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Saturday, February 29, 2020

OT Soccer Thread - Spring 2020

Other thread isn’t accepting comments so it’s time for a new thread!

Second Legs of the round of 16;

March 10;
Valencia-Atalanta (1-4)
Leipzig-Tottenham (1-0)

March 11;
PSG-Dortmund (1-2)
Liverpool-Atleti (0-1)

March 17;
ManCity-Real Madrid (2-1)
Juventus-Lyon (0-1)

March 18;
Bayern-Chelsea (3-0)
Barca-Napoli (1-1)

Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: February 29, 2020 at 07:40 PM | 621 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: off topic, soccer

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   501. sardonic Posted: July 19, 2020 at 06:23 PM (#5964080)
Flip
   502. spivey Posted: July 19, 2020 at 09:01 PM (#5964134)
Chelsea's second goal there is just absolute garbage all the way through for United, but I would legitimately expect that to be saved by solid Sunday league keepers. de Gea's fall from world class to whatever the hell he is now has been remarkable.
   503. Mefisto Posted: July 19, 2020 at 09:40 PM (#5964149)
As Mike Goodman points out, DeGea was so good at his peak that even with his decline he's still a bit above average.
   504. spivey Posted: July 19, 2020 at 10:20 PM (#5964159)
With respect to Mike Goodman, the FBref stats that he seems to be referencing show that de Gea's shotstopping is pretty much exactly average in the EPL this year and around that last year. When you factor in variance/uncertainty in those numbers with a number of pretty high profile mistakes, plus in my opinion his pretty limited ability to build out of the back, and his astronomical wages I view him as meh and way, way below what a team like United should be looking for.

I mean, Dean Henderson has way better stats this year. So, if he's worse than Dean Henderson, what exactly is he to United? If the question is if he's an acceptable keeper for Brighton, sure, I guess maybe.
   505. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 20, 2020 at 09:01 AM (#5964190)

Chelsea                89
Manchester United      85
Leicester              26



Bournemouth            92
Villa                  80
Watford                28

   506. Mefisto Posted: July 20, 2020 at 09:24 AM (#5964193)
United are third best in the league in GA and also third best in xGA. One would have to think very highly indeed of the rest of the United team's defensive abilities to think that DeGea is a drag on the team.
   507. spivey Posted: July 20, 2020 at 09:57 AM (#5964201)
How would a goalkeeper impact xGA? I'm genuinely curious if I'm missing something, but I don't think they'd really have an impact on that. Man U was 8th in xGA last year, and I think being 3rd demonstrates they do have a top defense this year.

That makes sense to me. Lindelof and Maguire have played pretty well together, and I think Wan-Bissaka is already the best defensive RB in the world. Man U also has pretty high workrate wingers and midfielders as well.
   508. Mefisto Posted: July 20, 2020 at 10:15 AM (#5964204)
An above average GK saves shots which might otherwise be goals. That lowers xGA. Another option, of course, is to have the defense generally concede shots only from poor positions (such that each shot has a lower xG).

As for the rest of the United defense, Wan-Bissaka is indeed the best 1v1 defender in the EPL and probably the world. Maguire is quite good, perhaps second to VVD in the EPL, though others have a claim here too (e.g., LaPorte and Aldeweirald). Lindelof is solid but not great. Shaw is solid but prefers to go forward. Pogba is a poor defender. Matic is about average, probably; McTominay is pretty good defensively. Rashford plays solid defense, Martial plays none. I don't have a good read yet on Fernandes or Greenwood. When he's in, James is excellent.

Overall, United have significantly improved their defense from a couple of years ago. But I don't think DeGea is their weak link defensively.
   509. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 20, 2020 at 10:48 AM (#5964212)
An above average GK saves shots which might otherwise be goals. That lowers xGA
It lowers GA, but saving shots generally isn't supposed to affect xGA very much. All the other things a goalkeeper does, like positioning prior to a shot (affecting the opposition's choice to shoot), claiming crosses, distribution, etc., do have a more direct effect on xGA. All other things being equal (which they clearly are not, but still), you would expect a team with a top goalkeeper to have lower GA than xGA.

Manchester United has near the lowest xGA in the league, and overall have an excellent defense this year. Their GA is almost identical to their xGA, which, if that's all you knew about the team and the players, would suggest de Gea has been a neutral shot stopper this year. That's also supported by advanced stats. You would expect a top team to have a goalkeeper that is better than that, especially if shot stopping is supposed to be de Gea's specialty. (As another example, Lloris leads the league this year in shot stopping, per FBRef.)

Is de Gea the "weak link" in the Manchester United defense? Probably not, but he is probably one of the easier positions to upgrade at this point, considering they also have Henderson.

   510. Mefisto Posted: July 20, 2020 at 11:26 AM (#5964222)
That seems like a fair assessment. Henderson would undoubtedly be cheaper, so if they let DeGea leave and use that money to strengthen the team elsewhere, I'd be in favor of that.
   511. manchestermets Posted: July 20, 2020 at 03:26 PM (#5964307)
That assumes they can find someone who'd be prepared to both pay a decent transfer fee, and de Gea's considerable salary when he clearly appears to be on a downward slide and money is tighter than it usually is in summer due to a pandemic.
   512. Mefisto Posted: July 20, 2020 at 04:13 PM (#5964319)
I suspect his salary is high enough that a transfer fee is secondary.
   513. frannyzoo Posted: July 20, 2020 at 04:25 PM (#5964325)
These days where a U.S. passport is a definite limit to travel, I'll pick little Tondela, Portugal as the place I'd most love to be this evening. Yes, there were no spectators at the match today v. Braga, but I'm guessing hanging out with a few folks and a few bottles of vinho verde would have been fun nonetheless, as Tondela just about secures top flight while screwing up Braga's chance to go third.
   514. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 20, 2020 at 05:00 PM (#5964340)
With the Wolverhampton win and Sheffield United loss, The two final Europa league spots are down to just Wolves, Spurs, and Arsenal. Arsenal can still claim 7th spot but it's very unlikely now. Arsenal would have to win twice and have Spurs lose to Palace, or else make up a bunch of goals in GD difference. Arsenal's only realistic route is through the FA cup.
   515. jmurph Posted: July 21, 2020 at 11:33 AM (#5964459)
I don't enjoy Rodgers's entire deal but I feel for Leicester. What a letdown.
   516. spivey Posted: July 21, 2020 at 12:15 PM (#5964463)
Leicester isn't done yet. Unless Man U crushes West Ham (possible), a win for Leicester has a good chance of getting them in. I also just checked out Chelsea's run-in - Liverpool and Wolves. Liverpool has been a bit off their best but still are a very good team, and Wolves I think are going to be fighting for 6th vs. 7th. It should be a pretty interesting final week.
   517. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: July 21, 2020 at 02:08 PM (#5964485)
In one half against City Watford have lost half of their GD advantage over Villa and Bournemouth. They're behind both in goals scored, so the fight for 16th is getting more interesting.
   518. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 21, 2020 at 02:16 PM (#5964489)
Watford was effectively behind Bournemouth coming in to this game, because 3 of the 4 GD Bournemouth needed to make up were necessary just due to results, and the last was very likely based on the fact Watford had to lose to both City and Arsenal (knowing these have to be losses, it's more likely they would be by at least 3 goals combined than just exactly 2).

Villa's a much more interesting case. They really any City to win big today. 2 goals lost by Watford probably won't be enough for Villa if it comes down to GD between Villa and Watford.

Leicester's odds of winning Sunday are 29%, and their Top 4 odds are 26%. It's close to win and in, with some slight slack in case ManU beats up on West Ham, and also in case Chelsea loses twice (in which case Leicester get in with just a draw).

edit: ok well 0-4 puts Villa very much in play.
   519. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 21, 2020 at 02:50 PM (#5964497)
If this scoreline holds up, you could make the argument that Villa would be better off losing 1-0 to Arsenal than drawing. (ok, not really, but you could argue it.)

A draw puts Arsenal out of the running for 7th, leaving them with nothing to play for in their final game against Watford. Watford beating Arsenal while Villa only draws Arsenal would put Villa put of the running. A 0-1 or even 0-2 loss by Villa today, and they just need Arsenal to beat Watford and Villa will finish ahead of Watford if Villa beats West Ham.

Bournemouth just needs Arsenal to win. Both because Villa would otherwise be ahead of Bournemouth, and also because they want Arsenal to be motivated next week.

edit: Villa is in pretty decent shape even with a 0-2 loss, as if it comes down to GD after that with Watford, Villa would have the edge (though they'd be giving up more goals to Bourneouth). It wouldn't be shocking for Villa to overcome even a 0-3 loss today.
   520. frannyzoo Posted: July 21, 2020 at 02:54 PM (#5964498)
The worth of Gasperini was asked earlier in the thread and his goal just now v. Bologna has me very much adding Luis Muriel to the list of those deeply helped by the Atalanta coach (who was strangely red carded at half and is hopefully now having a very nice glass of red somewhere). When signed, I was very "meh" with Muriel, having seen his previous work, or lack thereof. As depth/super-sub, Muriel's been great, and a great transition to more speed as opponents tire.
   521. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 21, 2020 at 03:06 PM (#5964500)
Both 538 and betting odds have Leicester as 29% to win the game against Manchester United. They diverge on Top 4 though, with betting odds having it at 26% and 538 at 31%. The reason? Manchester United is considered by betting odds to be not that unlikely to run up the score to be able to survive a 1-goal loss, while 538 probably considers it very unlikely (due to the model not being sophisticated enough to anticipate this scenario). Betting odds also generally likes Manchester United and Chelsea more in their other games than does 538, which might make sense if you consider the motivation of getting into the CL.
   522. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 21, 2020 at 05:09 PM (#5964514)
Credit to Villa. Also, pretty terrible game by Arsenal, who if they play like this next week will certainly won't beat Watford either. This result puts Bournemouth virtually out, though they still have the GD edge over both teams. Have to think Villa has a better shot than Watford does next week.
   523. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 21, 2020 at 06:10 PM (#5964518)
Spurs clinch finishing above Arsenal for the 4th season in a row.
   524. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 21, 2020 at 08:48 PM (#5964544)
Europa odds
Tottenham           82
Wolves              76
Arsenal             42

Relegation odds
Bournemouth         95
Watford             73
Villa               32

   525. spivey Posted: July 21, 2020 at 08:49 PM (#5964545)
The worth of Gasperini was asked earlier in the thread and his goal just now v. Bologna has me very much adding Luis Muriel to the list of those deeply helped by the Atalanta coach (who was strangely red carded at half and is hopefully now having a very nice glass of red somewhere). When signed, I was very "meh" with Muriel, having seen his previous work, or lack thereof. As depth/super-sub, Muriel's been great, and a great transition to more speed as opponents tire.

Yeah, after our discussion, I was looking at more of their team on understat. As of a few days ago, Muriel's xG/90 was over 1. And I think he was finishing even better than that.
   526. jmurph Posted: July 22, 2020 at 08:47 AM (#5964604)
Spurs clinch finishing above Arsenal for the 4th season in a row.

Yeah I think there is, rightly, a lot of positive feeling around them at the moment because of the FA Cup run and feeling optimistic about Arteta. But for them to finish 8th-10th is just madness, I can't believe how bad their season has been.
   527. Mefisto Posted: July 22, 2020 at 01:48 PM (#5964684)
Definitely too soon to count out Leicester.
   528. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 22, 2020 at 02:08 PM (#5964689)
This game is very interesting right now, because a draw is much better for Manchester United than a loss, and a win is a lot better than a draw.
   529. spivey Posted: July 22, 2020 at 02:09 PM (#5964691)
This game is very interesting right now, because a draw is much better for Manchester United than a loss, and a win is a lot better than a draw.


Indeed, many games are interesting in this way.
   530. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 22, 2020 at 02:19 PM (#5964696)
Very few games have this much leverage for a CL spot, and even in the few cases they do, it's fairly rare for both a draw to be much better than a loss and a win being much better than a draw. (edit: meant to say, and even more rare in such case for the heavily favored team to be trailing in the second half).

The announcers don't seem to think a narrow win helps Manchester United, thinking only a 3+ goal win is better than a draw. It's not the case though, because if United wins at all then Chelsea needs to win one of their last two games to finish ahead of United, which is not the least bit guaranteed right now.
   531. frannyzoo Posted: July 22, 2020 at 02:30 PM (#5964699)
One of the very best two hours in football starting, Championship Game 46. It's weird with no fans and on a Wednesday evening/afternoon, but Brentford hosting Barnsley (among many other matches) still has that tingle of tension, in part because nobody wants to be in the Championship and nobody really wants to be in League One.
   532. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 22, 2020 at 03:05 PM (#5964705)
Not a good game by Manchester United. They didn't do enough to earn a win, and even though West Ham's goal was gifted by Pogba, West Ham was close enough to scoring another one at least a couple more times.

Chelsea is in the CL with a draw today. If they lose, though, then they might need to draw Wolves. Wolves might be playing for the win, to be assured of the last Europa league spot.

   533. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 22, 2020 at 03:09 PM (#5964708)
Charlton is already down 2-0 to Leeds. Wigan is up 1-0 against Fulham. If those results hold, Wigan is safe. And now Luton is up 2-1, which would make them safe as well.

edit: and West Brom is now trailing!

Cardiff up 2-0 is almost certainly in the playoffs now. It's Forest who needs to worry about Swansea making up the GD now.

edit: and Barnsley takes the lead over Brentford! Shocking. As it stands, a win by Barnsley doesn't save Barnsley, but it does condemn Brentford to the playoff.
   534. frannyzoo Posted: July 22, 2020 at 03:30 PM (#5964714)
The tenuous Luton Town survival is perhaps the biggest story from the 1st Half of Championship Championship Saturday That is Actually Wednesday (CCSTiW), but there's, as they always say, everything to play for.
   535. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 22, 2020 at 04:13 PM (#5964726)
The auto-promotion, the 6th playoff spot, and relegation are all coming down to the last minutes of these games.

edit: Swansea needs one more goal to make up the 5 GD difference. Brentford needs a goal or Wigan to score one. Wigan needs a goal to avoid relegation. Barnsley needs a goal to avoid relegation (edited for error).

Fulham needs a goal plus a goal by QPR, and they can get auto-promoted.

   536. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 22, 2020 at 04:20 PM (#5964730)
Swansea gets the injury time goal! ' In line for the playoff.

Barnsley gets an injury time goal! Brentford goes to the playoff and Barnsley is safe (assuming Wigan is docked 12).

edit: another goal for Stoke. It's crazy that Forest got ousted this way.
   537. frannyzoo Posted: July 22, 2020 at 04:22 PM (#5964731)
And Barnsley do themselves proud, reminding one of TMBG's immortal "Road Movie to Berlin." They look to be the nicest of the damned.

Edit: But whither Wigan?

And based on the celebration by Barnsley...
   538. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 22, 2020 at 04:30 PM (#5964733)
OGS's magic pixie dust seems to have worn off. They still can be pretty static and over-reliant on Fernandes to unlock deep-lying defenses. The midfield and central defenders can be exploited by fast and trick players. Pogba is too careless with the ball and uneven tracking back, while Matic has no mobility. Combined with the Maguire's lack of pace and agility, it can be problematic.
   539. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 22, 2020 at 04:30 PM (#5964734)
Brentford faces Swansea, and Fulham faces Cardiff. West Brom squeaks through after all. Congrats!

Hull and Charlton are relegated. Wigan will join them unless they win their appeal, in which case it would be Barnsley.

Luton escapes either way! (Also, congrats!)
   540. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 22, 2020 at 04:33 PM (#5964735)
Looking at xG, it seems Wigan caught a little bad luck and could have won. Sad for them... I hope they win the appeal.

Check this out though: Swansea had to make up 5 GD on Forest. Final combined scoreline: 8-2. Final combined xG: 4.5-4.7. That is some rough luck.
   541. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 22, 2020 at 04:37 PM (#5964737)
Meanwhile, Chelsea is not looking too sharp against Manchester United. That opens the door a tad for both Leicester and Manchester United to advance with a draw.
   542. sardonic Posted: July 22, 2020 at 04:57 PM (#5964745)
Just dropped into the match for a few minutes and Pulisic has absolutely taken over the game since coming on in the 61st minute. Gets away from 3 Liverpool players to tee up a tap in for Abraham, has a couple more shots on goal before rifling in a Chelsea's third with a calm turn in the box under pressure.
   543. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: July 22, 2020 at 05:07 PM (#5964750)
even though West Ham's goal was gifted by Pogba,


That sure does seem to happen a lot. Pogba seems to create nearly as many juicy chances for the opposition as for his teammates. Not too hard to comprehend why the world's most risk-averse manager couldn't stand him.

e: Not that Pogba turns the ball over trying daring passes all that much, actually. Most of the blooper-reel turnovers I've seen have been more about not being strong on the ball/dribbling carelessly and somebody carjacking it away from him.
   544. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 22, 2020 at 05:30 PM (#5964761)
Most of the blooper-reel turnovers I've seen have been more about not being strong on the ball/dribbling carelessly and somebody carjacking it away from him
The one today was even worse...
   545. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 22, 2020 at 05:34 PM (#5964762)
Top 4 odds:


Chelsea                   86
Manchester United         77
Leicester                 37

   546. spivey Posted: July 22, 2020 at 05:58 PM (#5964768)
Pulisic is legitimately a top-10 winger in the world right now, imo. Pretty surprised he was benched but I’m guessing they want the cup too.
   547. spivey Posted: July 22, 2020 at 06:01 PM (#5964771)
Kepa was flat footed on every one of Liverpool’s goals I think, plus a free kick cross he should have easily claimed. They have to replace him, even though o don’t think you’re getting more than 20-25 mill for him now.
   548. Mefisto Posted: July 22, 2020 at 08:47 PM (#5964808)
Not that Pogba turns the ball over trying daring passes all that much, actually. Most of the blooper-reel turnovers I've seen have been more about not being strong on the ball/dribbling carelessly and somebody carjacking it away from him.


This is absolutely true, though he's not the only United player guilty of this (I'm looking at you Matic).

They still can be pretty static and over-reliant on Fernandes to unlock deep-lying defenses.


Fernandes looked tired and off his game today. He shouldn't have played against Chelsea (I would have rotated the entire squad).
   549. frannyzoo Posted: July 25, 2020 at 04:04 PM (#5965668)
The biggest and best story in Portuguese 1st Division this year has been Famalicão, and despite a slide, they almost make it into Europe today in Game 34 before Maritimo equals at the death to put Rio Ave., the other Northern Portuguese team hitting above its weight, in Europe (qualifying) instead.

P.S.: Famalicão's not making it to Europe involved the following today:

1. Rio Ave beating Boavista in Porto.
2. Famalicão being up 3-2 deep in stoppage time, only to be tied by Maritimo
3. Two red cards to Famalicão after that equalizer.

I'm just going by what Flashscore updated, as I'd love to have been there today and can't (as an American outcast upon the Covid world). Methinks there's been sinister doings in Northern Portugal today, or at least there are many along the Minho/Douro who are thinking so.
   550. spivey Posted: July 26, 2020 at 11:02 AM (#5965787)
Kepa benched.
   551. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 26, 2020 at 11:28 AM (#5965795)
With Watford down 0-2, they are all but relegated. It will come down to Villa and Bournemouth after all. That's on a knife edge, with Bournemouth up early but Villa still level.
   552. spivey Posted: July 26, 2020 at 11:37 AM (#5965799)
The Chelsea/Wolves and United/Leicester games have been very cagey.

United looks very stretched when Leicester recover the ball.
   553. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 26, 2020 at 11:40 AM (#5965800)
Yeah, from United's perspective, it has not been cagey enough. No reason for them to be stretched when they only need a draw.

Watford down 0-3. What an embarrassment. Switch managers and get outscored 7-0 in 120 minutes.
   554. spivey Posted: July 26, 2020 at 11:50 AM (#5965802)
Man, that's a really bad end of the first half for Wolves. They need to get Traore on the pitch, I don't understand why he wasn't already (has he been unfit since the restart)?
   555. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 26, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5965804)
With Chelsea's 2 goals, they are almost certainly Top 4, and Spurs are almost certainly Top 6.

Bournemouth took the lead again.

So we are back to 1-goal knife edge situations Between ManUnited/Leicester and Villa/Bournemouth.

3-goal turnarounds needed to bring Chelsea out of the top 4, Wolves into Top 6, and Watford back into the mix.
   556. Mefisto Posted: July 26, 2020 at 11:55 AM (#5965805)
I'm not sure if United look cagey or just tired. I think it's the latter.
   557. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: July 26, 2020 at 12:00 PM (#5965807)
Wilfried Zaha is always one of the unhappiest looking people on the planet.
   558. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 26, 2020 at 12:00 PM (#5965808)
United has not been very good and could easily be down (and could also be up, too). Leicester is likely to be encouraged, so should come out of the locker room strong. The truth is, though, the longer this game goes without a goal, the more it favors United. Leicester can't afford a draw, and with Chelsea winning big, they are already in much worse shape than they were at the start of the day. United is in slightly worse shape.
   559. spivey Posted: July 26, 2020 at 12:09 PM (#5965812)
Agree with 558, though with how many of Leicester's top players that are out (Soyunchu, Chilwell, Ricardo, Maddison) I really think United should look better.

But their midfield is Fernandes/Matic/Pogba, and frankly that's a midfield that can be overrun. Especially with the number of risky passes and dribbles they make.
   560. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 26, 2020 at 12:13 PM (#5965813)
One more goal by Palace and Wolves would be back in the 6th slot despite losing today.
   561. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 26, 2020 at 12:20 PM (#5965814)
Based on the current scores, Arsenal would have only had to beat Villa to be in the Europa league next year.
   562. spivey Posted: July 26, 2020 at 12:30 PM (#5965816)
I think Evans did touch that ball, but Morgan and Evans both absolutely wiped out Martial. I think that needs to be considered a foul and penalty.
   563. spivey Posted: July 26, 2020 at 12:37 PM (#5965819)
Leicester have had a handful of nice chances, and have miskicked or whiffed on every single one of them.
   564. spivey Posted: July 26, 2020 at 12:53 PM (#5965821)
DeBruyne may be the perfect midfielder. I think he's as good as Xavi and Iniesta.
   565. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 26, 2020 at 12:54 PM (#5965822)
Villa is sure making it exciting.

So what happens if Arsenal wins the FA cup and Wolves win Europa? Do Spurs have a back door out of Europa?

If Arsenal wins the FA Cup or Wolves won Europa, I think Spurs drop into the Europa qualifying sages. Chance of that happening is a little below 50/50.

If both win their cup competitions, I think Spurs are out. Chance of that is around 3%-4%.
   566. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 26, 2020 at 01:06 PM (#5965823)
De Bruyne is probably the best player in the EPL. Best this year for sure.
   567. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 26, 2020 at 01:19 PM (#5965824)
With 35 points and a -26 GD, Villa's total is the second worst of any team that survived (West Brom had 34 points back in the early 2000s).

You'd have to think the same Top 4 this year will be favored to repeat next year as well, but Manchester United probably won't be that much higher than 50/50.

Favorites for the drop next year have to be West Brom, the playoff winner (definitely if it isn't Brentford, and probably even if it is), and then it's hard to say, with Newcastle (being bad) and Palace (being old and not good) and Villa all in the conversation. Maybe Brighton will be there as well.

It wasn't exactly convincing, but the top 6 + 3 were still probably the best 9 teams in the league this year. Best team outside that group was probably Southampton, with strong honorable mentions to Sheffield United and Burnley.
   568. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 26, 2020 at 01:25 PM (#5965825)
Manchester City will be and should be favored to win it all next year over Liverpool.

Since I've made no mention of Leeds and West Ham I'll mention them now. Hard teams to predict next year, and either could be relegated, but neither will be considered a favorite for relegation on opening day. Both are unlikely to compete for a Europa spot the way Sheffield United did this year.
   569. spivey Posted: July 26, 2020 at 01:44 PM (#5965831)
I don't know what to make of Leeds, but I know that it'll be entertaining.
   570. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 26, 2020 at 03:02 PM (#5965841)
Brentford down to 10 due to a straight red after 65 minutes. These announcers think that because the defender got some of the ball, after going through the man with a rough challenge, so they think it should be at worst a foul and no card.

To me it was no doubt at least a yellow, but you see players get away with tackles like that without the red fairly often. Maybe they shouldn't, but they do.
   571. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: July 26, 2020 at 03:12 PM (#5965847)
If Brentford can hold on here that’s a huge...oh never mind.
   572. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: July 26, 2020 at 03:29 PM (#5965849)
Just saw the replay, that’s not a red for me. No problem with a yellow there for having the studs up a bit but he was far enough in front of the player that I don’t think it was a particularly risky challenge. At the same time you’ve gotta keep the studs down. That’s one of those where when you get the studs up you give the ref a chance to send you off every time.
   573. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 26, 2020 at 03:42 PM (#5965851)
Kepa benched.
He was terrible this year.

I know Liverpool clinched early and Chelsea had to play tough down to the very end, but by npxGD these two teams finished the year very close to each other. By understat, Liverpool was +32.6 and Chelsea was +31.3. Almost identical on xPoints too. Very similar in xG (slight advantage to Chelsea) and xGA (slight advantage to Liverpool). Major differences in actual goals scored and goals against, where Chelsea underperformed both, but especially GA, and Liverpool outperformed both. Actual GD: Chelsea +15, Liverpool +52. If both teams end up with similar xGD next year, there's zero chance we will see anything close to that margin (37 goals) again. It would be very surprising to see even half of it.

It would help for Chelsea to get a real keeper. Especially if they do, but even if they don't, I'd currently have them above Manchester United. Betting odds don't think so though, giving Manchester United a small but significant edge over Chelsea at the moment. Of course, betting odds have to take into account expected personnel moves both over the off season and during the course of next year, so they are not based solely on current roster.
   574. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 26, 2020 at 04:14 PM (#5965864)
Manchester City was great this year again, and their defense was still quite good overall (led understat in npxGA, but about even with Wolves and United, with Liverpool and Chelsea not that far behind). The difference of course was that their defense slipped a long way from their otherworldly performance in the prior two years, and even a fair bit from their extremely good defensive performance in 2016-2017. You have to go back to 2015-2016, before Pep to see a defensive performance on a par with this one.

Then again, City has such a great offense that you could credibly make the argument that teams playing against them naturally have to play more cautiously, and would be expected to score fewer goals, then against opponents with equally good defenses. If the best defense really is a good offense, you could argue that City was no better then 4th or 5th in the league this year defensively.
   575. Hot Wheeling American Posted: July 26, 2020 at 04:26 PM (#5965869)
Dropping into the EPL (and soccer/football, really) completely cold, a few friends and I decided to go with Tottenham when play resumed last month. I only now had the thought to find a podcast or two to help me on this journey. I know of the name/show Man in Blazers? Is that the standard? Is there something else specific to the EPL and/or the Spurs that is recommended by anyone here?
   576. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: July 26, 2020 at 04:30 PM (#5965870)
574 - Yeah I don’t think City’s defense is particularly good, in fact I think you can make a case that they were mediocre at best. However, they have so much possession they just don’t give much up. The combination of lack of possession and the natural caution that teams are going to have against such a potent team that they won’t give up many goals.

That said I think City and Liverpool are, right now, probably even odds going into 2020-21. I think we can assume that’s going to be a weird season (maybe not as weird as this one) with all the competitions considerably compressed and my sense is that CIty has more depth and that could be crucial.
   577. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: July 26, 2020 at 04:35 PM (#5965873)
HWA - I am a huge fan of Football Weekly. It’s the podcast from The Guardian. They are funny, insightful and generally entertaining. I find them a good way to be up to date on what is going on. They will usually touch on all ten games from the weekend plus some quick whiparounds from the other big leagues and occasionally touch on the lower leagues. It’s not really going to be Spurs focused though the host of FW is a bit of a Spurs fan so he will chat about them.

If you enjoy a bit more slapstick in your podcast a lot of people enjoy the Football Ramble. It’s not my cup of tea. There is also the Totally Football Show which is a bunch of guys who used to be at The Guardian and split off a few years back. I haven’t really listened to them since their early episodes, FW was enough for me.
   578. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 26, 2020 at 05:38 PM (#5965895)
Betting odds currently have City as about 47% and Liverpool at about 33% to win the league. I think City is probably twice as likely to win it as Liverpool, personally. (United at 9%, Chelsea at 6%, Tottenham/Arsenal at 1.5% each, Leicester/Wolves/Everton at 0.5% each or less).
   579. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 26, 2020 at 06:33 PM (#5965902)
I agree that city should be a considerable favorite to win the title next season. City is losing David Silva and sane, aguerro is still injury-prone and older. However, I think they’ll spend money.

   580. Hot Wheeling American Posted: July 26, 2020 at 06:59 PM (#5965908)
HWA - I am a huge fan of Football Weekly. It’s the podcast from The Guardian.

Judah Jose...you truly are...the king of kings.
   581. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 26, 2020 at 07:31 PM (#5965916)
I agree that city should be a considerable favorite to win the title next season. City is losing David Silva and sane, aguerro is still injury-prone and older. However, I think they’ll spend money.

   582. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: July 27, 2020 at 09:16 PM (#5966233)
pre-season points predictions v today


                     actual     xPoints    betting odds      538     delta (actual) delta (xp)

liverpool            99         74.5       85                84      14.5          -10.0
manchester city      81         87         91.5              89      -9.25          -3.25      
manchester united    66         71         67.5              60       2.25           7.25
chelsea              66         73.5       66.5              69      -1.75           5.75
leicester            62         61         53.5              52       9.25           8.25
tottenham            59         49.5       73.5              67     -11.25         -20.75
wolves               59         64         51                50       8.5           13.5                
arsenal              56         50         69                60      -8.5          -14.5
sheffield united     54         49.5       33                36      19.5           15.0
burnley              54         49.5       39.5              43      12.75           8.25
southampton          52         57         44                44       8.0           13.0
everton              49         56         55                56      -6.5            0.5
newcastle            44         32         41                45       1.0          -11.0
crystal palace       43         38.5       43.5              48      -2.75          -7.25
brighton             41         49.5       37.5              37       3.75          12.25
west ham             39         39         48                46      -8.0           -8.0
villa                35         37         41.5              39      -5.25          -3.25
bournemouth          34         39         43                47     -11.0           -6.0
watford              34         48         45                44     -10.5            3.5
norwich              21         33         35.5              37     -15.25          -3.25



Betting odds and 538 were about even on which they were close on (9 or 10 in each direction). Neither were particularly accurate, being off an average of 9 or so points versus actual. 538 was very slightly closer.

big overperformers (actual):
sheffield united   19.5
liverpool          14.5
burnley            12.75
leicester           9.25
wolves              8.5
southampton         8.0


big overperformers (xPoints) were:
sheffield united   15.0
wolves             13.5
southampton        13.0
brighton           12.25
burnley             8.25
leicester           8.25
manchester united   7.25
chelsea             5.75


Big underperformers (actual) were:
norwich            -15.25
tottenham          -11.25
bournemouth        -11.0
watford            -10.5
city                -9.25
arsenal             -8.5
west ham            -8.0
everton             -6.5
villa               -5.25


Big underperformers (xPoints) were:
tottenham          -20.75
arsenal            -14.5
newcastle          -11.0
liverpool          -10.0
west ham            -8.0
crystal palace      -7.25
bournemouth         -6.0


Only one team cross-crosses these lists (guess who)? Watford comes close, with honorable mentions to Newcastle and Norwich.
   583. frannyzoo Posted: July 29, 2020 at 02:46 PM (#5966682)
Great afternoon in progress between the Serie A relegation battle between Lecce and Genoa (c'mon Lecce!) and Brentford hosting Swansea in the return down a goal from the first leg. Bees' manager Thomas Frank wearing an outfit not available as a choice in Football Manager.
   584. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 31, 2020 at 06:36 PM (#5967218)
Dropping into the EPL (and soccer/football, really) completely cold, a few friends and I decided to go with Tottenham when play resumed last month.

Welcome! Funny that you chose Tottenham because historically there's been an oddly disproportionate number of Tottenham fans around here (myself included). You missed some really interesting years if you're just starting following them!
   585. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: July 31, 2020 at 11:06 PM (#5967264)
I’m bummed out that I’m going to miss the FA Cup Final tomorrow, I think it’s going to be a good one. It’s two teams that can score and really aren’t that good defensively. There have only been two finals in the last 30 years where both teams scored multiple goals but I can see that happening tomorrow.
   586. Hot Wheeling American Posted: August 01, 2020 at 10:35 AM (#5967312)
Welcome! Funny that you chose Tottenham because historically there's been an oddly disproportionate number of Tottenham fans around here (myself included). You missed some really interesting years if you're just starting following them!

Many thanks. It was as simple as (i) a friend's younger brother being a Spurs fan and (ii) seeing an online piece from 1-3 years ago that attempted to compare MLB and EPL teams and seeing Spurs = Mets. And though fans of teams in the bottom half of the league would certainly disagree, I didn't feel too bandwagony, selecting a club that isn't regularly in the top four.

Still getting a handle on some basics, so I'll dive into the club's history over time. And maybe time will help spark an interest when other teams are playing. I know today's FA Cup final is a big deal, but without some hook for me, I'm just not going to devote two hours to it.
   587. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 01, 2020 at 11:02 AM (#5967320)
Tottenham is a perennial top 4 team now, one of the most successful teams in the PL over the past 5 years.

Top 4 last 5 years (ordered by best finishes)
City             11234
Liverpool        1244 
Tottenham        2334
Chelsea          134
Man U            23
Arsenal          2
Leicester        1


Over the last 10 years it's still the same 6 teams.
City             1111222334 (holy crap they've been successful)
Chelsea          1133334
Man U            112234
Liverpool        12244 
Arsenal          233444
Tottenham        23344
Leicester        1


By this measure, Manchester City and Chelsea were the only teams with a good amount of success over both sets of 5 years. Liverpool and Tottenham have been very good over the past 5, while Manchester United and Arsenal were very good over the previous 5.
   588. Hot Wheeling American Posted: August 01, 2020 at 11:21 AM (#5967322)
All right, then...I knew they had some recent success, but I guess hopping on the wagon when they were in like ninth place at the resumption of play this season colored my thinking.
   589. spivey Posted: August 01, 2020 at 12:10 PM (#5967328)
Tottenham have had a golden age the last several years, though even with it they've not won a trophy as fans of the other top teams will be sure to remind you. There is a real question on if they'll be able to keep it going. I think medium to long term the answer is yes. The investment in the ground and revenue that Tottenham has had has put them as a top ~15 team in the world financially. But they've been pretty frugal - it's run as a business in a way many of the other top teams in the world are not.

They're not some plucky underdog compared to teams in the middle or lower end of the table. But for the level at which they've been competing, they definitely are.
   590. Mefisto Posted: August 01, 2020 at 12:17 PM (#5967330)
I’m bummed out that I’m going to miss the FA Cup Final tomorrow, I think it’s going to be a good one. It’s two teams that can score and really aren’t that good defensively. There have only been two finals in the last 30 years where both teams scored multiple goals but I can see that happening tomorrow.


Subscription apps may be the death of my sports watching.
   591. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: August 01, 2020 at 01:01 PM (#5967344)
Tottenham is a perennial top 4 team now, one of the most successful teams in the PL over the past 5 years.


Tottenham was a perennial top 4 team, but that's over now. After the inevitable relegation fight and Mourinho sacking, hopefully they'll settle back in as a solid midtable club for the next few decades.
   592. spivey Posted: August 01, 2020 at 01:06 PM (#5967345)
Subscription apps are annoying, but ESPN+ is *such* a good deal that I don't mind having it. In fact, it's so good that it has me considering just getting rid of cable. I'd miss out on a lot of EPL and Bundesliga action, but would still have a ton of soccer available.
   593. spivey Posted: August 01, 2020 at 01:23 PM (#5967350)
I only saw the last 20 minutes plus stoppage, but that was an engrossing bit of football.

Arteta really seems to know what he's doing, which is disappointing as a Tottenham fan.
   594. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 01, 2020 at 01:31 PM (#5967353)
Tottenham 20/21 odds.

Top 4: 22% (I'd be tempted to take those odds, actually.)
Relegated: 0.1%

They can also make the CL via Europa, which has to be at least 5%, maybe as much as 10%.
   595. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 01, 2020 at 02:01 PM (#5967357)
Seemed like a clear foul should have wiped out that Auba goal. It didn't have any effect on the play but that's not part of the rule.

Very nice goal by Auba though.
   596. spivey Posted: August 01, 2020 at 02:02 PM (#5967358)
Arsenal earned the lead here. And I missed the first couple of minutes of the 2nd half, but it sounds like Pulisic's hamstring injury could be pretty bad. I saw him getting carried to the dressing room.

Chelsea's back line, Rudiger in particular, have been shaky as #### this match.
   597. spivey Posted: August 01, 2020 at 02:05 PM (#5967359)
That's a pretty weak sending off against Kovacic. That's a very fair, tame challenge he put on Xhaka there.
   598. spivey Posted: August 01, 2020 at 02:07 PM (#5967360)
Arsenal's been bypassing their midfield mostly in attack, and it's worked well, because their front line is both able to get in behind as well Lacazette and Pepe have done pretty well in hold up play.
   599. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 01, 2020 at 02:07 PM (#5967361)
Yeah weak call. Inexplicable, really. The ref must have just missed it totally. I'd almost be happy if VAR could overturn something like that.

I was rooting for Arsenal today, but they have been a little lucky. It's been a pretty even game.
   600. spivey Posted: August 01, 2020 at 02:12 PM (#5967362)
Tottenham's Europa odds take a bit of a hit if they have to deal with qualifying rather than group stages.

Wow, Martinez I think got away with that. I want a replay.
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