Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Road To Athens - QF Preview Part 2

PSV Einhoven
The Dutch league is a little bit like the Scottish league in the sense that it is always the same one or two teams winning the title year after year after year. In The Netherlands, if not PSV Einhoven, then Ajax Amsterdam. If not Glasgow Celtic, then Glasgow Rangers. See the pattern? And the added coincidence is the inclusion of a dark horse this year, in the race in the likes of AZ Alkmaar for the Dutch and Hearts for the Scots.

Coming back to PSV Einhoven, they are currently in pole position in the Eredivisie leading with a massive 8-point gap. You may argue that ManUtd is even more impressive with a 9-point gap but that is with Chelsea having a game-in-hand. PSV Einhoven pulled away with a 8-point lead on level ground.

Despite being held to a goalless draw last weekend, PSV Einhoven is 2nd among the 8 teams in the Win Percentage category (75.00%) but is top of the table with a 2.29 (1st) Goal Ratio as well as the best defensive record of 0.54 goals per game (1st) in the Leaking Ratio.

With only 6 games to go before their season is over. The 8-point lead virtually seals the title for them. Hence, perhaps the next target for them to set their sights on would be that of the ECL. Unlike AC Milan, they are free to pursue the ECL trophy without the need to risk their league title chances or even a spot in next season's ECL at the very least.

Hence, I fancy them quite a bit with a high seeding.

JayWalk's Seeding: 4th


The problem with Liverpool is that they don't have a decent striker. Crouch is a joke while Fowler is a has-been. Bellamy is ill-disciplined while Kuyt is yet to find consistency. Gone are the days when Rush or Dalglish were to strike fear in every team's defense. Sure, everyone would say that they have Stevie G aka Gerrard but face it, he is also human and can't carry the team every day.

Liverpool Win Percentage is 55.17% (5th) while Goal Ratio is a pathetic 1.52 (6th). They do however can take comfort with a 4th best Leaking Ratio of a mere 0.69 goals per game. So what it means is that while they can't score goals, they don't really leak much either. Lotsa goalless draws or wins by the odd goal?

Currently in 3rd position in the English Premier League, Liverpool look set to yet another ECL next season. Granted that they may be easily overtaken by Arsenal (1 point behind, 2 games in hand), they are still 6 points away from current 5th placed Bolton Wanderers.

Liverpool's current domestic form is bad with 3 defeats in the last 5 games. However, they seemed to have a knack of doing things right when it comes to European fixtures. Hence a middle-of-the-pack seeding. Otherwise, I would have placed them lower down the pecking order.

JayWalk's Seeding: 5th

JayWalk Thoughts - PSV Einhoven vs Liverpool?

Statistics-wise, PSV Einhoven practically beats Liverpool in every single category. However, it must be noted that the level of football in The Netherlands is slightly below England, albeit not by a lot. Hence, it would be foolish to write Liverpool off so easily, simply based on the numbers laid out before you. Don't forget Liverpool is one of the European aristocrats with 5 European Cups under their belt.

It will be a close one between these two teams and it may all go down to who would do better in their respective home matches. I would go for PSV Einhoven to nick this round by the skin of their teeth. As for Liverpool, they have a pretty even shot at taking this round but I foresee that if they are lucky enough to scrape through this round, they certainly would not get past the next.


At 10:42 AM, March 14, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...


euro cup final prediction:

lfc vs as roma 3-1

repeat of lfc 1984 euro glory!!! : )
dream on scums! ha! ha!

At 11:55 AM, March 14, 2007, Blogger JayWalk said...

We shall see how it turns out come April.

We shall see.


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