
   438. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 20, 2022 at 11:17 PM (#6065609)
updated projections (preseason in parens)
                 betting odds    538
Manchester City     91 (87)     91 (81)
Liverpool           85 (77)     85 (74)

Chelsea             78 (78)     77 (73)

Arsenal Points      65 (62)     67 (60)
Manchester United   65 (74)     64 (68)
Tottenham           65 (60)     63 (60)

West Ham United     58 (50)     57 (50)
Wolverhampton       57 (43)     58 (46)

Brighton            50 (46)     50 (51)
Southampton         48 (41)     49 (43)
Leicester City      47 (59)     49 (57)
Aston Villa         47 (49)     45 (50)

Crystal Palace      43 (39)     43 (38)

Everton             39 (53)     38 (50)
Leeds United        38 (54)     38 (50)
Brentford           38 (38)     39 (38)
Newcastle United    38 (39)     36 (44)

Burnley             33 (39)     36 (41)
Watford             31 (34)     31 (36)

Norwich City        27 (35)     28 (37)


Betting odds has only been slightly better than 538 to this point. Much better at the top of the table and much worse midtable. 538 really underprojected the top 6 teams this year, with the notable exception of Manchester United.

Neither system did that well on the midtable teams, but 538 was better (so far) on every one of them except Villa. Betting odds were a tad better on teams projected at the bottom of the table.

By betting odds, Manchester United was considered only a tad worse than Liverpool coming into the year. Both teams have been among the bigger movers in opposite directions (by betting odds).

Biggest surprises thus far though have been the other 3 teams that just played today, and also Everton. Wolves are way, way up on their expectation, but Leicester, Leeds, and Everton are way, way down.
   439. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 21, 2022 at 03:03 AM (#6065615)
Betting odds expectation per team is always higher than 538 coming into the year. This year 538 turned out to be more correct, but it seems to have been mostly luck.

Going forward both betting odds and 538 project about the same number of points (1044). At the beginning of the season betting odds projected 1057 or so, about 1/2 a point per team more than 538.

There are 380 games in an EPL season. Draws are normally a bit less than 25% of games on average. 25% draws yields 1045 points in a season, while 20% draws yield 1064 points. So 538's projection actually was higher than historical average for recent years.

244 games played so far, with 65 draws. That 26.6% would be the highest in a number of years, so was not easily foreseeable. Both betting odds and 538 have projected 31 draws in the last 136 games, or about 22.8%. Incidentally, 22.8% is just slightly more than betting odds had predicted for the whole year coming in, so it's 538 that has converged to historical averages and converged to betting odds going forward, and not the other way around. What seems to be happening is that 538 predicted a narrower range of team talent, and thus more draws, than was predicted by betting odds.

edit: over the last 7 years the EPL has averaged 23.7% draws. Over the last 5 years it has averaged 22.6%.
   440. Mefisto Posted: February 21, 2022 at 01:03 PM (#6065657)
I just today noticed that the CL final is set to play in St. Petersburg. I'm predicting that no matter how bad you think those who control soccer are, they're actually worse.
   441. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 21, 2022 at 01:15 PM (#6065660)
I'm sure that's true, and probably worse than I can even believe. I think this final was set awhile ago. Apparently it was even going to be in 2021 before covid required a bunch of changes, including pushing at least two finals (Turkey and St. Petersburg) back a year.

This article says St. Petersburg was chosen for the 2021 final back in September 2019.

And yes, they should pull it from St. Petersburg now, and maybe they actually will in the likely event we end up having a war.
   442. Mefisto Posted: February 21, 2022 at 01:43 PM (#6065664)
Consistent with my second sentence, I'm betting they leave it in St. Petersburg.
   443. spivey Posted: February 21, 2022 at 05:46 PM (#6065693)
It was a very nice match from The Harry Kane Team.
   444. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: February 22, 2022 at 08:52 AM (#6065732)
So it looks like UEFA is considering moving the game. Depending on which source you read it's somewhere between "a near certainty" and "under consideration."
   445. Mefisto Posted: February 22, 2022 at 08:56 AM (#6065734)
I'm guessing that's "considering because we were ordered to consider it". But good, nevertheless.
   446. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 22, 2022 at 04:44 PM (#6065843)
I thought Hatem Ben Arfa retired 5 years ago.
   447. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 22, 2022 at 07:20 PM (#6065869)
West Brom was one of the teams favored to go back up, when the year started. They've hit a bad stretch and likely won't make the playoff now. 1 goal in their last 6 games, and 10 in their last 19. That's anemic.

I had calls all through the games today and didn't see even one minute of action. I'm hoping that doesn't happen tomorrow! Looks like Villarreal might have been the better team at home, but a 1-1 draw is not ideal. Juve might skate through after all.

The three English teams to play so far are now virtual locks for the next round. Glad Pulisic got a goal.
   448. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 22, 2022 at 09:27 PM (#6065888)
I see Pulisic played very well and McKennie got injured. Switcheroo!

We'll see what happens in a month when the US plays the qualifiers.
   449. Mefisto Posted: February 22, 2022 at 10:08 PM (#6065891)
Glad to hear that about Pulisic, because he was not good on Saturday against Palace.
   450. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 23, 2022 at 08:01 AM (#6065905)
deleted post.
   451. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 23, 2022 at 03:43 PM (#6065968)
United have looked sloppy and very anemic this half. Atleti is having fun fouling Ronaldo though, which I have to say is its own form of amusement.

Atleti is a very hard team to root for. I love watching teams with different styles, but they are so obnoxious even on a good day.
   452. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 23, 2022 at 03:52 PM (#6065971)
Infogol has that late miss by Atleti as .58 xG. It seemed like it was going to completely miss the frame by a mile before hitting the defender and coming very close. Maybe it was just the angle.
   453. jmurph Posted: February 23, 2022 at 04:27 PM (#6065978)
I see that Spurs are back to being trash now that they've completed the series sweep of Manchester City. It's fine.
   454. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 23, 2022 at 04:32 PM (#6065979)
Big win by Burnley in a game where they were the better team in the day. Hard to believe this Spurs team is the same one that beat City in Manchester.

538 loves Burnley right now, and has them as less likely to be relegated than Newcastle, Everton, and Leeds. Speaking of Leeds, I'm not watching the game but it appears to be a slaughter un Liverpool. This team is bad right now.
   455. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 23, 2022 at 04:37 PM (#6065982)
United has been terrible today. Atleti doesn't actually look that great either but they are stifling United pretty easily and that's something. If this game finishes with a 1-goal edge for Atleti, you'd have to like them to advance but it would hardly be insurmountable for United.

Benfica drew level again. 2-2 would be a neutral even in that tie since Benfica is at home.
   456. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 23, 2022 at 04:52 PM (#6065988)
United were very lucky to get a draw in that game. Based on the game today you wouldn't think either of these teams are among the elite in Europe.

Realistically there are only 4 or 5 teams that can win the UCL. None of the teams playing today are among them.
   457. Mefisto Posted: February 23, 2022 at 05:47 PM (#6065997)
Atleti are probably my least favorite team to watch in all of Europe, but my God that was ugly. Half of that was Atleti being Atleti and the other half United being awful. I'll take the draw though.
   458. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 23, 2022 at 06:33 PM (#6066001)
Somehow I didn't realize Burnley only had 1 win before the last 2 games. They did have 11 draws.
   459. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: February 23, 2022 at 07:35 PM (#6066011)
It's wonderful how transparent Antonio Conte is being about the fact he came to Tottenham for a quick cash grab and nothing more and would appreciate being sacked as soon as possible.

That club is going to be lucky if they're still in the Premier League in five years.
   460. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: February 23, 2022 at 09:49 PM (#6066018)
I was only half paying attention, but it really felt like Atleti should have put United to the sword in that game. But instead just decided that 1:0 is all we want, and are just going to sit behind the ball. When every time they were pressing, United would gift them the ball in dangerous situations. I really kinda hope that that lack of ambition gets punished. They should be going into OT with a comfortable lead, and not even.
   461. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 23, 2022 at 10:11 PM (#6066022)
Yeah Atleti had the advantage with respect to run of play and they didn't seem too interested in pressing it.

United are now 63% or so to win, which is up from where they were before. Ajax came into the game at about 79% (a bit higher than where they were in December) and are still there now.
   462. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 24, 2022 at 12:25 AM (#6066033)
I know Atleti has given up way more goals than in recent years, but they haven't been worse in xGA. .74 npXGA in the league this year is really no worse on a per game basis than they've given up over the past several years. By FBRef they are even better, at about 0.68 npxGA per game, best on record (FBref only goes back to 2017-2018).

It would be interesting to know what exactly is different about the chances they've been giving up, if anything, since it's not showing up in the xG numbers.

One major difference is Oblak. He was way out of position on the United goal today, and only has saved 50% of shots in the league this year, after averaging over 80% since coming to Atleti in 2014. That's shocking. By FBRef's advanced GK stats he's not really facing harder shots, he's simply fallen off a cliff. He averaged +8 on post-shot xG for the previous 4 years, but is at -10 this year in 2/3 of a season. That's an average difference of 15 goals versus prior years through 2/3 of a season. Subtract 15 goals from Atleti this year and they'd be second in the league on goals against, at just 19 given up. No idea how much that reflects reality, as I've rarely seen Oblak play recently.

Combine that with regressing penalties conceded this year just a bit (Atleti has given up a very high 6 already, whereas Sevilla has given up just 2 and Barca 0) and Atleti would actually be best in the league in actual goals allowed, not just expected goals allowed.

What does this mean? Not sure really, but my guess is Atleti's defense is not really suddenly that much worse than it has been in recent years. Knowing United, I doubt they will make Atleti look silly back in Manchester and it should be a struggle at best.

Atleti has been quite a bit worse in the Champions League than they've been in LA Liga this year. Part of that is probably that La Liga is just down across the board versus other leagues this year, and it's showing up in the performance of all it's teams in Europe.
   463. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 24, 2022 at 01:06 PM (#6066085)
Sociedad goalie did something I've almost never seen before. A high easy bouncing ball right on the edge of the box, and he straddled the line and reached well over and grabbed it. Ref rightly called a handball foul. WTF? Occasionally it seems like a player is completely unfamiliar with the basic rules, despite presumably having played the game his whole life. (I'm sure that's not actually the reason for the mistake, but if you didn't know better you might think that.)

On the subsequent free kick/cross Leipzig had a great chance from close and it was hit well but right at the keeper, so he redeemed himself a little bit. Almost a disaster though.
   464. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: February 24, 2022 at 01:14 PM (#6066086)
Wow. You sometimes of course see goalkeepers misjudge things at the edge of the box. Especially if the keeper and the ball are both moving at pace, and he is trying to beat an attacking player to the ball. But a top level keeper to do it intentionally is just wild.
   465. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: February 24, 2022 at 01:16 PM (#6066087)
The keeper wasn't sent off? I thought handling outside the box was an automatic red for a keeper.

One major difference is Oblak. He was way out of position on the United goal today, and only has saved 50% of shots in the league this year, after averaging over 80% since coming to Atleti in 2014. That's shocking. By FBRef's advanced GK stats he's not really facing harder shots, he's simply fallen off a cliff. He averaged +8 on post-shot xG for the previous 4 years, but is at -10 this year in 2/3 of a season. That's an average difference of 15 goals versus prior years through 2/3 of a season. Subtract 15 goals from Atleti this year and they'd be second in the league on goals against, at just 19 given up. No idea how much that reflects reality, as I've rarely seen Oblak play recently.


Sid Lowe was talking about this on today's Football Weekly. He said there seems something "off" about Oblak but can't pinpoint it. He made the point that while he hasn't seen every game Atleti have played he doesn't remember Oblak ever making one of those "oh my god how did he mess that up" kind of plays but he just seems a step behind on everything.
   466. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 24, 2022 at 01:25 PM (#6066088)
I guess the argument is that the keeper didn't know he was outside of the box, and I guess that's even what happened. How he didn't realize he was out of the box is the question. Also there was no real danger on the play, so he wasn't really preventing any kind of attack by the opposition.

Just got a penalty called on the keeper at the very corner of the box, but it was saved! Rebound put back in anyway. And the keeper was off his line anyway! Hasn't been a great game for the keeper: Matthew Ryan (who I never heard of, but turns out to be Australian).

edit: he was Brighton's starter a few years ago but has been a backup since, in Brighton, Arsenal, and now Sociedad.
   467. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 24, 2022 at 01:33 PM (#6066090)
On Oblak, it's one thing not to make "wow" saves, which would already be a letdown versus prior years. His -10 post-shot xG though is so bad, and so far below average, that if the numbers are showing anything real it must be much worse than that. The Elanga shot yesterday would be a good example of making mediocre shots look unstoppable by being poorly positioned, and a few of those would do a number on a keeper's post-shot xG.
   468. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: February 24, 2022 at 02:05 PM (#6066098)
The keeper wasn't sent off? I thought handling outside the box was an automatic red for a keeper.

I think it is only a red if it is denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity. Otherwise treated the same as any other player committing a hand ball. But I could be wrong, would have to look it up.
   469. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 24, 2022 at 03:57 PM (#6066112)
No extra time in the KOs so far, so not much debate about the away goals rule yet.

Only real upset so far over two legs has been Celtic losing to Bodø/Glimt.
   470. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 24, 2022 at 04:16 PM (#6066114)
Rangers - Dortmund is almost as crazy as the first match.
   471. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 24, 2022 at 04:19 PM (#6066115)
Barca is all over Napoli today. Scoreline flatters them a tad, but they've been the far better team over two legs and should be the easy favorite to win Europa going forward.
   472. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 24, 2022 at 04:29 PM (#6066118)
Arsenal made an early error on a backpass but have been very good since. They really should be leading by now, even taking into account the gifted goal. It's 1-1 late.
   473. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 24, 2022 at 04:42 PM (#6066120)
A number of pretty moves by Arsenal and they finally get the winner late. The actual goal looked like it was deflected a couple times, but the move was very good and the win was fully earned. Arsenal are now clear favorites for the last CL spot.
   474. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 24, 2022 at 04:56 PM (#6066122)
Extra time! A late away goals sends the PAOK/Midtjylland games to extras since there is no away goals rule. Braga/Sheriff also goes to extras.

Congrats to Rangers! Only the second real upset so far, with their win over Dortmnud. Sheriff can still upset Braga.
   475. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 24, 2022 at 07:34 PM (#6066133)
After a run of a few excellent years, Russia has for a while now already been well on their way to being a non-entity in European competition. They'd already slipped from 6th in UEFA rankings to 10th, and even without new sanctions could very easily have slipped to 22nd after the end of this year, potentially all the way past Norway. The only team they have still alive this year now is Spartak Moscow, who will very likely be big underdogs in their Europa matchup.
   476. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 24, 2022 at 07:51 PM (#6066137)
Europa league odds before the next draw. A good proxy for expected team quality, though not perfect in part because the unseeded teams are actually much better overall than the seeded teams, because unseeded teams mostly came from the CL. Unseeded teams marked with an asterisk, and should be bumped down slightly (with seeded teams bumped up slightly).
Barcelona      19.5   *
Sevilla        16     *
Atalanta       11     *
Leipzig        10     *
West Ham        8
Porto           7     *
Betis           6     *
Leverkusen      5
Lyon            4.5
Rangers         3.5   *
Monaco          3
Frankfurt       2.5
Braga           1.5   *
Galatassary     1
Spartak         1
Red Star        0.5

Annual review of team with a better shot at CL next year via Europa than the league. We have 1! West Ham currently has a better shot at winning Europa than finishing top 4 in the EPL. Frankfurt too, slightly better, though I tend to think there's an implicit cutoff once you get below about 5%.
   477. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 24, 2022 at 08:03 PM (#6066139)
Europa Conference odds. Same story as above, though here the unseeded teams are only slightly better overall.
Leicester      19.5   *
Marseille      13.5   *
Roma           10.5
Rennes          9.5
PSV             8.5   *
Feyenoord       6
Bodo Glimt      5     *
AZ Alkmaar      4.5
Basel           4
Slavia          3.5   *
Copenhagen      3
Vitesse         3     *
LASK            2.5
Gent            2.5
PAOK            2.5   *
Partizan        2     *

   478. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 24, 2022 at 08:13 PM (#6066140)
Due to the seedings, the West Ham matchup is very likely to be the most interesting one of the next round. Should be fun. Honorable mention to whoever faces Leverkusen and Lyon. Draw is tomorrow morning.
   479. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 25, 2022 at 08:01 AM (#6066156)
West Ham drew Sevilla, in the most important matchup of the round of 16. Rangers drew Red Star, so could easily advance to the final 8. Barca and Leipzig should sail through easily. In order of importance:

Sevilla vs. West Ham United
Atalanta vs. Bayer Leverkusen
FC Porto vs. Lyon
Real Betis vs. Eintracht Frankfurt

Barcelona vs. Galatasaray
RB Leipzig vs. Spartak Moscow
Braga vs. AS Monaco
Rangers vs. Red Star Belgrade
   480. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 25, 2022 at 08:08 AM (#6066157)
Leicester drew Rennes, in the most important matchup. English teams have fun ties this time. ECL draw, in order of importance:

Leicester City vs Rennes
Marseille vs Basel
Vitesse vs Roma
Bodø/Glimt vs AZ

PSV Eindhoven vs Copenhagen
Partizan vs Feyenoord
Slavia Prague vs LASK
PAOK vs Gent
   481. Mefisto Posted: February 25, 2022 at 11:22 AM (#6066175)
To my surprise, it looks like the ECL final will be moved.
   482. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 25, 2022 at 04:34 PM (#6066199)
Europa matchups, from most to least competitive (% to advance):
Porto      52
Sevilla    54
Atalanta   56
Betis      58

Monaco     65
Rangers    67

Leipzig    81
Barcelona  88


Europa Conference
Slavia     53
Leicester  55
Gent       56

PSV        63
Marseille  64
AZ         65
Feyenoord  67
Roma       73


   483. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 25, 2022 at 05:03 PM (#6066200)
Nobody wants to win Serie A.
   484. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: February 25, 2022 at 08:16 PM (#6066209)
Looks like Paris is where they will play it.
   485. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 26, 2022 at 06:44 AM (#6066234)
Now Poland is refusing to play Russia completely. I hope FIFA just sanctions Russia out of the tournament, but I'm not all that hopeful.
   486. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 26, 2022 at 07:13 AM (#6066235)
As pressure mounts to punish oligarchs for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Roman Abramovich has a multibillion-dollar insurance policy should the U.K. come after his assets: his beloved Chelsea FC.

The club Abramovich bought for around $190 million in 2003, loved, nurtured and built into the 2021 UEFA Champions League winner was valued by Forbes at $3.2 billion last year. It owes the Russian billionaire, its majority owner, a staggering $2 billion.

Kieran Maguire, a soccer-finance lecturer at the University of Liverpool, says it gives Abramovich no shortage of leverage in the U.K., depending on how deep sanctions might go. The worst-case scenario for Chelsea fans is now on the table. “If he wants to get his own back, he could call in the loan from Chelsea,” Maguire says. “That means Chelsea goes out of business, and Putin will be able to say, ‘Well, you started it.’”

Priorities here are way out of whack if this gives Abramovich "no shortage of leverage in the U.K."
   487. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 26, 2022 at 08:01 AM (#6066236)
Leeds is now on a streak of 5 straight games having given up at least 3 goals in each.

edit: Leeds at this moment is exactly 2/3 of the way through the season (25 1/3 games). They've given up 59 goals, pretty much even on a rate basis with the 89 given up by Derby in 07-08, a record for a 38 game season. Swindon Town in 93-94 has them beat on a per game basis still (100 in 42).
   488. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 26, 2022 at 08:23 AM (#6066238)
Yeah Leeds had chances and are unlucky to be down 3. So what. They gave up more chances than Spurs and are deservedly behind. And they'll give up more in the second half.

Teams for the most part are have been very happy to play against Leeds, knowing they may get stretched at times but having every reason to believe the openness of the game is going to help them more than Leeds in the end. It's fun to watch Leeds play but I don't see a future for this style.
   489. Mefisto Posted: February 26, 2022 at 08:26 AM (#6066239)
I'm not sure the writer of that article understands what it means to "come after his assets", given that Chelsea are an asset.
   490. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 26, 2022 at 09:23 AM (#6066241)
Leeds is having the worst EPL season on record (back to 14/15, understat) on npXGA/90. Norwich isn't far behind, though are not quite at a record pace. Leeds/Norwich on March 11.

Norwich has also given up 8(!!) penalties to 5 for Leeds, so Norwich is just a hair worse on xGA (undertat) per game.

Leeds fare even worse on FBRef's version of xG, at just under 2 xGA per game, worse even than Norwich.

Leeds now also has the worst xGD of any team except Norwich (Leeds actually had a decent xGD result today. Neither team was very good defensively, but Leeds missed all their good chances and Spurs hit on a few of theirs.)
   491. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: February 26, 2022 at 09:35 AM (#6066242)
Priorities here are way out of whack if this gives Abramovich "no shortage of leverage in the U.K."

If a country can seize assets from a person, they can also seize credit owed to them. Oh, Chelsea now owes the government 2 bn instead of Roman. Oh, the loan is now forgiven. The end.

That's slightly glib. More likely they negotiate something regarding loan forgiveness with whomever they sell Chelsea to after they take it off Roman.

Like think about it. How would that even work? The government seize Chelsea. If Roman calls in the loan, the Government could just pay it, and then seize the money they just paid him.
   492. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 26, 2022 at 10:50 AM (#6066244)
Speaking of sportswashing clubs, Newcastle will after today's games be only 7th worst in the table, having jumped Brentford, Leeds, and Everton. Pretty low chance they'll be relegated now.
   493. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 26, 2022 at 11:56 AM (#6066249)
United were the far better team today, but couldn't find the net.

Watford with the big moral victory on the road (if you count being outplayed by a mile a type of morality). They don't really need draws anymore though, so it won't really move the needle for their odds of staying up.

Burnley also with the draw, but they are in much better shape with two more games remaining than Watford, and 2 more points. Only one point off Everton. Only 2 off leads with 2 games in hand over them, and 3 points off Brentford with 3 games in hand there.

edit: also, most of the stuff that Ronaldo used to be able to do in his sleep he was terrible at today. His finishing, which was one of his last remaining world class talents, has seemingly completely deserted him for now.
   494. Swedish Chef Posted: February 26, 2022 at 01:01 PM (#6066253)
I'm not sure the writer of that article understands what it means to "come after his assets", given that Chelsea are an asset.

The money that is owed to Abramovich is also an asset for him, so they would seize the IOU as well. So I don't see what the problem is.
   495. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 26, 2022 at 01:35 PM (#6066255)
17-team mini league is becoming increasingly irrelevant, since the other 3 top 6 are dominating it now. And, Chelsea is fading a bit from relevance.

Anyway, here it is, updated:
                                           non-pen xGD/90
          games  points   GD/90        fbref    538   understat
arsenal     20    45      1.15          .82     .90     .91

man united  24    46       .71          .47     .48     .54
tottenham   20    35       .30          .45     .60     .42 

west ham    23    36       .43          .21     .22     .27  
palace      22    27       .27          .10     .18     .20

leicester   18    24       .11          .20     .01     .06
Southampton 22    33       .14          .25    -.03     .03
brighton    22    30      -.09          .01     .09     .09
wolves      22    39       .27         -.09     .02     .04

   496. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 26, 2022 at 01:44 PM (#6066256)
Hard to believe coming in that Everton could limit City this much over an hour of play.
   497. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 26, 2022 at 02:11 PM (#6066258)
Ridiculous way to give up a goal. Ugh. City turned it up a lot in the second half so a goal overall is not exactly a surprise.
   498. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 26, 2022 at 02:15 PM (#6066260)
What a mistake by Rodri! Handling with zero danger in the box. Is he going to get away with it based on the new "short sleeve" rule or whatever they call it, or some sort of inadvertence? Yes! Wow... what luck for City.

Honestly looked like a handball to me.
   499. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 26, 2022 at 02:23 PM (#6066263)
Marsch reportedly in at Leeds, with Bielsa out. (edit: maybe not quite decided yet.)

Abramovich has given "stewardship and care" of the club to the Chelsea charitable foundation. Not sure if it's particularly meaningful in practice, but maybe it has some valuable symbolism.
   500. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: February 26, 2022 at 04:19 PM (#6066278)
flop
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