Champions League final

2019 Champions League Final Preview: Defence Key To Victory

The 2019 Champions League final between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur promises to be an intriguing encounter. Since Jürgen Klopp took over the reigns at Anfield, the two teams have met eight times in the league. The record reads three Liverpool wins, one for Spurs and four draws.

But despite the balance tilting towards the Reds, the goal difference between the two is only one in their favour. Only one of the Liverpool victories has been by more than a goal, while Spurs’ sole triumph was 4-1 in October 2017.

We can therefore expect it to be a close run thing. Only two of the six previous Champions League finals between two teams from the same country have been won in normal time, with one of those – with Jürgen Klopp’s Dortmund on the wrong end of it – requiring an 89th minute winner.

With this in mind, which will be more important: attack or defence? Read More

Premier League Fantasy Football Week 38

Premier League Fantasy Football Week 38 – The End!

It’s really not worth dwelling on our team from last week. It came, it saw, it fell in the sea and drowned by the looks of things. Joao Moutinho and Luka Milivojevic did passably well, but as they were the most popular picks by our competitors in the contest, that counted for very little.

And so we reach the final week of the 2018/19 Premier League season. Let’s see if we can go out on a high. Draft Kings‘ game obviously has all 10 matches on Sunday included, so by using our algorithm to find the players who have performed best over the last six weeks, we’ve assembled our team.  Read More

Premier League Fantasy Football Week 37 selections

Our run of winning was never going to last forever, and we didn’t do too badly last week, even if we didn’t quite scale our previous heights.

Southampton’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg top scored for us, and not just with his name in Scrabble. Perez, Redmond and Richarlison got into double figures for points too, but Ben Foster and the Brighton pair were below par and so our team was too.

Draft Kings‘ contest has just three matches from which we can select our team in week 37, which always makes things more interesting, especially when none of the top six are included. By using our algorithm to find the players who have performed best over the last six weeks, we’ve assembled our gang of eight. Before we reveal all, here are the matches this week.

Fantasy Football Week 37 Games Read More

Premier League Team Of The Season

Twelve’s 2018/19 Premier League Team Of The Season

As is traditional at this time of year, we’ve picked an XI to represent the cream of English football: our Premier League team of the season for 2018/19.

But we haven’t done it in the way you might have expected. The obvious way would be to compile the leader board for the season, and then shoehorn the best players into a workable team. If anything, that’s the best way of doing it when you rely upon the most powerful algorithm in football (even if we do say so ourselves).

Instead, much like the PFA, we’ve utilised a voting system. And it’s our algorithm casting the votes, but instead of looking at season-long points totals, we’ve compiled our team by looking at the number of appearances each player has accumulated in our teams of the week.

So while the likes of Sadio Mané, Luka Milivojevic, Nathan Aké and David Luiz are in our top 11 players on points alone, their relative lack of TOTW ‘caps’ sees them miss out here. Let’s find out who has made the cut.

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Premier League Team of week 36

Premier League Team of week 36: Mo No Team Of The Year

It was a pretty standard week in the top flight of English football. The top two teams won, the next four didn’t, and everyone else went about their business. Our algorithm has weaved it’s spell to produce a leader board, and from that we’ve compiled our Premier League team of week 36.

Goalkeeper: Sergio Rico. Fulham 1-0 Cardiff City.

Cardiff have averaged 3.2 shots on target per game this season, but they had eight in the final 20 minutes or so at Craven Cottage. Rico kept them out, and might have sent the Bluebirds down as a result. Read More

Premier League Fantasy Football Week 36 selections

We don’t claim cash prizes in the Draft Kings fantasy games too often, so you’ll have to forgive us for bragging about our second successive victory. It was our best performance too, finishing joint 116th out of 1,426 entrants.

The man we have to thank is the captain of our latest team of the week, Ayoze Perez. His hat-trick bagged us 41 points, and almost half of our team’s total. The Leicester pair of Jamie Vardy and Jamie Maddison both contributed at least 11 points to provide Perez with able support. But can we make it three wins in a row?

The contest has five games from which we can select our team in week 36, so by using our algorithm to determine the players who have performed best over the last six weeks, we’ve assembled our squad. Before we reveal all, here are the matches this week.

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Premier League Player Of The Year

Who Should Win The Player Of The Year Awards? Here’s What The Stats Say

I’m sure when professional footballers are casting their votes for the end of season player of the year awards, they consult our analytics site to see who has performed best in 2018/19. But just in case they don’t for some reason, I thought I’d take a look myself.

We’ll start with the PFA’s young player of the year award. As Bernardo Silva and Raheem Sterling have been nominated for both this and the main award, we’ll ignore them here. And as they both have well over 200 appearances in top level football already, it seems odd that they’re included in the young player award at all. But then we don’t make the rules. Yet.

(In cheesy awards show voice) Here are the six nominees, and some examples of their best work:

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Premier League Team of Week 35

Premier League Team of Week 35: Perez the magic Magpie

With the top two both winning, and the next four surprisingly picking up just one point between them, the big action this week was at the bottom of the table. But how many players from the wrong end of the division made it into our XI? Here’s our Premier League team of week 35.

Goalkeeper: Mat Ryan. Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 Brighton.

The five saves Ryan made at Molineux, which included two from clear-cut chances, might go a long way to determining which division Brighton are playing in next season.  Read More