Friday, 15 August 2014

Modelling marries opinion and creates what? Premier League 2014/15: Prediction Table

Simon Gleave put out a request the other day for any model-based Premier league predictions (or indeed fan or journo opinion guesses) so armed with a spreadsheet load of last season's statistics, I set about building a model and got predicting.

The model was based on identifying & compiling a number of factors that predicted finishing position (eg. the relationship between goals scored & league rank and others), deriving their relative effectiveness, then blending them together proportionally to create one master figure based on last year's numbers.

To this heady mix, I then added or subtracted a percentage based on 3 factors: managerial change, personnel change and participation in Europe.  This bit was, well, subjective.

At this point Man City were projected for 160 unit points so a degree of levelling was incorporated (based on historical points totals) to allow the prediction to actually look like a functioning and viable league table.

And, hey presto:

1 Man City

2 Chelsea

3 Man Utd

4 Arsenal

5 Liverpool

6 Tottenham

7 Everton

8 Newcastle

9 Swansea

10 WBA

11 Aston Villa

12 Southampton

13 Sunderland

14 Stoke

15 QPR

16 Crystal Palace

17 West Ham

18 Hull City

19 Leicester

20 Burnley


At this point, I should probably state that I'm not wildly enamoured with the model's results, they're too dull!
On the positive side of things, a large part of this resembles the betting market for the league so, I must be in good company if I can model something that looks similar to the pro-odds compilers.  But, for me there's not much fun in that.

So by way of a rider, I thought i'd add that personal bias (and knowledge!) predicts a far less average season for Tottenham, i'm not as convinced as the model that Man Utd will emerge so freely from their slump and I think Sunderland are better than I've predicted.  I personally think it'll be tighter at the top too, the model loves Man City and isn't too enthusiastic about Arsenal.  My view is that they will be a lot closer with Chelsea right beside them.  Also, pity Palace: Pulis leaving has taken them from looking up the table to very firmly looking down.

Anyway: it was a fun project & i'll be interested to look back on it in 9 months time.

Thanks to Simon for the impetus.

James @ The Big Ripple

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