Category Archives: Posts

A Pre-Season profile: Manchester City

By Alex Dodgshon

Does buying the most expensive ingredients make you a better meal?

Much of the talk of the summer transfer window has been about City’s big spending. Whilst comical comparisons have been made between City’s spending and some countries’ annual defence budget, these are fruitless when looking at Premier League revenue. The money is there to be spent, and it has been.

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2017/18 Season Preview – Leicester City

After the five years Leicester City fans have had you could forgive them for settling for a quiet season.

They have seen more drama than most fans experience in a lifetime. A quick recap: 2013 – Lose Championship playoff semi-final in the last minute after missing a penalty seconds before, 2014 – promoted to Premier League with 102 points, 2015 – win seven of last nine games to complete one of the greatest great escapes, 2016 – Premier League title by ten points, 2017 – Brush with relegation and Champions League quarter-final.

Exhausted? Well, it’s likely things will calm down this season as Craig Shakespeare starts his first full season as a manager. Aiming to improve on a mid-table finish, upper mid-table may be the best the club can hope for, as the top six looks increasingly like a closed shop.

In this preview, I’ll have a look at some of the numbers from last season, how the squad is shaping up, examine the transfer business and give my predictions for the upcoming season.

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How in the World Does Nice Overperform Expected Goals? Part One: The Defence

After a strong season under Claude Puel in 2016, finishing 4th, Nice got even stronger under the control of Swiss manager Lucien Favre, finishing 3rd in Ligue 1 and securing a Champions League qualifying berth in 2017. However, as a (self-professed) stats guy, I like to look at Expected Goals – soccer analytics’ most popular model – to see if the league table lies.

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An Introduction to Expected Saves (xS)

By Raven Beale – @sbourgenforcer

I’m not sure if someone has already written about this or not. If you have, credit to you!

This article assumes an understanding of the flagship metric of the analytics movement xG (Expected Goals). I would advise reading this, this, and this if you are not familiar with the concept.

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How Can A Team Outwit Real Madrid from Set Piece Situations?

In my article posted the day before yesterday, I discussed why Real Madrid are excellent from set pieces. But can the set-up be broken with a few good plans? I certainly think so. It will require a lot of practice, and I’m not so sure anyone can stop Real Madrid from winning La Liga and possibly the Champions League this season, but it’s certainly worth a shot. Let me say at the outset that his article is inspired by Ted Knutson’s recent article on the same topic. Knutson and Thom Lawrence will be sharing their ideas with clubs through Statsbomb Services.

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A Header from Sergio Ramos: Why are Real Madrid So Good at Set Pieces?

Three years ago, a team in Madrid scored 18 goals and conceded 6 from set pieces and beat Barcelona and Real Madrid to the Spanish La Liga title. While many small Premier League teams are famous for utilizing free-kicks, corners, and throw-ins, only Atlético Madrid have used set plays to win a title in a prestigious league. Diego Simeone’s team reached the final of the Champions League, too.

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The Best Full-back in the World: Emerson Palmieri

There is something about Brazil and great full-backs, isn’t there? Recent World Cup outings of Brazil often featured the greatest full-backs in the world, such as Carlos Alberto, Roberto Carlos, Cafu, Maicon, and Dani Alves. They practically redefined the position, making it more attacking-oriented and creative.  Even now, the full-back position is ruled by brilliant Brazilians. Marcelo, an aging Dani Alves, Danilo, and Alex Sandro are some well-known full-backs.

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