Hot streaks likely to push points higher than model forecasts?

Alexej Behnisch and Constantinos Chappas have both produced excellent articles over the last few days outlining Premier League predictions at approximately the halfway stage of the season. The six models contained in Alexej’s analysis have their Premier League champions this season finishing on between 75 and 78 points. Constantinos’s 15 modellers estimated the points total of their leading teams between 72 and 81 points. A look at the history of the second halves of Premier League seasons provides good reason to doubt that these team estimates are high enough.

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Oxford beat Swansea – another non-existent FA Cup shock

Oxford United’s 3-2 win against Swansea City marked the first time in four years that a fourth tier team had knocked a Premier League team out of the FA Cup. In 2012, League Two club Swindon Town beat the Premier League’s Wigan Athletic 2-1 in a third round tie but neither Swindon’s “giantkilling” nor Oxford’s in 2016 can genuinely be described as shocks.

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Can Leicester continue to surprise?

Leicester City enter 2016 in second position in the Premier League, level on points with leaders Arsenal. The Foxes are the 10th “surprise” team of the 20 club era to reach the halfway point of the season in the top four of England’s elite competition, but none of the previous nine managed to sustain their performance and finish the season in at least fourth position.
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Can anyone really predict a Premier League season?

This is a guest post by David Sumpter who is currently writing Soccermatics, which will come out on May 5th 2016 with Bloomsbury Books.  This blog post is part of one of the book chapters on “Betting against the masses”. You can find out more by following Soccermatics on Twitter.

Before the 2014-15 season, Joe Prince-Wright, wrote down a list of the final positions between one and twenty for each of the teams in the Premier League and posted it on the NBC website for all to see. His top six were: (1) Chelsea, (2) Man City, (3) Arsenal, (4) Man United, (5) Spurs and (6) Liverpool. These were exactly the positions at the end of the season.

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USA, Germany, Japan and Canada favoured for World Cup semis

The FIFA World rankings for women’s football have provided a good basis for forecasting the Women’s World Cup so far with seven of the eight favourites in the second round progressing through to the quarter-finals. In addition, our pre-tournament forecast correctly predicted six of the eight quarter-finalists, and two of the exact match-ups (France v Germany and England v Canada) in this round. Our forecast for the quarter-final matches expects the United States to play Germany and Japan to play Canada in the semis. These semi-final matches were also predicted in our pre-tournament forecast.
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Mourinho is Premier League manager of the season…..or is he?

Jose Mourinho was named LMA Premier League Manager of the Season a few days ago, an award to add to his similar award from the Premier League itself. These awards seem to be based on the subjective opinion of those voting on them so sometimes they go to, as in this case, the manager of the Premier League champions. In other seasons, they go to a more unsung name like Tony Pulis who won both awards in 2013/2014. Isn’t there a more objective and consistent way to judge a manager for this award though?

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Assessing the Premier League predictions

At the beginning of the Premier League season, and also at the end of the transfer window, we collected a total of 60 predictions for the final rank order of this season’s Premier League. Some were submitted to us with points and others were collected online or from newspapers and therefore did not include points. These were awarded points based on the average for each position from recent seasons. The forecasts came from statistical modellers (including two bookmakers), media and fans. The original post with an overview of these predictions can be found here: 

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