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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Oxford beat Swansea – another non-existent FA Cup shock

Oxford United’s 3-2 win against Swansea City marked the first time in four years that a fourth tier team had knocked a Premier League team out of the FA Cup. In 2012, League Two club Swindon Town beat the Premier League’s Wigan Athletic 2-1 in a third round tie but neither Swindon’s “giantkilling” nor Oxford’s in 2016 can genuinely be described as shocks.

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Can Leicester continue to surprise?

Leicester City enter 2016 in second position in the Premier League, level on points with leaders Arsenal. The Foxes are the 10th “surprise” team of the 20 club era to reach the halfway point of the season in the top four of England’s elite competition, but none of the previous nine managed to sustain their performance and finish the season in at least fourth position.
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