Sonntag, 26. Juli 2015

Will Brentford FC get promoted to Premier League?

On the football hipster scale Brentford FC currently rates very high. Ever since Matthew Benham invested into the team with both money and knowledge, a remarkable increase in performance started. Yet the ultimate aim, promotion to Premier League, was missed last season. Will it happen this season?

Brentford's strategy to achieve promotion, as I understand it, consists of three main pillars.
  1. Build game tactics on a deep understanding of the beautiful game that includes measures not commonly used by other teams
  2. Identify undervalued players and hire then for comparably little money
  3. Develop the players by creating an open learning atmosphere and a lot of specialist coaches
Those pillars are closely interlinked. If Brentford identified tactical means that are underused by other teams, players good at supporting and executing these means will more likely be undervalued, because the other teams don't rate this means highly. Currently, e.g. Brentford seems to want to leverage on set-pieces. They may hence try to identify players that are good in set piece situations, be as taker or receiver of the ball. If Brentford can create many set piece situations, those players will be worth more to them than they might have been worth to their previous teams, especially also because the players will improve each other if they are all good in set pieces. If both the taker and receiver side of a set piece is good, the probability to score raises more than just linear.

Coming back to the initial question. Will Brentford get promoted this season? To answer this question I use the Goalimpact algorithm to evaluate the average player quality of the teams. With that information, I can use a Monte-Carlo simulation of all league games to come up with probabilities for each team to finish on each rank of the league table.

Of course, this will not show the complete picture. If Brentford delivers on pillar 1 and 3, they will outperform predictions because Goalimpact just rates players by their average past performance, albeit adjusted for many factors. While Goalimpact adjusts for performance changes due to normal development and aging, it does so only in an average way. Goalimpact will assume that Brentford's young talents improve over time as the average football players do. However, I assume, that Brentford's ambition is to improve them more than just average. If they manage, Goalimpact will undervalue the players' performance until enough there are enough observations to adjust the rating. But you can also see this the other way round. Goalimpact can be used as a Key Performance Indicator to track if player development at Brentford is indeed above average.

The Monte-Carlo simulation is based on the assumption of a "frozen world". I.e. I assume there are no more transfers done and I also assume that clubs don't react on past performance. In reality, e.g., a club with very bad results may hire new better players in the winter break to avoid relegation, but I assume the teams to stay as they are now. Also in reality, not the best players will always play nor will the "average player" play. In reality changing sets of players play. To reflect this, I average the Goalimpact over all players of a team, but weighting players with strong Goalimpact higher than those with lower ratings. Again this is a simplification, as in reality a seriously injured good player may miss all games of the season, while the same player in an other reality will stay healthy and play all games. The impact on the season will be different than my assumption of him playing half of the games. Note that I also ignore currently known injuries for the sake of keeping the work for this post manageable. In the Bundesliga season ticker, injuries are reflected.

Ok, here are the results as of the 22nd of July 2015:

You will find Brentford on rank seven in this table. But Championship turns out to be a very competitive league with many teams having a Goalimpact in a similar range. This makes random variation having a big influence on the final league table. So while I "expect" Brentford to finish seventh, there is still a 3.4% chance they finish first and even a 1.8% chance that they finish last. Not because they have been a better or worse team, but just because they might turn out to be very lucky or extremely unlucky. Summarizing the results into categories yield following probabilities for the season end.

Relegation is very unlikely and so is direct promotion. However the total chance that they will promote or at least play promotion play-offs is 28.4%. That's more than decent. Still if you point a gun to me, I'd rather bet they will not promote. That said, the team is young and will develop. If we keep the world just a little bit longer frozen and predict how the current teams would fare in the 2016/17 season, promotion odds of Brentford are strongly increased. The reason is that they are very well prepared for that season already. The contracts for key players extend to there and often even longer. Not all other teams are that well managed. This leads to a more than 50% chance Brentford will at least play promotion play-offs and a 18.3% chance they'll promote directly.

However, the assumption of a frozen world is a strong assumption. Actually, while I wrote these lines, Brentford signed to more players and improved their team further.

Lasse Vibe wasn't rated highly until mid 2014 when is Goalimpact started to pick up. He is now a more than just decent signing that improves the team substantially. He past the common peak age of 26 already, but given his recent surge in Goalimpact he is expected to help for more than one season.
Phillip Hofmann developed exactly as good as predicted early in his career. Already 2011 he was expected to have a Goalimpact of 130 when 26 and his performance was in line with this expectation ever since. Just the type of excellent signing you'd love your club to make.

The two good signings raised the expected number of points won this season from 64.0 to 65.5. Less than two extra points may not sound too exciting, but it narrows the gap to the top teams in the league.

Brentford is now expected to finish ahead of Nottingham Forest. And also their odds to get promoted increased.

Instead of 7.8%, chances of direct promotion are now 10.6% and the chance to enter the promotion play-offs increased, too. If looking at the barrel of a gun, I'd still bet they will not promote, but I would now worry even more. In the 2016/2017 season, the chance that they will at least enter the promotion play off is now two thirds with the odds for direct promotion increased by 50% from 18% to 29%.


Brentford FC has a realistic chance to get promoted this season. Yet, it is given the expected performances of all players in the league still below 50%. The club is very well prepared for the season 2016/17 already today. This gives them an edge above the other teams in the league and promotion odds are strongly improved. This analysis is based on Goalimpact and expected average development only. If the club manages to identify tactical inefficiencies and leverage on them, they will out perform expectations. The same holds if they manage to develop their players above average. If so, the players' Goalimpact will raise more than expected and the rating can be used as a KPI to see if the objective has been reached.

Update 26.07.2015:
I recalculated the numbers because some players were erroneously assumed to be off contract. This effected especially Ipswich Town which is now rated higher. Brentford's numbers only marginally changed.

Donnerstag, 16. Juli 2015

Top50 Football Players - July 2015 Edition

New quarter, new top-list. With the move of Stefan Ilsanker to Leipzig, one of the players with the highest Goalimpact of the world plays in the second German devision. Weird.

Rank Player Team GoalImpact Player Age PeakGI Nationality Previous Rank GI Diff
1 Thomas Müller Bayern München 214.1 25.8 214.6 Deutschland 1 -3
2 Mesut Özil Arsenal FC 205.6 26.7 206.9 Deutschland 2 +4
3 Karim Benzema Real Madrid 200.3 27.5 203.1 Frankreich 3 +1
4 Lionel Messi FC Barcelona 199.6 28.0 203.4 Argentinien 4 +0
5 Theo Walcott Arsenal FC 196.5 26.3 197.1 England 7 +4
6 Cesc Fàbregas Chelsea FC 196.0 28.2 200.0 Spanien 6 -0
7 Robert Lewandowski Bayern München 195.7 26.8 197.3 Polen 5 -3
8 Stefan Ilsanker RB Leipzig 195.2 26.1 195.4 Österreich 19 +14
9 Busquets FC Barcelona 194.3 26.9 196.1 Spanien 11 +6
10 Marcelo Real Madrid 192.5 27.2 194.7 Brasilien 10 +3
11 Manuel Neuer Bayern München 192.1 29.3 193.3 Deutschland 8 +0
12 Mario Götze Bayern München 190.7 23.1 199.7 Deutschland 14 +7
13 Luiz Gustavo VfL Wolfsburg 189.3 27.9 193.0 Brasilien 9 -2
14 Toby Alderweireld Southampton FC 188.7 26.3 189.4 Belgien 15 +6
15 Pedro FC Barcelona 188.6 27.9 192.2 Spanien 13 +4
16 Georginio Wijnaldum PSV Eindhoven 187.8 24.7 191.4 Niederlande 17 +6
17 Piqué FC Barcelona 187.5 28.4 191.9 Spanien 16 +5
18 Kevin Kampl Borussia Dortmund 185.0 24.8 188.5 Slowenien 18 +3
19 Fraser Forster Southampton FC 182.2 27.3 184.8 England 12 -4
20 Andriy Pyatov Shakhtar Donetsk 181.7 31.0 181.7 Ukraine 23 +2
21 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 181.6 30.4 191.3 Portugal 21 +1
22 Jeremain Lens Dinamo Kiev 181.6 27.6 184.6 Niederlande 20 +0
23 Nani Sporting CP 181.4 28.6 186.2 Portugal 32 +4
24 Mats Hummels Borussia Dortmund 181.3 26.5 182.3 Deutschland 26 +3
25 Toni Kroos Real Madrid 181.1 25.5 182.5 Deutschland 39 +7
26 Gaël Clichy Manchester City 180.8 29.9 187.8 Frankreich 22 +0
27 Andriy Yarmolenko Dinamo Kiev 179.4 25.7 180.2 Ukraine 52 +11
28 Wayne Rooney Manchester United 178.6 29.7 185.2 England 25 +0
29 Gregory van der Wiel Paris Saint-Germain 178.4 27.4 181.0 Niederlande 36 +3
30 Petr Čech Chelsea FC 178.3 33.1 182.2 Tschechien 34 +2
31 Bastian Schweinsteiger Manchester United 177.6 30.9 190.6 Deutschland 29 +0
32 Jonny Evans Manchester United 177.5 27.5 180.3 Nordirland 37 +2
33 Andreas Ulmer RB Salzburg 177.3 29.7 183.8 Österreich 27 -1
34 Daniel Agger Brøndby IF 176.9 30.6 187.6 Dänemark 35 +1
35 Arjen Robben Bayern München 176.0 31.4 192.4 Niederlande 33 -1
36 Arturo Vidal Juventus 175.8 28.1 179.7 Chile 31 -1
37 Ángel Di María Manchester United 175.6 27.4 178.2 Argentinien 28 -2
38 Eden Hazard Chelsea FC 175.5 24.5 179.6 Belgien 30 -2
39 Emilio Izaguirre Celtic FC 175.1 29.2 180.7 Honduras 85 +16
40 Antonio Valencia Manchester United 174.7 29.9 181.6 Ecuador 24 -4
41 Victor Valdés Manchester United 174.6 33.5 179.1 Spanien #NV #NV
42 Joe Hart Manchester City 174.5 28.2 176.4 England 41 +2
43 Vladimir Stojković Ergotelis 172.3 31.9 174.0 Serbien 42 +0
44 Jérôme Boateng Bayern München 172.3 26.8 173.8 Deutschland 48 +3
45 Douglas Dinamo Moskva 172.1 27.5 174.8 Niederlande 38 -3
46 Salomon Kalou Hertha BSC 172.0 29.9 178.9 Elfenbeinküste 40 -0
47 Kwadwo Asamoah Juventus 171.6 26.6 172.6 Ghana 44 +1
48 Danijel Subašić AS Monaco 171.5 30.7 171.8 Kroatien 49 +2
49 Alexis Sánchez Arsenal FC 171.3 26.5 172.3 Chile 46 +1
50 Tony Jantschke Bor. Mönchengladbach 171.0 25.3 173.1 Deutschland 65 +6

Highest new entry to the list is Kiev's Andriy Yarmolenko.

Andriy Yarmolenko played already for Kiev's youth teams
and was always expected to excel by Goalimpact. However,
since beginning of 2014, his Goalimpact just skyrockets.

Freitag, 3. Juli 2015

Young Player Challenge - July Update

A new quarter started. Time to look what our young talents are doing. Here is the list of the most talented players that are yet to turn 20. Players listed with a value of 1,500,000 € or below at Transfermarkt,de are anonymized and numbered. The numbers are consistent with earlier posts. When talents become known, we will uncover them.

Player Transfermarkt First Listed Transfermarkt @ first listed Goalimpact PeakGI Player Age
Julian Brandt, Bayer Leverkusen 5,000,000 € Apr 15 5,000,000 € 136 175 19
Max Meyer, FC Schalke 04 15,000,000 € Apr 15 15,000,000 € 123 154 20
Anonymous Talent 2 1,000,000 € Apr 15 1,000,000 € 99 14918
Youri Tielemans, RSC Anderlecht 12,000,000 € Apr 15 12,000,000 € 97 14818
Anonymous Talent 17 200,000 € July 15 200,000 € 98 14718
Andrija Živković, Partizan 4,000,000 € Apr 15 3,000,000 € 106 147 19
Rubén Neves, FC Porto 5,000,000 € Apr 15 5,000,000 € 97 146 18
Anonymous Talent 8 500,000 € Apr 15 500,000 € 102 146 19
Anonymous Talent 3 1,000,000 € Apr 15 1,000,000 € 99 146 19
Ante Ćorić, Dinamo Zagreb 2,500,000 € July 15 2,500,000 € 95 145 18
Breel-Donald Embolo, FC Basel 8,000,000 € Apr 15 8,000,000 € 97 145 18
Anonymous Talent 18 0 € July 15 0 € 104 145 19
Anonymous Talent 19 500,000 € July 15 500,000 € 92 145 18
Anonymous Talent 20 0 € July 15 0 € 102 144 17
Anonymous Talent 7 500,000 € Apr 15 500,000 € 109 143 20
Anonymous Talent 9 750,000 € Apr 15 750,000 € 104 142 19
Valentino Lazaro, RB Salzburg 2,500,000 € July 15 2,500,000 € 104 142 19
Anonymous Talent 4 800,000 € Apr 15 500,000 € 90 142 18
Anonymous Talent 21 0 € July 15 0 € 95 142 18
Richairo Živković, Jong Ajax 4,000,000 € Apr 15 4,000,000 € 98 141 19
Anonymous Talent 22 1,000,000 € July 15 1,000,000 € 94 141 19
Anonymous Talent 23 750,000 € July 15 750,000 € 99 141 19
Anonymous Talent 1 400,000 € Apr 15 300,000 € 94 141 19
Anonymous Talent 11 50,000 € Apr 15 50,000 € 91 141 18
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, FC Augsburg 4,000,000 € Apr 15 4,000,000 € 111 141 20
Anonymous Talent 5 350,000 € Apr 15 350,000 € 100 140 19
Anonymous Talent 16 0 € Apr 15 0 € 97 140 19
Anonymous Talent 12 250,000 € Apr 15 125,000 € 96 140 19
Anonymous Talent 6 50,000 € Apr 15 50,000 € 110 140 20
Teddy Bishop, Ipswich Town 2,500,000 € Apr 15 2,500,000 € 98 139 19
Anonymous Talent 15 1,000,000 € Apr 15 1,000,000 € 91 139 18
Anonymous Talent 10 200,000 € Apr 15 200,000 € 106 139 20
Anonymous Talent 14 200,000 € Apr 15 250,000 € 104 138 20
Anonymous Talent 13 125,000 € Apr 15 125,000 € 99 137 19

You think that the rating of Julian Brandt looks unreal? It does. However, this didn't keep him from outperforming already high expectations. His PeakGI actually increased from 171 to 175 since April.

After the first three month, 19% of the players listed in April 2015 gained value and only one lost in value. In total the players saw their transfer value increase by 1,475,000€. Of the anonymous players, hence the not yet discovered talents, total earnings are 475,000 € on an initial investment of 6,700,000 €. This makes a rate of return of 7.1%. Not a bad start for the first three months.

Cohort Investment Up Down Profit Rate of Return
Apr 15 6,700,000 € 19% 6.3% 475,000 € 7.09%
Jul 15 2,450,000 € 0% 0.0% 0 € 0.00%

Next update will be in October, well into the new season. We might see more changes in value then, if some of the players managed to get a new position in their team or a new team.

Sonntag, 21. Juni 2015

How many league points do 10 Goalimpact add?

If you are a club owner or fan, you would want to know how many points your team is going to have at the end of the season to judge if your team is good enough or needs reinforcement. Let's assume you decide your team isn't good enough, by how much would you need to improve your team? It depends...

The case of highly competitive league

Let's first look at a league like Bundesliga in which all 18 teams are equally good. We would expect all teams to earn the same number of points (46). Preseason, we would have no clue whatsoever who is going to be champion as everybody is equally good.

Some insight we gain by the first line in the table. It shows the expected points conditional to a team ending on the respective rank. We thus expect the winner of this league of equally good teams to earn 59 points while the last ranked team only earns 33. Notice that this is pure random variation. While we expect the winner to have 59 points, we have no idea of who this is going to be.

At the end of the season probably the winner will have positive media coverage and can sell newly made star players at a premium whilst the last team saw its trainer replaced two times during the season. Humans tend to act of random outcomes, but that is not path to success. They are just fooled by randomness.

To overcome this, teams need quality measures that are not based on the actual random league position. Statistics is a way of achieving this. You could evaluate your team using TSR, EXPGRatio or other team quality measures, but this works best only during or after the season. Preseason, you'd need to use player based quality ratings such as Goalimpact.

Sticking out

Now imagine, one team in this very competitive league is 10 Goalimpact points better than the others. It did some investments in better players and gained an advantage. How does this affect the expected league outcome?

We picked Werder Bremen as the lucky team. They increased their expected points by 6 to 52 taking an equal share of the other teams. The chances are more than 50% that they will end Top4 at the end of the season. Odds to relegate dropped significantly, though in a freak season it could still happen.

The conditional points that the league winner holds hardly changed. Although we shifted the odds significantly, we couldn't tell that Werder Bremen is a better team just by looking at the final standings. They'd probably have something like 60 points and we couldn't tell if they were better than the others or just lucky unless we use analytics.

If we increase the team quality further to have 20 points more than others in the league, The team is expected to dominate the league and win with a chance of more than 60%.

The winner is expected to end the season with 62.7 points and the runner-up with 57.1. This is five points different and chances are that the winner will be Werder Bremen and it will have won the title before the last match day. But there is still a 40% chance that one of the other team will win the title or at least be close to it with a chance of winning on the last match day. Again, just looking at the final standings, may not give conclusive insight on the team quality.

Points per Goalimpact

To be able to plan, how many extra points does my team earn for 10 extra Goalimpact? From the tables above, we can see that Werder Bremen added 6.2 points by increasing the Goalimpact from 100 to 110. Increasing it from 110 to 120 added another 7.9 and hence more than first increase. If we calculate this for a number of Goalimpact values, we come up with such a distribution of points added per 10 Goalimpact.

As a rule of thumb, a team gains over a season 6 extra points gained by extra 10 Goalimpact. That said, depending on the actual distribution of skill in the league this can be a bit higher. There are two peaks in the chart when moving from a Goalimpact of 80 to 90 an when moving from 110 to 120. If you have a lot of opponents at a distance of 10 Goalimpact points, increase you team's quality further may hence be extra efficient.


10 Goalimpact points add about 6 points in a league of 18 teams. In some circumstances it may be a bit more than that. We can also estimate the maximum impact a single player has on his team. Imagine a team replaces a below average player with an Goalimpact of 90 by Messi (Goalimpact of 200). Assuming Messi takes all games, this would increase the average Goalimpact by (200 - 90 / 11 = 10. Hence, this transfer would make the team jump up 6 points in the expected league table. Quite a bit, but probably much less than people would instinctively expect given this extreme transfer. We can conclude, that you can't aim for the one killer signing that will let you play for Champions League. You need to improve the overall team quality on all positions to move from average Bundesliga (110) to Champions League qualification contender (130+). Or sign two Messis.

Sonntag, 7. Juni 2015

Bundesliga: Season-Ticker 2015/16

We try a new format here. This post will be regularly updated throughout the season presenting current expectations of the final season standings. Until the season starts, transfers will be the biggest driver of  change in expectations. Injuries during the season preparations might be a factor, too. After the transfer window ends, movements will be driven by games results, suspensions and injuries alone.

And here a zoom of the populated chart area.


The transfer window closed in Germany. We saw some last minute transfers that had impact

  • Draxler and Dante to Wolfsburg brought the club closer to Dortmund's expected points
  • Chicharito to Leverkusen ensured that the club keeps pace with Wolfsburg's improvement. 
There now is a wide gap between the Top-4 and the rest. And sorry, Schalke, you are not Top-4.


Big win for Werder in the relegation battle. Eintracht passed Hertha and Gladbach now and will enjoy the international break on an expected Europa League rank. Gladbach's worst league start in history already makes them play Champions League next season too very unlikely. Their official season target "single digit rank" seems still realistic, though. Even Europa League may work.

Basically only Dortmund has still a realistic chance to spoil Bayern's title win. However, 12% isn't particularly high.


Despite a 3:0 win over Schalke the expected points of Wolfsburg drop this day. Selling Ivan Perišić and Kevin De Bruyne was too much of a blood loss. Leverkusen with strong improvement due to signing Dortmund's Kampl. Dortmund's expected points too a small hit. Stuttgart fell because some players were removed from the team that there by mistake.


Update after Matchday one and two. We also updated the latest transfers and injury news. Given it was so many and the influence of the games is stronger, we don't list then now.


Werder Bremen
- Aron Jóhannsson joins until 2019
- Unlike prior estimations, Raphael Wolf is fir on matchday 1.

Schalke 04
- Pascal Itter leaves Bundesliga for SV Grödig
- Benedikt Höwedes recovers slower than expected. We moved expected return to 3rd of September.

FC Ingolstadt
- Almog Cohen suffers from a Mygdalitis. According to @fbinjuries on average a player will miss a week from this. Given it is a bad one, we assume him to miss match day one.

- André Hahn is back in training and hence not going to miss match day one as expected

- Oliver Kirch out three weeks on the back of a rupture of a muscle fibre
- Marvin Ducksch's return is delayed until ca. mid of September.

- Philipp Max from Karlsruher SC joins until 2017

- Peter Niemeyer from Hertha Berlin joins. He trained with Hertha's second team already and was asked to leave.


    Hannover 96
    • Allan Saint-Maximin is loaned from AS Monaco for the next season
    • Jimmy Briand leaves after only one season
    • Uffe Bech suffered a rupture of a muscle fibre and will be out until 25th Aug

    • A few days after joining, Piotr Trochowski had a meniscus injury and is expected to be 60 days out

    Hertha Berlin
    • Änis Ben-Hatira's conservative treatment didn't work and he had to be operated. Now he is expected to be out until Mid October.

    • Tin Jedvaj's expected return moved backwards one week to 24th Aug
    • Ömer Toprak suffered from a rupture of a filament in a test game. Expected to be 90 days out.

    • Dominic Maroh's return from injury isn't expected before end of August

    • Antonio Rüdiger's return from injury isn't expected before August 27th

    • Carlos Zambrano rejoins the team. His contract finished June 30th, but he now signed a new contract until 2019. Important.

    • Mathew Leckie injured and out for three weeks


    • Marcelo Diaz will miss match day one due to lack of training

    Bayern München
    • Holger Badstuber is expected back end of August. This is one week later than our previous expectation.
    • Arturo Vidal's contract lasts only until 2019 with option to prolong until 2020

    • Free agent Henrique Sereno signed a 2-year contract

    • Free agent Júnior Díaz joins until 2017. Strong support.

    Werder Bremen
    • Raphael Wolf is still injured and expected to miss match day one


      • Sven Schipplock from Hoffenheim joins
      • Michael Gregoritsch joins the team until 2019. He previously played in Bochum in the second 
      • devision.
      • Matti Steinmann leaves on loan
      • Frankfurt
      • Luc Castaignos suffered from a rupture of a muscle fibre and will be out approx. three weeks. We assume him to miss the first match day.

      • Sascha Riether from relegated Freiburg joins the team
      • Striker Franco Di Santo joins from Bremen
      • Jefferson Farfán leaves. A big loss.
      • Sascha Riether joins from Freiburg.

      • 19 years old talent Francisco Rodríguez from FC Zürich signed a three years contract. Good signing, but no direct improvement for this season
      • Midfielder Carlos Ascues signed a contract until 2018. He is not expected to be regular starter

      • Former national striker Kevin Kurányi returns to Bundesliga for the next season
      • Sven Schipplock moves to Hamburg
      • Sandro Wieser leaves Bundesliga to play in Switzerland

      • Due to a calf injury Dominic Maroh is expected to miss match day one
      • Köln announced they are no more going to perform transfer unless some mayor injuries occur

      Hertha Berlin
      • Mitchell Weiser is injured at the knee and out for approx. five weeks
      • Goal keeper Sascha Burchert loaned to Oslo until Winter

      • Striker Franco Di Santo leaves the club and moves to Schalke

      • André Hahn suffered from a rupture of a muscle fibre and will be out ~20 days



      • Piotr Trochowski joins for at least next season. Big signing
      • Raúl Bobadilla can play the first matches of the season as the suspension due to a red card has been reduced following an appeal

      Hannover 96

      • Hiroshi Kiyotake's broken foot is expected to heal faster. Reduced the expected comeback time to 30.08.2015


      - Marwin Hitz extends contract until 2018

      Hertha Berlin
      - Sandro Wagner and Peter Niemeyer are removed from the first team.
      - Florian Kohls from the second team is promoted to the first team
      - Änis Ben-Hatira injury didn't improve and he requires an operation. According to coach Dardai he will stay injured "a long, long time". We asume him to return in October

      - Nico Elvedi is injured and out for four weeks. He will miss match day one


      - Vladimir Darida from relegated Freiburg improves the team quality

      -  Albin Ekdal, a Swedish player from Cagliari Calcio, signs a four-year contract. No big impact expected.

      - Tin Jedvaj is injured an will miss the beginning of the season. We registered him injured for match day one.

      - Striker Mevlüt Erdinç from AS Saint-Étienne joines

      - Nikola Đurđić loaned to Malmö FF until year end

      - We missed by mistake to register Elkin Soto as injured. Now we estimated his return early next year.


      - Stefanos Kapino leaves after one year and will play at Olympiakos Piräus
      - Dani Schahin loaned to FSV Frankfurt for one season

      - Xizhe Zhang

      - Antonio Rüdiger needed an operation and will miss out training for four weeks

      - Center-back talent Jonathan Tah moves to Leverkusen

      - Jonathan Tah from HSV joins

      - Leonardo Bittencourt from Hannover joins

      - Leonardo Bittencourt

      - Amin Younes is transferred to Ajax

      - Nelson Valdez's contract is cancelled

      - Franck Ribéry still didn't recovered from his knee injury and is expected to miss the first match of the season

      Hertha Berlin
      - Sami Allagui is injured and will miss the first match day


      - Ciro Immobile loaned to FC Sevilla 

      - Besar Halimi joins from thrird tear club Stuttgarter Kickers. Mainz thinks he can adopt to Bundesliga level. Goalimpact agrees.
      - Pablo de Blasis injured himself and is expected to be out four weeks. We registered him to miss the first match day

      - Valon Behrami will play next season for Premier League Club Watford FC. Big loss.


      Frankfurt- Olivier Occéan leaves

      Augsburg- Mathias Fetsch joined Dresden. He played there last season already on loan basis

      Schalke- Benedikt Höwedes will miss the first 2 matchdays due to injury

      Mönchengladbach- Andreas Christensen of Chelsea FC will play two seasons at Gladbach on a loan spell

      Hoffenheim- Junior Ponce loaned to CD Universidad San Martin de Porres in Braszil next season

      Bayern- Bastian Schweinsteiger joins Manchester United

      Köln- Frederik Sørensen joins form Juventus Turin. He played last season at Hellas Verona


      - Konstantin Rausch from Stuttgart joins for one season

      - Konstantin Rausch leaves for Darmstadt
      - Mitchell Langerak is injured ans expected to miss the first match day

      - Patrick Drewes is loaned to Switzerland next season

      - Bruno Nazário stays on loan in Poland

      - Jan Kirchhoff expected to need time until mid September to return from his operation

      - Uffe Bech from FC Nordsjælland joins

      - Kevin Trapp leaves for Paris SG. No big impact, because Heinz Lindner is excellent


      - Emir Spahic joins for the next season.
      - Gojko Kačar extended his contract for another season

      - Fabian Holland who played already last season on loan basis for Darmstadt now joined no a permament contract until 2017

      - Milos Jojic from Dortmund signed a contract until 2018

      - Andreas Beck will play in Istanbul from now on. Another quality drain for the club.


      Apart from the following changes, the prediction now was updated to the new Goalimpact values calculated on all games including the 30th of June.

      - David Abraham leaves to join Frankfurt. Following Goalimpact that is a huge loss.

      - Center-back David Abraham joins. Big signing.

      - Sebastian Polter leaves to join QPR.

      - Maurice Exslager is requested to leave. We removed him from the team.

      - Atsuto Uchida isn't expect to return from injury this year. We registered him as injured until year end. Big loss.

      - Gōtoku Sakai joins for 3 years

      - Gōtoku Sakai leaves to join HSV


      - Lewis Holtby joins the club. Last season he played only on loan basis. Big addition
      - Ivo Iličević plays another year for the club

      - goalkeeper Örjan Nyland join until 2019. He is expected to become number one keeper by Goalimpact

      Werder Bremen
      - Werder announced they plan without Ludovic Obraniak and Eljero Elia. We removed them from the team.

      - Michael Gspurning, keeper in Schalke's second team, joins the first team.

      - Douglas Costa de Souza from Shakhtar Donetsk joins. He isn't rated particularly high and made the expected points of Bayern actually drop by one on the back of the assumption that he will get some playing time.

      - Luc Castaignos from Twente joins until 2019

      - Robin Yalcin will play next season in the Süper Lig

      Hannover 96
      - Felix Klaus from relegated Freiburg will play until 2019 for Hannover


      - Maximilian Beister leaves and joins Mainz
      - Ashton Götz's return from injury is delayed until mid August, so he will miss the first match day

      - Maximilian Beister from HSV joins

      Werder Bremen
      - Nils Petersen left to join Freiburg in the 2. Liga.

      - Keeper Thorsten Kirschbaum will play in future for Nürnberg in 2. Liga
      - Czech U21 national player Jan Kliment signed a contract until 2019
      - Keeper Mitchell Langerak joins from Dortmund

      - Danilo Soares' injury seems to take longer than previously anticipated. He us now listed as injured until end September

      - Maurice Multhaup and Thilo Kehrer joins the first team from Schalke's own youth team


      I forgot to remove the home field advantage part of the schedule randomization code. So from now on it really uses the actual schedule. Other changes are

      - Maximilian Beister leaves and joins Mainz. A loss of 0.9 points.

      - Maximilian Beister from HSV joins adding 0.6 points.

      Werder Bremen
      - Nils Petersen left to join Freiburg in the 2. Liga. No big impact.


      The forecasts now use the real schedule instead of a random one. This had only little influence.

      - Shinji Okazaki left to join Leicester. Big loss of 0.8 points.

      Werder Bremen
      - Goalkeeper Richard Strebinger left the club.


        • added left back Michael Stegmayer that was missing in the list
        • Jan Rosenthal joined the club. He played last season already for them on loan basis
        • Mario Vrancic joins. He is rated highly and hence a big support
        • Sandro Sirigu prelonged his contract until 2017

        • Timon Wellenreuther plays next season at Mallorca on loan basis
        • Fabian Giefer is reported injured another three months
        • Junior Caicara joins as left back
        • Johannes Geis from Mainz joins until 2019

        • John Heitinga moves to Ajax Amsterdam. He is rated still high despite not playing much last season. This is a major loss

        • Danilo Soares has been operated and is expected to miss the season start. Listed as injured until end August
        • Markus Suttner from austria Wien joins as left back. Excellent signing.
        • Elias Kachunga is the new forward of the team

        • Marvin Ducksch is still injured and not expected to return before end of August

        • Przemyslaw Tyton signs until 2017. He has much impact because he will be #1 keeper replacing Ulreich
        • Lukas Rupp signs until 2018

        • Roberto Firmino leaves for Liverpool.

        • Pepe Reina leaves

        • Fabian Frei gets a contract until 2019

        • Enis Bunjaki from the own youth is joining the first team

        • Philipp Hosiner joins on loan bassi for one season


        1. FC Köln
        • Hoffenheim's Anthony Modeste joins until 2019. He isn't rated high so not many points added by this transfer
        • Daniel Halfar leaves the club heading for Kaiserslautern in 2. Liga. That's a loss of 0.7 points bringing Köln closer to relegation battle.

        • Marko Maric joins next Summer after being signed and loaned for next season.

        • Leon Balogun joins without transfer fee as his contracted with Darmstadt ended this summer. No big impact expected though.

        • Dominik Kohr from Levekusen joins the team. He already played for them on loan basis last season. Strong signing expcted to add 0.8 points in the final standings

        • Mitchell Weiser from Bayern Munich joins until 2018. He will certainly make the team better and adds 0.4 points.


        • Mark Uth from sc Heerenveen joins
        • Czech national player Pavel Kadeřábek from Sparta Praha signs a contract until 2019. Kadeřábek currently has a Goalimpact of 121.6 and is a strong addition increasing Hoffenheim's number of expected points by 0.4

        • Josip Drmic from Leverkusen joins until 2019

        • Keeper Heinz Lindner from Austria Wien joins until 2017. He has an excellent Goalimpact and raises Frankfurt's expected points by a substantial 1.5. However, it is unclear if he will replace Kevin Trapp should Trapp stay.


        • Nico Brandenburger leaves for a season loan spell. Due to his low Goalimpact of 90, there is limited impact of the season expectation.

        Hannover 96
        • Joselu leaves to Stoke City. Due to Joselu low Goalimpact of 87, there is limited impact on the season expectation.

        • Maximilian Wagener leaves on another loan spell. As his regular contract also ends next seasons, he basically leaves the club entirely.

        Eintracht Frankfurt
        • Young keeper talent Yannick Zummack signed his first professional football player contract until 2016. Current Goalimpact is only 70, so he is not expected to make any appearance in the first team.

        Bayern Munich
        • VfB Stuttgart keeper Sven Ulreich signs a contract until 2018 at the German champion. This is not improving Bayern, but weakening Stuttgart.
        Because Stuttgart no longer has a goalkeeper under contract of Bundesliga level, their expectations dropped significantly. Here is action needed.


        Updating the prediction for the following changes:

        • Mavraj injured. Assumed to return December 1st
        • Lukas Klünter added to the first team
        • Dominique Heintz bought from 1. FC Kaiserslautern

        Hannover 96
        • Hiroshi Kiyotake has broken feet. Assumed to return 18.09.2015
        • Leon Andreasen extends contract one year until 2016

        • Admir Mehmedi from SC Freiburg joins.

        • Alexander Meier injured until October

        • Florian Niederlechner joined until 2019

        • both Felix Platte and Marvin Friedrich extend until 2018

        1899 Hoffenheim
        • Tobias Weis doesn't return after the loan and leaves the club
        • Janik Haberer is sent on a one season loan spell

        • Roman Bürki signs at the club
        The overall impact of these changes were not very large.


        Some more events need to be considered:
        • Joelinton de Lira joined Hoffenheim
        • Stefan Kutschke left Wolfsburg and joined Nürnberg in the 2. Liga
        • Schalke's Atsuto Uchida underwent an operation. So far no indication that he will miss the season start so change due to this one.
        • Julian Weigl joined Dortmund
        • Marcel Risse extended his contract at Köln until 2019. This has no influence as he was expected to play next season anyway
        • Oliver Sorg joined Hannover 96

        Dortmund doesn't find much improvement in Weigl. Hoffenheim's signing of Joelinton is very good, but he's not expected to improve them much in his first season, but more impact may come thereafter.

        Hannover, on the other hand, did an excellent job in getting Sorg onboard. He improved their expected points by 1.4 and by this they overtook Mainz and Frankfurt in the expected final standings.


        The Champions League final 2014/15 is over with Barca being the deserved winner. This was the end point of the season. Time to look to the future.

        To give you an impression of this, here are the expectations for the next seasons as of 4th of June.

        These expectations assume that no further transfers are made. Of course this is not going to happen, so if your team scores low on this ranking: not all hope is lost. Especially Darmstadt will, and will need to, get more players of Bundesliga level on board.

        In fact, since the 4th of June, some things changed already

      • Stefan Kutschke returns to Wolfsburg 
      • Papadopoulos moves to Leverkusen (he was on loan only last season)

      • As the following table shows, the arrival of Stefan Kutschke at Wolfsburg didn't really have an impact. He is unlikely to get much playing time. Leverkusen's signing of Papadopoulos, in contrast, increased their expected points by 0.8 given them an edge against Mönchengladbach. Schalke's expectations fell by 0.8 as they lost a capable player.

        Let's see how this evolves. If you there are changes to the teams (injuries, transfers, ...) that we should consider, please drop us a comment and we will post an update.