Model vs the Experts (R16)

As usual, Lawro and Merson have got their forecasts in. We’ve been doing well so far this season against the experts (if not our own challengers), let’s see if we can keep it up…

Model Lawro Merson
Arsenal Huddersfield 2-0 3-0 3-0
Bournemouth Liverpool 0-2 0-2 1-3
Burnley Brighton 1-1 2-0 1-1
Cardiff Southampton 1-1 2-1 2-0
Chelsea Man City 0-1 0-2 1-2
Leicester Tottenham 1-2 0-2 1-3
Man Utd Fulham 3-0 2-0 2-0
West Ham C Palace 1-0 2-0 2-0
Newcastle Wolves 1-0 1-1 2-2
Everton Watford 1-0 2-0 2-1
Advertisements

Premier League, R16 (8-10 Dec)

Claudio Ranieri has vowed to “tinker clever” in his endeavours to keep Fulham up. He must be doing something right as the Cottagers have taken 4 points from his first 3 games in charge. Fulham face Man Utd on Saturday. The Model however has Utd to win comfortably 3-0 (9%).

The game of the round is undoubtedly at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Man City. If City take 3 points form these kinds of games, then there is surely no stopping them taking the title. Both sides rested players in midweek. City scraped a win at Watford, but Chelsea slipped up against Wolves. The Model suggests City will edge this one 0-1 (14%).

The table below gives the rest of the Model’s forecasts for Round 16 of the Premier League:

  • The Forecast scoreline, with the % chance of that happening
  • The % chance of a win by the Home team, P(H), or Away team, P(A) (with one hundred minus those two numbers giving the % chance of a draw
Forecast Win (%)
Score Pr (%) P(H) P(A)
Arsenal Huddersfield 2-0 12 67 13
Bournemouth Liverpool 0-2 12 30 41
Burnley Brighton 1-1 9 34 37
Cardiff Southampton 1-1 13 35 36
Chelsea Manchester City 0-1 14 31 40
Leicester Spurs 1-2 9 31 40
Manchester Utd Fulham 3-0 9 63 15
West Ham Crystal Palace 1-0 11 44 28
Newcastle Wolves 1-0 17 44 28
Everton Watford 1-0 20 50 24

 

The scourge of the goalless draw

It’s the classic trope wheeled out by those who don’t like football – goalless draws, boring! Even those of us who live and breathe football have to confess we’d rather see a game with goals, even if those goals are all a bit comical, as they were in the 2-2 draw between Man United and Arsenal in the week.

Just how frequent are goalless draws? Mark Lawrenson and Paul Merson spectacularly under-predict them; prior to the current season, Lawro had called just 8 0-0 draws in 2,617 recorded predictions, and Merson just 4 in 1,483 recorded predictions (thanks to @MyFootballFacts and @EightyFivePoints for the data). That’s low (about 0.3%), but how low compared to outcomes?

The featured pic for this post shows the frequency per season (northern hemisphere) over the history of data collected on Soccerbase. There’s been quite a bit of variation over time, and perhaps surprisingly for someone who got into football in the late 1980s and early 1990s, that isn’t the period when the most goalless draws were recorded – it’s actually the 1920s.

We can use the econometric technique of Indicator Saturation to determine shifts and outliers in this time series. The R package gets gives us the following plot:

goalless-draws-isat

So we see that since the late 1960s, things have been fairly constant, with (persistent) variation around about 8%. The middle panel gives the residuals, hence the difference each year from that mean level of 8%. We’re on a run now of 12 consecutive seasons with less than 8%, but not statistically significantly less than 8%. If the downward trend continues though, we may be looking at a new equilibrium sometime soon.

The art of defending, maybe, is a thing of the past?

Evaluation – Quick Update – “The Model vs Lawro vs Merse” – Model takes the Lead

The featured image (and below) plots the cumulative forecasting performance of “The Model vs Lawro vs Merse” since round 10  in the Premier League, and as of the midweek fixtures just gone, according to the BBC Sport scoring metric (40 points for a perfect scoreline forecast, 10 points for a correct result only).

The Model got off to a good start, but by round 5 tipster Merson had overtaken the Model, and by round 9 tipster Lawro was getting close (see here).

But now the Model has taken the lead again, overhauling Merson and pulling away form Lawro – and we wouldn’t bet against that trend continuing till the end of the season!

fcast

 

Premier League, R15 (4-5 Dec)

It is Man U v Arsenal tomorrow night. Throughout the Premier League era, surely this has been the most exciting fixture of the season, not least due to the League’s two greatest managers, who had an intense but (usually) respectful rivalry. Utd’s current manager is in some bother, describing his star player recently as a “virus”. After seemingly arresting Utd’s decline last season, the lack of return from the transfer market and poor results this season puts Mourinho in danger of spending the whole Christmas period at home with his family. The Model thinks matters won’t get any easier for Mourinho anytime soon, and forecasts a 1-1 (10%) draw, with Utd slightly ahead in terms of chances of winning the game outright (39%).

Southampton have just sacked their manager – who apparently has been “beleaguered” for a some time, across several clubs and decades. Instead of opting for the sort of safe pair of hands which kept them up last season, Saints look set to appoint somebody who has never managed in England as their new manager. It seems unlikely that Southampton will get an immediate post-sacking (reversion to the mean) bounce on Wednesday night, as they travel to Wembley to take on Spurs. The Model has this one down as a 2-0 (17%) win to Spurs.

The table below gives the rest of the Model’s forecasts for Round 15 of the Premier League:

  • The Forecast scoreline, with the % chance of that happening
  • The % chance of a win by the Home team, P(H), or Away team, P(A) (with one hundred minus those two numbers giving the % chance of a draw

 

Forecast Win (%)
Score Pr (%) P(H) P(A)
Bournemouth Huddersfield 2-1 10 57 19
Brighton Crystal Palace 1-0 10 41 30
Watford Manchester City 0-2 12 20 55
West Ham Cardiff 2-1 10 53 21
Burnley Liverpool 0-1 19 20 55
Everton Newcastle 1-0 18 52 22
Fulham Leicester 1-2 8 32 39
Manchester Utd Arsenal 1-1 10 39 33
Spurs Southampton 2-0 17 58 18
Wolves Chelsea 0-1 18 24 49

Model vs Experts (R14)

Belatedly, and adding Stan Collymore to the line-up of ex-professionals picking scores, here is the table:

Model Lawrenson Merson Collymore
Arsenal Tottenham 2-1 1-2 1-1 2-2
C Palace Burnley 1-0 1-0 2-1 1-1
Cardiff Wolves 0-0 1-1 1-1 1-1
Chelsea Fulham 2-0 2-0 2-0 2-0
Huddersfield Brighton 0-0 1-0 1-0 2-1
Leicester Watford 1-0 2-0 1-1 2-0
Liverpool Everton 1-0 2-0 2-0 2-0
Man City Bournemouth 3-0 3-0 4-1 5-0
Newcastle West Ham 1-0 2-0 2-1 1-0
Southampton Man Utd 0-1 0-2 0-2 0-2

Premier League, R14 (30-2 Dec)

It is the Merseyside derby on Sunday – city bragging rights really hinge on this one, comparable to the other massive global football derby matches in the “two-big-team” cities (Buenos Aires, Glasgow, Madrid, Manchester, Buenos Aires, Milan). Liverpool remain unbeaten and are genuine title contenders. Everton sit in 6th place, ahead of Man Utd, and have ambitions of finishing in the coveted top 4 come next May. The Scorecasting Model favours the red half of the city, giving them a 55% chance of victory, with the forecast scoreline 1-0 (16%).

Huddersfield shocked Wolves and the oddsmakers last weekend. Already this early in the season, if they beat relegation again it would be ta “Great Escape” once more, especially when you compare squads and wage budgets with the likes of Fulham and Southampton. This weekend the Terriers host Brighton & Hove Albion, who haven’t won in their last 3 games. The Model thinks Huddersfield have the better chance of victory, but also that the game will be close, and so the forecast scoreline is 0-0 (16%).

The table below gives the rest of the Model’s forecasts:

  • The Forecast scoreline, with the % chance of that happening
  • The % chance of a win by the Home team, P(H), or Away team, P(A) (with one hundred minus those two numbers giving the % chance of a draw
Forecast Win (%)
    Score Pr (%) P(H) P(A)
Arsenal Spurs 2-1 7 40 32
Crystal Palace Burnley 1-0 12 49 24
Cardiff Wolves 0-0 22 35 36
Chelsea Fulham 2-0 9 68 13
Huddersfield Brighton 0-0 16 39 32
Leicester Watford 1-0 10 41 30
Liverpool Everton 1-0 19 55 20
Manchester City Bournemouth 3-0 14 70 12
Newcastle West Ham 1-0 16 47 26
Southampton Manchester Utd 0-1 15 32 40