Another strong start for the model last weekend and then some disappointing results. We only gave Arsenal a 14% chance at Anfield in the early Saturday kick off and that proved to be a good call as Liverpool ran out easy 5-1 winners.
In the Saturday three o’clock games, the controversial call of Norwich to beat Manchester City very nearly happened. The game finished 0-0, but with Norwich going very close towards the end. I’m never too disappointed when the model strongly disagrees with the bookies and is close to winning, even though it’s still a losing bet. It’s an indication that the model’s picking up something that could well give us a win or two at long odds at some point in the season. The last long odds call before this one was West Ham to draw at Chelsea and that turned out very nicely.
I’m going to blame the Crystal Palace losing at home call at least partly on the transfer window. Ince and Ledley scored and neither could be included in the simulations as we had no data history for them. Sunderland had a man sent off early against Hull, which will always throw out the predictions from a simulator which doesn’t incorporate a sending off and Southampton conspired to throw away another lead (twice) to sink their predicted win.
Finally, Manchester United’s performance against Fulham has sparked enough discussion that it doesn’t need to be covered in detail here too. If Moyes’s men hit crosses to that extent in every game then the simulator would adjust to cope, but as it is, with 75% possession there should have been more than a few clear cut chances created. A model which got that result right might well struggle with a more normal game simulation, although I do have development plans in this area for the summer…
Onto Tuesday and Wednesday’s fixtures – here are the percentage chances:
And detailed possession and shooting stats:
We’re piling on the pressure for Moyes with a reasonably comfortable Arsenal home win and the model also has Ole Gunnar Solskjaer picking up his second win with Cardiff, at home to Aston Villa.
Here are the model’s final predictions:
Cardiff City v Aston Villa – Home win
Hull City v Southampton – Away win
West Ham United v Norwich City – Home win
West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea – Away win
Arsenal v Manchester United – Home win
Everton v Crystal Palace – Home win
Manchester City v Sunderland – Home win
Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur – Away win
Stoke City v Swansea City – Draw
Fulham v Liverpool – Away win