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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

OT Soccer Thread, v.2019

Looks like the last thread is closed, so onto the new!

Upcoming Matches of Interest
2/3 Madrid Derby
2/4 Manchester City v. Arsenal
2/10 Manchester City v. Chelsea
2/12 Manchester United v. PSG
2/13 Tottenham v. Dortmund
2/19 Liverpool v. Bayern Munich
2/24 Manchester United v. Liverpool
2/28 Chelsea v. Tottenham
3/2 North London Derby, Merseyside Derby, & El Classico
3/5 Dortmund v. Tottenham
3/9 Arsenal v. Manchester United
3/13 Bayern Munich v. Liverpool
3/16 Manchester Derby
3/30 Liverpool v. Tottenham

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 30, 2019 at 07:08 PM | 2068 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: soccer

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   1301. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 24, 2019 at 04:09 PM (#5834966)
The Watford/Wolves game on the weekend could well determine who finishes 7th. A draw could open the door to Everton, if they can finish strong.
   1302. aberg Posted: April 24, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5834971)
De Gea looked like a baserunner who was getting ready to steal second, leaning too much that way, then getting picked off trying to shift his weight back. Pretty useless defense by Shaw, too.

The Watford/Wolves game on the weekend could well determine who finishes 7th. A draw could open the door to Everton, if they can finish strong.


Everton still alive in the race for the Everton Cup.
   1303. Slutty Nutkins (CoB). Posted: April 24, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5834972)
United will know that a draw will put them in not-so-bad shape. I wonder if that affects their approach in the second half.


Draw seems a stretch at this point ... City are up and on the front foot.
   1304. aberg Posted: April 24, 2019 at 04:18 PM (#5834974)
For the few minutes since Sane has replaced Fernandinho, it has been non-stop attacking and great chances in both directions. Funny how much difference one player can make (in both directions).
   1305. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 24, 2019 at 04:24 PM (#5834978)
Now that they are behind, they'll definitely play for a draw.
   1306. Slutty Nutkins (CoB). Posted: April 24, 2019 at 04:25 PM (#5834979)
Good luck with that now ...

De Gea with the Biff on that one.
   1307. aberg Posted: April 24, 2019 at 04:27 PM (#5834982)
Sane's pace creates openings that aren't there for anyone else.
   1308. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 24, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5834987)
Both these games would have been more interesting if the GKs each hadn't let a ball go right through them.
   1309. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 24, 2019 at 04:48 PM (#5834994)
Crazily enough, if United win out, they are probably just under 50/50 to finish 4th. That mostly means beating Chelsea this weekend, which could go either way.

Chelsea must be back in pole position now, and could even finish 4th if they lose to United, so long as they win their last two games (which are not that easy: home to Watford and away to Leicester).

City is, of course, very close to the title now. Liverpool needs someone to pull the miracle upset, which seems fairly unlikely at this point.

City is very very good. It's a shame they haven't been able to test the best non-EPL teams yet for two years running now.

edit: Wolves/Arsenal xG: 1.0 to 1.0 (and Wolves always gets killed in non-shot xG)
   1310. aberg Posted: April 24, 2019 at 05:00 PM (#5835002)
City's remaining fixtures are @Burnley, vs Leicester, @Brighton. They beat Burnley 5-0 in both the league and the FA Cup. They (somewhat memorably) lost 2-1 to Leicester on Boxing Day, shortly after knocking them out of the FA Cup on Pens. They beat Brighton 2-0 in the League and 1-0 in the FA Cup. Even at the Etihad, Liverpool fans probably have to hope for a Leicester draw or better.
   1311. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 24, 2019 at 06:11 PM (#5835017)
EPL winner odds: City at 76% (Seems low, especially considering the betting odds to win their next 2 games, which each admittedly seem a tad high).
City to win at Burnley: 85%
City to beat Leicester: 88%
(I don't even want to think about Brighton, but the odds shouldn't be much worse for City.)

Liverpool to beat Huddersfield: 92%
Liverpool to win at Newcastle: 73%
Liverpool also has to face Wolves at home, so Liverpool can't be much more than 50/50 to win out.

Current top 4 odds:
Spurs: 96%
Chelsea: 48%
Arsenal: 42%
United: 14%

Arsenal has now contrived to drop 3 out of the first 4 of 5 against teams 7-11, and only beat Watford when they gave up a howler and got an early red. At this point dropping points against Leicester is more likely than not.

If United somehow finds themselves up by 2 goals (a huge if, obviously) towards the end of the Chelsea game, they should strongly push for a third as then GD over Chelsea wouldn't necessarily be out of reach.


   1312. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 24, 2019 at 07:06 PM (#5835029)
538 and understat thought these games were both even by xG (McoA had them as fairly close). 538 had one team dominating each game in non-shot xG, but in one case that team won (City) and in the other it lost (Arsenal).
   1313. spivey Posted: April 25, 2019 at 08:48 AM (#5835174)
Yeah, it's funny, but I agree with Neville that effort from United is about as good as City got.

That said, their team needs massive turnover. Who on that team do you want going forward? It seems like the only foundational guys are Pogba and Rashford, and even them I think would struggle to be more than rotational guys in attack for the best teams. I don't know that either would start over any member of DESK, though Rashford is probably a touch better than Alli. Similarly, I don't know they'd start at City or Liverpool. I mean, they'd play for all of these teams, but even they are a cut below the best in the league imo.

Then you've got a handful of guys that are decent squad players for a CL level team. Lukaku, Martial, Shaw, maybe a couple of others. De Gea has not been great this year.

I think Man U are starting to finally wise up they need a pretty full rebuild, with youth and workrate.

I think Chelsea and Tottenham are probably the 3rd and 4th best teams in the league, so I think I'd like to see the two of them take the last two spots. That is what looks most likely, as well.
   1314. Mefisto Posted: April 25, 2019 at 09:31 AM (#5835183)
I can easily see United slipping quite badly for a few years. They need too many replacements -- at the very least, right back, CD, CM -- to be able to afford them all at the quality they need, and they lack depth as well. Maybe they could get lucky (or smart) with some good analytics, but they don't have that in place now and don't seem inclined to do it.

And that's assuming everyone stays. There are lots of rumors about players leaving: Herrera (who's 29 anyway); Pogba; DeGea, and more.

At least they didn't embarrass themselves against City as they did against Everton.
   1315. jmurph Posted: April 25, 2019 at 10:11 AM (#5835197)
It seems like the only foundational guys are Pogba and Rashford, and even them I think would struggle to be more than rotational guys in attack for the best teams. I don't know that either would start over any member of DESK, though Rashford is probably a touch better than Alli. Similarly, I don't know they'd start at City or Liverpool. I mean, they'd play for all of these teams, but even they are a cut below the best in the league imo.

Oh man I need to see Pogba with a functional manager again before agreeing with any of this. He looked like one of the very best players in the world not that long ago.
   1316. Mefisto Posted: April 25, 2019 at 10:21 AM (#5835203)
I think he still could. The problem is that the rest of the United midfield is so bad that opposing teams focus on Pogba to shut him down. Makes him look worse than he is.
   1317. spivey Posted: April 25, 2019 at 10:25 AM (#5835206)
jmurph: That's fair, I just think DESK, Mane/Firmino/Salah, and Man City's front line plus Bernardo Silva and KDB are among the best players in the world and pretty much all lap him in work rate. I think a number of them have had better years than Pogba's best as well. For example, I think I'd feel pretty comfortable saying that Pogba has never had a season as good as B Silva's this year.
   1318. Mefisto Posted: April 25, 2019 at 10:41 AM (#5835212)
Pogba has 2 important weaknesses: he doesn't play much defense; and he gives the ball away too often (sometimes trying for a great pass, which is understandable, and sometimes because he tries to dribble through trouble and can't). He can be terrific, even dominant, but I'd agree with spivey on this.
   1319. spivey Posted: April 25, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5835218)
I'd still take Pogba if we lost Eriksen, don't get me wrong. I just don't think he'd do the pressing Poch would want. And many (most?) of the top teams these days press.
   1320. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 25, 2019 at 10:56 AM (#5835219)
I think Liverpool will take care of business in their final three games, but it won't matter since I'd be very surprised if City bottles a match. So it's gonna be real frustrating to finish second in a year with all of one loss in the league and a point total that's 3rd best in the history of the 38 game EPL season.

The PFA Team of the Year is out: Ederson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Djik, Laporte, Robertson; Pogba (!?), Fernandinho, B. Silva; Sterling, Aguero, Mane. Pogba is the real shock, I have no clue how Hazard wasn't picked over him, and I'm a little surprised by Salah not making the team over Aguero or his teammate Mane, but it's not like Aguero and Mane are bad picks by any means.
   1321. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 25, 2019 at 11:12 AM (#5835230)
Pretty sure this Liverpool/Huddersfield is considered the most lopsided game of the year. The only one likely to rival it would have been City hosting Huddersfield, but that happened in August when Huddersfield was only considered likely to be quite bad, not yet certain to be very bad. And now Liverpool has it all to play for while Huddersfield's got nuthin.
   1322. jmurph Posted: April 25, 2019 at 12:29 PM (#5835267)
The PFA Team of the Year is out: Ederson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Djik, Laporte, Robertson; Pogba (!?), Fernandinho, B. Silva; Sterling, Aguero, Mane.

This team is weird. I don't have a lot of great suggestions, honestly, but it doesn't feel obviously right to me, either. The only ones I'm certain of are Sterling/B. Silva/VVD.
   1323. aberg Posted: April 25, 2019 at 12:34 PM (#5835270)
Kind of funny that the only non-City/Liverpool player on that list is the surprise. You could definitely make a case for Eriksen over Pogba. Aubameyang has been great, but I'd probably take those three attackers ahead of him. Same with Hazard if you consider him as an attacker. As for "best of the rest" types, probably worth mentioning Doucoure and Holebas from Watford, Neves and Jota from Wolves, Gylfi, Maddison, Chilwell, Matt Ritchie.
   1324. Slutty Nutkins (CoB). Posted: April 25, 2019 at 12:41 PM (#5835276)
And Vertongweirald.

Seriously. 25 million pounds for Alderweireld this off season (in this transfer market) is such a stupid bargain ... makes me want to punch myself in the face every time I think about how "penny wise, pound foolish" Levy is being about this.

Don't even get me started on possibly losing Eriksen ...
   1325. spivey Posted: April 25, 2019 at 01:36 PM (#5835299)
I think Verts is better than Laporte and Alderweireld and every centerback that isn't named VVD, but he's missed a fair number of games this year.

I think Hazard is a must in the team. He's first in total goals and assists, pretty sure he's first in chances created, successful dribbles, and a few other stats.

I don't think Aguero belongs on the list. He's got a lot of goals, and is really good, but the service a City striker gets these days is absurd. The wingers in the convo (Hazard, Sterling, Salah, Mane, Son) all could and will score plenty of goals up top, while also providing much more to a team.
   1326. Slutty Nutkins (CoB). Posted: April 25, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5835363)
Barney can be a twit ... but at his best, he can turn a phrase as good as anyone:

Of the many telling facts, stats and scalding-hot takes to emerge from Wednesday night’s Manchester derby – a game that felt as if two clubs were passing briefly on airport travelators, waving curtly as they rolled off in opposite directions – perhaps the most poignant was the touch map of Alexis Sánchez.

Sánchez was on the pitch for only 12 minutes. In that time he touched the ball once. There it is, his single point out there in the middle of all that open space, like a sad, lost penguin wandering the tundra, dreaming of krill.


Graun

The "Touch Map" in question ...

[edit] Gah ... "a sad, lost penguin wandering the tundra, dreaming of krill." doesn't fit for a username ...
   1327. aberg Posted: April 25, 2019 at 03:49 PM (#5835369)
Remember when Alexis was destined for City, then switched to United at the last moment? It's crazy to think of all the dominoes that feel from that pivot.
   1328. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 25, 2019 at 03:57 PM (#5835377)
Kind of funny that the only non-City/Liverpool player on that list is the surprise. You could definitely make a case for Eriksen over Pogba.

As much as I generally love Eriksen, I don't think he has a case this season. He was not very good for a couple months around the turn of the year.
   1329. Slutty Nutkins (CoB). Posted: April 25, 2019 at 03:58 PM (#5835380)
Sonny has a much better case than Eriksen.

Son has kept Spurs afloat this year.
   1330. Slutty Nutkins (CoB). Posted: April 25, 2019 at 04:06 PM (#5835389)
It's all go at Manchester United, with "go" being the operative word. According to the Sun, United are readying an emergency pay-off fund to ensure that they can usher Alexis Sanchez and Marcos Rojo towards the exit.

Both are among the highest earners at United but have struggled this season.

Rojo earns £150,000 a week but has played just 192 minutes of Premier League football this season. He has two years left on his contract and reportedly wants £6 million to leave in the next transfer window.

Sanchez is on £505,000 a week at Old Trafford and, given that he appears to have no United future, seems destined to move on.


Half a million pounds a week was and is utter madness. Good luck dumping that contract ...
   1331. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 25, 2019 at 04:52 PM (#5835426)
Villarreal is finally out of relegation danger. Happy for them! They're too good to be relegated and they have Santi.

Atalanta will be against Lazio in the Coppa Italia final. Lazio might actually need to win to even be in Europe next year.
   1332. Topher Posted: April 25, 2019 at 05:37 PM (#5835461)
Good luck dumping that contract ...


Something that has confused me is the continued reporting that Real Madrid is going on a spending spree this summer (no confusion there) and that it is going to be funded in large part due to a big transfer fee by getting rid of Gareth Bale since Bale's future at Madrid isn't great as long as Zidane is around.

Bale makes more than Sanchez. Unlike Sanchez, he's still a very good player. But at those wages, I think the only clubs that can consider him are Barcelona, PSG, and the two Manchester clubs. Maybe Chelsea too with an active Abramovich.

Of that tiny list of clubs, the only one that makes any sense is United.

I suppose you can't rule out United doing something really dumb, but I don't see how Madrid is going to get much of a transfer fee. By the time you factor in Bale's wages along with a 8 figure payout to the agent, how much is United going to want to pay Madrid for the privilege of adding him to their roster?

I know United has money to burn and can get away with doing something really dumb. But given all the holes to fill this summer, I really question if Real Madrid is going to get anywhere close to what they are expecting from him.
   1333. Slutty Nutkins (CoB). Posted: April 25, 2019 at 06:35 PM (#5835479)
I really question if Real Madrid is going to get anywhere close to what they are expecting from him.


You and me and everyone who isn't paid to shovel bullshit.

I especially love all of the trash rumours of him landing back at Tottenham on those wages. Nearly twice what Harry is getting paid? Uh, sure ...

"Bat Country" indeed.
   1334. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 26, 2019 at 06:46 AM (#5835552)
Yeah, Tottenham is relentless in sticking to their wage structure. It's worked for them so far, and there's no way they're blowing it up for Gareth Bale's post 30's seasons.
   1335. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 26, 2019 at 08:30 AM (#5835563)
Besides the wages, this current version of Bale doesn't really fit with the ethos of the team. He's no longer a tireless runner and he's no longer the kind of player to put the team ahead of his own needs which is not going to work for Poch. I love Weezus and he'll always be a legend at the Lane, but sometimes you can't go home again. In England, I can only see him going to Man U, otherwise, I think China may be his only option if he wants to keep those wages. I don't think he's quite famous enough for MLS to do a Beckham-ish deal for him. I think what may end up happening is that Real give him a partial buy out on his contract and Man U pick up the balance and whatever transfer fee is reported going from Man U to Real will be BS. (Bale against Inter for those two games will always be one of my favorite sports memories. I'll never forget Rafa Benitez' sigh of relief when Bale came within a whisker of leading 10 man Spurs back to a draw against Inter at the San Siro. And then, at The Lane, a taxi for Maicon...Was that the most explosive introduction of a new superstar in the last 20 years?)

I'm cracking up at the De Gea Will Not Be Dropped headlines today. Who would have guessed we'd see headlines like that after his eleventy billion saves against Spurs? These soccer seasons are so long. It's like Victor Hugo has been armed with a word processor and is cranking out 20 chapters a day between August and May.
   1336. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 26, 2019 at 09:02 AM (#5835569)
I'm also seeing a lot of articles making Cardiff City seem like a fuzzy underdog we should all be rooting for to stay up. To that I will say anyone who roots for Warnock and Tan to stay up at the expense of Chris Hughton and Brighton is...misguided. #### Colin Wanker and Cardiff City.
   1337. Mefisto Posted: April 26, 2019 at 11:11 AM (#5835610)
Statsbomb has an interesting article on 2-footed passing stats. The answer, if you don't want to read it, is Harry Arter (at least in the PL). Anyway, I think it's very preliminary, as they admit, because it doesn't seem to account for the conditions under which players pass with their off foot -- mostly when they're under pressure -- and other "confounding conditions (their words). Seems like an interesting topic and a reasonable start.
   1338. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: April 26, 2019 at 01:33 PM (#5835662)
Statsbomb has an interesting article on 2-footed passing stats. The answer, if you don't want to read it, is Harry Arter (at least in the PL).

Yeah, but now I need to read it, to figure out what the actual question was. Which I did, but am not telling. So there.

I think the most interesting thing (to me) that I saw there, was that while there are more right-footed passes than left overall in the league, the dominance is much smaller than I would have guessed. That may be slightly displaying my own biases, since I never could hit the backside of a barn with my left foot.
   1339. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 26, 2019 at 03:11 PM (#5835706)
My coach always said "broad side of a barn". Who plays footy against the narrower back side?
   1340. The Marksist Posted: April 26, 2019 at 03:26 PM (#5835710)
I like the idea of hitting a barn in the butt, tho. Good image.
   1341. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 26, 2019 at 03:38 PM (#5835713)
To that I will say anyone who roots for Warnock and Tan to stay up at the expense of Chris Hughton and Brighton is...misguided. #### Colin Wanker and Cardiff City.

Manager doesn't matter, I think the Cardiff fans deserve to stay up more than the Brighton fans.

Brighton have been in the Premier League for 2 years and have been one of the most anonymous teams ever IMHO. Plus we don't need Brighton, Bournemouth and Southampton all to be in the Premier League. Time for them to go down again.
   1342. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 26, 2019 at 03:48 PM (#5835718)
Liverpool are working on that goal differential deficit.

Also, scoring at 1', 23', and 45+1' is about as close as you can get to scoring like clockwork.
   1343. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 26, 2019 at 03:49 PM (#5835719)
Routine for Liverpool, as expected. 3-0 up and they really haven't had to try very hard.
   1344. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 26, 2019 at 04:12 PM (#5835726)
I wish GD mattered, but it won't unless City actually loses one of their games. Even a draw by City and it won't come down to GD even though in that situation Liverpool could win on points outright of course. (And no, City are not going to drop points in two games. One would be a miracle.)
   1345. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 26, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5835729)
Well, GD is down to +3 for Man City with Man City having a game in hand.
   1346. spivey Posted: April 26, 2019 at 05:07 PM (#5835730)
Yeah, there is a very specific, and unlikely, but possible path for GD to matter. City loses a match and Liverpool draws. Though given that, it'll be hard for Liverpool to win GD unless City loses by multiple goals, because Liverpool only has 2 games left (and one has to be a draw for it to matter).

Leicester have a brutal run-in. Home v Arsenal, at City, home v Chelsea.
   1347. Slutty Nutkins (CoB). Posted: April 26, 2019 at 05:44 PM (#5835735)
Just sad:

Bolton Wanderers players have decided to boycott their remaining Championship fixtures over unpaid wages at the second-tier English club, according to reports on on Friday.

The squad went on strike this month and refused to report for training until players, coaches and the club's non-football staff were paid March's wages.

Bolton, 23rd in the Championship and already relegated, have two games left this season -- against Brentford on Saturday and at Nottingham Forest on the final day of the season. Both fixtures are now in doubt.


ESPNFC
   1348. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 26, 2019 at 05:52 PM (#5835738)
EFL statement:


Following the failure of Bolton Wanderers to provide formal confirmation of its ability to meet its obligation to fulfil its Championship fixture against Brentford FC on Saturday (27 April), the game will not go ahead as planned.

Earlier on Friday, the playing staff at the Club issued a collective statement confirming that they had decided not to fulfil the remaining fixtures of the season unless they received monies owed to them.

As a result of these disappointing developments, the League has been forced to suspend Saturday’s fixture and under EFL Regulations, the Club is now deemed to be guilty of misconduct and will be referred to an Independent Disciplinary Commission.

The EFL Board will now consider the matter of determining whether the fixture will be played or not.

No further comment will be made at this time.

   1349. KronicFatigue Posted: April 26, 2019 at 06:31 PM (#5835744)
Can someone walk me through the process of how I'd be able to find Man U's points per game before and after Mourinho this season? Bonus if you can also show me how to see strength of schedule in those chunks. I found a link that says Jose had 1.5 points a game this season, but that's as far as I got.

EDIT: NM, I think I got it. Looks like Man U had played 17 games before he was fired. So, 25.5 points in those 17 games (okay, 1.5 a game must have been rounded). that means in the following 18 games, they've gotten about 38.5 points for 2.4 a game. Bigger difference than I was expecting, considering they were in 6th when he was sacked and are in 6th now.

Of course, all my numbers can be wrong.
   1350. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 26, 2019 at 07:13 PM (#5835748)
You can find that easily on understat.com. Set end date (and then begin date) to after United had played 17 games (12/17/2018 or so).

https://understat.com/league/EPL (includes penalties in xG)

First 17 games: 7w, 5d, 5l, 26 points, 29 GF, 29 GA (0 GD), 28.22 xGF, 26.53 xGA (1.69 xGD)
Next 18 games: 12w, 2d, 4l, 38 points, 34 GF, 21 GA (13 GD), 35.5 xGF, 21.7 xGD (13.8 xGD)

Mourinho didn't get to face Huddersfield or Cardiff, while OGS hasn't (yet) faced Chelsea. Mourinho also had 9 road game and 8 at home, while OGS has had 9 of each. So Mourinho had a bit harder run of games. Not nearly enough to make up for the difference in performance, obviously.

edit: FWIW 538's non-shot xGD, which is generally less predictive than shot xGD (and tends to hate certain teams due to their playing styles, like Wolves) but seems to contain some useful info, has virtually no difference under Mourinho v OGS. 0.7 through 17 games for Mourinho, and 1.4 through 18 games for OGS.
   1351. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 26, 2019 at 07:33 PM (#5835752)
Even with all United's recent struggles, they have played fairly well overall under OGS. If they had been able to do what they did in 18 games over the first 35, they would have a CL spot wrapped up right about now.
   1352. KronicFatigue Posted: April 26, 2019 at 10:14 PM (#5835811)
Awesome site, thanks!!
   1353. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: April 26, 2019 at 11:11 PM (#5835819)
That’s really interesting. I thought OGS’s United were vastly overperforming their xGD. I guess the recent run has boroughs that back into line.
   1354. Slutty Nutkins (CoB). Posted: April 26, 2019 at 11:52 PM (#5835822)
Ooooh, Amazon Prime streaming has added The Damned United.

Guess I know what I'm watching after the Yankees game ...
   1355. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 27, 2019 at 01:10 AM (#5835838)
Looking at the EPL numbers this year, there does seem to be some correlation with non-shot xG. Teams that have underperformed shot xGD versus actual GD (like Palace, Leicester and especially Wolves) have tended to have lower non-shot xG than shot xG. Manchester United has only slightly underperformed shot xG, but they also have low non-shot xG.

Wolves is a great story this year and have certainly been giant killers, but to me they are not the 7th best team in the league right now (probably Everton but maybe Leicester). They have a lower spending bill than the other midtable teams in the top half of the table, so there is certainly room for improvement, and though I wouldn't pick them as 7th next year I would definitely pick them in the top 10. (I think I actually picked them to finish 10th or 11th this year.) Who knows though... the other teams have kind of been treading water so if Wolves keeps improving they will pass them by.
   1356. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 27, 2019 at 02:15 AM (#5835843)
Should have been clearer. I meant teams whose actual GD has underperformed their shot xGD (like Palace, Leicester and especially Wolves) have tended to have lower non-shot xG than shot xG. These teams may not be quite as good as traditional xG would indicate.
   1357. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 27, 2019 at 09:27 AM (#5835854)
Whooo, a completely garbage Spurs performance. Can't wait to play Ajax!
   1358. spivey Posted: April 27, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5835855)
Tottenham’s heavily rotated/injured squad was not good today.
   1359. Slutty Nutkins (CoB). Posted: April 27, 2019 at 10:05 AM (#5835859)
Yeah, I always appreciate a good 4:30 AM Saturday Spurs dumpster fire match ... sets such a great mood for the rest of my weekend.

/s

Grrrrrrrrr.
   1360. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 27, 2019 at 11:05 AM (#5835867)
Dortmund's chase for the title is going to end at home in the derby against Schalke. Down to 9 men and down two goals.
   1361. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 27, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5835878)
Wolves are almost in Europe next year after a big road win at Watford. Everton couldn't keep pace despite dominating their road game against Palace to an even greater degree... ended scoreless. (538 now has Watford ranked equal to Newcastle and Southampton, FWIW. Even if you think that is too low, they have been generally bad over the second half of the season and it's very hard to argue they are in the top half of the table right now. Even more interesting, Everton's dominant road performance against Palace despite a draw has them now as United's equal per 538.)

Wolves probably only needs to beat relegated Fulham now, and even with a draw in that game they'd still likely be 7th. Though less likely, they could also still finish 7th with 2 losses.
   1362. Mefisto Posted: April 27, 2019 at 12:41 PM (#5835883)
Might as well give 4th place to Wolves since nobody else seems to want it.
   1363. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 27, 2019 at 01:56 PM (#5835892)
Brighton could easily lose out and still not be relegated (down today, and away to Arsenal and home to City). Cardiff would have to get at least 4 points in their last 2 games--no easy task with home at Palace and away to United. If Brighton were to pull off that feat, it would match the lowest surviving point total (34: WBA 2004-05).
   1364. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 27, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5835894)
Congrats to Sheffield United! They join Norwich in the Premiere League next year (barring a virtually impossible GD turnaround). Could still win the Championship too.

Derby with another huge win the come close to the last playoff spot. Leeds actually now might need a point or two if they want to face Derby in the first playoff round, rather than the much better Villa.
   1365. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 27, 2019 at 02:32 PM (#5835896)
Brighton drew after all. Cardiff needs to win both their games now.
   1366. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 27, 2019 at 02:37 PM (#5835897)
We've had a major reversal in the Bundesliga race for CL. Midway through the season Gladbach looked sure to get a CL spot, despite not actually being very good, and Hoffenheim almost sure to miss out, despite being quite good. In fact, they were almost sure to miss out just two weeks ago. Now Hoffenheim is probably the favorite to pip the spot over Frankfurt, and Gladbach is basically done.
   1367. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: April 27, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5835907)
Really wanted Dortmund to pull it out but they’ve been dead team walking since getting demolished by Bayern last month.
   1368. spivey Posted: April 27, 2019 at 10:58 PM (#5836000)
We don’t talk French league a lot, but that PSG/Rennes game looks like one of the dirtier matches you’ll see. A Rennes player got away with a pretty bad looking stamping of Neymar’s foot, the one he’s had problems with, and then M’bappe gives him a legbreaker tackle a bit later. PSG lost the cup on penalties.
   1369. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 28, 2019 at 07:39 AM (#5836026)
Leicester was already outplaying Arsenal, and now Arsenal is down to 10. Looks fairly bleak--a draw would be a good result for Arsenal at this point.

edit: totally different game from the one against Wolves. Here Leicester had all the possession when Wolves had almost none. The Wolves game was fairly even in the end except that Wolves hit all their shots. This game.... not so much. Leicester has clearly been better.
   1370. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 28, 2019 at 07:55 AM (#5836029)
Whoa. Arsenal never has had under 35% possession (recorded) in an EPL match. Only 27% in the first half-26% before the second yellow. Hard to see how that particular record doesn't fall, unless perhaps Leicester gets a man sent off of their own.
   1371. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 28, 2019 at 08:45 AM (#5836035)
It has been a while since I've witnessed a punt by the goalie straight to the forward and the forward scores. Arsenal are so bad defensively.
   1372. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 28, 2019 at 09:08 AM (#5836037)
Even without the wild last 10 minutes, where Leicester piled up the goals and xG, Leicester still dominated.

Leicester now has about +1.5 xGD against the top 6. Chelsea has to go to King Power on the last day of the season. That's no gimme. City also faces Leicester, but City's at home and is probably too good for them.
   1373. Richard Posted: April 28, 2019 at 09:13 AM (#5836038)
Sheffield United: Premier League team.

Well done lads.
   1374. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 28, 2019 at 09:44 AM (#5836040)
Congrats to Sheffield United, Richard. I was guessing that you wouldn't take anything for granted until it was actually confirmed!
   1375. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 28, 2019 at 10:02 AM (#5836042)
Valencia and Sevilla both put up stinkers today in games they were supposed to win. A Getafe win today would put them in a really good spot.

Valencia/Arsenal/Frankfurt, and who knows maybe Chelsea, all suddenly looking like they might really need that Europa title to get to the CL.
   1376. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 28, 2019 at 11:06 AM (#5836056)
So Solkjsaer doesn't want to win because he is playing Matic.
   1377. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 28, 2019 at 11:19 AM (#5836060)
The wheels came off in Hoffenheim after halftime. Frankfurt back in control. Getafe is also losing... not a good week for CL contenders.
   1378. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 28, 2019 at 12:00 PM (#5836068)
For as slow as Higuain is, he gets called offside a lot, even on the break.
   1379. I am going to be Frank Posted: April 28, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5836071)
Long shots and De Gea...
   1380. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 28, 2019 at 12:16 PM (#5836072)
De Gea again! WTF.
   1381. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 28, 2019 at 01:26 PM (#5836085)
That effectively (well, almost effectively) does it for United. Poorly played second half by both teams. Not a great result for Chelsea, but good enough probably.

Great result for Arsenal though--gives them a fighting chance, even though they look like the worst team in the top 6 right now.
   1382. Slutty Nutkins (CoB). Posted: April 28, 2019 at 01:27 PM (#5836086)
Well, a giant thank you to Arsenal, Chelsea and ManU this Sunday for bailing Spurs (probably) out.

Not that Spurs can't still "Spurs" this up for Top 4.
   1383. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 28, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5836091)
Bayern can only manage a draw, which gives Dortmund a sliver of hope. Bayern still has to lose again. Nurnberg had a penalty off the post in the 90th minute, and Coman was stuffed on the most straightforward 1-1 you'll ever see in the last minute of stoppage time. Wild.

   1384. KronicFatigue Posted: April 28, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5836098)
1381 Nate Silver's numbers match your post. Chelsea went from 74% to 73% to finish top 4, while Arsenal gobbled up most of Man U's percentages (they now stand at 26% and 6%, respectively)
   1385. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 28, 2019 at 03:04 PM (#5836118)
My guess is a United win would have put them about 50/50 with Chelsea, with Arsenal on life support. A Chelsea win would have had Chelsea just about in, United out, and Arsenal again on life support.
   1386. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 28, 2019 at 05:49 PM (#5836165)
Europa league update: betting odds (top 4 odds in parens)

Chelsea: 39% (71)
Arsenal: 28% (25)
Valencia: 20% (25)
Frankfurt: 13% (46)

Arsenal finally do have better odds to win Europa than Top 4. but they're the only one of four, and just barely.

Chelsea looks good for top 4 now, and even though Valencia and Frankfurt have also struggled badly in their top 4 races, so has everyone else. (538 thinks Valencia has better odds in Europa than La Liga, but that's mostly because betting odds doesn't like Getafe.)

edit: pretty crazy that all 4 teams are given between 25 and 75% chance to finish top 4 in their leagues going into the Europa semis. That has to be highly unusual.
   1387. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: April 28, 2019 at 10:50 PM (#5836213)
For as slow as Higuain is, he gets called offside a lot, even on the break.


I wonder if that’s a cause and effect thing. He knows he doesn’t have the pace so he cheats on the assumption that if he pops free a couple times a game and gets a goal it’s worth the trade off.
   1388. Richard Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:51 AM (#5836224)
Congrats to Sheffield United, Richard. I was guessing that you wouldn't take anything for granted until it was actually confirmed!


Thanks! That's right - was waiting on Leeds to drop points yesterday, and they came through in rather bizarre fashion.

Fans of tactics who don't watch the EFL may find the Blades interesting next season: the 3-5-2 we play is familiar, but our overlapping centre backs are not. Whether it will work against better players is, of course, yet to be seen.
   1389. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: April 29, 2019 at 08:04 AM (#5836234)
It's like no one actually wants to finish top four. Tottenham has lost two of their last three (though one was to City, and they've got a ton of injuries)... and they're by far and away in the best form of the lot. Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United have taken a scant 3 points out of a potential 24 in their last 9 games. They've combined for 15 out of 42 possible points in their last five matches.

* not 27 points because ManU and Chelsea just played each other.
   1390. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 29, 2019 at 08:04 AM (#5836235)
Bielsa is a legend. I'm sure Leeds' chairman wasn't happy but the man is a straight legend.

Spurs are decidedly un-legend like right now but I'm grateful to the 3/4 of the Sky 4 that don't want to win any points. Except for Spurs losing, the weekend couldn't have gone any better. Spurs are really running on fumes now. Everyone's first touch is poor, there is no arc on their crosses, the back line keeps doing that thing where they hold their hands out in frustration because no one is making themselves available for a pass--all of these things seem indicative of fatigue, I think. Ajax must be salivating after watching that performance.

In happier news, Torino beat Milan and are now 2 points off a CL place. If you think the EPL race for top 4 is nuts, check out Serie A. 5 teams fighting for one slot--Roma, Torino, Milan, Lazio and Atalanta! Walter Mazzari has Torino playing really well now so there's a chance they can do it. I think Atalanta, if they win today, will be the slight favorites.
   1391. The_Ex Posted: April 29, 2019 at 09:02 AM (#5836252)
I think Bielsa was smart to let Villa score that goal. There is a strong chance that these two teams will face each other in a playoff final. Leeds wouldn't want to give Villa extra motivation in seeking to right a wrong (at least in the minds of the Villa players).
   1392. jmurph Posted: April 29, 2019 at 10:06 AM (#5836273)
Great result for Arsenal though--gives them a fighting chance, even though they look like the worst team in the top 6 right now.

They looked to be in fine shape prior to last weekend! Quite a week- losses to Palace, Wolves, and Leicester in 8 days. Total disaster.
   1393. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: April 29, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5836386)
I liked this short article about the changes in the game over the last 10 years making team play even more important than before. It surely doesn't explain every particular case, but it does help explain how seemingly every Manchester City and Liverpool is a better player than anyone else on any other EPL team. Being able to work more often with options and space on offense, and having to choose less often between the lesser of two evils on defense, allows a player to put out a much better performance.

In particular, I was noting this with respect to Sterling's excellent expected assist (based on xG) totals this year. Sterling's been fantastic and has really come into his own, but put him on a lesser team and there's no way he could match those numbers, because they are in large part based on having someone to pass the ball to that is open in front of goal. Put anyone on a lesser team and they will look like, and perform according to stats such as expected assists, a lesser player.

All the City and Liverpool players benefit from superior coaching and being surrounded by superior talent. I think it's extremely hard in soccer to make a direct statistical comparison of players on teams of overall unequal quality for these reasons.
   1394. Mefisto Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5836411)
I agree with 1393.
   1395. jmurph Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5836418)
In particular, I was noting this with respect to Sterling's excellent expected assist (based on xG) totals this year. Sterling's been fantastic and has really come into his own, but put him on a lesser team and there's no way he could match those numbers, because they are in large part based on having someone to pass the ball to that is open in front of goal. Put anyone on a lesser team and they will look like, and perform according to stats such as expected assists, a lesser player.

The PFA team having 10/11 was definitely silly, but I'm not totally seeing how the article refutes the notion that Liverpool and Manchester City have more of the best players than other teams do. "Luke Shaw looks like #### against all these great players" is a true statement! But it starts with Manchester City having a lot of great players.
   1396. Slutty Nutkins (CoB). Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:43 PM (#5836426)
Spurs are decidedly un-legend like right now but I'm grateful to the 3/4 of the Sky 4 that don't want to win any points. Except for Spurs losing, the weekend couldn't have gone any better. Spurs are really running on fumes now. Everyone's first touch is poor, there is no arc on their crosses, the back line keeps doing that thing where they hold their hands out in frustration because no one is making themselves available for a pass--all of these things seem indicative of fatigue, I think. Ajax must be salivating after watching that performance.


Yeah, I think Ajax are going to tear Spurs apart.

You missed noting how Eriksen hasn't managed to clear the front line of the wall on a free kick in about 3 years, however ...
   1397. spivey Posted: April 29, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5836429)
I mean, Hazard should be in the team. Kante is probably done being in the team unless he goes back to DM. Tottenham's best players have pretty much all missed time or not had their best years. I saw a blurb about how teams 3-6 have dropped 27 points in the last couple of weeks, whereas Liverpool and City have dropped 33 points all year. Their teams really have been special this year.
   1398. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 30, 2019 at 08:58 AM (#5836649)
I keep seeing reports that Juventus, Napoli and Man U are "battling it out" to sign Kieran Trippier. I am perfectly fine with that and am really puzzled what those clubs have been watching this season. I would love for Spurs to go into next season with Kyle Walker-Peters and, hopefully, Wan-Bissaka as their right backs though I fear Wan-Bissaka may be out of our price range now.
   1399. spivey Posted: April 30, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5836656)
Though all indications he's on the way out, I'm willing to take another season of Aurier. I feel like he's been pretty solid in a number of the CL matches he was asked to play in.

Trippier is just free money. He's still got a little bit of that World Cup and England capped shine to him, need to cash in on it now. I'm kind of hoping we do the same with Dier frankly, though we may need him for depth even if we don't start him (we should be looking for upgrades on him).

My ideal summer would be:

2 midfielders, ideally something like Declan Rice and Neves
1 centerback if Toby leaves. Can be a squad player who rotates with Davies/Foyth for the backup minutes
1 CAM if Eriksen leaves. Brandt would be amazing. Maddison would be ok too.

Fullback depth is also key, but I'd rather get the spine in order, and splash the big money for the middle of the pitch players. I feel like you can mostly do all of that with just the outgoing players, too. Which reminds me, a utility attacker like Lamela who is willing to ride a fair amount of pine would be good too.
   1400. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 30, 2019 at 09:41 AM (#5836664)
2 midfielders, ideally something like Declan Rice and Neves

I think Rice is going to be way too expensive for what he offers. He's basically Eric Dier. I think Tielmanns is the guy we should be targeting. He's proven now in the PL and Monaco still own his contract. This is basically how we stole Alderweireld from Soton. It's looking more and more likely that Sessegnon will be coming though I'm not sure what position Poch envisions him playing. I don't think Leicester will sell Maddison but I can see us going for Grealish again if Villa don't go up. Juventus seem like they're open to selling Moise Kean. I wonder if he'd be open to a move to England? A little less racisty than Italy, at least.
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