17th face 18th in London on Saturday as Oldham travel to Leyton Orient. 9 wins vs 8, 38 points vs 37. Both teams have conceded 52, Orient have scored six more than Oldham’s rather limp 37.
A draw? The Scorecasting Model would suggest so, with Oldham 38% to win, Orient 37%. 1-1 is of course most likely. The bookmakers seem to price in more of a home advantage, with Orient at 41% to Oldham at 29%.
Matches just keep on happening in English football, day by day, week by week. Some matches seem pivotal, but are they? One way to think about it is to look at how much they impact the chances of teams achieving things, or avoiding things. So we’re updating our end-of-season predictions on a weekly basis in order to get some sense of that. Derby had a 10% chance of making the play offs, but a couple of games without a win and that has fallen now to just 2.3%.
Some things are obvious. Liverpool are 100% likely to win the Premier League. Most things are less obvious. Man CIty 83% to finish second, Leicester 63% to finish third. Fourth place seems to be up for grabs at the moment, with Tottenham slightly ahead of Chelsea at 22% to 20%. Man United and Sheffield United have an almost identical chance of making it – about 16%.
West Brom have an 80% chance of making a return to the Premier League. In League One, Bolton (98.5% chance) and Southend (99.6%) are as good as relegated. Stevenage look most likely to fall out of the Football League this season (77.7%).
Oxford, Southend and Macclesfield host matches in the lower leagues this evening. All three looks like fairly easy picks – Oxford to beat Wimbledon (54%), Gillingham to win at Southend (58%), and Plymouth to win up north (55%). Will it be that simple?