Europa League seedings do not separate best and worst

Due to basing the seedings for the Europa League draws on six matches within uneven groupings which were created by the UEFA coefficient systems, the seedings for today’s Europa League draw do not actually separate the best and worst remaining teams into two separate groups. Using a longer term rating system, the Euro Club Index, reveals that the seeded and unseeded groups both contain some of the best teams left in the competition and the absolute best trio left in the competition are all unseeded.

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ANALYSE THIS: Europa League more open than CL

FOOTBALL – As we discussed earlier this week, many of the Champions League teams are almost guaranteed a place in the last 16 of the competition with five having at least 90% chance of progress and eight at least 80%. The Europa League however looks a lot more open given that only Spurs, Sevilla, Fiorentina and Napoli have more than a four in five chance of progress to the last 32.

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ANALYSE THIS: Big Spanish clubs almost certain of CL last 16

FOOTBALL – The Champions League kicks off this week and the big three Spanish clubs in Euro Club Index terms are all but certain of making the second round of the competition. The fourth Spanish team, Athletic Bilbao, have profited more than most from the draw which has increased their chances of joining the other La Liga clubs in the last 16.

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ANALYSE THIS: CL draw system increases Group of Death chance

FOOTBALL – The Champions League draw pots for this evening are based on the UEFA coefficients for clubs at the end of last season. Those coefficients are based on a five year performance in European competition. In general, this system works reasonably well for teams which always participate in the Champions League or Europa League. The top three are Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich for example. The problem comes with clubs who have not always been present in the previous five years. Using the Euro Club Index as an alternative, we can identify teams who have been misclassified in this year’s draw.

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REVIEW: Ajax equal record with fourth straight league title

FOOTBALL – Ajax have equalled a Dutch record by winning their fourth successive league championship. This had previously been achieved by HVV (1900-1903) and PSV (1986-1989 and 2005-2008). Frank de Boer has now won the Dutch league in each of his first four seasons as a head coach, something that had never previously been accomplished.