Overwhelming favourites in Groups A to D, Scotland surprise qualifiers?

Euro 2016 qualification begins this weekend and two of the top seeded teams in the draw, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Italy, are not the favourites to win their groups according to the Infostrada Sports’ National Team Ranking. Six of the nine groups have an overwhelming favourite to be group winner and only one of the groups looks truly competitive at this stage. We begin our assessment of the groups by looking at A to D.

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Europa League second favourites in pot 3

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.

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CL draw system increases Group of Death chance

The Champions League draw pots for this evening are based on the UEFA coefficients for clubs at the end of last season. Those coefficients are based on a five year performance in European competition. In general, this system works reasonably well for teams which always participate in the Champions League or Europa League. The top three are Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich for example. The problem comes with clubs who have not always been present in the previous five years. Using the Euro Club Index as an alternative, we can identify teams who have been misclassified in this year’s draw.
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Predicting the Eredivisie: A guest post by Steve Lawrence

Last season, I collected 13 forecasts before the 2013/2014 Eredivisie season, the results of which can be found here. Throughout last season, Relative Age Effect expert Steve Lawrence, an Englishman living in Amsterdam, sent me all sorts of graphs relating to the progress of the forecasts which I never managed to publish. After meeting Steve on the day the 2014 World Cup began, I vowed to improve on this this season. Therefore here is a guest post from Mr Lawrence looking at last season’s prediction winner @soccermetrics and how this season looks. Who has entered a potentially accurate forecast and who are the outliers? Take it away Steve……

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48 Forecasts: The Eredivisie predicted

Following on from last year, we have again collected Eredivisie predictions (you can download them all here) but instead of 13 to follow through the season, we now have a total of 48 from online media, fans, statistical models and prominent media figures. Of the 13 who took part last season, nine are back again which means that their consistency of success (or otherwise) can begin to be looked at. The nine returnees include the best objective predictor from 2013/2014 (Soccermetrics) and the best subjective predictor (Nikos Overheul). Can they repeat their success?

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Eredivisie 2013/2014 predictions: how did they fare?

This time last year, Scoreboard Journalism embarked on an exercise to collect Eredivisie predictions from various sources to be assessed to discover how these predictions actually fared. A similar exercise has already begun in time for Friday’s big kick-off for 2014/2015 which you can take part in by contacting me via Twitter or here but what about last season?

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World Cup goalscoring collapses

During the group phase of the 2014 World Cup, 122 goals were scored (excluding penalties and own goals) in 48 matches, a scoring rate of 2.54 goals per match. The 16 matches played in the second round produced just nine goals in normal time after excluding Huntelaar’s penalty and Yobo’s own goal, a rate of 1.13 goals per match. This is an enormous drop from the group stage so what is going on?

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