Expected goals are one of the hot topics in the football analytics community at the moment and it’s a topic I’ve previously written a number of articles on discussing how to calculate them. If you haven’t read those pieces yet it’s probably worth taking a quick look to set the context for the rest of [...] Read more ›
The Spanish giants are in the midst of a tight La Liga race with Atletico Madrid, but before the league race closes, Barcelona and Real Madrid meet again with a trophy on the line. Barcelona and Real Madrid are facing off in the Copa del Rey final for… Read more ›
In a low scoring sport such as football, it is inevitable that perceived mistakes by the officials can be extremely important factors in determining the final scores of matches and even the outcomes of competitions. The introduction of goal line techno… Read more ›
Just when it seemed the day couldn’t get any worse for Norwich following their 1-0 defeat at Craven Cottage, the news arrived that the least likely result from the three relegation shaping games had actually materialized. A win for Cardiff at Southampt… Read more ›
I’ve been publishing various football odds and predictions on the site here since its inception so I thought it was time to get a bit more organised about it. I’d started refactoring all my code recently to automate it so that the models automatically spotted upcoming fixtures and predicted the odds without me needed to [...] Read more ›
Get ready for a weekend of football action by seeing how two pivotal matches could decide the fate of the Premiership title race and the fight to stave off relegation. Norwich’s visit to Fulham is followed on Sunday afternoon by Manchester City’s trip … Read more ›
Liverpool and Manchester City face off Sunday at Anfield in a match that will have significant implications for the Premier League title race. Liverpool currently sits atop the table with 74 points and Manchester City is in third at 70 points, though C… Read more ›
We’re close to two months away from the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and international hopefuls are making their case for a roster spot.
Here are five players aiming for a ticket to Brazil who stood out for their club’s last week:
• James Rodriguez (Colombia): With fellow countryman Radamel Falcao sidelined, Rodriguez has stepped up for Monaco. He scored twice and had an assist in a 3-1 win against Nantes to keep Monaco in the Ligue 1 title race. His 11 assists in domestic play are tied with Zlatan Ibrahimovic for most in the league. Read more ›
For the length of his Premiership tenure at Stoke City, Tony Pulis always managed to pull of at least one late season victory over a fellow struggling team that virtually guaranteed safe passage through to May. Two goal margin wins at the Hawthorns in Stoke’s first Premiership campaign and at QPR in Pulis’ last season, sandwiched similarly important victories over the likes of Middlesbrough, Hull and Wolves in the intervening years.
For all his critics at the Britannia and beyond, Pulis never allowed the fans’ fingernails to be bitten all the way to the quick and it was frequently Stoke’s opponents whom were staring into the abyss on the final day of the season.
Whether that was a talent or just a happy quirk of fate, the Premiership’s marmite figure virtually guaranteed himself a shot at a full season in Premiership charge of newboys, Crystal Palace, following a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Cardiff on Grand National Saturday.
Three goal margin wins are an extravagance that rarely appears on the Welshman’s CV, where defence is prized above all else and few can disputed the marvelous turn around he has engineered using his tried and trusted approach. When Pulis arrived at Palace after 11 matches, they had fewer points than Derby had at a comparable point in their miserable 2007/08 season when they ultimately finished bottom with just 11 points.
As Palace fan and Infostrada’s data guru, @SimonGleave points out on Twitter,
The really good news for Palace is that Cardiff wasn’t their easiest game in the final run in. They have a better opportunity to gain additional points in their upcoming home game with Villa and a similarly “easy” away match, comparable to Saturday’s win at Cardiff, at Fulham on the final day. So points are there to be taken to push their likely end of season points haul to even more comforting probabilistic levels.
Again by simulating the remainder of the campaign, it’s possible to arrive at how likely Palace are to finish with a particular points total and those predictions are shown in the plot above. Each fan will have his or her individual attainable total in mind, but even allowing for a degree of pessimism, the high 30′s should be easily reached.
By combining the two plots above, we can arrive at a more conventional graphical depiction of the likelihood that Palace could, through the unlikely combination of a really poor set of results over the last half dozen games, combined with Europa League qualifying form from one or more of the teams currently cut adrift at the bottom, find themselves relegated in May.
So to summarize, Palace has a less than 2% chance of being relegated prior to Sunderland’s Monday night game at Spurs. By defeating Cardiff, they almost certainly sealed the Welsh sides fate.
Norwich reacted to an extremely damaging loss at home to WBA by sacking their manager and face a massively important game at Fulham next week, followed by a run in that takes in visits to Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and visits from Liverpool and Arsenal.
Should Fulham defeat Norwich, the Cottagers may face Palace on the final Sunday having to win to stay up, while the Palace fans celebrate another resounding success for the Pulis sorcery. Read more ›
The Champions League quarterfinals conclude Tuesday and Wednesday; here is a statistical look at this week’s games, complete with Soccer Power Index projections. Chelsea vs. Paris Saint-Germain (Tuesday) PSG took command of the tie with a 3-1 win in… Read more ›