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The Future

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  • 03 Oct 2019

    One-hit wonders

    Benchmarking the productivity of our academy can be tough. Only a small number of players might break through to our first team, and it’s not always easy keeping track of departed players. What’s more, we often only immediately recall a handful of players produced – but do they actually represent the wider productivity of the […]

  • 05 Sep 2019

    The fixture skew

    We know that the league table at the start of the season is skewed by the quality of opponents that we have faced, and we often accordingly urge caution. But rather than ignore the table altogether, the use of predictive models can help us better assess results to date and, crucially, potential results to come.

    In […]

  • 04 Jul 2019

    How good will de Ligt be?

    When Matthijs de Ligt eventually signs for Juventus, for a reported €80m, the consensus opinion will be that they’ve bought the best under 21 defender in the world, and a player that is likely to become the best centre back in the world. But how certain can we be that this will be the case?

    How […]

  • 07 Jun 2019

    Women’s World Cup predictions

    Ahead of the Women’s World Cup kicking off tonight, our intelligence team have looked at the players and form of the teams and compiled some predictions for the tournament.

    The Favourites

    The 21st Club model rates the United States as the best team in the world. France aren’t far behind them though, and we have the hosts […]

  • 14 Mar 2019

    Squeaky bum time

    So we have a title race on our hands! Well, at least in the Premier League.

    Excitement in any title race lies in its inherent uncertainty, at least for those impartial onlookers. Less so perhaps for those clubs involved, where bums are likely to stay squeaky right up until the last match.

    Take the Premier League title […]

  • 29 Nov 2018

    A bit of certainty in an uncertain world

    It feels like whichever way we turn right now we’re surrounded by uncertainty.

    In the UK it’s impossible to escape Brexit, with Theresa May this week warning MPs that they have to decide whether to back her Brexit deal or open the door to more uncertainty. While overseas, the ongoing trade war between U.S.-China continues […]

  • 22 Nov 2018

    If you were to invent football tomorrow

    The dramatic conclusion to three of the four UEFA Nations League A groups confirmed the success of the competition’s first edition. By our count, around 40 per cent of men’s international matches this decade were friendlies; it’s likely that competitions like the Nations League mean we will soon consider friendly matches anachronistic, if not already. […]

  • 04 Jan 2018

    Predictions for 2018

    After reviewing the year that has been, we’ve made some predictions for 2018:

    Don’t expect miracles, Liverpool

    The world’s most expensive defender, Virgil van Dijk, will have a limited impact on Liverpool’s defensive output. Our Player Contribution model expects the Reds to concede 2 fewer goals per season with the Dutchman as a regular starter. In truth, […]