Last week, I asked for objective and subjective predictions of the Eredivisie from my followers and contacts. The overview can be found here but I’d like to pick out the highlights in this post. The order below is based on the median of all forecasts which I call “The Wisdom of the Crowd” and is one of my benchmarks.
Ajax were predicted as champions in 10 of the 13 predictions and as runners-up in the other three. All of the predictions based on statistical models have Ajax as eventual champions. The predicted points range from 75 to 86 and Ajax are expected to gain more points than last term by the vast majority.
PSV were predicted as champions by three of the subjective forecasters but were placed in third place by one of the objective forecasts (Soccermetrics) and one of the subjective predictors. Just like Ajax, the range of predictions was 11 points, from 69 to 80.
The Rotterdammers were the most commonly named team to finish third. However, this was skewed by the subjective forecasters as the majority of statistical models have Feyenoord finishing the season in fourth place. On average, a similar position as last season is expected but the range of points forecast was wide; from 59 to 75.
4. FC Twente
FC Twente are the first club to produce a broad set of opinions as final predicted positions range from third (three of the statistical models) and sixth (Soccermetrics and Michiel Jongsma). The predicted range is from 53 to 66 points with Twente finishing fourth on average, with 60 points. Interestingly, the most common prediction for Twente is fifth place with five mentions. Three of the five statistical models have Twente finishing in the top three but none of the subjective forecasters place them there.
Six of the eight subjective forecasters expect AZ to finish in the Eredivisie’s top four this season but none of the statistical models predict this. Soccermetrics place AZ as low as ninth position. The average prediction was fifth with 58 points but the range is the largest yet spanning 28 points from 42 (Soccermetrics) to 70 (Arjan Blom).
Four of our 13 tipsters expect the Arnhem club to repeat their top five performance of last season despite the loss of Wilfried Bony and Marco van Ginkel. However, sixth position is the most popular selection as well as the average with a points total of 54. There was a relatively narrow range of points totals suggested with a minimum of 51 and maximum of 60.
The Frieslanders are forecast to finish between sixth and ninth by everyone although the objective predictor all go for seventh or eighth. The expected points range between 44 and 58 but on average Heerenveen’s most likely position is seventh with 51 points, a nine point improvement on 2012/2013.
8. FC Utrecht
Last season’s surprise top-six team make the top-eight overall but there is a huge range of opinions here with points ranging from 30 (DJ Van Zoen) to 60 (Terry Tipster) and final rank from 5th to 13th. It is perhaps interesting that all of the statistical models have FC Utrecht finishing in the top-eight but only one of the subjective forecasters has the club ending the season that high.
9. FC Groningen
Groningen complete the “linkerrijtje” (top half) and, like FC Utrecht, are also tipped for 45 points by the crowd. However, the points predictions are more homogeneous for the Northerners than those for Utrecht with an 11 point range, from 39 to 50. No one predicts them in a higher position than last season’s seventh but they are also forecast to finish as low as 14th.
I will look at the bottom half (“rechterrijtje”) in the next post.