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Thirsty Lizard

Can Plucky Underdogs Norwich Upset the Odds at Preston?

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59 minutes ago, westcoastcanary said:

And while I'm on about Leeds, the reason they have consistently headed Experimental 361's E-Ratings is because, unlike us, their league position much more closely mirrors their performance stats. 

FFS westcoast will you be careful with that loose talk of yours. If the wackos of Waccoe see that, they'll be donning their flat caps, larding their whippets and marching on the FA headquarters demanding to know what corrupt conspiracy sees them behind us in the League table when they are ahead of us in the Experimental 361 E-Ratings!

Edited by Thirsty Lizard

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4 hours ago, Branston Pickle said:

It will undoubtedly be tough, but I’m not sure why PNE will have thought they were unlucky to be beaten at our place earlier in the season.  It was a fairly bog-average game but they didn’t do a lot to deserve to win it.

Even though we won that Preston match was our worst home performance this season by a country mile. The last 10 mins settled it but I think Preston could feel hard done by not to have not got anything out of the game.

The ref should have put everyone out of their misery and abandoned it at HT....

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1 hour ago, westcoastcanary said:

What are you telling me? That we are currently top, or that we are going to finish the season as Champions?

You're an intelligent man, you already know we are top.......

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18 minutes ago, splendidrush said:

You're an intelligent man, you already know we are top.......

:classic_biggrin: I keep reading it but there's something in me that tells me it's just too good to be true -- like those investment tips promising a 20% return and early retirement at 35!

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An investment bond in NCFC sounded too good to be true WC, many of us will be reaping the rewards however.

Sometimes things that seem too good to be true, arent.👍

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24 minutes ago, Van wink said:

An investment bond in NCFC sounded too good to be true WC, many of us will be reaping the rewards however.

Sometimes things that seem too good to be true, arent.👍

Indeed, sometimes they aren't VW; time will tell if this is one of them. It will be brilliant for everyone involved if subscribers to the bond have their support for the club rewarded with the maximum return. 

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8 hours ago, westcoastcanary said:

I think you'll find that the amount of time and space the shot taker has is factored in to the xG for the chance.

Incidentally, exceptional finishing isn't by any means the only contributory factor. DF drew attention to another in a recent interview when he spoke of wearing other teams out. That's important because it isn't dependent on one or two individuals; it's a squad-wide asset in a way that TK's goal scoring isn't.

I’m pretty sure xG doesn’t yet measure the positions of other players, as Ben Mayhew of experimental361 suggests here (https://twitter.com/experimental361/status/1092669354465001473?s=21).  I remember a 538 podcast that suggested it is not included for a technological reason, because measuring the position of all 21 other players is currently too hard to do at scale.

But it is a good point about tiring other teams out as a strategy.

 

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You're right 7rew, it is based on location and the person taking the shot exclusively (or at least it is on 538), which does provide a significant flaw in relying solely on it, but it is still a better indicator than the traditional shots on/off target.

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9 hours ago, westcoastcanary said:

👍 Well I hope so too Thirsty.

Re. the Preston home game, my verdict, in contrast to yours, would be "We won because our finishing was better".
I think the two games against Leeds are good examples of what we are discussing: were Leeds 3 goals better than us when they beat us 3:0 at Carrow Road? No they weren't. Were we 3 goals better than them when we beat them 3:0 at Elland Road? No we weren't. In both cases a 1:1 draw would have done our two good teams justice.

And while I'm on about Leeds, the reason they have consistently headed Experimental 361's E-Ratings is because, unlike us, their league position much more closely mirrors their performance stats. 

Personally my view is that a 1-1 draw would in no way have been a fair reflection of the game at Elland Road. 

 

Sometimes a team that is clearly inferior in the game generally gets a fortunate goal and goes on to win from there, sometimes the scoreline doesn't reflect the overall performances.  That is what DF has said in interviews about Leeds' win at CR (I didn't see that game).  But that certainly was not true at Elland Road in my opinion when I felt we were the better team over 90 minutes.  Leeds had plenty of possession, which to a great degree was down to us playing more conservatively without the ball, but they didn't do a great deal with it.  It's worth watching DF's interview where he discusses this explicitly.

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2 hours ago, 7rew said:

I’m pretty sure xG doesn’t yet measure the positions of other players, as Ben Mayhew of experimental361 suggests here (https://twitter.com/experimental361/status/1092669354465001473?s=21).  I remember a 538 podcast that suggested it is not included for a technological reason, because measuring the position of all 21 other players is currently too hard to do at scale.

But it is a good point about tiring other teams out as a strategy.

 

It depends on the model used, there are many and they have varying degrees of inputs. 

The best models (which cost significant sums) measure everything from player location, how the ball is passed to the player, whether the shooting player took a touch before shooting, the position of defenders, the height of the ball when the shot is taken, body part the striker uses, position of the goal keeper, whether the shot came after a dribble, if the shot is part of a fast breakaway, whether the shot is from a rebound, whether it is a set piece or not and a whole bunch of stuff that is kept secret by the modellers. 

Like all data and stats, it is only as good as the robustness of collection and implementation. Expected Goals (the name I think causes much of the negativity towards it), is an advancement on simple shot data - which many bookmakers and pro gamblers would crudely use previously - it helps point out where a team or player is perhaps over or under achieving and adds another piece to the large puzzle of analytics. No serious analyst would say it is the only thing that should be considered, but 99% will use some interation of it. 

Clubs wouldn’t spend ten hundreds of thousands of pounds they do on purchasing or  collecting this data if they felt it wasn’t adding someone to their competitiveness. Norwich have a well staff analytics team who will certainly look at this also. 

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And Farke knew too that last year we were firing but not on all cylinders. We were top or near the top of the stats concerning shots taken but bottom in terms of conversion. I think that helped or influenced  the decision on Oliveira. As much as his alleged attitude. He was just not what DF wanted. There was a flaw (as being his kind of striker).

Then Webber found Pukki. Even looking at Pukki in that YouTube clip of all his goals (dangerous to guage as we know after the expectancy of Fotheringham and the infamous Fozzy Flick!) ....but you just see that here is a bloke who just KNOWS where the goal is. We now have a proper finisher (Earnshaw displayed this and his conversion rate was very good).

Pukki has possibly been THE difference and that is not to underplay all the wonderful creative midfield play. The Murphy's just couldn't match Emi and Mario (or Moritz). Madders of course could, but he was always off to better things.

OTBC.

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1 hour ago, Bethnal Yellow and Green said:

Clubs wouldn’t spend ten hundreds of thousands of pounds they do on purchasing or  collecting this data if they felt it wasn’t adding someone to their competitiveness. Norwich have a well staff analytics team who will certainly look at this also. 

Big difference between using analytics to improve performance to what @westcoastcanary appears to be infering - which is using analytics to predict results. If it was possible City's analytics staff would be retired and living off their profits from the bookies. 

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16 minutes ago, BigFish said:

Big difference between using analytics to improve performance to what @westcoastcanary appears to be infering - which is using analytics to predict results. If it was possible City's analytics staff would be retired and living off their profits from the bookies. 

A lot of the people who first pioneered expected goals worked for people like Matthew Benham in order to be able to predict the result of football games in order to bet on them - so it’s foundation is in predictions. 

 

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Expected goals is a strange one to me. How can you allow for the variable of players ability. For instance if Teemu Pukki and Will Keane received the ball exactly the same number of times in exactly the same areas would the expected goals be the same?

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6 minutes ago, nutty nigel said:

Expected goals is a strange one to me. How can you allow for the variable of players ability. For instance if Teemu Pukki and Will Keane received the ball exactly the same number of times in exactly the same areas would the expected goals be the same?

That’s the point, the expected goals is the average - it is a measure of the quality of the chance. Better players will score harder chances, but you can then look at that players’ history and see if this level of finishing is consitent with their history. 

For example, I have been told Pukki has scored 7 goals more than his ‘expected goals’ would suggest Joe Average would score. This is also roughly 6/7 goals more than you would expect Teemu ‘Average’ Pukki to score looking at his career average. 

Has Pukki suddenly massively jumped in ability? Or is he on a ‘hot streak’? Chances are the latter. Which isn’t a problem, all players get these streaks and it is a testiment to Pukki that he has kept it going. Jamie Vardy famously kept a hot streak going for 30 odd games when Leicester won the league. But, Norwich fans probably shouldn’t expect him to keep this level of finishing up for ever. 

Expected Goals helps to highlight ability, but it also highlights possibly ‘unsustainable’ outputs. 

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1 hour ago, Thirsty Lizard said:

Markets move. We're favourites now. 

 

Preston Norwich Odds 13-02-2019.PNG

Because punters have seen the value in backing us at those odds

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And if you've done any football trading (as I have) as opposed to betting (gambling) then you've already locked in a little profit without a ball being kicked (little and conservative profits being the focus and not wild betting/punts). As kick off approaches there will be more drifting (and of course in-play).

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25 minutes ago, Bethnal Yellow and Green said:

That’s the point, the expected goals is the average - it is a measure of the quality of the chance. Better players will score harder chances, but you can then look at that players’ history and see if this level of finishing is consitent with their history. 

For example, I have been told Pukki has scored 7 goals more than his ‘expected goals’ would suggest Joe Average would score. This is also roughly 6/7 goals more than you would expect Teemu ‘Average’ Pukki to score looking at his career average. 

Has Pukki suddenly massively jumped in ability? Or is he on a ‘hot streak’? Chances are the latter. Which isn’t a problem, all players get these streaks and it is a testiment to Pukki that he has kept it going. Jamie Vardy famously kept a hot streak going for 30 odd games when Leicester won the league. But, Norwich fans probably shouldn’t expect him to keep this level of finishing up for ever. 

Expected Goals helps to highlight ability, but it also highlights possibly ‘unsustainable’ outputs. 

That is just one view Beth. But even if this is a flash in the Pukki pan he had been in good goal scoring form last season for club and country. So I'd ask whether it is likely he would return to his career average or whether this form would last til the end of the season. I would say that with your view you would have expected his goals to dry up before now.

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An expected goals on career average doesn’t take in to account the player moving into the prime years of his career and his reading of the game maturing. Like all stats it’s useful but the game isn’t played on paper with stats.

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1 minute ago, nutty nigel said:

That is just one view Beth. But even if this is a flash in the Pukki pan he had been in good goal scoring form last season for club and country. So I'd ask whether it is likely he would return to his career average or whether this form would last til the end of the season. I would say that with your view you would have expected his goals to dry up before now.

From what I’ve heard he scored pretty much bang on expected last season for Bronby. They are a big team and made a lot of chances. It shows that he is very good at getting into areas for chances though, which is half the battle. 

He’s obviously a good finisher and is in a rich vein of form - that should never be overlooked as it is so key to strikers. He is however, what a statistician would call, an outlier. Outliers tend to slowly ‘revert to the mean’ (or in football are Messi/Ronaldo - to use a couple of extreme examples). 

As I said, hot streaks can go on a long time, especially when players avoid injury  and are in winning teams a la Vardy. 

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1 minute ago, JF said:

An expected goals on career average doesn’t take in to account the player moving into the prime years of his career and his reading of the game maturing. Like all stats it’s useful but the game isn’t played on paper with stats.

Of course, you would expect to see a trend towards improvement as peak years arrive and then to move away as age hits. 

However, the jump seen from Pukki’s previous season to this is pretty extreme and would be almost unprecedented if he maintains it over a prolonged period of time. 

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1 minute ago, JF said:

An expected goals on career average doesn’t take in to account the player moving into the prime years of his career and his reading of the game maturing. Like all stats it’s useful but the game isn’t played on paper with stats.

Or playing in a different country in Pukki's case. Bethnal & WCC make a case of over performing/under performing when it is more likely that the analytics are flawed as a predictive tool.

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20 minutes ago, sonyc said:

And if you've done any football trading (as I have) as opposed to betting (gambling) then you've already locked in a little profit without a ball being kicked (little and conservative profits being the focus and not wild betting/punts). As kick off approaches there will be more drifting (and of course in-play).

Do you follow Caan Berry and Peter Webb sonyc?

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5 minutes ago, BigFish said:

Or playing in a different country in Pukki's case. Bethnal & WCC make a case of over performing/under performing when it is more likely that the analytics are flawed as a predictive tool.

I think you could argue that Pukki would see a boost in his figures while playing in Denmark due to poorer quality keepers, rather than that boost coming while he’s in the Championship. 

I don’t claim to know what will happen in the future. I don’t have all the data to make big claims. All I know is Pukki is showing levels of finishing higher than players like Kane and Messi etc right now. Which is brilliant for Norwich. 

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I think these expected goals stats have to be taken with a pinch of salt personally although its probably true to say that in our last 4 games we have been very clinical and thus scored more than might be expected when looking at so called "expected goals". In previous games the opposite was the case and we missed quite a few chances.

Over the course of the season i certainly don;t think we have more points than our performances have deserved based on watching pretty much every one of our games. We lost to Stoke and Derby despite having enough chances to have scored about 15 goals in those two games. We completely outplayed Derby away and ended up with a point when we deserved more. We only drew with Forest at home despite having 28 shots on goal, most of which were pretty decent chances. I don;t think we deserved to lose at Shef U and you could make a case we were very unlucky to lose at home to WBA based on how well we played for much of that game.

If I look at the games we have lost in recent times then I would say we didn't really deserve to lose any of them on the balance of play or based on performance levels (most of our defeats have been down to individual errors) and if I look at those games we've won then I can;t think of any "smash and grabs" where you can say the result was undeserved. Millwall and Preston at home perhaps the only two victories where you could say the end result perhaps slightly flattered us.

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38 minutes ago, Bethnal Yellow and Green said:

I think you could argue that Pukki would see a boost in his figures while playing in Denmark due to poorer quality keepers, rather than that boost coming while he’s in the Championship. 

I don’t claim to know what will happen in the future. I don’t have all the data to make big claims. All I know is Pukki is showing levels of finishing higher than players like Kane and Messi etc right now. Which is brilliant for Norwich. 

was he getting the same level of service he's getting at the moment from the likes of Buendia and Vrancic though Bethnal? most (but not all) of his chances have been pretty easy chances which i would have expected him to score so i'm not sure he is necessarily finishing any better than he has in the past our creativity and his movement combined just seem to result in him getting at least 1 very easy chance in every game.

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52 minutes ago, Thirsty Lizard said:

Do you follow Caan Berry and Peter Webb sonyc?

Yes Thirsty. Others too. I don't bother these days (other fish to fry) but I built up lots of knowledge about markets / behaviour and some small but consistent profits a year ago. But although sporting markets fascinate me (sad I realise) I found it was so time consuming and you also can spend your time on a laptop or mobile.

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1 hour ago, Bethnal Yellow and Green said:

From what I’ve heard he scored pretty much bang on expected last season for Bronby. They are a big team and made a lot of chances. It shows that he is very good at getting into areas for chances though, which is half the battle. 

He’s obviously a good finisher and is in a rich vein of form - that should never be overlooked as it is so key to strikers. He is however, what a statistician would call, an outlier. Outliers tend to slowly ‘revert to the mean’ (or in football are Messi/Ronaldo - to use a couple of extreme examples). 

As I said, hot streaks can go on a long time, especially when players avoid injury  and are in winning teams a la Vardy. 

So did you expect Pukki's goals to have dried up before now? Do you expect them to dry up now? Or in 5 or 10 games? What should we expect?

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