Football Analytics 101: A Beginner’s Guide to the Expected Goals (xG) Metric


New to analytics and data science? Interested in finding out how these metrics work in football? Heard of the term ‘xG’ but aren’t sure how it works? You’ve come to the right place! Introduction Analytics is revolutionizing sports as we know it. I’ve been following the analytics trend in American sports for the last decade,…

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The Wonderful Rise of Aritz Aduriz


In a sport increasingly ruled by wealthy foreign conglomerates, exorbitant amounts of money and to quite an extent by the players themselves, Athletic Bilbao have remarkably stuck to their identity and their roots. As the Spanish league titles have lurched between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid and back, with Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Deportivo La…

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Javier Saviola – El Conejo, the rise and the unfulfilled potential


October, 2008 – It’s a cool, balmy autumn evening in Madrid. The hosts, Real Madrid, are cruising to a routine win over BATE Borisov in the Champions League and Gonzalo Higuain, Royston Drenthe and Javier Saviola warm up on the touchline, hoping to be called into action. The Real Madrid assistant manager, Manolo Ruiz, waves…

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Grazie, Francesco Totti – The King of Rome


March 1993 – AS Roma are 2-0 up against Brescia and a disappointing season is drawing to it’s inevitable conclusion. Roma midfielder Sinisa Mihajlovic strolls over to his manager, Vujadin Boskov, in the dugout – “Put the boy on”. Boskov turns his gaze to the blond kid and asks him to go warm up. Yet,…

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Remembering Jay-Jay Okocha – So Good They Named Him Twice


This article has been featured on InBedWithMaradona. 1993. Eintracht Frankfurt v Karlsruhe in the Bundesliga. A 20-year-old kid called Jay-Jay Okocha comes off the Frankfurt bench. 10 minutes later, a Karlsruhe attack breaks down and Frankfurt tear up the field on a counter-attack. But a few passes later and it seems the attack has broken…

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Interviews – The Most Pointless Thing in Sports?


This is one of sports’ most pointless ritual; the banality of asking “How does that win feel?” seems to rob the viewers of any sense of excitement they must have felt upon their team’s exhilarating come-from-behind victory not 5 minutes previously when the victim (aka the player) reels off a standard reply, “That felt good.…

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Long form: The story of Verona’s unlikely charge to the Scudetto


21 years before Leicester City’s incredible title winning run in England, there was a similar crowning achievement by a small team from the Veneto region in Italy as Hellas Verona stunned the reigning champions Juventus and the other big guns to ascend their way to the summit of Italian football. The former AS Roma president,…

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How Victor Wanyama’s Signing Altered Tottenham’s Tactics


“Why in the world did we sign him?” asked a disgruntled Southampton supporter on TV after a rather underwhelming display by their new signing Victor Wanyama during their harrowing 1-0 defeat away at newly promoted Norwich City. Having arrived for a hefty £12.5 million fee from Celtic in the summer of 2013, Southampton fans expected…

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Antonio Valencia’s Typically Subtle Rise as Manchester United’s best Full Back


The tale goes that back at the business end of the 2010-11 season, Sir Alex Ferguson was irate with Antonio Valencia’s lack of application in a Premier League match and even though Manchester United went on to scrape a win (as they nearly almost did every time they played under the great Scotsman), Sir Alex…

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Iceland’s Greatest Ever Footballer – Eidur Gudjohnsen


He’s played alongside some of the best strikers in recent memory – Ronaldo, Gianfranco Zola, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Hernand Crespo, Didier Drogba, Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o, Thierry Henry to name a few. He’s scored some spectacular goals (THAT bicycle kick for Chelsea v Leeds and a thrilling solo goal for Bolton against Wimbledon in the…

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