Around three years ago I met, in a virtual sense, David Sumpter, a professor of mathematics at the University of Uppsala in Sweden and a football nut like myself. He was writing a book called Soccermatics, which combined his work in the field of animal behaviour and his love of football, which he generously allowed me to read and comment upon.
David now has a new book out, Outnumbered, which investigates the algorithms which are being built on all of the data we are producing about ourselves.
You can win Outnumbered in my third annual competition to predict the winners of the three English league play-offs, the FA Cup, the Europa League and the Champions League. You can also buy a discounted copy of Outnumbered by scrolling down and clicking on the link.
If you would already like to buy a copy of Outnumbered, go to the link below to receive a 10% discount on the price of the book.
In order to win a copy of Outnumbered, I’d like people (United Kingdom based only to win the book as it will only be sent to UK addresses) to show me their prediction skills by tweeting me their answers to the following questions:
Which 6 clubs will win this season’s Europa League, FA Cup, Championship play-offs, Champions League, League One play-offs and League Two play-offs?
How many goals will be scored in these six finals?
How many goals will be scored in the 15 English play-off matches?
Please tweet your entry to me BEFORE the first play-off semi-final kicks off on Thursday, 10 May (7:45pm BST, 8.45pm CET) in the order of the finals taking place like this:
@simongleave Marseille, Man Utd, Middlesbrough, Real Madrid, Shrewsbury Town, Coventry City
Note: No entries will be accepted after 7:45pm BST on Thursday, 10 May.
The competition will be judged as follows:
- You will be eliminated as soon as you get one of the winners wrong (the order of the finals (see below) should be the order of your entry and wrong predictions are counted from the moment the final has finished).
- If that does not provide a winner, I will go back with those who can’t be separated and repeat the process from the last elimination.
- If that still does not provide a winner, I will count the number (out of 6) that those who can’t be separated have correct.
- If that still does not provide a winner, the number of goals in the finals will be used as a first tiebreaker between those who can’t be separated. This total will include goals scored in extra-time but NOT those scored in penalty shoot-outs.
- If that still does not provide a winner, the number of goals in the 15 English play-off matches currently still to be played will be used as a final tiebreaker between those who can’t be separated. This total will include goals scored in extra-time but NOT those scored in penalty shoot-outs.
So, get predicting and good luck.
To help you, here are the six competitions in the order that the final will be played and which teams can win them.
Europa League final (Wednesday 16 May; Olympique Marseille v Atlético Madrid)
FA Cup Final (Saturday 19 May; Chelsea v Manchester United)
Championship play-off final (Saturday 26 May; Aston Villa, Derby County, Fulham, Middlesbrough)
Champions League final (Saturday 26 May; Real Madrid v Liverpool)
League One play-off final (Sunday 27 May; Charlton Athletic, Rotherham United, Scunthorpe United, Shrewsbury Town)
League Two play-off final (Monday 28 May; Coventry City, Exeter City, Lincoln City, Notts County)