Predicting the Eredivisie: A guest post by Steve Lawrence

Last season, I collected 13 forecasts before the 2013/2014 Eredivisie season, the results of which can be found here. Throughout last season, Relative Age Effect expert Steve Lawrence, an Englishman living in Amsterdam, sent me all sorts of graphs relating to the progress of the forecasts which I never managed to publish. After meeting Steve on the day the 2014 World Cup began, I vowed to improve on this this season. Therefore here is a guest post from Mr Lawrence looking at last season’s prediction winner @soccermetrics and how this season looks. Who has entered a potentially accurate forecast and who are the outliers? Take it away Steve……

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48 Forecasts: The Eredivisie predicted

Following on from last year, we have again collected Eredivisie predictions (you can download them all here) but instead of 13 to follow through the season, we now have a total of 48 from online media, fans, statistical models and prominent media figures. Of the 13 who took part last season, nine are back again which means that their consistency of success (or otherwise) can begin to be looked at. The nine returnees include the best objective predictor from 2013/2014 (Soccermetrics) and the best subjective predictor (Nikos Overheul). Can they repeat their success?

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Eredivisie 2013/2014 predictions: how did they fare?

This time last year, Scoreboard Journalism embarked on an exercise to collect Eredivisie predictions from various sources to be assessed to discover how these predictions actually fared. A similar exercise has already begun in time for Friday’s big kick-off for 2014/2015 which you can take part in by contacting me via Twitter or here but what about last season?

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World Cup goalscoring collapses

During the group phase of the 2014 World Cup, 122 goals were scored (excluding penalties and own goals) in 48 matches, a scoring rate of 2.54 goals per match. The 16 matches played in the second round produced just nine goals in normal time after excluding Huntelaar’s penalty and Yobo’s own goal, a rate of 1.13 goals per match. This is an enormous drop from the group stage so what is going on?

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And then there were eight

The eight World Cup second round matches went pretty much to form with six of the favourites from the Infostrada Sports Forecast model going through and only two of the three tightest matches on paper not won by the favourites. With eight teams left, how does the rest of the competition look?

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Tough task for South American quartet

The matches which began the 2014 World Cup second round on Saturday are both all-South American affairs and each of the countries taking part – Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Uruguay – have an incredibly tough route if they are to be successful and win this year’s World Cup. None of the quartet are likely to play another match against a team outside the world’s top eight from now on and, in the case of Chile and Uruguay, they are unlikely to play against a team from outside the world’s current top six.

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World Cup 2014 – what will happen now?

Now that the business end of the World Cup has been reached, the Infostrada Sports Forecast has been updated. Brazil remain the favourites and therefore the most likely winners with an all-South American final between Brazil and Argentina the most probable final at this stage.

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