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Player Analysis

By The Numbers Week 10

by Rob Allen
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

This week I wanted to have a look at the effect a thrashing has on the teams involved, mainly inspired by the recent result between Southampton and Sunderland. The intention was to investigate the results from the last ten complete seasons and then use week 10’s performance as an indicator of success.  As you can imagine I had a whole range of questions I wanted the answers to - Do whitewashes happen often? What constitutes a whitewash? Are some teams more likely to destroy others? Does lightning strike twice? How does the winning team perform next time out? How does the losing team? Let’s look at these in order:

 

What constitutes a whitewash? Well, there are some extreme examples, most notable in my mind is Tottenham demolishing Wigan 9-1 (oh I miss Defoe, sometimes). Of course, as you might expect, the smaller the winning margin the more often score lines occur so I set the benchmark at a goal difference of 5. That’s a butt kicking by anyone’s standards.

 

Do they happen often? In short, no. I decided to investigate their occurrence over the last 10 complete seasons of the premiership (03/04-13/14) and in that time there were just 80 instances, which constitutes just 2% of all games.

 

Are some teams more likely to destroy others? Actually one team stood out as the most likely to concede and no one will be surprised that it was Derby – That was a great season – just pick whoever played Derby and you were guaranteed great fantasy football points. On the flip side, Chelsea easily rule the roost when it comes to goal routs. Manchester United and City are there or thereabouts in more recent seasons and an honourable mention must go to Villa who showed up a couple of times, including twice in 2 weeks.

 

Does lightning strike twice? As I alluded to with my previous answer yes it does even though whitewashes are relatively rare. The most impressive to my mind was Chelsea at the start of the 10/11 season where they thrashed West Brom 6-0 in the opening game and then promptly dispatched Wigan 6-0 the following week. That’s a statement of intent at the beginning of a season if ever I saw one.

 

How does the winning team perform next time out? This was where I was hoping to find a bit of fantasy football insight but I was a little disappointed. There are many football writers who will happily proclaim “Buoyed by their thrashing of ‘x’ last week, the goals should be flying in for team ‘y’ this week”. This isn’t exactly true I’m afraid.  They win 53% of the time, lose 24% of the time and draw 23% of the time which is almost exactly what we’d expect from any team regardless of their performance last time out. Furthermore, their goal difference in the following game is an average of 0.82 which means that even when they do win it isn’t by a huge margin. The most common score-lines? 1-0, 1-1, 2-0, 2-1, 0-2 cover over half of all of the results.

 

How does the losing team perform next time out? Many football writers also say “fresh from their devastating defeat to ‘x’, ‘y’ look a team in disarray and are likely to concede a load”. This isn’t true either. On average the goal difference of the losing team next time out is -0.05 which is basically a close to even as you’re likely to get. Furthermore the balance of results couldn’t be more level – 33% wins, 33% losses and 33% draws. What they are more likely to do then, considerably more likely to do, is not win. Losing teams failed to get 3 points 52 times out of 78. So I’d watch out for choosing a player such as a goalkeeper who gets points for a win.

 

So for fantasy purposes, avoid the defence from teams that were thrashed last time out (duh) but don’t rush to jump on board those players that dished out the thrashing in the first place.

 

What I did find interesting was that proportionately there was a far higher than average proportion of score draws with 1-1 and 2-2 accounting for 32% of all scores but 0-0 only 6%. In fact, if you use a Kelly calculator such as this one (Kelly Calculator) and placed a £50 on the losing team to draw 1-1 or 2-2 next time out you’d win about 25% of all of your bets and after 10 seasons you’d be up by nearly £2000 (or roughly 37 bets).

 

Actually, for those of you who do like a bet, I have put together a more interesting system using this data which I’ll briefly touch on.

  1. When a whitewash has occurred, you want to place a number of bets covering correct score doubles for both of the teams involved;
  2. The score lines you want to cover are 1-0, 1-1, 2-0, 2-1 and 0-2 for the winning whitewash team and 1-0, 1-1, 0-2 and 2-2 for the losing whitewash team;.
  3. This creates 20 permutations and each one required a bet of a certain proportion of your stake, the break down is:

Winning

Losing

%age of stake

1-0

1-0

8.3%

1-0

1-1

8.9%

1-0

0-2

5.5%

1-0

2-2

4.8%

1-1

1-0

7.5%

1-1

1-1

8.1%

1-1

0-2

5.0%

1-1

2-2

4.4%

2-0

1-0

5.3%

2-0

1-1

5.7%

2-0

0-2

3.5%

2-0

2-2

3.1%

2-1

1-0

4.5%

2-1

1-1

4.9%

2-1

0-2

3.0%

2-1

2-2

2.6%

0-2

1-0

4.5%

0-2

1-1

4.9%

0-2

0-2

3.0%

0-2

2-2

2.6%

 

Now sit back and wait, you’ll win 23% of the time on average and based on £50 bets you would have made nearly £8,200 profit or 164 bets over the last 10 seasons.

 

Of course, I feel a little bit bad about this because had I managed to get this article completed in time for last weekend, the system would have highlighted both Southampton’s and Sunderland’s correct scores and you would have placed 3.5% of your stake on the double. I don’t have the exact odds unfortunately but I would think 200/1 to 600/1 wouldn’t have been out of the question. Whoops – I’ll be on it next time!

 

Goalkeepers

If you have a look at this week's goalkeeper graph one thing should be obvious:

The probability of Chelsea winning and keeping a clean sheet against QPR, coupled with the low price for Courtois means that the system highlighted just one player by some considerable margin – If you haven’t got him, get on him.

 

Poisson and Predictor

Here’s this week’s tables for you to get to the bottom of who will do well:

 

The figures look to add up to me, with the exception of Arsenal who I feel should do considerably better. See you next week.

 

 

 

Rob Allen
Rob Allen is a UK-based fantasy football and football betting writer. Devout Spurs fan, author of “Yahoo Fantasy Football – Dominating the Competition” and founder of the I’m a winner website, you can find him on Twitter @funtasyfootball.