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 →
FOOTBALL – Manchester City opened its new £200 million academy in December 2014 but young talents have been given very little opportunity at City in recent seasons. A new piece of research by Infostrada Sports’ Head of Analysis Simon Gleave looks at how the age structures of teams in the Premier League have changed and why Manchester City are probably on the verge of needing a serious change in order to sustain their success of recent years.
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.
FOOTBALL – Stoke City (red) defeated Arsenal (blue) 3-2 at home in the Premier League. The Gunners conceded their fastest goal ever in the Premier League after 19 seconds and were already trailing 3-0 at half time. In the second half, the fourth Stoke City goal was disallowed and Arsenal came back with two goals (68′ and 70′), but it was not enough to avoid defeat. Continue reading →
FOOTBALL – Manchester United defeated Stoke City 2-1 after a narrow escape on Tuesday. The Wave shows Manchester United (red) had everything under control and Stoke’s (blue) goal came almost out of nothing and Stoke should have scored in the dying seconds, where a goal review system was needed to decide the outcome. Continue reading →