FOOTBALL – Everton’s elimination by Dynamo Kyiv means that thee are no English teams left in Europe this season. For the first time in 22 years, there will not be a single English club in the quarterfinals of the various European cup competitions. Ever since 1992/93, England have always sent at least one representative to the last eight in Europe. The seven English sides that embarked on their European adventure this season were Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Hull City.
FOOTBALL – How important is experience for a team’s success? Do teams with more experienced players perform better in the league or do they benefit more from fresh, new players? While ‘experience’ is a difficult concept to actually capture in numbers, we came up with a simple way of trying to compare experience with success, taking the 2014/15 Premier League as an example. Continue reading
FOOTBALL – 61 days ago – today is day 62 – Tottenham Hotspur lined up in Turkey to play their final Europa League group match against Besiktas which they went on to lose 1-0. Two days earlier, Liverpool drew 1-1 with FC Basel in what was their final Champions League match of the season. This evening, the two clubs play each other and for both, it will be their 17th match of the last nine weeks, the most played by any European club over that period.
With 17 matches remaining in this season’s Premier League, the race to the title currently involves just two teams, one of which has around twice the chance of the other of ending the season as 2014/2015 Premier League champions. Five more clubs have a realistic chance of a top-4 spot whilst eight teams are currently involved in the relegation battle. This leaves just five – West Ham, Swansea City, Stoke City, Newcastle United and Everton – without much left to play for.
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.
FOOTBALL – Daley Blind has scored the 140,000th goal in the English top flight in tonight’s Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United. Click on ‘Continue Reading’ to see which teams have scored the most goals since the first ever matchround in the English top flight on 8 September 1888. Continue reading
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.