ANALYSE THIS: Fiji lead rugby sevens ranking in Olympic year

RUGBY SEVENS – World Rugby’s Sevens Series returns this weekend with 16 teams participating in this year’s Wellington tournament in New Zealand. At Infostrada Sports, we have developed a world ranking for every Olympic sport with rugby sevens no exception before the sport’s inaugural Olympic Games appearance later this year. Fiji currently have a clear lead at the top of our standings while New Zealand have dropped to seventh position since they lost the number one spot to Fiji just under a year ago. The All Blacks Sevens last tournament victory was at the 2015 Wellington Sevens. Continue reading

ANALYSE THIS: Oldest Australian Open quarter-final line-up since 1977

TENNIS – Six of this year’s quarter-finalists in the Australian Open men’s singles are over 28-years-old for the first time in the competition’s history. The average age of the eight quarter-finalists is the oldest since 43-year-old Ken Rosewall reached this stage in 1977.
Continue reading

ANALYSE THIS: Settled team one of the keys to Leicester’s success

FOOTBALL – Thirty-five years ago Aston Villa famously, and surprisingly, won the league title with just 14 players. Three years earlier, Nottingham Forest won the league immediately after promotion using just 16 players. Arsenal’s 1989 title win, their first for 18 years, was achieved with just 17 starters. This season, Leicester City have been the great surprises of the Premier League and have also followed a similar pattern in their selections. In the first 22 matches of the season, Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has picked just 17 players in his starting line-ups and the club could still equal the Premier League era record for fewest starting players in a season.
Continue reading

What are “Scoring Opportunities”?

FOOTBALL – The Guardian’s analysis of Leicester City’s surprise season included a reference to scoring opportunities, one of the numerous variables that we at Infostrada Sports collect in our live coverage of football matches around the world. As explained in the article, this is a measure which counts major chances whether they result in a shot or not. Calculating the difference between scoring opportunities for and against produces a measure which is highly correlated with the league table standings. Below are some examples of goal attempts which would be classified as scoring opportunities.
Continue reading

ANALYSE THIS: Premier League rich but performs below par

FOOTBALL – The Deloitte Money League has been released and unsurprisingly, the Euro Club Index ranking, which rates clubs based on performance, is highly correlated with this annual ranking of wealth. Four of the top-five clubs on the Deloitte list are also in the Euro Club Index top-10. Manchester United are the big exception at third in the Money League but ranked only 13th by the Euro Club Index. Another Premier League club, Liverpool, are the ninth richest in the world but are currently only just hanging onto a place in the Euro Club Index top-25. All nine Premier League clubs in Deloitte’s top-20 richest are ranked lower by the Euro Club Index.
Continue reading

ANALYSE THIS: The disappearance of the top teenage tennis player

TENNIS – If, like me, you grew up watching tennis in the late-1970s and early-1980s, you’d remember numerous teenage players at the top of the women’s game. At Grand Slam tournaments during those years, it was perfectly common for around one third of the seeds in the Ladies’ singles to be teenagers. However, at this year’s Australian Open there is one seed yet to celebrate her 20th birthday, the maximum there has been at each of the last seven editions of the year’s first Grand Slam.
Continue reading