FOOTBALL – The reaction to Manchester United’s defeat by FC Midtjylland has been one of shock with the English club being derided as “dismal” in the media and the display described as “unacceptable” by one of United’s own players, Michael Carrick. Five days earlier, United lost by a similar scoreline to Sunderland without the same level of criticism from either outside or within. According to the Euro Club Index, Danish champions FC Midtjylland are actually at about the same level of quality as the Black Cats from England’s North East. Prior to Thursday night’s fixture, Midtjylland were ranked 136th by this pan-European ranking with Sunderland 132nd . The difference in opinion therefore lies in people’s perspective with the quality of smaller clubs like Midtjylland being underestimated by media and fans alike because of their lack of knowledge of the team or the league in which they play. Continue reading
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 – Sampdoria and Napoli played a one-all draw in Serie A on Monday, 1 December. The Wave shows the many fluctuations of this match between the teams. Napoli scored a late goal (90+2′) to divide the points between the teams, which seems to be a reflection of the Wave. Continue reading
FOOTBALL – Gonzalo Higuain scored a hat-trick for Napoli as Napoli defeated Verona 6-2 in Serie A on Sunday.
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.
FOOTBALL – The Europa League kicks off on Thursday, 18 September and at this stage there is less chance of an eventual Europa League winner coming from one of the 48 teams starting the competition than there is from one of the 32 teams currently competing in the Champions League.
FOOTBALL – The Madrid derby took all of the attention at the weekend with two of the top four Euro Club Index teams playing against one another but it is the other La Liga giants, FC Barcelona, who took advantage of the result in that match and returned to top spot in the ranking of Europe’s top flight clubs.