Now that the weekend’s Eredivisie fixtures have been completed, it is worth returning to the expected points table based on the bookmakers’ assessments to see whether there are any clubs over- or underachieving at this stage.
As explained in this earlier post, I am using a simple expected points model, based on the bookmakers’ odds for each Eredivisie fixture, to assess whether there are any surprises in the current Eredivisie ranking. Below is the ranking from this model with the current Eredivisie table next to it:
The highlights after four matches are as follows:
1. Vitesse should have been expected to currently feature in the top four given their fixtures to date and thus their second place is no surprise and says very little now about whether they will challenge for a Champions League place. The bookmakers regarded Vitesse as a top six side at the beginning of the season and, for the moment, there is no reason to consider them to be better than this. The top four in the expected model at this stage are identical to the top four in the current table but in a different order.
2. Heerenveen, given their tougher start to the season, are doing fine in 13th place. The expected model had them in 16th at this stage, albeit with around an extra point from their first four fixtures.
3. Only two clubs are more than three places removed from where they were expected to be using the odds model. NEC are six places higher than expected in seventh position and Heracles are four places lower in 14th.
4. Zwolle, NAC, Willem II and VVV were all predicted to be in the bottom five at this stage given their initial four fixtures and all four are indeed ranked from 14th to 18th.