FOOTBALL – The Champions League first legs have all been played and the favourites to progress generally look in good shape to do so. There are two common ways to assess what the likelihood of going through actually is – the first uses historical results and calculates the frequency with which teams recording a particular result went through. The second uses a statistical model based on team ratings to assess the chances of progress. The two methods give broadly the same chance for each of the four ties won by the away team but if a match is drawn or results in a narrow home win, the chances from the two methods begin to diverge. Continue reading
FOOTBALL – With Sevilla FC winning the Europa League final, they have automatically qualified for the 2015/2016 Champions League group stage, making it the fourth Spanish side among the 22 teams already qualified for next season’s CL main tournament.
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 – 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 Euro Club Index (www.euroclubindex.com) rates all teams in top flight football in Europe and today has proved an invaluable guide to assess the 2014/2015 Europa League group stage draw. It points out the Group of Death, the teams facing strongest/weakest opposition and also the teams that were most fortunate/unfortunate in the draw.
FOOTBALL – The 48 clubs in today’s Europa League draw have been divided into four pots based on UEFA coefficients. As explained in yesterday’s article, this can lead to misclassifications and potential groups of death. In this case, a group containing Napoli, Wolfsburg, Everton and Dynamo Moscow is possible with only two going through.
FOOTBALL – Felix Magath has been sacked by VfL Wolfsburg, marking the sixth time his contract as a Bundesliga head coach has been prematurely terminated. Magath led Wolfsburg to the 2008/2009 Bundesliga crown, then joined Schalke where he was fired in March 2011. After that, he returned to Wolfsburg. Magath joins Jörg Berger and Gyula Lorant as the only Bundesliga coaches on six premature departures.