I’m excited. Why? Well way back in week 10 I put together an article that looked at the performance of teams who had either recently thrashed a team or vice versa, had recently been thrashed. You can read it here. So this week, on the back of Chelsea putting 5 past Swansea, I get to find out just how accurate it was. I’m not going to replicate the article here but I think that the interesting facts are that there’s a 1 in 3 chance of a score draw for Swansea away at Southampton, which could have an impact on holders of Forster. Similarly, it predicts that Chelsea will mostly likely not lose, with 1-0, 1-1, 2-0, 2-1 and 0-2 the most likely score lines against City. You’ll all be happy to know that I’ll be putting my money where my mouth is and following the betting system I devised at the same time – yes there’s only a 25% chance of success but you can all guess what will happen if I don’t do it!
Before I get into the standard parts of my column, I wanted to just mention a book I’ve been reading recently, “The Numbers Game: Why everything you know about football is wrong” by Chris Anderson. It’s good, really good. If you like to look at the stats-based side of football or how you can use past performance to forecast fantasy football performance then you should get it. I won’t be replicating any of it in my column because I think Chris deserves people to buy the book but I haven’t written a slightly longer review on my website here if you’re interested (oh and yes, he’s right, Darren Bent was the best performing player in the premiership for two seasons).
Well this is a weird week; De Gea, Mignolet, Ospina, Forster and Begovic all have the requisite 32% chance of winning to nil that makes them a sound choice but none of them offer particularly good value for money (you can see that the blue line doesn’t cross the green until you get down to the cheap seats).
This means that unless you have plenty of cash (in which case Ospina looks the best choice) then you’re going to have to break the rules of the system and look elsewhere. I will probably keep faith with Robles at £1m – a 36% chance of a clean sheet at that price is hard to forgo. Courtois looks like he should get plenty of saves assuming that Chelsea’s beating at the hands of the Bantams relegated Cech back to the bench.
You can see from this week chart that the home teams look set to dominate with only Spurs making a case for the travellers. Southampton look like massive favourites (and probably are) but please bear in mind that that result is more to do with Swansea conceding 5 last time out rather than Southampton’s superiority. If the odds were better, then the next four would make a great accumulator; Arsenal, Liverpool, United and Chelsea but the 4/1 that’s available doesn’t quite cut the mustard! In short, look for the good old (a few seasons back) top four and you should be fine.
It all starts to come together! The teams most likely to keep a clean sheet match those in the goalkeepers section predicted by the bookmakers. The whitewash work I put together 13 weeks ago pointed towards a 1-1 or 2-2 draw for Chelsea vs Man City, so does the Poisson. Finally the Poisson states that Swansea are the most likely to concede, so does the predictor – it’s almost as though I know what I’m doing!
Looking at this collection then I can only suggest that you follow my lead and make Costa, Sanchez and Aguero your three pronged attack!
Good luck, I’ll see you next week.