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El Clasico Leverage

Posted on December 15th, 2011

Despite conceeding the fastest goal in an El Clasico, Barcelona still triumphed 3-1 on Saturday. This drew them level with Real Madrid on points and ahead on the head-to-head rule. But how important was this single match in terms of the chance of being top at the end of the season? To investigate I used […]

Do Teams with Better Squad Depth Benefit during Christmas Fixtures? Ho.. Ho.. Ho

Posted on December 9th, 2011

It’s almost Christmas again. I like Christmas. Not only do I get a holiday, there is also plenty of football to watch thanks to the Premier League. Not so lucky for the players though! Teams often play up to four matches during the busy Christmas to New Year period in the space of less than […]

City Euro Glory? Definitely Maybe

Posted on November 26th, 2011

Five gameweeks of Champions League matches have now been concluded and Arsenal have secured their place in the knock-out stages as group winner. Relief, no Barcelona game again so soon! [Ed – Jin is an Arsenal fan] However, the journey to the knock-out stage is less smooth for the other three English clubs.  Man City, […]

Premier League Goal Glut – What Goal Glut?!

Posted on November 3rd, 2011

What an exciting start to the season. At nearly three goals per game, there have been plenty of great matches. Outlandish score-lines such as 8-2, 1-6 and 3-5 have led commentators to scratch their heads. The Guardian asks whether it’s money spent on strikers, and Yahoo cites improved attacks and failures at the back. But […]

Do Teams Collapse after a Bad Defeat?

Posted on October 28th, 2011

Ouch, 1:6. Clearly it was not a good weekend for Man Utd fans, especially as no one saw it coming. As an Arsenal fan, I could argue that the 8:2 result wasn’t so bad as Man Utd were flying high and Arsenal were in turbulent times. But it was a lie. It hurt just as […]

On the Uselessness of Draws

Posted on October 21st, 2011

How many times does a manager or a player claim “a draw was a good result?” Whether this is justifying the result after the fact (i.e. if you’ve been 3-0 down a draw is certainly a good result), or whether the team went out to play for a draw, I decided to see how often […]

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Analysing Major League Soccer

Posted on October 14th, 2011

We’ve been working with Castrol and MLS since March to deliver the MLS Castrol Index. Beyond player ratings, we’ll be predicting the MLS Cup Playoffs once the regular season is finished. So we’ve been taking a look at MLS teams and the structure of the league… Team Strengths We applied our team strength model, using […]

Is Spanish Football Broken?

Posted on October 4th, 2011

The start of La Liga was delayed, Sevilla president Del Nido claimed La Liga is “A load of rubbish”, Real Madrid and Barcelona romp home most weeks by massive margins – is Spanish football broken? In our work with the Fink Tank (paywall) we’ve tracked competitiveness for the past few years. One recurring pattern is […]

What if the Champions League Really Was a League?

Posted on September 26th, 2011

With the second week of fixtures in the Group Stages of the Champions League about to begin, we thought it would be interesting to look at how the structure of the competition affects the percentage chance each team has of winning the competition. What if the Champions League really was an, admittedly large, league of […]

Let Spurs Entertain You

Posted on September 23rd, 2011

There’s clearly more of an emphasis in sport on winning than there is on entertaining, but we can turn our football modelling techniques towards a different target: goals per game.  What you really want is for your team to be the best, but if you think about things from a neutral’s perspective the total number […]

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