Sonntag, 2. November 2014

Ballon d’Or from Goalimpact's perspective

Every year FIFA is selecting the best football player of the world. Every year this is controversial because most people not be satisfied with the selection. Our main criticism to this is the clear bias towards attack players. This year, while there are still too many offensive players, at least some defenders and goalkeepers are on the list. But, if history is going to repeat, none of them is going to win.

The following table shows the Goalimpact of all candidates. All of them are clearly contributing to the success of their teams and well above the average rating of all football players which is 100. Most of them are rated to be among the 100 best football players.

GI Rank Player GoalImpact Player Age PeakGI Team
1 Cristiano Ronaldo 207.8 29.7 215.0 Real Madrid
2 Philipp Lahm 194.8 30.9 209.9 Bayern München
4 Manuel Neuer 194.3 28.5 197.8 Bayern München
6 Bastian Schweinsteiger 186.9 30.2 195.9 Bayern München
10 Lionel Messi 184.3 27.3 187.9 FC Barcelona
11 Zlatan Ibrahimovic 181.7 33.0 211.1 Paris Saint-Germain
14 Thomas Müller 175.2 25.1 177.4 Bayern München
16 Sergio Ramos 172.3 28.5 178.5 Real Madrid
17 Javier Mascherano 168.5 30.3 178.7 FC Barcelona
25 Karim Benzema 154.2 26.8 156.4 Real Madrid
27 Arjen Robben 153.2 30.7 166.6 Bayern München
35 Mario Götze 148.5 22.3 159.5 Bayern München
54 Iniesta 143.7 30.4 154.6 FC Barcelona
56 Ángel Di María 143.0 26.7 144.8 Manchester United
87 Toni Kroos 137.6 24.8 140.5 Real Madrid
128 Eden Hazard 132.5 23.8 138.2 Chelsea FC
184 Yaya Touré 128.2 31.4 147.5 Manchester City
205 Gareth Bale 127.0 25.3 128.8 Real Madrid
222 James Rodríguez 125.8 23.3 133.4 Real Madrid
253 Thibaut Courtois 125.0 22.4 171.1 Chelsea FC
581 Neymar 117.4 22.7 127.2 FC Barcelona
675 Paul Pogba 116.4 21.6 131.4 Juventus
879 Diego Costa 114.5 26.0 114.5 Chelsea FC

But the Ballon d'Or isn't about which player is the best, but about which player did play best in the first half of 2014. This, of course, is also influence by many other factors. E.g. Mario Götze is no doubt one of the biggest talents in world football, but probably he wouldn't have made it on the list anyway if it wasn't for his goal in the World Cup final. Philip Lahm was always one of the best football players of the world, but would he be selected if Guardialo hadn't moved him to the midfield drawing much more media attention on the German?

Despite the many valid reasons on why FIFA will not pick by Goalimpact, we expect the winner to be higher up in this list. Just to proof us wrong, we hope for a defender. Fingers crossed for Lahm and Neuer.

Sonntag, 26. Oktober 2014

Werder Bremen's Demise

Werder Bremen is the second most successful team in the Bundesliga. In the table comprising all games ever, it holds the second place in front of its local rival Hamburger SV, despite the fact that HSV played one season more. In total it won 4 league titles and 6 times the DFB cup. Once they even won the UEFA Cup Winner's Cup. But the last season they ended on a single digit rank in the Bundesliga was 2011/2012. Two seasons before that, they even qualified for the UEFA Champions League, a competition they have been qualified to since their last German title 2003/2004.

We want so investigate how their player transfers influenced the performance and we will start the investigation at the time they qualified the last time for the Champions League. Due to the qualification, they had still the extra income that comes with the participation, money that will be amiss in the season thereafter. Not to get lost in too many details, we will look at the transfers position by position and summarize in the end.

The analysis is based on our Goalimpact methodology. You can read about the algorithm here and here.


2009/2010, when Werder qualified for the Champions League the last time, they had mainly two keepers in the team. Tim Wiese was national goal keeper and Vander was his replacement in case of injury or suspension. Whilst Werder preformed significantly worse when Vander was playing, this didn't cause a big problem because Wiese stayed fit.

Player 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Tim Wiese 116.6 113.3 112.6 0 €
Christian Vander 90.0 83.9 77.0 0 €
Sebastian Mielitz 96.8 101.3 104.6 103.4 104.3 0 €
Raphael Wolf 200 k€ 81.4 81.6 82.4
Richard Strebinger 0 € 81.1 85.4 95.9
Raif Husic 100 k€ 73.0

One season later, Vander was replaced by the talent Sebastian Mielitz as second keeper. A good move, because Mielitz was already batter than Vander and appeared to have a lot of talent. Wiese, along with the whole team, performed worse than expected and saw both GI and PeakGI drop.

After Wiese's contract ended in the summer 2012, Mielitz became the first keeper. Because as the same time Vander ended his career, Werder brought in two new young keepers, Raphael Wolf and Richard Strebinger. Apparently, Werder was unsatisfied with Mielitz' performance and they refused to prelong his contract and replaced him with Wolf after only one season as first keeper. According to Goalimpact, that was a rather bad choice. Wolf has a significantly lower Goalimpact.

To summarize, Bremen spent a net 300,000€ on keepers to lower their keeper performance 30 Goalimpact points. To be fair, both Stebinger and Husic are very talented and the investment may pay off in future. For Wolf, we don't see a future that bright. We suggest to make Streibinger the first keeper as short term improvement.

Center Back

At the time Werder qualified for the Champions League the last time, they had an excellent defense in the box. Mertesacker and Naldo were both next to world class and maybe the best center back duo in Bundesliga at that time.

Player 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Sebastian Prödl 105.8 101.0 100.9 97.8 94.8 94.3
Per Mertesacker 137.9 137.3 11,300 k€
Petri Pasanen 133.9 128.0 0 €
Naldo 130.5 129.4 124.4 4,800 k€
Mikaël Silvestre 0 € 99.6 89.3 0 €
Sokratis 4,100 k€ 102.2 100.4 9,900 k€
François Affolter 500 k€ 110.2 0 €
Mateo Pavlovic 650 k€ 89.9 88.5 92.9
Assani Lukimya 0 € 106.2 99.8 99.2
Luca Caldirola 2,250 k€ 93.9 94.2
Gálvez 0 € 99.7

At the end of the season 2010/2011, Mertesacker and Pasanen left. Mertesacker was sold for substantial amount of money, Pasanen without transfer income, because Werder and the player couldn't agree on the conditions for the new contract. Naldo was injured for more than one year and sold one year later for another few million Euros.

From its for center backs, Werder chose to keep only Prödl, the
weakest player. They were unlucky that he underperformed
expectations falling below Bundesliga minimum.
As replacements, Werder brought Sokratis and Affolter on Board. Affolter was hired on a loan basis and left after just one season and returned to Switzerland. Sokratis, despite a development that was less than expected, was sold at a premium two years later.

Then followed investments in Pavlovic, Lukimya, Caldirola and Galvez which, along with long-time Werder player Prödl, form today's center back. In the good old times, the average Goalimpact of the Werder central defense was 127.0. This is now down to 96.5. It is fair to say, that Werder sold their assets and hence had a net transfer income from CBs only of 18,500,000 €. But the players now in the team are hardly on the level you'd expect from a Bundesliga team, even as Caldirola is expected to improve a bit as he is only 23 years old.

Advise: If the team plans to stay in Bundesliga, we suggest going back to the drawing table for the central defense. For the short term, playing Lukimya and Galvez seems to be the best option. However, Galvez plays currently often as defensive midfielder.

Left/Righ Back

The defenders on the left and right back were never as good as the central defenders. But in back in summer 2010, they were more than just decent with Boenisch and Fritz. Werder didn't manage to keep Boenisch as he considered their offer as not sufficient and his contract expired. Fritz plays until today, but due to his age his performance decreased significantly.

Player 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Aymen Abdennour 104.0 0 €
Sebastian Boenisch 112.2 112.5 110.2 0 €
Clemens Fritz 112.7 108.8 103.4 96.3 90.0 90.1
Dominik Schmidt 93.3 93.5 0 €
Aleksandar Ignjovski 500 k€ 90.23 89.38 90.83 0 €
Florian Hartherz 200 k€ 95.1 150 k€
Lukas Schmitz 1,000 k€ 106.6 106.0 103.3 0 €
Theodor Gebre Selassie 1,800 k€ 108.8 102.5 101.6
Santiago García 2,000 k€ 93.7 93.1
Marnon Busch €0 94.0

2010, Clemens Fritz was a very good player, but he aged
as expected since then and can't deliver as good performance
for a full 90 minutes anymore.
Despite a net investment of 5,340,000€, the player quality for that position deteriorated. Currently, only Selassie has a Goalimpact above 100, the minimum level you'd expect from a Bundesliga player, also even his performance was below expectations from a few years ago.

In total the average Goalimpact of LBs/RBs dropped from 105.6 to a meager 94.7. Most of the loss in performance origins from the transfer policy, some is caused by aging and some by worse than expected player development.

On the upside, the young talent Marnon Busch is expected to reach that level soon and hence we'd suggest to play Bush and Selassie as the current best selection. That said, at least one additional player should be hired according to Goalimpact, because Fritz isn't fit enough anymore for 90 minutes and Garcia lacks the quality.

Defensive Midfield

For a long time, defensive midfield was synonym to Thorsten Frings in Bremen. Frings was a world class defensive midfielder and some say that Germany might have won the World Cup 2006 semifinals against Italy if it wasn't for his suspension. With his departure in Summer 2011, all that was left was below average Bundesliga level.

Player 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Peter Niemeyer 98.8 900 k€
Torsten Frings 137.6 120.4 0 €
Philipp Bargfrede 108.7 102.4 102.6 101.8 101.1 101.8
Daniel Jensen 113.3 100.4 0 €
Tom Trybull 200 k€ 91.0 99.6 100 k€
Felix Kroos 240 k€ 99.5 97.4 101.0 101.8 102.0

Werder didn't invest money into that position that many think is pivotal in modern football. They even hat a small net profit of 560,000€ in transfers. According to Goalimpact, Felxis Kroos was a good buy, but he failed to develop as expected after the transfer. Still he is now the best player available for that position.

Central/Offensive Midfield

According to Goalimpact, Werder's strength used to be the defensive players, but in the spot light used to be the offensive midfield. After years of glory with Johan Micoud and Diego, the last success is tight with the young Mesut Özil. Despite Özil's doubtless impact, Aaron Hunt and Tim Borowski also played an important role.

Player 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Tim Borowski 117.1 109.1 101.7 0 €
Said Husejinovic 96.4 96.9 0 €
Marko Marin 105.1 102.8 100.4 8,000 k€
Mesut Özil 120.2 18,000 k€
Aaron Hunt 115.4 111.9 110.3 105.4 98.9 0 €
Wesley 7,500 k€ 93.1 93.5 6,000 k€
Predrag Stevanovic 100 k€ 90.4 91.1 93.6 96.1 0 €
Florian Trinks 91.7 91.9 50 k€
Zlatko Junuzovic 800 k€ 100.0 98.4 93.6 92.1
Mehmet Ekici 5,000 k€ 109.8 110.8 111.0 1,500 k€
Aleksandar Stevanovic €0 91.0 98.3 110.0 0 €
Kevin De Bruyne 450 k€ 105.6 0 €
Cédric Makiadi 3,000 k€ 88.0 87.0
Ludovic Obraniak 1,500 k€ 98.4 97.8
Izet Hajrovic €0 96.8

With Özil's departure to Real Madrid, the fortune of signing excellent creative midfielder seemed to have left the team. They had already secured the service of "Germany's Messi", Marko Marin. A player that was never rated by Goalimpact as high as he was described by the media. Werder did a good deal in selling him for 8M€ as the market value halved shortly thereafter.

The signing of Wesley was seen as way too expensive by Goalimpact. You don't want to pay 7.5M€ for a player that has only a Goalimpact of 93 and is expected to peak at 97. The team contained the damage by selling him at only a small discount again.

The signings of Ekici and Aleksandar Stevanovic, while both no new Özil, were actually quite good, but they were removed from the team at the beginning of the current season. Without them, there is no Bundesliga offensive midfield left to speak of. All of them are below the minimum level of 100 and they are not expected to improve much more, too. The sale of Ekici happened after our Bundesliga season prediction. Even with him on the team, we saw Bremen as the weakest team in the competition. Now we consider the team as even weaker.

Bremen earned a net 19,700,000€ from selling their assets in the offensive midfield, but it caused the average player Goalimpact on that position to drop from 110.8 to 93.4.


Werder's strikers weren't world-class back in 2010, but they were all above average. However, Werder chose not to prolong the contracts of Almeida and Rosenberg and build up a new attack from the scratch around Pizarro. The striker from Peru, however, was unwillingly to prolong his contract due to the little quality in Werder's team and moved to Bayern Munich.

Player 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Claudio Pizarro 112.5 106.6 103.0 0 €
Hugo Almeida 114.9 2,000 k€
Markus Rosenberg 114.9 750 k€ 106.9 0 €
Sandro Wagner 350 k€ 100.7 550 k€
Denni Avdic 2,200 k€ 100.7 95.0 1,050 k€
Marko Arnautovic 6,200 k€ 99.0 95.9 98.4 2,800 k€
Eljero Elia 5,500 k€ 97.8 90.6 91.5
Nils Petersen 500 k€ 103.9 102.1 102.0
Joseph Akpala 1,500 l€ 106.3 250 k€
Niclas Füllkrug €0 77.9 85.0 90.1 400 k€
Johannes Wurtz €0 106.1 300 k€
Franco Di Santo €0 86.1 85.3
Fin Bartels €0 90.3
Davie Selke €0 66.5 74.1 90.5 94.7

Davie Selke is going to be Werder's best striker soon. He
developed excellent and outperformed expectations so far.
Since then, Werder's attack is a construction site. Many investments have been made that didn't really pay off. Some players were sold again at a loss. Füllkrug, a promising talent from their youth teams, wasn't fully trusted. According to Goalimpact that might be a mistake. He was still young and didn't played constant on a top level, but had a good prognosis (Peak 120). He has a Goalimpact of 97 by now and is soon going to be above 100 also the PeakGI dropped to 110.

Instead Werder placed their hope on Elia whom they bought for 5.5M€. A high price for a player with a Goalimpact of only 98 and not upside (PeakGI 99). Currently, the best striker duo would be Petersen and Selke. The latter is a talent from the own youth and still plays inconsistent, but he has a good prognosis and is expected to peak at 122. In the long-run a second good striker would be needed.


Werder Bremen reduced the team quality on every single tactical position. The formerly strong defense now looks shaky, the midfield is weak and lacks creativity and the striker seem harmless. To make things worse, there is only few talent in the team that would let us expect future improvement.

Regular substantial transfer surpluses lead to a continuous decline in
the average team quality. The Goalimpact reduced every single year and
now is below the minimum level you'd expect for a Bundesliga team.
The decline is the result of a transfer policy that was aimed at extracting value from the team's assets (the players). Selling the good players resulted in a steady inflow of cash, but the replacement players weren't nearly as good and some also overpaid. However, to say Werder did a bad job in their signings isn't justified. It was more there overall strategy to make transfer profits that lead to the deterioration of team quality and not single signings. The signings didn't generate the upside that some signings in the past did, but they didn't destroy value, too as many were bought for low fees or even no fee at all.

Still, in total the Goalimpact reveals a reduction in team quality every single year since the last Champions League qualification and generated a net cash-in of 20M€. We hesitate to call this a profit, as the positive cash-flow was more than offset by the reduction of team market value. The Goalimpact used to be well above 110, the level needed to be a contender for Champions League qualification, down to below 100, the level that makes relegation likely.

Looking forward, it is difficult to see if the new trainer, Viktor Skripnik, can avoid the relegation. Given the weak team it is not obvious that the problems were caused by his predecessor Robin Dutt. It is more likely that the demise was caused by a short-sighted transfer policy and a few bad scoutings prior to Dutt's arrival in Bremen. You don't need a crystal ball to foresee that Werder will relegate unless they make a 180° turn-around in transfer spending. Rather than swapping player quality into cash, they need to build up a new team that has improved quality. The latest scoutings and signings were not promising in this respect. There are rumors that Werder is willing to spend on new players in the Winter break. Winter is not the best time for signings and given the bad start in the season, it may already be to late to turn-around then.

And there is more bad news, with the current team, Werder would also struggle to stay in the 2. Liga, in case they will get relegated. Certainly an immediate re-promotion is very unlikely. So our final advise is to start thinking in long-term. An  advise not easy to follow in times of trouble.

Dienstag, 21. Oktober 2014

A new look at football players

Abstract: We found a strong Relative Age Effect in youth football. Yet many of the players that benefited from their relative age seem to fail to move to senior football because they lack their advantage among grown-ups. Football club could increase the efficiency of their youth programs substantially, by selecting player according to their talent rather than relative age. The minimum Goalimpact a player needs to achieve to have a realistic chance to become professional football player is 80. Yet older players often stay in business slightly below that age to.

Since the introduction of the football aging curve, the Goalimpact is a direct function of age. Therefore, it should come as a surprise if we see a clear relationship between Goalimpact and age in a xy-plot. However, there are still some noteworthy feature to report.

Each dot represents a non-goalkeeping football player. The x-axis is the players
age at the 1st of July 2014 and the y-axis his Goalimpact at the same time.
To make it easier to describe some of the findings, we highlighted some areas in the chart. The underlying picture is the same. Notice that we restricted the y-axis to 20 to 160. There are only few players outside that range and including them would make the rest less visible.
The top orange region contains very few players. Player in this area are needed to
compete for the UEFA Champions League and hence ambitious teams will need
to pay scarcity prices. The blue area contains youth players. These exhibit a strong
Relative Age effect. There are nearly no players in the green area. These play
in uncovered leagues. In the red area players gradually drop out the covered
leagues as they get too old.
As the aging curve, the Goalimpact distribution peaks around the age of 26. Most players are in a narrow band of ca. 20 Goalimpact points, independent of the age. There are more outliers above the band as there are below. We assume, this results from a selection bias. the best players will always play in a covered league and hence are included. In contrast, senior players below a certain quality do not play in covered leagues. We marked the area green which contains very few players, because presumably players in that range below a Goalimpact of 80 didn't make it to become a professional football player, at least not in a covered league. Some youth players would be in that range if they'd follow the aging curve, so apparently a selection takes place in the transition between youth and senior football - which makes entirely sense. This should enable us to create a probability score that a youth players will eventually play senior, but we leave this to another post.

Among the youth players (blue area) we see three thick vertical lines. These are caused by the Relative Age Effect (RAE). Football teams favor players born early in the year, because these are relative old compared to their team mates and opponents. This makes them have a physical advantage. As this advantage will disappear once the players are fully grown, it is a short sighted and ineffective way of player development. Rather than focusing on developing the most talented players, teams seem to focus on winning the current youth competition and play predominantly players that incidentally were born in the early months of the year. They do so, despite the fact that, according to Goalimpact, the players in the later months often are more talented. We didn't investigate it in detail, but from the chart it looks like that it were mostly the youth players that drove with the RAE ticket that didn't make it to the senior football. It makes intuitively sense as their physical play no longer works in adult football.
The Relative Age Effect is strongly visible until the age of 19. Thereafter, however,
it is much less pronounced. We conclude, that many players that were favored by
their relative age in the youth league, don't make it to senior football.
But given that many of the players born in January to June drop out at a later stage, much resources are wasted on players with a bad prognosis to make it to senior football anyway. We therefore propose to select the players by prognosis rather than current physical development, because this will improve the resource allocation. One way of doing so would be selecting players by PeakGI.

Most of the players in the database will never be good enough to really compete for the UEFA Champions League (UCL), A Bundesliga club aiming for UCL qualification will need an average Goalimpact of 110+ in the team. But to pass the round of last 16, this will not be good enough. The top teams will aim for players that are at least 120+. The area with those players is marked orange. Only few players are in that range and hence the clubs can expect to pay scarcity prices. This is especially true for players that are expected to stay in that range for many years, either because they are young (Thomas Müller) or because they are so extremely good that they are expected to stay above the limit for many years to come despite aging (Xabi Alonso).

Even the best players eventually decline in performance due to age. There is no fix limited when a player will stop playing. Besides the playing strength this is influenced by many other factors such as his health, his wish to go on playing, and the need of his current club. What is notable, though, is that players often drop out at a lower Goalimpact level than the marked at the green area. We assume that this is caused by different factors. Partly, this due to a bias in the aging curve. The aging curve treats all non-goalkeepers equal. In many tactical setups, however, defenders are less prone to age-related decline in performance. E.g., if a team doesn't play a high line, the reduction in speed will not influence the quality of a center back as much as striker that needs speed to counter. Hence, some defenders may actually be better than indicated by their Goalimpact. We may distinguish the aging curve for non-goalkeepers into tactical positions at a later stage, but it is not as straight forward as it seems. Some players, like Kevin Großkreutz, play many positions and it is unclear which aging curve to use for them.

Another reason why players linger around with a Goalimpact below the value that teams would accept for young players may be that older player can be still every effective but can't take 90 minutes at full strength anymore. They then might be still be very useful as substitutions or backups (e.g. Claudio Pizarro).

To summarize, a scatter plot of player age vs Goalimpact reveals that players need to have a Goalimpact above 80 to be professional football player. If they are pro already, they may stay in business a bit longer below that level. Below a level of 70, however, many drop out. Even today, youth football is driven strongly by the Relative Age Effect. The data suggests that many players that benefited from their relative old age do not manage to take the step to senior football where this advantage is gone. Football clubs could improve the efficiency of their youth programs substantially by selecting their players according to talent rather than relative age even though it may cause their youth teams to produce less victories.

Sonntag, 19. Oktober 2014

Which German Goalkeepers should Löw pick?

The German national coach for goalkeepers, Andreas Köpke, recently named the goalkeepers that he has on his list for the national team and, hence, which are competing for participation in the European Championship 2016 (should Germany qualify). Besides the current number one Manuel Neuer and his senior backup Roman Weidenfeller, these are the known contenders Barca's new signing Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and Leverkusen's Bernd Leno. Less known are Schalke's Ralf Fährmann, Kevin Trapp (Frankfurt), Timo Horn (Köln) and Oliver Baumann (Hoffenheim).

We take the opportunity and check if this is the best choice according to Goalimpact, too. If you want to know how our rating works on goalkeepers, we wrote the concept down here. In short, we evaluate the average goal difference in games with the keeper as compared to games without and correct this result for many many factors such as team mate and opponent strength, home field advantage and others. Wait, you will say. My team always plays with the same keeper. There is no such thing as a "game without". In order to circumvent this, there are many precautions taken, most of all we take the information of all games of a players career and not only one season.

If we plot the current Goalimpact on the x-axis and the expected career peak value "PeakGI" on the y-axis, we obtain a chart with all currently excellent keepers on the right-hand side and all very talented keepers on the upper part.

All German professional goalkeepers. Keepers on the short list for the national
team are marked orange. Most of them are either very good and have a Goalimpact
of 140+ or are a prospect of having one later in their career.

As we can see, Manuel Neuer is in the top right corner, basically playing in his own league. Roman Weidenfeller is the second best keeper but already considerably behind Neuer's Goalimpact. Moreover, he is already at his peak and hence is unlikely to improve from here on. He himself declared the European Championship as a "welcome end" to his career in the national team.

The chart enables us to rate the contenders in comparison to the former two. They are all significantly weaker in their current performance, but this is due to their young age. If we compare the PeakGIs, we see that all of them but Ralf Fährmann are in the range spanned by Weidenfeller and Neuer. Trapp and Baumann are very good keepers that are on their way to become as successful as Weidenfeller, but that may not be enough to secure a place in the future national team. The reason is that the other contenders, Leno, ter Stegen and Horn, are more talented and are expected to overtake Trapp and Baumann in Goalimpact eventually. Ralf Fährmann is currently not expected to peak above 140 and hence high enough to join the national team.

All in all, Goalimpact would have selected a very similar set of goalkeepers as a mix of talents and experienced players. Only exception is that we would prefer Jens Grahl over Ralf Fährmann. And then there are some more talents out there that didn't make it to a major league yet and were probably not considered by Köppke and Löw for that reason. However, given their talent they are likely to move to higher leagues soon.

Beside the named players, there are some other even younger goalkeepers leaving the youth development centers that are expected to peak in the relevant range of 140 to 160. Germany, you will keep your tradition of good goalkeeping for at least one more player generation.

Montag, 13. Oktober 2014

Iceland vs Netherlands 2:0

Because of the upset caused by the victory of the apparent underdog Iceland, here the Goalimpact values of all players. Iceland has some decent players, but the Netherlands should have won this. Yet, given the home field advantage the odds based on the starting XI were

Iceland: 32.6% (Home), draw: 30.8%, The Netherlands: 36.6%

Accounting for the fact that the Dutch bench was also much better, substitutions should make the Netherlands an even clearer favorite.


PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeClubNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Ari Skúlason96.1100.127.4Odense BK22119185
Ragnar Sigurðsson117.4123.328.3FK Krasnodar24922757
Jón Böðvarsson90.7101.622.3Viking FK1037680
Kári Árnason89.8114.032.0Rotherham United27123280
Birkir Bjarnason88.189.126.3Pescara Calcio21114514
Gylfi Sigurðsson109.6111.825.1Swansea City22915322
Hannes Halldórsson105.0106.430.4Sandnes Ulf14213112
Teddy Bjarnason97.6102.127.6Randers FC17914701
Kolbeinn Sigþórsson110.6113.924.6AFC Ajax1539701
Emil Hallfreðsson85.895.530.3Hellas Verona21116266
Aron Gunnarsson102.8104.125.4Cardiff City29823885
Ólafur Skúlason80.8101.131.5SV Zulte-Waregem18713103
Þórarinn Valdimarsson95.599.124.4AB Vestmannaeyja1159144
Gunnleifur Gunnleifsson95.4106.539.3Breidablik13712599
Ingvar Jónsson106.2128.824.9UMF Stjarnan878118
Rúrik Gíslason95.697.326.6FC Köbenhavn22614872
Helgi Daníelsson82.0112.533.3Os Belenenses21717993
Sölvi Ottesen93.0105.830.6FK Ural16113773
Birkir Sævarsson90.998.429.9SK Brann19716653
Viðar Kjartansson100.8104.224.6Valerenga IF806468
Hallgrímur Jónasson88.894.828.4SönderjyskE13912294
Alfreð Finnbogason111.5112.325.7Real Sociedad16512591

The Netherlands

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeClubNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Nigel de Jong136.0143.429.8AC Milan47037378
Stefan de Vrij123.8133.622.7Lazio Roma17214734
Wesley Sneijder139.7149.930.3Galatasaray47737374
Arjen Robben153.2166.630.7Bayern München50437244
Daley Blind135.1138.524.6Manchester United18315272
Jasper Cillessen115.7134.125.4AFC Ajax1029224
Jeremain Lens138.3140.726.8Dinamo Kiev29820553
Ibrahim Afellay109.8115.928.5Olympiakos Piräus28820400
Bruno Martins Indi117.7127.422.7FC Porto14812718
Robin van Persie131.5148.831.2Manchester United49134717
Gregory van der Wiel151.1152.926.7Paris Saint-Germain27123491
Virgil van Dijk104.8112.323.3Celtic FC12110515
Davy Klaassen114.1128.721.6AFC Ajax755797
Kenneth Vermeer121.4124.728.8Feyenoord18316857
Luciano Narsingh120.2124.724.1PSV Eindhoven1349121
Jeroen Zoet101.4134.423.8PSV Eindhoven13612563
Jeffrey Bruma105.3114.222.9PSV Eindhoven13611257
Leroy Fer102.1105.024.8Queens Park Rangers25119922
Quincy Promes116.7126.122.8Spartak Moskva897737
Jordy Clasie117.9125.323.3Feyenoord17214282
Paul Verhaegh74.791.431.1FC Augsburg32929653
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar142.1159.331.2FC Schalke 0444835867
Joël Veltman116.1125.722.8AFC Ajax614818

Freitag, 10. Oktober 2014

Turkey vs Czech Republic: Goalimpact of Lineups

Turkey hosts Czech Republic in an European Championship qualifier. The great times of both teams seem a bit over lately, but the Czech silently improved a bit again. They now have a better team than Turkey, especially if we also account for the bench.

Just based on the starting XI the odds are
Turkey: 44.6%
Draw: 29.8%
Czech Republic: 25.6%

Turkey being a slight favorite due to the home field advantage. A draw shouldn't come at a surprise either.


PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeClubNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Selçuk Inan115.1122.429.7Galatasaray31828062
Arda Turan129.5134.227.7Atletico Madrid36127703
Olcay Sahan110.3114.127.3Besiktas25920182
Ozan Tufan90.2119.819.5Bursaspor231727
Gökhan Töre104.0113.622.7Besiktas805201
Mehmet Topal114.4120.628.6Fenerbahce26820779
Tolga Zengin105.1105.931.0Besiktas16915383
Semih Kaya112.7118.823.6Galatasaray12311053
Gökhan Gönül118.9126.329.8Fenerbahce28124977
Umut Bulut94.9115.531.6Galatasaray38328143
Caner Erkin99.999.926.0Fenerbahce25915937
Volkan Babacan99.8112.226.2Istanbul Basaksehir FK978749
Bilal Kisa76.394.731.3Akhisar Belediyespor22113509
Ersan Gülüm101.9105.827.4Besiktas685259
Ümit Kurt90.997.723.4Sivasspor807222
Mert Günok91.5108.725.6Fenerbahce262387
Muhammed Demir103.4112.922.8Gaziantepspor663690
Adem Büyük101.3104.427.1Kasimpasa SK633897
Tarik Camdal103.1109.623.5Galatasaray1289911
O?uzhan Özyakup106.2118.422.0Besiktas684516
Hamit Altintop88.8111.831.8Galatasaray43630462
Olcan Adin100.3107.029.0Galatasaray20516272
Ismail Köybasi101.5103.325.3Besiktas13310986

Czech Republic

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeClubNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Vladimír Darida114.5118.824.2SC Freiburg13410387
Michal Kadlec103.7111.129.8Fenerbahce22919781
Pavel Kaderábek113.4123.922.4Sparta Praha977681
Borek Dockal127.3127.326.0Sparta Praha22117763
Ladislav Krejcí116.8128.122.3Sparta Praha1118943
David Limberský117.7133.631.0Viktoria Plzen24020796
Petr Cech184.9185.532.3Chelsea FC64059494
Tomáš Rosický93.7128.034.0Arsenal FC49237009
Lukáš Vácha121.6123.025.4Sparta Praha18716143
Tomáš Sivok94.2110.631.1Besiktas23219942
David Lafata110.8140.433.0Sparta Praha25720510
Tomáš Vaclík118.7136.525.5FC Basel13312387
Václav Pilar102.2102.326.0Viktoria Plzen977710
Matej Vydra106.6117.322.4Watford FC1076116
Tomáš Necid103.3105.325.2PEC Zwolle18210642
Radim ?ezník114.6115.325.7Viktoria Plzen18014835
Ji?í Pavlenka86.5131.922.5Banik Ostrava302714
Daniel Kolár120.3126.828.9Viktoria Plzen23117910
Jaroslav Plašil87.6115.732.8Girondins Bordeaux47235887
Václav Procházka111.6122.630.4Viktoria Plzen20016986
Daniel Pudil99.2105.929.0Watford FC27022247
Marek Suchý119.1120.626.5FC Basel25622724
Josef Šural101.1105.024.3Slovan Liberec14010018

Samstag, 27. September 2014

FC Schalke 04 - Borussia Dortmund: Goalimpact of Lineups

Dortmund has a much better starting XI, but the home field advantage gives Schalke a slight edge. Still, the probability of an draw is rather high. This is in contrast to the betting markets that see Dortmund as a 50% favorite.

It maybe is also a function of the much better bench of Dortmund. With Schmelzer, Kagawa and Jojic, they have three additional 110+ players to bring into play. Schalke only has Kaan Ayhan.

Odds based on starting XI: FC Schalke 04: 43.4% (Home), draw: 30.1%, Borussia Dortmund: 26.6%

FC Schalke 04

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Dennis Aogo95.099.827.7Deutschland29923585
Sidney Sam121.5123.226.6Deutschland25017064
Joel Matip113.2121.323.1Kamerun22318325
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar140.9157.731.1Niederlande44235383
Marco Höger113.3115.724.914911695
Atsuto Uchida117.1118.426.4Japan23320211
Roman Neustädter129.8131.326.526421690
Ralf Fährmann101.1117.325.911810921
Maxim Choupo-Moting98.199.425.4Kamerun19511581
Kevin Prince Boateng106.8111.227.5Ghana29421404
Max Meyer107.8143.818.9Deutschland [U19]936314
Chinedu Obasi108.8114.928.3Nigeria16110922
Tranquillo Barnetta109.8116.829.3Schweiz34724404
Marcel Sobottka91.3113.220.3968515
Christian Wetklo98.298.534.718316799
Christian Clemens98.7106.823.1Deutschland [U21]16811712
Christian Fuchs105.6111.828.4Österreich38131156
Kaan Ayhan116.7142.919.8Türkei [U21]927718

Borussia Dortmund

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Sven Bender122.0123.425.3Deutschland25517719
?ukasz Piszczek131.0138.029.3Polen27021691
Erik Durm105.1116.222.3Deutschland [U21]1249634
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang109.9111.725.2Gabun24017009
Matthias Ginter107.2127.620.6Deutschland [U21]13211967
Roman Weidenfeller142.5143.234.141538371
Adrián Ramos107.8114.228.6Kolumbien22117924
Kevin Großkreutz133.9134.226.1Deutschland [U21]31624589
Mats Hummels157.4158.025.7Deutschland30326560
Ciro Immobile105.2108.524.5Italien1439987
Neven Suboti?151.0151.625.8Serbien28626346
Joseph-Claude Gyau97.2109.721.9966261
Shinji Kagawa122.2123.425.5Japan17112794
Sokratis Papastathopoulos106.7107.426.3Griechenland25320876
Marcel Schmelzer141.9143.726.6Deutschland25121777
Mitsuru Maruoka78.0117.418.7171105
Mitchell Langerak109.9125.226.0605432
Miloš Jojic110.7121.222.4Serbien [U21]764965