Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

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Nick Grey
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Re: Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

Post by Nick Grey » Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:49 pm

Taking the World Cup analogy both England and Belgium are fielding their 2nd XI. Trying the swiss gambit to get an easier set of opponents to win the whole tournament.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:02 pm

Nick Grey wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:49 pm
Taking the World Cup analogy both England and Belgium are fielding their 2nd XI. Trying the swiss gambit to get an easier set of opponents to win the whole tournament.
Yes, I've done some numbers on this too, and (pleasingly) they seem to agree with 538 in principle.

In short, it's better to lose this match. While you get a much easier last 16 game against Japan if you win, you're likely to bump into Brazil in the Quarter Finals (85% chance), who are comfortably Elo ranked #1. In contrast, Colombia is harder than Japan but we are still higher-rated, whereas Sweden/Switzerland are a much better option than Brazil!

England are more likely to reach the Semi Finals if they lose, and from then on it, it's all much of a muchness. Again, if anything, it is better to be in the bottom half, because there are two opportunities for Spain to mess it up before they get to England in the Semi Finals, but only one (not very likely) opportunity for Brazil to mess it up before England would get to them in the Quarter Finals.

So, in short - go on Belgium. :P

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Re: Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:22 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:02 pm
So, in short - go on Belgium. :P
I have no doubt at all that England's manager does not want his team to lose. If I'm wrong, then Cahill will get a telling off at half-time.

Richard Bates
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Re: Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

Post by Richard Bates » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:53 pm

Last eight world cups have been won by teams that topped their group in the group stage.

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Re: Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:15 pm

Richard Bates wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:53 pm
Last eight world cups have been won by teams that topped their group in the group stage.
Let's look at those groups, in turn, with their start of tournament Elo ranking:

1986 - Argentina (12), Italy (9), Bulgaria (17), South Korea (44)
1990 - West Germany (2), Yugoslavia (12), Colombia (18), United Arab Emirates (76)
1994 - Brazil (4), Sweden (10), Russia (15), Cameroon (35)
1998 - France (4), Denmark (12), South Africa (50), Saudi Arabia (47)
2002 - Brazil (13), Turkey (28=), Costa Rica (28=), China (41)
2006 - Italy (7), Ghana (55), Czech Republic (5), United States (15)
2010 - Spain (1), Chile (10), Switzerland (26), Honduras (36)
2014 - Germany (3), United States (13), Portugal (6), Ghana (34)

Except for Argentina and Italy, they were all the number 1 seeds in their group, and on those occasions, they were the number 2 seeds. I think you've got the link the wrong way around; these teams were winning their groups because three-quarters of the time they were the strongest team in their group.

2018 - Belgium (8), England (7), Tunisia (49), Panama (48)

If England intended to try to lose this match, then the winning the group stat goes out of the window - they weren't actively trying to achieve that, whereas all of the other 8 teams in previous World Cups (presumably!) were.

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Re: Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:17 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:22 pm
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:02 pm
So, in short - go on Belgium. :P
I have no doubt at all that England's manager does not want his team to lose. If I'm wrong, then Cahill will get a telling off at half-time.
The manager has already done his bit by picking Gary Cahill in the first place, as well as the rest of the non-1st teamers he didn't select (and then, left on the bench).

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Re: Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

Post by Mick Norris » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:36 pm

Alex, if we lose to Colombia I will hold you personally responsible
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Re: Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:43 pm

Mick Norris wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:36 pm
Alex, if we lose to Colombia I will hold you personally responsible
:lol:

Both Martinez and Southgate will have had people whose job it is to tell them this sort of thing. Their main role tonight was to avoid a repeat of the Thailand-Indonesia game in the 1998 AFF Cup, where both teams tried to lose to avoid the mighty Vietnam in the Semi Finals, which they also had to travel to play in rather than play at the ground they were playing that match in. There were various sanctions imposed on the teams and players after that. It also happened in a Badminton game at the 2012 Olympics, I recall. So they both rested everyone they could, and said all the right things in the media to deter people from thinking that they were deliberately trying to lose.

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Re: Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

Post by David Robertson » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:54 pm

It's abundantly clear from the evidence that England never had the slightest intention of winning that game. Look at the Rashford blunder: he had to score, but then remembered what Southgate had told him just in time. To avoid another rush of blood to the head thereafter, Southgate parked him out at wing-back. Impressive thinking, Gareth. And then, to ensure England will never score again this century, Southgate produced a move of pure genius - he sent on Danny Wellbeck! Fabulous stuff. Job done. Move over, Dvorkovich. Southgate could yet run for FIDE President

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Re: Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:00 pm

David Robertson wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:54 pm
It's abundantly clear from the evidence that England never had the slightest intention of winning that game. Look at the Rashford blunder: he had to score, but then remembered what Southgate had told him just in time.
Uh huh
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Mick Norris
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Re: Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

Post by Mick Norris » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:11 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:43 pm
Mick Norris wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:36 pm
Alex, if we lose to Colombia I will hold you personally responsible
:lol:
I didn't expect you to stand down as DoHC though :lol:

I'd be interested in the stats as how England fare when live on ITV as opposed to BBC over those games too
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Nick Grey
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Re: Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

Post by Nick Grey » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:03 pm

Wins 9% ITV about 60% BBC. I'm a bit biased on Cahill. Not least my partner was looking after the Cahill's dog for two weeks in the run up to end of Chelsea's season and FA Cup win over the red side of Manchester.

Quite clear that probably a clash with 3pm KO on County Finals day. Alex ought to have predicted it.

May well be lots of quick draws to watch the match. That equalises team strengths.

Any provision made for big screen in refreshment area & selection of cold beverages.
Hope Alex is Ok & I'm looking forward to an event which may be his last one for County Finals.

0-0 at half time but I'm predicting some red cards to have unequal teams for the next 45 minutes plus possible extra 30.

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Re: Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:27 pm

Last 20 years, BBC won 9/13, whereas last night was only the second win on ITV

Live on BBC on Saturday, but we have a rubbish record v Sweden, so expect a close match

Interesting that none of the matches so far have been settled in extra time (I'm blaming Alex for us going to penalties :wink: )
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Stewart Reuben
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Re: Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

Post by Stewart Reuben » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:08 pm

Mick > Interesting that none of the matches so far have been settled in extra time<

I don't know much about football (that is exaggerating my expertise) but I guess the probability of a match being decided in extra time is about 20%. Thus in 4 matches, the probability of one or more being decided in extra time is about 60%.

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Re: Equitable distribution of team strengths within leagues

Post by Mick Norris » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:20 pm

Nick Grey wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:03 pm
Wins 9% ITV about 60% BBC
2018 - BBC: 3 wins; ITV: 2 losses and a win on penalties :roll:

3rd place playoff is live on ITV on Saturday, so that makes Belgium favourites
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