Derby County travel to Craven Cottage this evening, having picked up a vital win at the weekend over Preston. Fulham are just 5 points ahead of the Rams in the table, and both sides have won 3 of their last 5 games. The Model however gives Derby just 26% chance of returning from London with a win. Though this is better than the bookmakers, whose odds imply Derby have just an 18% chance of a win. Fulham are expected to score 1.5 goals to Derby’s 1.0, and the most likely outcome is 1-1 (12.4%), shortly followed by 1-0 (12.0%).
Our local side Reading host Leeds tonight. Going by form, Leeds should be big favourites. The bookmakers have it this way, with their odds suggesting Leeds have a 52% chance of a win. But the forecasting Model has this game much closer, giving Leeds a 40% chance and Reading 33% chance of victory. Reading are expected to score 1.2 goals to Leeds’ 1.4.
Without a game in what feels like ages (ok, there was some match in the EFL Trophy, but the less said, the better about that), Oldham travel to South Wales for their fifth ever match at Newport County. After a gap of nearly 50 years, Oldham returned there in April this year and lost 2-0 as their season petered out.
The home team’s league form isn’t so good, but they have scored nine in two cup matches in the last 10 days – more than half as many as they’ve scored in 16 league matches. It’s hard to escape that seventh placed Newport are strong favourites.
In League Two, Swindon head the way with a mighty 34 points from 18 games. But with ten wins, that’s one fewer than Liverpool have managed in 12 games. Is League Two a bit below par this season? In the nearly forty years since the Football League switched to three points for a win, on only seven occasions have the league leaders had fewer than 34 points after 18 games played.
Crisis club Macclesfield go to local rivals Salford, who have the sign of the devil with six wins, six draws and six losses. RED fancies the reds of Salford to win 1-0 (11.2%).
We’re disturbingly close to halfway through the season. League One looks really quite confusing with it seems almost every different team having played a different number of games. Then Bolton Wanderers have won three and drawn four matches, yet only have one point. Wycombe Wanderers are three points clear at the top, while Southend look hopelessly bad.
The weekend’s away banker is at Roots Hall where Southend host seemingly always in-form Oxford United. A comfortable 2-0 away win is the most likely scoreline (10.8%). Bolton will look for a fourth consecutive win at out-of-form Accrington Stanley (who are they?) in a classic Lancashire Derby. A 1-1 draw is most likely (12.2%), and RED almost exactly agrees with the bookies.
Mourinho may be coming to this season’s Premier League party late, but he still has two thirds of the season left to make his mark. Nobody doubts that he will at least generate talking points galore. Spurs start the Special One’s North London jaunt over in the East End, away at West Ham. The bookmaker odds-implied probabilities make Spurs strong favourites with a 53% chance of a win. The Model however has this one far more even, with just a 36% chance of a spurs win, and with West Ham actually as marginal favourites. The most likely outcome of the match is 1-1 (12%).
RED is distracted since the international break has put paid to the Premier League, Championship and the Football League’s basement battle between Stevenage and Oldham. Here are the lower league forecasts, though not all the matches listed are taking place due to international call ups…
Have Leicester replaced Manchester Utd in the Premier League’s “top 6” sides? The Foxes certainly get value for money, compared with the distinct lack of value in the League’s most successful club’s current team. This weekend Leicester host Arsenal in a game that could well make a difference in the race for Champions League qualification come the end of the season. The home side are the favourites according to the Model, with 1.5 expected goals and a 45% chance of a win, though the most likely scoreline is 1-1 (12%), followed by 1-0 (10%). The result outcome predictions are similar to what the average of the odds among bookmakers suggests — the bookmakers have learned their lesson when it comes to underestimating and paying out big on Leicester.
Demonstrating our complete impartiality and scientific rigour when it comes to football forecasting, despite whatever biases we, the creators, might naturally have, the model actually predicts Nottingham Forest will beat Derby County in the A52 (Brian Clough Way) rivalry. The Model expects Forest to score 1.6 goals to Derby’s 1.1. Forest have a 48% chance of a win, compared with 27% for Derby. The chances implied by bookmaker odds are very similar, marginally making Forest less the favourites than the Model does. The most likely scoreline outcome of the game is 1-1 (12%), closely followed by a 1-0 home win (11%).
What’s in an abbreviation? Each game week, RED goes up against Jean-Louis Foulley, and we’ve realised we don’t have the same abbreviations for clubs. Should it be MCI, or MNC, for Man City? ATM or ATL for Atletico Madrid?
Either way, alas RED is still facing the same technical issues that beset it on the weekend when posting graphics. See Twitter (@seconomists) for the tables with the forecasts.