Scorecasting Economists

Premier League 6 March 2021

Premier League 6 March 2021

Manchester City v Manchester United

Are Man City unstoppable?

This season, in terms of winning the Premier League, yes

If United win tomorrow, will it change the title race, such as it is?

No, because even if they do win, City have enough to rotate and will win more than enough of their remaining games.

This is first v second but there are already 14 points between the two and Man Utd have drawn four of their last five games. United actually look reasonably vulnerable of not being in the Champions League if two or three teams below them put together good end of season runs and they carry on drawing.

They also have the worst defence of the current top four and the second worst out of current top six.

Man Utd do score goals though and are in fact second in the league only to Man City on that measure.

Man Utd have won quite a few more of the games played between the two clubs so there is some hope, especially as they have won 2 and drawn one of the last 4 match ups between the two.

Man City are showing at 1.88 on expected goals to Man Utd’s 0.7 and are 65% likely to win in our model. Bookmakers have them on similar odds at 61%.

Our model predicts: 1-0 Man City win.

Elsewhere in the league:

For a lot of the games this weekend our scorecasting model is very close to bookmaker mean odds (see table below).

There are one or two exceptions. There is not much between Brighton and Leicester (with each model favouring a different team). Brighton have the joint best defence with Fulham in the lower half of the table and apart from Leeds, the best goal difference in that half of the table.

Our model favours Sheffield Utd over Southampton whereas bookmakers heavily favour Southampton despite their dismal recent form (45% for a Southampton win).

In many weeks of the season, our model has slightly underestimated Everton. This week is no exception, as a draw is predicted with West Brom but bookmakers favour them at 50% compared to just 23% for West Brom.

It’s also one of the few weeks this season we’ve had where there are no teams on above 2 for expected goals.  The game with the biggest difference between two teams this week is between Spurs and Palace.

 

English Championship 5 March 2021

English Championship 5 March 2021

Huddersfield v Cardiff

Cardiff manager Mick McCarthy has just signed a new contract and Cardiff are one of the teams just outside the playoffs. They are putting together the sort of run of form that often leads to promotion or a playoff final at the least.

Cardiff also are the second highest scorers in the league now (53 goals for, only Brentford, in 2nd place have more with 61) and have the joint 4th best goal difference.

Huddersfield on the other hand are only 5 points away from the relegation places and have the second worst defence in the league (they’ve let in 51 goals and only bottom placed Wycombe have more with 55).

All of that surely suggests a Cardiff win tonight which will increase the pressure on the teams in the playoff places…..

However, our model predicts: 1-1 but looking at the details below, this is very marginal – an exact 1-1 draw is 10.7% likely. However, conditional on a win, Cardiff win and away results are all three of the next most likely results:

0-1 (10.4%),

1-2 (9.9%)

0-2 (9.6%)

Cardiff are also 56% to win in our model (with bookmakers more cautious at 44%).

Reading v Sheffield Wednesday

Finally a match where Reading are outright predicted to win both in our model and bookmakers mean odds (see table below for both). This has probably cursed them, so sorry about that.

Reading have more than half a goal extra in expected goals than Sheff. Weds (1.56 to 0.9).

Reading are 53% to win in our model and 52% with bookmakers. This is in part because Sheffield have lost their last five league games (their last win was also against Wycombe). Reading have won their last two so hopefully this scorecast will herald good news.

Our model predicts: 1-0

 

 

English Championship Midweek, 2nd Mar 2021

English Championship Midweek, 2nd Mar 2021

Our scorecasting model for the English Championship is currently producing some fairly similar predictions when compared to bookmakers mean odds at the moment (see table below). There are one or two exceptions each week but not many. There are occasional teams that have broken this slightly though – one is Barnsley who have come to serious form in recent weeks and Reading who often defy predictions of defeat or a draw. This week there is also a difference in the Coventry v Middlesbrough game.

Bristol City v Bournemouth

This is one of the few games where there is a large difference in the odds for a win for either team when comparing our model to bookmakers. Bookmakers have Bournemouth as overwhelming favourites, we have the two teams within 1% of each other in terms of who wins.

Most likely score: 1-1

QPR v Barnsley

Barnsley have now won 5 games in a row and I suspect our model is slightly underestimating them.

Our model slightly favours them at 37%, against 35.4% for QPR with bookmakers also placing Barnsley at 37% but QPR 2% lower. There certainly looks like there is space in the playoffs or even promotion so wouldn’t be surprised if the current layout of the table changes quite a bit before the end of the season.

Most likely score: 1-1

Reading v Blackburn

Reading managed to halt a two match losing run and win at the weekend. Blackburn managed a draw against ten men, after losing 5 in a row. Reading are at 47% to win in our model (bookmakers have them at only 40%) with Blackburn only 26%.

The teams have played each other remarkably few times. Apart from one FA Cup match in 1913, it was not until 1979 that they actually played each other. Reading won 4-2 earlier in the season and the last 2 games between the clubs have produced 13 goals!

Most likely score: 1-1 (although a 1-1 win is at 12.6% likely to happen, a 1-0 home win is at 12.5%!)

 

Premier League 2nd March 2021, Midweek

Premier League 2nd March 2021, Midweek

Liverpool v Chelsea 

This is a pretty intriguing game as Liverpool’s defence continues to struggle and will face what is now a better organised Chelsea team.

Our model favours Liverpool, who are actually one place lower than Chelsea but our model takes into account teams ELO rating, so with Liverpool being 2 ELO places ahead of Chelsea among the English teams and 7 across Europe the outcomes showing in our model make more sense (47% Liverpool win v 25% Chelsea).

Unsurprisingly given the longer period of success in Liverpool’s history the record between the teams favours Liverpool. Liverpool have won 82 times to Chelsea’s 64. The last time Chelsea beat Liverpool in the league was nearly 3 years ago.

Liverpool also won their last match (despite losing the last 4) and although it was against Sheffield United who looked almost relegated, Chelsea also have drawn their last 2 matches.

Most likely score from our model: 1-0

Burnley v Leicester

I strongly suspect there are going to be academic studies into how it appears that players are picking up more injuries, across this particular season. Considering a large amount of the same players are expecting to play in Euro 2021, I wonder what state squads will be in for the start of next season as well?

Teams outside the top 6 don’t really have the squads to play the same first team in 3 games in ten days but are having to with the increase in mid-week games. Leicester are now out of the UEFA League but it looks like it has already taken it’s toll on their players with the amount of injuries they’ve had. This gives Burnley a chance tomorrow night I think.

Caution should be applied though, Leicester have only lost won game after a good run but whilst Burnley may not be winning that many games they are grinding out the points or were until Tottenham finally got their attack to work at the weekend. Bookmakers are slightly clearer out the outcome than our model, giving Leicester a 47% chance to win.

Most likely score: 1:1

Elsewhere in the league, our model continues to under-score Everton, where it actually favours West Brom, who despite having the worst defensive record in the league still show as slight favourites. Bookmakers overwhelmingly favour Everton though at 51.3% to 22.5% for West Brom.

Sheffield Utd v Aston Villa is another match where our model has undermarked a team and in this case it’s Villa. Our model slightly favours Sheffield United who are all but relegated. Bookmakers correct this by favouring Villa at 45%.

 

Premier League 27 February 2021

Premier League 27 February 2021

Chelsea v Man Utd

This is 5th v 2nd with Chelsea now looking much more consistent than at the start of the season.

Our model favours Chelsea, as do expected goals and bookmakers mean odds. Historically Man Utd have come out winners far more often (81-55)

I think this is going to be a real test for an in-form Chelsea. I still think Man Utd’s defence is too weak and Chelsea have a much better chance of winning that they did with Lampard.

Our model gives a 45% chance for a Chelsea win, with 14.5% for a 1-0 and 13.1% for 1-1.

Our model predicts: 1-0

Man City v West Ham

1st v 4th should perhaps produce better odds for the 4th placed teams but not this fixture.

That West Ham have surprised people this season is fairly widely acknowledged. However Man City look very difficult to beat and are regularly scoring and will surely try to dominate this game, crucially they are winning and have key players returning from injury as well.

Man City have an 80% chance to win in our model, giving West Ham just a 6% chance. A 2-0 win for Man City has more than twice the chance of happening at 14% than West Ham winning at all. City don’t just have the best defence (only 14 goals let in), they have scored more than everyone else (50). I actually think there is a strong chance City will get more than 2 goals today.

Our model predicts: 2-0

Tottenham v Burnley

Which Tottenham will turn up?

In midweek they put four past Wolfsberger and this does feel like the sort of match most managers would be looking to play all four of Kane, Ali, Bale and Son from the start – it’s got to be better than whatever else has been going on for them in the league recently.

Feels hard to justify not doing that but then there is Mourinho, so who knows?

Tottenham are still likely to win, regardless of that but will surely have to attack Burnley.

Our model has Tottenham with a 66% chance to win with bookmakers only 4% less. Tottenham also lead on expected goals (over 2), hence the 2-0 prediction below.

Our model predicts 2-0

Other matches

Elsewhere in the league there are two matches where our model’s likely outcomes differ significantly from bookmakers mean odds.

Both games are at the lower end of the table.

Palace v Fulham and West Brom v Brighton. Our model favours both home teams whilst bookmakers favour the away team.

 

Championship 26 February 2021

Championship 26 February 2021

Derby v Nottm Forest

The ‘Clough derby’, may look these days, like a mid to lower-mid table clash between two teams that seem to be English Championship regulars but there was a time when each of them were arguably the best in England.

The teams ELO strengths are almost equal (Derby 1494 –  Nottm Forest 1499)

In terms of past results the two teams are also relatively equal with Forest winning 4 more games 

For anyone interested in the successful periods for both teams, when Clough (with Peter Taylor) managed them, then I’d probably recommend Jonathan Wilson’s Clough biography. The documentary film ‘I believe in miracles’ about Forest in the late 70’s and early 80’s is also excellent and is probably my favourite football documentary.

Any Derby fans reading this may also have recommendations!

The game itself looks as close as you’d expect, for two teams that are not far apart in the league (18th and 16th). Our model favours Derby at 43% with bookmakers only 6% less. Derby are slightly ahead on expected goals (1.29 to 0.98) and both teams have 3 wins from the last 5 games.

Our model predicts: 1-0 Derby win.

Rest of the Championship:

Wycombe v Norwich

Elsewhere in the league, bottom of the league Wycombe v Norwich gives Norwich a strong chance to pick up 3 more points and either maintain or increase their 7 pt lead at the top. We have a 52% chance of that happening with bookmakers giving a 65% chance.

Our model predicts 0-1

Rotherham v Reading

This is the one of the games where our model differs from bookmaker mean odds. Our model has Rotherham on a 40.3% to win, with Reading only on 31.7%. Both teams have only won once in their last 5 matches but Reading hang on to 5th place whilst Rotherham are 22nd. Bookmakers favour Reading slightly at 37%. Reading really need to win to stay in the play places and Rotherham need it to get out of the relegation zone.

Our model predicts 1-1

For the rest of the games our scorecasts are actually quite similar to bookmakers mean odds.

 

Championship and Premier League 23 – 24 February 2021

Championship and Premier League 23 – 24 February 2021

It’s midweek so there must be English Championship games and this week is no different.

We are almost at that part of the season where if you are a neutral observer then some things are starting to look quite obvious.

Wycombe for instance are now adrift at the bottom of the league with just 20 points and winning only 4 games in 30 matches certainly feels like relegation.

There are teams like Derby who, whilst not safe, feel like they may have enough momentum after a change of manager and owners and are winning more games.

At the other end of the table, are Norwich now putting together the kind of form that wins the league or at least gains promotion?

They are 7 points ahead of both Brentford and Watford.

Both Norwich and Watford have won their last three games.

But this is the Championship and Brentford were the in-form team just three games ago having managed a 21-match unbeaten run. Now that has ended it’s been three defeats in a row and plenty of space for even mid-table teams to get into the promotion positions.

Wycombe v Reading

All the above suggests that Reading then should win against Wycombe but our model doesn’t and that is largely down to Reading’s more recent form (both teams have only 1 win in 5 matches). See table below for our model and bookmaker mean odds.

The teams relative ELO ratings are probably better reflected in the bookmaker odds which give Reading a 48.6% chance to win. Our model put the likely winners at 34.7%/37.5 (home v away). The two teams expected goals give very little clue either to anything other than a draw.

Most likely score: 1-1

Birmingham v Norwich

Birmingham are on the edge of the relegation slots and are against league leaders Norwich. This game gives Norwich a 14% of a 1-0 win, the highest likelihood of any score in the division (the most likely other scores are mainly 1-1 draws. Birmingham won their last match but Norwich have won the last three. We have them (Norwich) at 45% to win with bookmakers on 55%

Most likely score: 0-1

Bournemouth v Cardiff

Cardiff are 7th and have been climbing the table having won their last 5 matches and are away to Bournemouth who have more patchy form and despite leading the league earlier in the system are now 6th. Our model favours Bournemouth by 3% and bookmakers are much clearer in favouring Bournemouth (45% B’mouth -27.5% Cardiff).

There isn’t that much in it though in our model so a draw is the most likely result.

Most likely score: 1-1

*****Update****

There is one Premier League match tonight (Tuesday) so I’ve update the post to include it.

Leeds v Southampton

Leeds are favourites in this match at either 46% in our model or 44% from bookmakers mean odds. The most likely score is a 1-1 draw with both teams showing over 1 for expected goals.

The teams are 12th and 14th respectively but Southampton have been in shocking league form until the 1-1 draw with Chelsea at the weekend.

The last time they won apart from in the FA Cup, was against Liverpool in January. Whilst the most likely score in our model shows a 1-1 there always feels with Leeds there could be a lot more. At either end.

Most likely score: 1-1

Premier League Scorecasts

Championship Scorecasts

 

 

Premier League 19 February – 22 February 2021

Premier League 19 February – 22 February 2021

Leeds v Wolves

I’m posting today rather than yesterday because, I covered Friday’s game of Leeds v Wolves here , earlier in the week, as we included the game in the table with the 2 midweek games.

Liverpool v Everton

For the rest of the weekend’s games though, in terms of history, this game is clearly the biggest game of the weekend.

In terms of the league, it really seems highly unlikely now, if not impossible, that Liverpool could win it again.

These two teams have played each other 288 times.

The last time Everton won was in 2010, which, apart from very recent form, also helps explain why our model makes Liverpool heavy favourites.

This time, the two teams are 6th and 7th in the league with only 3 points between them and Everton having a game in hand.

This is hardly where people would have said Liverpool would be if you’d asked most commentators at the start of this season. That said, our model somewhat treats Liverpool as if they are still doing really well in the league and has them on over 2.6 expected goals. It also has Liverpool at over 75% to win, with bookmakers agreeing but at 10% less.

Our model gives Liverpool a 77% chance to win – the only team this week with a similar chance is Man Utd. Liverpool are on more than 2.6 expected goals for this match, compared to Everton’s 0.74.

Most likely score from our model: 2-0 (apparently Calvert-Lewin is fit to start, given Liverpool’s defence recently, I think Everton will score but Liverpool will still win).

Arsenal v Man City

This will probably be seen as the other ‘big game’ this weekend mainly because it’s Arteta v Guardiola.

Man City are looking unstoppable. Arsenal’s main hope is that they look much better than they did in the first half of the season. They won their last game but did suffer a bit of a dip of 2 defeats before that. Our model predicts a draw as the most likely score but at the same also still heavily favours Man City at over 53% to win. The main reason for the 1-1 prediction though is likely to be Arsenal just edging over into 1 on expected goals and Man City not getting to 2. (the model predicts a 1-1 at 11.3% and and 0-1 away win at 10.8%).

Most likely score from our model – 1-1

West Ham v Tottenham

This game is currently 5th v 9th and just shows how far Tottenham have fallen since they were top of the league earlier in the season.

West Ham have lost only once in the last 5 games, whereas Tottenham have only won once. Historically Tottenham have won 98 times to West Ham’s 64. I think this game feels close. Kane is back for Tottenham but West Ham are a much better team than they have been for a few years.

Our model gives West Ham the edge with 1.52 on expected goals to Tottenham’s 1.16.  West Ham also have a 45% chance in our model compared to 37% with bookmakers.

Our model predicts: 1-1

Links on past results from the 11v11 website and ELO ratings taken from ClubElo.com

 

 

Championship 19 – 20 February 2021

Championship 19 – 20 February 2021

Watford v Derby

Derby have hit a decent run of form since being taken over by new owners and installing Rooney as manager but Watford are 4th and will likely be strong opponents.

Watford also have the highest ELO ranking for an English team outside of the Premier League.

Compared to most teams we review on here these two haven’t actually matched up to each other than often, Watford winning 17 to Derby’s 13.

Apart from one match in the 1960’s, they only regularly began to play each other in the 1980s. Apart from this season there is also then a gap since 2015. Watford won 1-0 earlier in the season.

Unsurprisingly, our model then predicts the most likely score as: 1-0 (see table below)

Millwall v Wycombe

Looking at the Championship league table it’s understandable that our model gives Wycombe (24th) almost no chance against Millwall (11th). Millwall are on over 2 expected goals with Wycombe only on 0.74.

We give Millwall a 13% higher chance to win that bookmakers (70% to 57%). Millwall have won their last 3 and although Wycombe won at the weekend, they also lost in midweek to Derby and are somewhat adrift at the bottom of the league.

Most likely score from our model:  2-0

Reading v Middlesbrough

This is a top half of the table clash, with both teams having won their last game.

Reading are 5th, Middlesbrough are 8th. Reading on the other hand have scored 10 more than Middlesbrough so far, although they’ve let in 3 more.

Reading are on half a goal more than Middlesbrough on expected goals and our model has them at over 50% to win, with Middlesbrough on less than 25%. Bookmakers have the match much closer and their odds would suggest a draw with Reading only favoured at 38%.

So the prediction below is largely based on current form because the last time Reading beat Middlesbrough was in 2015

Our model predicts:  1-0 home win.

Links on past results from the 11v11 website and ELO ratings taken from ClubElo.com

 

Premier League 17 Feb 2021

Premier League 17 Feb 2021

There are 2 Premier League games tonight and our scorecast also rolls into Friday’s “weekend” game.

Burnley v Fulham

This is the 6pm kick off and our model predicts a Burnley win.

Bookmakers have a win for either side at exactly the same odds. Historically the two teams have not been evenly matched with Burnley winning 47 times to Fulham’s 31.

Burnley technically have home advantage (although it’s not clear what difference that really makes without fans being at matches). Both teams have won and drawn their last match but are 16th and 18th respectively.

Both teams have improved from the start of the season though so personally I’d expect a draw.

Everton v Man City

The 8pm game looks like it has “Man City win” written all over it.

The league leaders are on fire at the moment and should have Kevin De Bruyne properly available by the weekend at least (he could even play today). Our model predicts a 2-0 City win but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see more than that.

Everton were fairly awful against Fulham at the weekend and with no Calvert-Lewin it isn’t hard to see why their expected goals are showing at 0.72 for this game.

Wolves v Leeds

Friday night football is back for the Premier League, later in the week and whilst bookmakers have this as close (37%-33%) we have a Wolves victory looking likely.

Leeds made be exciting to watch but they are only 1 place above Wolves in the middle of the table clash. Wolves have also won 2 of their last 3 games and although Leeds have won 3 out their last 5, they’ve also lost 2 of the last 3.

I suspect this scorecast is partly built on the fact Wolves have won the last 4 times the teams have met

My first thoughts on seeing the model predict a 1-0 win to Wolves were, not many games with Leeds in turn out to have them losing 1-0. Well the last time the two teams played Wolves won 1-0 away only in October so I guess this now sounds a lot more likely. We have Wolves at over 55% likely winners.