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When is the right time to make a substitution?

Football managers have few opportunities to directly influence a match — the starting lineup, the halftime team talk, and the substitutions available to him.  Substitutions can be made for tactical reasons, or they can be forced through injury.  If you consider only substitutions that are made for strategic reasons, when is the best time to […]

Are league tables an expression of team quality?

Most people would answer "yes" to the above question, but as this article in the British Plus magazine indicates, the answer is not as apparent as it seems.  In fact, there is a substantial amount of uncertainty as far as the true underlying quality of the team is concerned.  The article is a couple of […]

An Opta look at the top five Euro leagues

Opta compiles a fairly extensive set of in-match statistics in the major European leagues as well as the pan-European club competitions.  They've prepared a comparative survey of in-match performance over a season in the English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German top divisions, as well as the European Champions League.  There are some interesting findings from […]

Pythagorean Projections: 2009-2010 English Premier League

The original purpose behind the Soccer Pythagorean was to determine, in mid-season, whether a team was performing above or below its (statistical) expectations.  I've already done some work on developing Pythagorean exponents for various European leagues, and if you've read my paper in the previous post, you would find out that the exponents of the […]

Some modifications to the Soccer Pythagorean formula

Two weeks ago I said that I would post the document containing the derivation of the Soccer Pythagorean formula, but I was trying to complete a modification before uploading the paper on the site.  It had to do with the fact that the predicted percentages of wins and draws exceeded 1 in some cases, which […]

A literature search of statistical applications to soccer

Benoit Emonet, "Revisiting Statistical Applications in Soccer", STS Report, Department of Mathematics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, 2000.  [PDF] (more…)