World cup 2018 preview 3 – name the finalists likelihood

Using my simulation model, these are the likelihoods of 2 given teams meeting in the final. The structure of the knock-out rounds means that there’s a lower likelihood of Germany v Spain or France v Brazil finals as they’re more likely to meet before the final (if they win their groups). Note: the probabilities are…

World Cup 2018 preview 1 – how goal patterns repeat in international tournaments

International football is a strange beast, for the period in-between tournaments it’s an irritating punctuation –offering sporadic qualifiers or sterile friendly matches – unwelcome to players, managers and fans alike. Yet international tournament football has a capacity to engage and unify unlike any other form of the game (or probably any other sport). International football…

Too much information!

One of the key necessities for predicting a match outcome is determining which information is relevant and which isn’t.  Nowadays there are abundant sources of football data, which can help better model the likelihood of a particular event happening. It’s certainly vastly better than 20 or 30 years ago, when the league table was pretty…

Model reflections – part 2, individual matches

Part 2 of my 2016/17 model analysis looks at the performance of individual match modelling. Throughout the season I’ve used my adjusted goals rating assessment to generate probabilities for each match to test its effectiveness. I’ve analysed probabilities generated purely from the model (i.e. based solely on retrospective shots and goals data), and also probabilities…

Model Reflections part 1

As the curtain falls on another Premier League season, leaving only sporadic finals and tired internationals, to be followed by the football-free wasteland of summer sport that happens in a year ending in an odd number – it offers a great chance to reflect on and review prediction models. This is the first part of…

Assessing the model – the season so far

I use my adjusted goals model to generate probabilities for each Premier League match.The international break gives a chance to assess the model to find out if it’s beating the market. For an initial assessment of my model’s overall performance against the market I’ve used a Brier score method (explained here  in a good article by Pinnacle)….

Effective player assessment (and is Wayne Rooney really playing that badly?)

Quickly assessing the ability of individual players isn’t a particularly easy task; firstly because a player’s overall effectiveness isn’t necessarily the sum of a series of data points (goals, assists, passes, tackles etc) and secondly – good quality, manipulable, player-data is difficult to get hold of. There are a few good sources of Team data…

A Magnificent Seven

After a magnificent seven Premier League match weeks, it’s that time when an unscrupulous and powerful organisation disturbs the peace by imposing its will on agitated locals – the horrific International Weekend. The Bounty Hunter This enforced hiatus already prompted one City to enlist the services of an American bounty hunter, to assemble a team…

Man United v Man City detailed modelling preview

Introduction Even early in the season, Saturday’s Manchester derby appears one of those matches that will have a significant bearing on the Premier League title. Added to this it’s the first meeting of the teams’ two new managerial behemoths – so it seems appropriate to give this game added scrutiny from a modelling point of view….

Risk and Reward – managing your betting pot

So you’ve identified a value betting opportunity – how much do you wager? The answer will probably make or break your chances of long-term success. Even if you consistently spot genuine value, the capricious nature of chance dictates that undisciplined staking is the road to ruin. Yet, whilst there are no guarantees in the fickle…

Euro 2016 – Assessing international teams

International football is difficult to analyse. Unlike domestic league football, where vast quantities of data exist to assess team and player performance in a variety of conditions, negligible relevant data is available for international football. It is, by its nature infrequent – so tournament line-ups may bear little resemblance to those of previous matches –…

Were Leicester’s chances really 5000/1?

Leicester City’s season-start title odds of 5000 to 1 have been liberally used by the media to illustrate the magnitude of their success. But do these represent the genuine likelihood of their achievement? Certainly, the very fact that bookies were prepared to offer this price shows that they rated the likelihood as 5000 to 1…