Talking tactics (MSN)

By SportUK 11/10/2012 14:15

Wales have won four and lost just one of their last six matches with Scotland (W4 D1 L1) although, that defeat did come in their last meeting.

Wales have lost all of their last five matches, scoring just one goal.

The Welsh have lost seven of their last nine World Cup qualifiers with their only two wins in that run coming against Azerbaijan and Liechtenstein.

Scotland have won just four and lost ten of their last 16 away matches (W4 D2 L10).

In 11 away games since Steven Fletcher last played for Scotland (in Sweden in August 2010); the national side have scored just 12 times. Fletcher has scored 29 times in all competitions in that time period.

The Scots have kept just two clean sheets in their last 11 away World Cup qualifiers.


By SportUK 11/10/2012 14:10

Three of the last five matches between Germany and the Republic of Ireland have ended in draws, with both teams winning one each of the other two.

The last five matches between the two have produced just seven goals with no game seeing more than two goals in it.

Germany have won nine and drawn one of their last ten World Cup qualifying matches.

Republic of Ireland have lost just two of their last 23 World Cup qualifying matches (W 9 D12 L2)

The Germans have kept seven clean sheets in their last nine World Cup qualifying matches – conceding just a single goal in each of the other two matches.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s men kept five clean sheets in their final seven qualifying matches for Euro 2012 (including play-off) – conceding just two goals in that run.


By SportUK 08/10/2012 12:39

(Owen Humphreys-PA Wire)

Goals, assists and chances flowed in the weekend’s 10 top flight games, leading to some impressive individual and team statistics.


Newcastle United v Manchester United
Wayne Rooney picked up two assists in the same game for the first time since January 2011. Newcastle misplaced just one of 75 passes in their defensive third in this game, the best record of any side this weekend.


Manchester City v Sunderland
James Milner set up eight goal-scoring chances for his team-mates in this match, more than any other player in a game this weekend, and a joint-league high for the season with Leighton Baines (eight v Aston Villa).


Sunderland managed a round low three attempts from open play in this match. The Black Cats also conceded a round-high 21 shots against City.


West Ham v Arsenal

Santi Cazorla has scored more goals from outside the box than any other player in the top 5 European leagues since August 2011 (nine).


Mikel Arteta had a round-high 120 touches in this match. He has had over 100 touches in five of the seven games he has played so far this season. He misplaced just five of his 111 passes in this game as well.(AP Photo-Sang Tan)


Andy Carroll contested (32) and won (19) more duels than any other player this weekend, 25 of which (17 won) were aerial duels. No player has contested more duels in a Premier League game this season (Benteke - 32 v Southampton).


Chelsea v Norwich

Eden Hazard attempted more passes (53) in the final third than any other player this weekend, as well setting up a round joint-high six goal-scoring chances from open play.


Norwich conceded just three fouls in this match, the joint-fewest in a top-flight game this season.


Swansea v Reading

Pavel Pogrebnyak has scored eight goals from just 11 shots on target in the Premier League.


Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy made a round-high eight saves against Swansea.


West Brom v QPR

Five of the eight shots on target in this game found the net. West Brom conceded a round-high 18 fouls in this match.


Wigan v Everton

Wigan players were tackled just eight times in this game, fewer than any other side over the weekend. Everton played more long balls (39) than any other side in this round of action.


Southampton v Fulham
Southampton have now scored three own goals this season, the same number as the rest of the 19 Premier League teams combined.


Chris Baird made nine interceptions in this game, the most in a Premier League game this season.


Liverpool v Stoke
Luis Suarez attempted a round-high 16 dribbles in this match, seven of which were successful. He has attempted more dribbles (63) than any other player so far this season.


Stoke managed just 170 touches in the Liverpool half in this game, fewer than any other side over the weekend.


Tottenham v Aston Villa
Mousa Dembele attempted a round high seven tackles in this game, winning four of them. Ciaran Clark made a round-high four blocks in this match.


Gareth Bale attempted 13 crosses in this game, more than any other player this weekend, however just one of these found a team-mate.


More on MSN Sport


By Rob Neil Jones 27/09/2012 15:12
John Terry, England - PAJohn Terry found guilty of using racist language. The Chelsea captain gets a four-game ban and receives a £220,000 fine.
Terry has 14 days to appeal and his ban suspended "until after the outcome of any appeal, or the time for appealing expires, or should Mr Terry decide not to appeal"

The former England captain's ban is half the length of Luis Suarez's eight games for the same offence. However, the fine is way in excess of Suarez's £40,000.

Terry says he is "disappointed that the FA Regulatory Commission has reached a different conclusion to the clear not guilty verdict of a court of law.

Spokesperson says "He has asked for the detailed written reasons of the decision and will consider them carefully before deciding whether to lodge an appeal.”

Chelsea: "Chelsea notes and respects today's decision by the FA regarding John Terry and also recognise that John has the right to appeal that decision."

"It is therefore inappropriate for us to comment further on the matter at this time."

More to follow...


MSN Sport poll result

By SportUK 26/09/2012 15:46

John Terry’s international retirement is a good thing for the England team according to an MSN Sport survey.


In a poll of over 40,000 people a huge 44% said that the England national side would be better off without the former Three Lions captain.


The 31-year-old made 78 appearances for England and has been a mainstay at the heart of the defence for nine years, however, MSN Sport readers believe that Roy Hodgson has an better chance of success without him in the team.


John Terry poll - MSNCahill the man to step into Terry’s boots

29% disagreed and believed that the Chelsea man would be sorely missed and 27% said that his absence makes no difference either way.


There’s no escaping the baggage that comes with John Terry


Terry announced his retirement from international football citing his position had become ‘untenable’ by the FA as they investigated the alleged racial abuse towards Anton Ferdinand which he has already been cleared of in court.


Terry’s FA hearing is set to go into its fourth day on Thursday.


By SportUK 24/09/2012 11:27

(Sean Dempsey-PA Wire)

John Terry’s retirement from international football leaves Roy Hodgson unable to select his most experienced and reliable central defender.


Using Opta statistics, we gauge how good John Terry was as an England player by comparing his numbers with those of Rio Ferdinand, the only other central defender of Terry’s era to earn a similar number of caps (Terry 78, Ferdinand 81) and play a similar number of minutes (Terry 6,702, Ferdinand 6,314) for the Three Lions.


England’s win percentage in games where Terry played is significantly higher than for games in which he did not play. With Terry at the heart of their defence, England won 64.1% of their games compared to 59.4% of the matches he missed. By comparison, England’s win percentage in games in which Ferdinand played is 56.8%. With Rio absent from the side, that percentage falls, albeit only slightly, to 55.4%.


England also conceded more goals per game in matches where Terry was absent. Over the 78 games Terry played for his country, England conceded 0.79 goals per game. Without him, this figure rose to 0.91.


Looking at individual statistics, Terry and Ferdinand’s contrasting styles of play are apparent. Terry made more blocks (71 v 65), fouls (86 v 71), tackles (149 v 117) and interceptions (122 v 75) while Ferdinand recorded a greater number of clearances (475 v 400) and a higher percentage of successful tackles (76% v 74%).

(Opta)Somewhat surprisingly, Terry’s distribution of the ball is superior to Ferdinand’s for England. Over 78 games, Terry completed 89% of his 3,819 passes while Ferdinand, widely considered to be the superior ball player, completed 86% of his 3,216 passes.


Whether Terry was right or wrong to call time on his international career, the statistics suggest that his absence from the heart of England’s defence creates a problem for manager Roy Hodgson. Simply put, he has lost the services of a top class international centre-back whose presence made a significant difference to the success of his team.  


For more football stats and news follow @msnsportlee on Twitter


By SportUK 17/09/2012 10:58

Santi Cazorla, creator supreme (Adam Davy-EMPICS Sport)

A quickfire round-up of the statistics, trends and landmarks produced by the weekend's Premier League fixtures.

Reading v Tottenham Hotspur
Gareth Bale scored only his second right-footed goal in the Premier League, the other came in April 2010 v Chelsea. Tottenham have had the joint-most shots in the Premier League this season (75, level with Liverpool).


Sunderland v Liverpool
Liverpool have kept only two clean sheets in their last 18 Premier League games. As a team Sunderland were the only side to touch the ball fewer than 500 times this weekend (499).


Arsenal v Southampton
Southampton have faced 81 shots in their four Premier League games so far this season; more than any other side. Santi Cazorla has created 18 goalscoring chances for his teammates this season; more than any other Premier League player.


Aston Villa v Swansea City
Villa attempted just 73 passes in their own half yesterday, by far the fewest of any side this weekend (second fewest by a side this season). Swansea were forced to making 60 clearances in this match, only once before have they had to make more in a Premier League game - at Villa Park last season.


Fulham v West Bromwich Albion
West Brom have kept just two clean sheets in their last 40 Premier League away matches. Fulham made 31 open play crosses this weekend, more than any other team and only Manchester United (33 v Fulham) have managed more in a game so far in 2012/13.


Manchester United v Wigan Athletic
Since the start of last season, no side has won more penalties in the Premier League than Manchester United (13), while Wigan have conceded more than any other side (11).


Wigan were the only side not to have a shot from outside the area this weekend, but they still had the worst shooting accuracy however, only 20%.


Queens Park Rangers v Chelsea
QPR had the best tackle success rate of any side this weekend, 91%. Only three times since their return to the Premier League have they achieved a better rate - their best came at Stamford Bridge last season (95%). Chelsea players have had more unsuccessful dribbles (19) than any other side this season.


Stoke City v Manchester City
Stoke managed a weekend- low two goal attempts from open play. Only 7% of City’s passes in this game were ‘long passes’, the lowest ratio in the Premier League this weekend.


Norwich City v West Ham United
Norwich kept only their second clean sheet in their last 18 Premier League games.

Including blocked shots, Norwich had more efforts on goal (25) than any other side this weekend. Only Chelsea (27) v Reading saw more attempts for one side this season.


For more football news and stats follow @msnsportlee


By SportUK 03/09/2012 11:39

Vital statistics, trends and landmarks from the weekend’s Premier League fixtures.

(PA Wire)Southampton v Manchester United
Robin van Persie had 11 shots in this match – the most by a player in a Premier League game since he had 12 attempts for Arsenal v Wolves last December.


Kelvin Davis has saved the last three penalties he has faced in the Premier League - against Manchester United, Manchester City and Aston Villa (when he was playing for Sunderland).


This game was the first time Manchester United won a Premier League game they were losing with five minutes remaining for the first time since April 1993 (v Sheffield Wednesday).


Only Southampton (19) have faced more shots on target than United in the Premier League this season (17).


Manchester City v Queens Park Rangers
Yaya Toure has scored (four) or assisted (two) six goals in his last five Premier League appearances.


City have scored 17 Premier League goals from corner kick situations since the start of last season, more than any other side.


Liverpool v Arsenal
Arsenal’s first goal of the season came after 211 minutes, the second-longest they have waited to score in the Premier League (224 minutes last season).


Liverpool’s first shot on target didn’t arrive until the 58th minute.


Newcastle United v Aston Villa
Just one of Aston Villa’s last eight Premier League goals has been scored by a striker (four by defenders). The Toon had six shots off target and one blocked in the first half, but not one on target.


Darren Bent has failed to score in six consecutive Premier League appearances – his longest drought since January 2009 at Spurs.


West Ham United v Fulham
Jussi Jaaskelainen made nine saves in this match without conceding a goal – something that only happened twice last season.


West Ham have scored 15 goals from corners in league competition since the start of last season (excluding play-offs). No side scored more than the Hammers in this manner in the Championship in 2011-12 (14).


Fulham have had the most shots on target in the Premier League this season (24).


Swansea City v Sunderland

Michu has scored 18 of his 19 league goals (La Liga and Premier League combined) since the start of 2011-12 from inside the box.(PA)


Michu is only the fifth player since 1992 to score at least four goals in his opening three Premier League games (Pavel Pogrebnyak, Collins John, Adrian Mutu and Patrik Berger), and only the fourth to score in each of his first three appearances in the competition (Pogrebnyak, Mutu, Michael Ricketts).


Sunderland only had four shots in this match, the second time they have had this few this season (also four v Arsenal).


Swansea’s passing accuracy in this match (92.9%) is the second-highest recorded by Opta (data since 2003-04), after Manchester United vs Fulham earlier this season (93%).


Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City
Spurs have attempted 39 shots (excluding blocked) already this season, but have only scored three goals. Only Manchester United have had more (42).


Only two players have made more successful dribbles than Mousa Dembelé since the start of last season, but he didn’t attempt a single one in this match.


West Bromwich Albion v Everton
West Brom have kept seven clean sheets in their last nine Premier League games at The Hawthorns.


Chris Brunt has assisted 10 goals from set pieces in the Premier League since the start of 2010-11; more than any other player.


Wigan Athletic v Stoke City
Nearly half (46.5%) of Stoke’s passes in this match went straight into the final third, more than any other side this weekend.


For more football stats and news follow msnsportlee on Twitter

  • Rob JonesRob Jones

    A fan of all things competitive, Rob plays, watches and shouts on the terraces of most sports.

  • Lee HarveyLee Harvey

    Whether it's football, cricket, cycling, NFL, NBA or major league baseball, Lee will be there and won't be short of an opinion.

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