Why Chelsea are not (and have never been) relegation candidates

Posting odds on relegation to Twitter is guaranteed to elicit responses like “where are Chelsea?” or “what no Chelsea”. However Chelsea are not, and have never been close to being, relegation candidates this season. This is because, despite Chelsea being low in the Premier League table, it would take an incredibly unlikely set of circumstances for them to go down.

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China and England the two big winter transfer window players

This post is a collaboration between Scoreboard Journalism and Show Legend, a data visualisation blog which provided the idea and the graphs and plots. You can click on these for the full interactive version. The data is sourced from Transfermarkt.com. All data is up to date as of 2 February 2016 and includes Jackson Martinez’s big money move to Guangzhou which makes China the biggest net spenders ever in a winter transfer window.

The winter transfer window has now closed in most countries and China’s net spend of €156.12 million is not only the highest of all countries in this window but also breaks the record for a winter transfer window of €106.82 million, set by all English clubs back in 2008. This is not the end of the story though as Chinese clubs from all divisions still have nearly three weeks to go before their window closes and their current net spend this winter could still grow further. Chinese clubs have become the first to have the highest net spend in three successive winter transfer windows. Continue reading

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Again no FA Cup third round shock

This year’s FA Cup third round is now complete and, for the second year in a row, there hasn’t been a genuine shock result at this stage of the competition. This season and last join 2004/2005 and 2011/2012 as the only seasons without an FA Cup third round shock.

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Premier League rich but performs below par

The Deloitte Money League has been released and unsurprisingly, the Euro Club Index ranking, which rates clubs based on performance, is highly correlated with this annual ranking of wealth. Four of the top-five clubs on the Deloitte list are also in the Euro Club Index top-10. Manchester United are the big exception at third in the Money League but ranked only 13th by the Euro Club Index. Another Premier League club, Liverpool, are the ninth richest in the world but are currently only just hanging onto a place in the Euro Club Index top-25. All nine Premier League clubs in Deloitte’s top-20 richest are ranked lower by the Euro Club Index.
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Premier League forecasters wrong-footed

At the beginning of the 2015/2016 Premier League season, we at Scoreboard Journalism collected 92 pre-season forecasts from journalists, statistical modellers and fans. Steve Lawrence carried out an initial analysis and discovered that this season’s forecasts are way off the mark due to the slightly unusual nature of the current season.

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The disappearance of the top teenage tennis player

If, like me, you grew up watching tennis in the late-1970s and early-1980s, you’d remember numerous teenage players at the top of the women’s game. At Grand Slam tournaments during those years, it was perfectly common for around one third of the seeds in the Ladies’ singles to be teenagers. However, at this year’s Australian Open there is one seed yet to celebrate her 20th birthday, the maximum there has been at each of the last seven editions of the year’s first Grand Slam.
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Hot streaks likely to push points higher than model forecasts?

Alexej Behnisch and Constantinos Chappas have both produced excellent articles over the last few days outlining Premier League predictions at approximately the halfway stage of the season. The six models contained in Alexej’s analysis have their Premier League champions this season finishing on between 75 and 78 points. Constantinos’s 15 modellers estimated the points total of their leading teams between 72 and 81 points. A look at the history of the second halves of Premier League seasons provides good reason to doubt that these team estimates are high enough.

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