World Cup Group F

Hello, welcome to the preview of Group F in the world cup. Thanks for all the support so far on these previews. I would love to hear peoples thoughts and predictions on the competition. Today we will be looking at group F which contains Germany, Mexico, South Korea and Sweden.

agef

The first thing to look at is the age distribution of all 4 teams. Germany seems to have one of the younger squads in the tournament with a relatively small distribution between youngest and oldest players. Mexico has players from the youngest in their 20’s all the way up to near 40. South Korea and Sweden have the same median ages but South Korea has more players clustered around their median and have the lowest amount of players above 30.

capsf

Mexico has what looks to be the most experienced squad with players mostly having around 50 caps but they have some players up to 150 caps. Germany has a lot of players with a relatively low amount of caps but also have the trend we have seen with other squads of having a group of players with a lot of caps. I wonder if these players would be a similar age and therefore could be a golden generation. Sweden possibly has the most inexperienced squads in the group with a lot of players less than 50 caps.

compf

On the face of it, Germany seems to have a small number of attackers in the squad. However, they have more midfielders and a few of them are creative attacking midfielders, therefore, I don’t think they will struggle for goals. South Korea also has the same amount of attackers as Germany but seem have picked more defenders. This could leave them struggling to score goals.

Rplot

Last but not least we look at each teams chances using the probability of implied odds. No surprise really Germany are big favourites to get out the group. However, the fight for second place looks to be a realistic target for the other three teams. It looks particularly close between Mexico and Sweden. They play each other in the last game of the group stage, therefore, it could be a straight shoot-out for second place. Also, South Korea playing Germany who may have already qualified and therefore may make changes could give them an outside chance if it goes to the last game.

That’s it for today’s look a group F please let me know your thoughts would love to start a good debate on your thoughts. Also, check out the other blogs in the series.

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World Cup Group E

Todays World Cup preview we are going to be looking at group E. This group contains Brazil, Serbia, Switzerland and Costa Rica. As mentioned previously this is all part of my series previewing the world cup so please go check the others out and let me know your thoughts. So lets first look at the age distributions of the 4 squads

agee

First of all, I think this is the biggest differences between ages across a group we have seen so far. Brazil and Costa Rica have medians around late 20’s whereas Serbia and Switzerland both have medians around 25. Brazil seems to have a good cluster of players in the late 20’s age bracket which is peak age. Is everything aligning to make Brazil the strongest team in the competition? Costa Rica look to have the group around the same age all in their late thirties. Serbia has a squad towards the younger end of the scale with a lot of players between 20 -25.

capse

The age profiles in all four squads are reflected in the caps distribution. Both Brazil and Costa Rica have players with at least 30 caps. It would be interesting to investigate if the number of caps a team has affected the chances of winning the World Cup. Serbia having the youngest squad of the group also have the most players with the low amount of caps. Switzerland has a fairly even spread across the cap levels.

compe

All four teams seem to have similar squad compositions The only slight difference is Brazil has fewer midfielders at the expense of more attackers. Costa Rica looks to be relatively slim on the ground when it comes to attackers.

chancesee

Lets now take a look at how each teams chances in the tournament compare. This has been done by working out the chance based on implied bookies odds.  Whats not surprising is Brazil has an excellent chance of getting through the group seen as though they are the actual favourites of the competition. Whats good to see if that it looks to be a close competition for second place in the group with both Serbia and Switzerland with around 50/50 chance. Will be good to see how close it is when the games are close.

That’s it for today’s preview please check the others out and let me know your thoughts. I’ll be back with the next one tomorrow.

World Cup Group B

Today we are going to look at group B in the World Cup. This is part of my series reviewing each squad in the World Cup in order to asses strengths and weaknesses and understand squad make up. If you haven’t seen the other Blogs go check them out group A went live yesterday and the other groups will follow over the coming days. Group B consists of Spain, Portugal, Iran and Morocco.

ageb

The first thing to look at is the age composition of the 4 squads. Interestingly Iran seem to generally have the youngest squad in the group with the lowest median. Also Spain seem to have the largest grouping around peak age between 27-30. Morocco despite having the highest median have the lowest age players in the group. Portugal have some young players but also have some of the generally older players with a lot of squad members above 30.

capsb

Looking at the experience of the players Morocco looks clearly the least experienced squad. This could be because of the high amount of lower age players compared to the other teams. Spain and Portugal have similar caps profiles with a group of inexperienced players but also complimented by a few experienced players.

compostionb

The main thing that’s interesting with the squad composition of the 4 teams is that Portugal and Spain have the same composition. Is this a template the the bigger countries seem to be following? Also there is an increase in attacking players in these 4 squads compared to Group A which should mean these are all better balanced. In fact Morocco, Portugal and Spain have the same amount of attackers. With Iran having more Midfielders then any other team could this give them more options however lack of attackers could harm them if chasing a game.

chanceb

Finally we look at the chances of team qualifying from the group and the chance of winning the World Cup. Qualification for the group looks like a pretty much over and done deal. Portugal and Spain look to have by far the strongest chances of qualifying from the group. This could make this group not too interesting for spectators. Portugal and Spain do play each other in the first game which if there is a loser could add extra pressure when they come to play Morocco or Iran. I’m surprised the low chance compared to Spain of Portugal winning the title. Portugal are the reigning European champions and have mercurial talent Cristiano Ronaldo. Spain however look to be one of the big favourites so it will be interesting to see how they do after last World Cups total failure.

Thats it for group B overview any questions or comments let me know or if you have any ideas of other things i should look at let me know.

World Cup Group A

Hello welcome to the first of my blogs looking at each group in the world cup. Over the next 8 blogs I hope to dissect each country’s squad and finally look at their chances of progressing and winning the cup. So today we start with group A which contains hosts Russia, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

groupaage

The first thing to look at is the age range of each squad in group A. All 4 teams have a median around the same area. As you can see Egypt have a 45 year old player, one of their GK’s who is the oldest player in any squad in the tournament. Uruguay and Egypt tend to have some younger players than Russia and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia look to have generally one of the older squads in the tournament.

caps

Next we look at the caps all the players in the squad have received. It’s clear Russia has the most players with the least amount of international experience. Will they struggle to cope with pressure from playing in front of home crowd. Saudi Arabia despite having the older squad of the 4 teams seems to have generally the least experienced team. Uruguay however seem to have a good balance with experience at all different levels.

asquadcomp

Looking at each teams squad composition clearly all have the same percent GK as 3 GK is stipulated in the rules. One thing that’s clear is Egypt, Russia and Saudi Arabia have a low amount of strikers within there squads. All three have just 3 recognised strikers will this leave all them struggling to score goals. Also Egypt seem to have the lowest amount of midfielders compared to the rest of the group with an increase in defenders. This will give egypt lots of options in defence in case of injuries however could leave them exposed if they need to make changes from the bench to try and win games.

chance  Finally we use the implied probability from the betting odds to look at the chance of each team getting out the group and winning the tournament. Overall group A seems to have no teams really capable of mounting a serious challenge for the world cup. With Russia with home advantage rated lower then Uruguay. Also it doesn’t seem to be a particularly close group for qualification the clear favourites are Uruguay and Russia. The wild card in this is Egypt if Mo Salah is fit for the tournament then expect there chances compared to Russia to increase considerably. If he isn’t expect this could be a pretty straight forward group.

Thats it for today’s look at group A please let me know your thoughts do you think any teams in this group can go far? let me know your thoughts in the comments. Group B will follow tomorrow.

Premier League Wages Stalling?

Hello this is going to be a shorter blog then normal I just felt I had to share the early findings. Inspired by the R4DS online learning community recent tidy Tuesday article in which we looked at a dataset which had the wages of various positions in the NFL. Reviewing it showed that while some positions salary was increasing at a high rate, others it was shown were not growing at all.

I decided to look at wages on in the English premier league. I got the data from the same website which had the wages for all players for every year from 2013 to the current year. I took that data and plotted the graph below which shows the wages for the top 50 players in each position.

wage2

Now despite all the money going into the league now with the latest increases in TV deal money. The wages for all players seems to staying at the same level. This shocked me and I can only think of couple reasons as to why:

  • The increase in TV money has been spent on things other then wages – transfer fees or gone to the owners of the clubs
  • If higher wages have been paid it has gone to the less skilled lower paid players

Stay tuned I have an few ideas how we can review this further and come up with some ideas if this is true.

EFL Championship Win Odds

Hello welcome to another blog this time looking at win odds in the championship so far this year and comparing each teams odds. The aim is to review the data and see if their are any trends we can spot. To get the data i downloaded the raw CSV from the football data. The CSV is available on their website for free and contains lots of other interesting information.

odds

The summary above shows each team in the sky bet championship with the home and away game odds plotted. The big thing to take away is the spread for some teams. If you look at Wolves they were generally well fancied in their home and away games. Burton however even in their well fancied games at home they were still less fancied then other teams at home. Also the better team the more overlapping of home and away odds.

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I have now updated the graphs to focus just home and away games. The home games again Wolves generally have the lower odds for home games. The only team that has some odd close the Wolves is Aston Villa who are obviously a well fancied home team. The biggest surprise for me is that despite Burton having clearly the higher odds then any other team in the division they dont hole the least fancied odds for a home team. That accolade goes to Barnsley. A similar pattern is seen with the away odds, obviously they are generally higher then the home odds.  This data seems ot suggest that the better teams have both lower odds and smaller grouping of odds. Also this could be a way to review how closely matched a league is the more spread out the odds the closer the teams are in terms of quality.

home wins

The graph above compares the number of home wins for a team against their average odds to win. As expected the lower the average home win odds the more home wins a team has got. However there are some outliers which are interesting. The two big overachievers when looking at the bookies odds are Cardiff and Bolton. Cardiff look like they should have similar amount of wins to the teams in the playoff mix and Bolton look like they should have theoretically the second lowest home wins in the league. Underachievers look to be maybe Brentford and Norwich though there seems to be more teams Overachieving then Underachieving.

away wins

Finally away wins shows the same trend however this time there are clear teams at the bottom and top showing how much harder it is to win away from home. The big overachiever away from home is Burton which suggests they play well when teams underestimate them. A team which has under achieved is Middlesbrough who look to have been expected to get more then 10 wins away this season but have only 7.

 

 

Should Middlesbrough Sack Monk?

Middlesbrough started the season as the undisputed favourites to win the Sky bet Championship and gain promotion back to the Premier League. This came from the chairman’s publicly stated ambition to “smash the league” and a total transfer spend of over £40 million (although net transfer spend was only around £15 million). There was high hopes across Teesside that the newly put together team would be able to do just that. However things haven’t turned out anything like that for the Teessiders. In the wake of Saturday nights chastening defeat to Bristol City the team are now 14 points behind Cardiff City and the second automatic promotion place.

I want to try and cut through the opinion and look at one graph which probably wont give a definitive answer on the question above however will inform some views on how Steve Gibson should be thinking.

middlesbrough Trend

The graph above plots the points per game. For reference I have added the points per game on average required to avoid relegation, reach the playoff and achieve automatic promotion. On that I have plotted the actual points per game and the expected points per game, which is the critical piece of information. The expected points if derived from expected goals for each match and I have included it as that value will give an understanding of the luck. If a team was outperforming expected points then they could be termed as lucky and vice versa. Reviewing the trend for Middlesbrough this has unfortunately not being the case. Their actual points is within 2 points of the expected points therefore i think they are exactly were there performances deserve to be. This is bad news for Gary Monk as this performance is far below what i expect the minimum expectation was for the season, automatic promotion. I wouldn’t say this definitely means he should sacked however this is not good statistics. I will do further posts over the week to dissect if there are any clear reasons why.