Expected Goals: Foot Shots Versus Headers

My last article on expected goals introduced the concept of using exponential decay to estimate the probability of scoring based on the shooter’s distance from the goal. The article received lots of feedback (thanks everyone!!), with a couple of common comments standing out that I wanted to address. Simplifying The Model One common theme was whether [...] Read more ›


CL draw system increases Group of Death chance

The Champions League draw pots for this evening are based on the UEFA coefficients for clubs at the end of last season. Those coefficients are based on a five year performance in European competition. In general, this system works reasonably … Continue reading Read more ›

Predicting the Eredivisie: A guest post by Steve Lawrence

Last season, I collected 13 forecasts before the 2013/2014 Eredivisie season, the results of which can be found here. Throughout last season, Relative Age Effect expert Steve Lawrence, an Englishman living in Amsterdam, sent me all sorts of graphs relating to … Continue reading Read more ›

New faces but even less time: managers in the Premier League

New names have dominated Premier League managerial appointments in the last two years, but there is some evidence that these less-familiar faces are being given even less time than ‘experienced’ Premier League managers to improve their teams. Four Premier League clubs appointed new managers this summer; three of these appointments were new to the league (van […] Read more ›

How unlikely were The Invincibles?

This summer marked the 10-year anniversary of Arsenal completing their Invincibles season; a team remembered not only as a ruthless winning machine but also for being totally unlike anything previously seen in English football. There has been plenty of good writing on The Invincibles – indeed this post was inspired by Dennis Bergkamp’s recent autobiography – and this […] Read more ›

48 Forecasts: The Eredivisie predicted

Following on from last year, we have again collected Eredivisie predictions (you can download them all here) but instead of 13 to follow through the season, we now have a total of 48 from online media, fans, statistical models and … Continue reading Read more ›

Which goals scored/allowed statistics yield Pythagorean points?

When I was evaluating last season’s league projections and creating this season’s with the Pythagorean expectation, I was reminded that I hadn’t really studied which pairs of goals scored and allowed result in a specific expected point total.  In a league competition, it’s possible to reach a point total in various ways, and the combination […] Read more ›