Friday, September 23, 2011

Weekend Preview: Buy/Sell

So apparently, this is the favored new format for ranking systems: viewing teams as if they were stocks and then deciding to buy or sell depending on if you think their value will rise or fall. Without further ado, a few stock tips (in addition to selling on Stoke which I prophetically talked about last column) I think people should have.

Manchester United: SELL. Don't let the scorelines fool you. Chelsea outplayed them last game at home, West Brom outplayed them in the opener, and they have been really lucky in their Finish Rates. Right now, ManUre allows more SOG per time of possession than any team in the league, but those shots simply aren't hitting the back of the net. Either De Gea is brilliant, which fails the eye test, or they have been lucky. The same is true at the other end of the pitch where they have posted a Finish Rate of 46%. Half of their SOG going in the net? Not going to continue. This is not to say that they won't do very well this year, I still think they're the favorites for the title, but they won't run away with it like people seem to be thinking.

Chelsea: BUY. The game against Man United was just the latest good display by Chelsea. They have been consistently getting more SOG than their opponents and only failed to win at Stoke and against United. If AVB figures out his best starting lineup, they could be really scary. I really think they're closer to City and United than to the teams below them. By the way, I'm starting to think that AVB bought Mata just because he's his doppelganger.

Everton: SELL. I actually think Everton might win against Man City tomorrow, given that they have always won against City the past few years. That said, their excellent start has been fueled by 3 out of 4 games being at home against very poor opposition. I'd wait until tomorrow, and then get rid.

West Brom: BUY. West Brom have played an incredibly tough schedule, have played well, and have earned next to no points. I think Hodgson is an excellent manager who was unfairly blamed for Liverpool's poor start and I hope he isn't unfairly blamed for West Brom's start. West Brom have the worst Finish Rate differential of the league and a large part of that is luck. I think they get back on the winning track tomorrow against Fulham.

Aston Villa: SELL. I don't like this team. They don't keep the ball well and they don't have the efficiency on the break that carried the team in the past. Bent is good and Given has started very well, but I don't see their unbeaten start continuing, particularly since they have played an easy schedule so far.

Arsenal: HOLD. Arsenal's defense has been certifiably terrible, but I think once Vermaelen comes back it will improve. They've also been a bit unlucky in their Opponents' Finish Rate and their first two games had red cards, which limits how much we can take away from their performances. All in all, we haven't had enough time to judge how the new-look squad will shape up.



  • Gambling picks: @Stoke over Man U 5/1. I know, I know. I think both of these teams are overrated, but I like how the matchup plays out. United haven't yet played a team with a particularly good defense and I think Stoke will be a problem for them. United have also allowed too many chances on the break and I think Stoke can take advantage of that. This is the part where I urge you to not put too much stock in my advice.
  • I am officially christening Bryan Ruiz, who wears "Bryan" on the back of his jersey, William Jennings.
  • On a personal note, I have a new Sharp Aquos TV sitting in my living room. I can't wait to watch City-Everton in HD tomorrow on it. Good stuff.

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