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
FOOTBALL – According to the Euro Club Index the all-Spanish tie between Villarreal CF and titleholders Sevilla FC was the highest profile matchup that resulted from today’s Europa League Last 16 draw. Of the 16 teams still in contention, Sevilla is the highest ranked (14th) team in the Euro Club Index. The index claims that Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk v Ajax is the lowest profile tie on offer.
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 – Villarreal CF have been relegated to the Segunda División after losing 0-1 against Atlético Madrid in La Liga on Sunday. Earlier this season, the ‘Yellow Submarine’ played in the Champions League, losing all their six group matches.
Last season, Villarreal finished fourth, making this season a drop by 14 ranks. This is the second biggest drop in successive La Liga seasons. Celta de Vigo finished fourth in 2003 and 19th in 2004.