Lower Leagues, midweek April 9

Those all important games in hand. Who will make the most of them? In the epic League One relegation battle a crucial game takes place in the heart of Lancashire, as Accrington host Rochdale. The Model fancies Stanley to turn Dale over 2-1 (10%), edging Accrington closer to safety, and Rochdale closer to the drop.

At the other end, Sunderland play one of their two games in hand when they host Burton. The Model thinks they will leapfrog the Yorkshiremen into the second automatic promotion spot tonight with a 1-0 win (16%).

In League Two Macclesfield face a tough task in their game in hand against play-off chasing Exeter City. The Model thinks that Macc will still be in the drop zone at 10pm tonight (0-1, 13%).

Forecast Win (%)
League One Score PR(%) P(H) P(A)
Accrington Rochdale 2-1 10% 47% 27%
Sunderland Burton 1-0 16% 56% 20%
Wycombe Charlton 0-1 12% 25% 50%
Forecast Win (%)
League Two Score PR(%) P(H) P(A)
Macclesfield Exeter 0-1 13% 34% 39%
Newport Co Swindon 1-0 11% 40% 32%
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Champions League Quarter Finals (part 1, April 9-10)

Champions League Quarter Finals. A night when some dreams can live on, and others will be shattered. Man City’s quadruple? Ajax’s fairy tail? Ronaldo and Juventus?

The Model has produced a fairly conventional set of forecasts, with the exception of one match. Manchester United are set to re-establish Fortress Old Trafford after the aberration against PSG in the last 16, as the Model expects them to turn over the sole remaining Spanish representatives, the half decent Barcelona (1-0, 13%). Will it be enough?

As always, we face off against Jean-Louis Foulley, and his forecasts are produced below, also. Foulley fully agrees with the Model on Liverpool (2-0 win), disagrees on the Tottenham-Man City result, agrees on the result and margin for Ajax and Juventus, but Foulley has a perhaps more conventional prediction for Barcelona – a 1-0 win at Old Trafford (9%).

Forecast Win (%)
Score PR(%) P(H) P(A)
Tue Liverpool Porto 2-0 10% 69% 12%
Tue Tottenham Man City 1-2 8% 28% 46%
Wed Ajax Juventus 0-1 14% 30% 43%
Wed Man Utd Barcelona 1-0 13% 42% 31%
    Win
Foulley F-Score P(R) P(H) P(A)
Liverpool Porto 2-0 11% 69% 13%
Tottenham Man City 1-1 12% 34% 41%
Ajax Juventus 1-2 11% 27% 49%
Man Utd Barcelona 0-1 9% 31% 45%

League Two, R41 (6 April)

Lincoln may be as good as promoted already, but they still have the small matter of six remaining games, the first of which is as tough as they come for runaway leaders – a trip to second placed MK Dons. The Model thinks a 1-1 draw is most likely (12%).

The Model thinks stuttering Bury can put an end to an utterly abject week when they visit Carlisle, themselves without a win in four. But did the Model see just how bad Bury were in the week?

It’s a three way battle, essentially, for the drop out of the Football League. Improving Notts County (84%) though look set to lose further ground with a 1-0 home reverse to Northampton (9%). Yeovil (50%) are sinking fast, and look set to record a sixth straight defeat at West Country rivals Swindon tomorrow (1-0, 15%). The Model expects Macclesfield to take a huge step to safety with a 1-0 win over Morecambe (10%).

Forecast Win (%)
Score PR(%) P(H) P(A)
CAR BUR 1-2 8% 31% 41%
CHE EXE 1-0 6% 41% 31%
COL OLD 1-0 12% 38% 34%
CRA FGR 0-1 13% 30% 43%
GRI STE 1-0 14% 45% 28%
MAC MOR 1-0 10% 45% 28%
MAN CAM 1-0 18% 61% 17%
MKD LIN 1-1 12% 36% 37%
NEW TRA 1-1 12% 35% 37%
NOT NOR 0-1 9% 33% 39%
PVA CRE 1-0 16% 40% 33%
SWI YEO 1-0 15% 62% 17%

League One, R41 (April 6-7)

Much remains to be settled in League One; not least, 13 teams still need to worry a little bit about being relegated, and no team has absolutely nothing to play for… yet.

The team with the smallest probability (1%), Oxford United, can exercise that small nagging doubt by winning 1-0 at 21st place Walsall (7%), thus compounding the Midlanders’ own relegation worries (53%). Similarly recovering Wimbledon (40% chance of relegation, down from 79% in late March) look set to compound free-falling Accrington’s worries (13% of the drop) with a 1-0 win (13%).

Seemingly doomed Bradford (96% chance of the drop) entertain play-off hopefuls (45%) and fellow Yorkshiremen Doncaster, and The Model expects the Rovers to prevail 2-1 (10%).

Forecast Win (%)
Score PR(%) P(H) P(A)
Sat WIM ACC 1-0 13% 51% 24%
Sat BRA DON 1-2 10% 27% 47%
Sat BUR BAR 0-1 16% 30% 43%
Sat FLE SOU 1-0 13% 57% 19%
Sat LUT BLA 1-0 20% 65% 15%
Sat PET GIL 2-1 10% 42% 30%
Sat PLY CHA 0-1 14% 30% 42%
Sat ROC SUN 0-1 10% 20% 56%
Sat SHR SCU 1-0 12% 56% 20%
Sat WAL OXF 0-1 7% 32% 40%
Sat WYC POR 1-2 10% 23% 51%
Sun COV BRI 1-0 18% 42% 31%

FA Cup Semi Finals (6-7 April)

Wembley, recently vacated by Spurs, hosts the FA Cup Semi-Finals this weekend.

The Model expects Man City to continue their relentless march towards the Quadruple, winning 3-1 against Brighton (8%), while the battle of 8th vs 7th in the Premier League, the battle of the teams whose names begin with W, is expected to go Watford’s way 1-0 (27%).

Forecast Win (%)
T1 T2 Score PR(%) P(T1) P(T2)
Sat Man City Brighton 3-1 8% 76% 9%
Sun Watford Wolves 1-0 27% 41% 31%

End of Season League Two (April 5)

After updating our end-of-season projections for the Premier League, Championship and League One, we now add League Two. At the top, Lincoln are already essentially promoted; an eleven point gap to fourth placed Mansfield may be surmountable, but not realistically, the Model thinks. Congratulations, Lincoln!

Bury’s blip this week on and off the pitch have probably sealed Lincoln’s promotion, but they do still have a 61% chance of joining the Imps come May.

Tranmere’s seven match winning run was unexpectedly ended by Greater Manchester’s other basement dwellers Oldham, but they still harbour hopes of making the top three (11% chance).

Only two teams, Cheltenham and Grimsby, have absolutely no chance of anything at all this season any more.

At the bottom Notts County’s recent revival has given them a shot at avoiding the drop, but they are still at 84% chance (Macclesfield at 61%, Yeovil at 50%).

Position Probability (%)
Team Most Likely Prob (%) Title Promotion Play-offs Relegation
LIN 1 86% 86% 100% 100% 0%
MKD 2 48% 11% 85% 100% 0%
BUR 3 37% 2% 61% 100% 0%
MAN 4 36% 1% 41% 100% 0%
TRA 5 40% 0% 11% 97% 0%
EXE 6 29% 0% 2% 68% 0%
FGR 7 24% 0% 0% 54% 0%
COL 8 18% 0% 0% 29% 0%
NEW 8 15% 0% 0% 21% 0%
CAR 10 18% 0% 0% 11% 0%
SWI 10 16% 0% 0% 12% 0%
OLD 12 16% 0% 0% 6% 0%
CRE 13 17% 0% 0% 1% 0%
STE 14 18% 0% 0% 1% 0%
NOR 15 21% 0% 0% 1% 0%
CHE 16 24% 0% 0% 0% 0%
GRI 17 31% 0% 0% 0% 0%
CAM 18 26% 0% 0% 0% 1%
MOR 19 23% 0% 0% 0% 1%
CRA 19 25% 0% 0% 0% 2%
POR 21 25% 0% 0% 0% 2%
YEO 22 36% 0% 0% 0% 50%
MAC 23 34% 0% 0% 0% 61%
NOT 24 53% 0% 0% 0% 84%

League One End of Season (April 4)

Both ends of League One contain plenty to keep fans of the teams involved anxious, and armchair fans absorbed.

While Luton are clear at the top, with a 90% chance of winning the league and a 98% chance of securing promotion, the fight beneath them for the second promotion spot is between Portsmouth, Barnsley and Sunderland. Charlton have an outside chance (1%) of sneaking into the mix, but realistically, it’s a three way battle, and despite Sunderland’s games in hand, the Model sees Portsmouth and Barnsley are more likely to avoid the play-offs.

Beneath, there’s just one play-off spot un-determined; just a couple of weeks ago Coventry were favourites to take it, but they’ve fallen away badly, leaving Doncaster (45%) most likely to grab it.

The bottom of the table though is the most absorbing story. Even twelfth placed Oxford have a 1% chance of being relegated, but more realistically, it is a fight involving everyone from 17th placed Wycombe downwards. Wycombe, Accrington, Southend and Scunthorpe, who currently occupy the four places above the relegation zone, are sinking like lead balloons at just the wrong time, with four defeats in their last five. Southend as such have a 53% chance of going down, a greater chance than second bottom Rochdale, who are rallying and have a 44% chance of relegation.

Bradford look doomed, with a 96% chance of suffering the drop.

Position Probability (%)
team Final Prob (%) Title Promotion Play-offs Relegation
LUT 1 90% 90% 98% 100% 0%
POR 2 35% 4% 39% 100% 0%
BAR 3 38% 4% 38% 100% 0%
SUN 4 39% 2% 23% 100% 0%
CHA 5 75% 0% 1% 100% 0%
PET 6 27% 0% 0% 28% 0%
DON 6 43% 0% 0% 45% 0%
BLA 8 24% 0% 0% 12% 0%
COV 9 24% 0% 0% 9% 0%
FLE 10 24% 0% 0% 5% 0%
BUR 11 34% 0% 0% 2% 0%
OXF 12 31% 0% 0% 0% 1%
PLY 13 18% 0% 0% 0% 2%
ACC 14 12% 0% 0% 0% 13%
GIL 14 15% 0% 0% 0% 4%
BRR 15 16% 0% 0% 0% 8%
SHR 19 12% 0% 0% 0% 21%
WYC 20 11% 0% 0% 0% 28%
WIM 22 13% 0% 0% 0% 40%
SCU 22 13% 0% 0% 0% 38%
SOU 23 17% 0% 0% 0% 53%
ROC 23 16% 0% 0% 0% 44%
WAL 23 17% 0% 0% 0% 53%
BRA 24 72% 0% 0% 0% 96%