Is it really that surprising that clubs send scouts (or spies) to observe their opponents training? But the media response was surprising, which resulted in a lecture by Bielsa, PowerPoint slides included, on the detailed preparation his Leeds side do before every match — truly bizarre, but enlightening. Perhaps it shows that the modern football manager needs an analytical mind, and the idea of him as just a motivator of men is a bit naiive.
Leeds will put their plans and data into action this weekend in attempting to overcome Stoke City. The FA Cup replay in midweek saw Stoke collapse against Shrewsbury. If Stoke fall any further, then games against Shrewsbury may happen a little more often and it could become a true local derby. The Model suggests Bielsa’s analysis will be in vain, and Stoke have a 47% chance of victory, with a most likely outcome of 1-0 (14%).
Another side in midweek FA Cup action were Derby. The team of Frank Lampard (who has a reputation as an intelligent footballer/manager due to his prowess in GCSE Latin) are heavy favourites at home to Reading in the Model, with a 67% chance of winning and most likely outcome of 2-1 (10%).
Our Championship forecasts are in the table below:

  • 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)
Norwich Birmingham 2-1 9 48 25
Aston Villa Hull 2-1 10 44 28
Blackburn Ipswich 1-0 15 69 12
Derby Reading 2-1 10 67 13
Middlesbrough Millwall 1-0 16 56 19
Notts Forest Bristol City 0-1 12 29 42
QPR Preston 1-0 8 62 16
Rotherham Brentford 0-1 17 18 57
Sheffield Wed Wigan 1-0 11 59 18
Stoke Leeds 1-0 14 47 25
Swansea Sheff Utd 1-0 13 52 22
Bolton West Brom 0-1 15 19 57