La Liga and Serie A..............what to expect............
Dec 07, 2017
We are 14 rounds in, that is almost 37% of the season played. Goals are running at 2.77 per game, which is pretty much where we would expect them to be, the last two campaigns have averaged 2.84, we should "always" see an increase through the second half of the campaign and the trend is upwards, so that feels bang on course. Homes are perhaps more interesting, they are running at 45.71% which is exactly the same as this time last year and very similar to two of the three seasons prior to that and all four of those saw a 2-3% increase from here on in, over the final 24 rounds. So we should expect more of the same, it might not sound like much, but to achieve the lower end of the band increase we need to hit 48.75% as an average over the remaining rounds, 50.42% to reach the upper end and those would be fairly significant increases. Of course, they do not have to happen, but are what we have seen over the last four years and we are only "starting" from the same base as last season.
This is perhaps more interesting, with games in the Italian top flight becoming increasingly open.
A decade ago the average was producing 2.55 goals, with a mean game priced at 2.17-3.39-4.09, now we are likely to see 0.33 of a goal more and the trend is ever upwards with fewer draws, after 31.58% stalemates in 14/15, they have fallen to 25% and then 21.05% last season and through 15 rounds (we are two games short) this campaign they are running at 18.92%, with a standard game looking like 2.31-5.57-2.64. Home wins are a little lower than usual at 43.24% , so all of that additional percentage has gone to away teams with road wins running at what must be an all time high of almost 38%, up over 8-9% on any season you might care to look at.
That feels too big an increase and probably is and I would usually say that we should expect a big swing the other way, but it has been heading that way for some time in Italy and at long last, they seem to have twigged that you win nothing in modern football by playing scared, or defensively. I do not think it is coincidence that many teams have started to blood youngsters, Milan for example have six regulars aged 23 and under , include three teenagers , just five years ago they had 11 regulars in their 32nd-42nd year, with three making 14 + appearances who were aged 40 + , with only one under 25 yo (22) making the starting eleven ! They are not alone and promising young players are not being made to wait for ever for their opportunity and are not stuck in old ways. You could also make a case for this being part of the current problems of the national team, with a side in transition, but not reflecting what is good in the domestic game currently. That, and a dinosaur of a head coach who could only play one formation and wanted to bring on defensive midfielder Daniele de Rossi when his team needed a goal against Sweden with 15 minutes remaining ......go figure !
Anyway, games are far more fun to watch and the trend is younger and more open, with less fear factor and whilst we might see an increase in draws slightly, as they are very low, the number of goals and away wins should remain on the high side.
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