Ligue 1 Talk’s “Power Breakdown”

For 20 years, I had worked in the field of political science as a statistician. During that time, I had to crunch numbers for every district on the face of the earth to try to predict voting trends. I created spreadsheets that had fields that were over 200 Excel pages long. So, why not apply some of that know-how to French football?

Each week, I will be doing an overview of the Ligue 1 week. Since I can thank Foxsoccer.tv for showing almost every match online, it gives me an opportunity to see all the matches, all the players, and give a fair assessment of play in each of those matches.

There are a few points the “Power Breakdown” will be covering. Some of them has to do with stats, some don’t.

First, I will be showing the “Goal of the Week”. This is just my personal choice of the best goal for that week. At the end of the season, we will have a “Goal of the Year”.

Second, we will have a Ligue 1 “Team of the Week”. Because I am able to see all the matches, I can rely on actual play on the pitch for the entire 90 minutes instead of looking at highlights to determine the team. And, again, I will be creating a “Team of the Year” based on performances through the year.

Third, I will be looking at players of the week in the forward, midfield and defender position. I am not doing goaltending because whoever the goaltender I picked for “Team of the Week” would pretty much be the “Goaltender of the Week” as well.

And finally, I will be doing the “Ligue 1 Talk Power Rankings”. This is a set of mathematical equations put into a spreadsheet that takes a number of factors into consideration. Of course, we look at goals for and goals against, as well as the current place in the standings. Also, we take a look at “strength of schedule”, which there is a formula created for. There is also a formula created for away wins that is directly related to strength of schedule. Therefore, a team like Lorient gets more points for winning at PSG than Rennes get for winning at Dijon.

Another aspect that we have in this is the “human factor”. If anyone was able to see Dijon play yesterday, they looked pretty good despite losing 5-1. Therefore, that factor is put into the equation as well. Yes, this is the part that has to do with “opinion”, but it is just part of the calculation.

So there it is. I am getting ready to put Matchday 1 up in a couple of minutes. Enjoy.

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