How to predict football results and scores

By Tony Attwood

First, take a look at the home and away results tables that we regularly publish.  For example here is the Championship home and away tables on 4 December 2018

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Leeds United 10 6 3 1 16 5 11 21
2 Wigan Athletic 10 6 3 1 14 8 6 21
3 Norwich City 10 7 0 3 17 13 4 21
4 West Bromwich Albion 10 6 2 2 27 14 13 20
5 Derby County 10 6 2 2 16 12 4 20
6 Aston Villa 10 5 4 1 24 17 7 19

So we can see that Leeds are the most powerful home team there is.  But they are not invincible.

Now we take a look at the away team: let us imagine it is Nottingham Forest

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Norwich City 10 5 4 1 18 9 9 19
2 Leeds United 10 5 3 2 17 12 5 18
3 Middlesbrough 10 4 5 1 12 7 5 17
4 Sheffield United 10 5 1 4 16 14 2 16
5 Nottingham Forest 10 3 6 1 19 13 6 15

Forest are 5th in the table and have only had two defeats all season, but their away form only shows three wins.  They clearly play for draws.   We can say that a Forest away win is very unlikely, a Leeds home win seems likely but there is a strong possibility of a draw.   It would be a bad move to make this a home banker.

And very simply that is it.   One looks at the home and away form and makes predictions, and quite amazingly for something this simple, it does actually work.

Not every time of course, but sometimes.   Enough to be a very helpful guide when placing bets.

Man U v Arsenal: the scientific (ish) prediction of the result

By Bulldog Drummond

Of late we have been looking at forthcoming matches by comparing the home form of the home team (and equally logically) the away form of the away team.

It is by no means a perfect predictor of the result, and actually it isn’t really that scientific), and indeed the review for Sunday’s game against the Tiny Totts got the result wrong.  They were tinier than we thought.   But overall the system, simple as it is, seems to be fairly decent at predicting.

So we continue with it, and here is Man U at home:

Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Manchester City 8 8 0 0 30 5 25 24
2 Liverpool 7 6 1 0 15 1 14 19
3 Chelsea 8 5 3 0 17 7 10 18
4 Arsenal 8 5 2 1 16 8 8 17
5 Everton 7 5 1 1 13 6 7 16
6 Watford 7 4 0 3 10 11 -1 12
7 Leicester City 7 3 2 2 10 6 4 11
8 AFC Bournemouth 7 3 2 2 12 9 3 11
9 Brighton and Hove Albion 6 3 2 1 9 7 2 11
10 Manchester United 6 3 2 1 8 8 0 11

As we can see their results are depressed by having played only six games at home, winning three, drawing two and losing one.  But their goal difference is zero.

If we look at their home games we find

Date Match Res Score Competition
10 Aug Manchester Utd v Leicester W 2-1 Premier League
27 Aug Manc Utd v Tottenham L 0-3 Premier League
22 Sep Manchester Utd v Wolves D 1-1 Premier League
25 Sep Manchester Utd v Derby C L* 2-2 League Cup
02 Oct Manchester Utd v Valencia D 0-0 Champs League
06 Oct Man Utd v Newcastle W 3-2 Premier League
23 Oct Manchester Utd v Juventus L 0-1 Champs League
28 Oct Manchester Utd v Everton W 2-1 Premier League
24 Nov Manchester Utd v Crystal Pal D 0-0 Premier League
27 Nov Manchester Utd v Young Boys W 1-0 Champs League

*Lost 7-8

They have won four games at home, three in the PL and one in the Champs.  Outside of the League they have lost at home to Derby and Juventus and drawn with Wolverhampton, Valencia and Palace.

They have scored two or more against Leicester, Derby, Newcastle, Everton – and thus are not a complete walkover but clearly not a major player at home at the moment.

In terms of playing other clubs from last season’s top six, in addition to the defeat to Tottenham noted above they have lost away to Mancheseter City and drawn with Chelsea.

Comparing this with Arsenal away we have ourselves now fifth in the away league.  Tottenham Nomads are top due to a combination of a fine away form (excluding the last weekend of course) and a total desperation to play somewhere, anywhere, other than at any of the various grounds they call home.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 9 7 0 2 17 10 7 21
2 Liverpool 7 5 2 0 12 4 8 17
3 Manchester City 6 4 2 0 13 1 12 14
4 Chelsea 6 4 1 1 13 4 9 13
5 Arsenal 6 4 1 1 16 10 6 13
6 Manchester United 8 3 2 3 14 15 -1 11

This away record is quite remarkable given that last season we played 19 away league games (obviously) and won four, drew four and lost 11.  We scored 20 and conceded 31.

So in just six games we have equalled the number of wins, and are just four goals short of last season’s total for away goals scored.

And if we compare Arsenal away with Man U at home we get a table where after six games Arsenal away has a better set of results than Man U at home.

Club P W D L F A GD Pts
Arsenal away 6 4 1 1 16 10 6 13
Manchester United home 6 3 2 1 8 8 0 11

Here is the actual league table in full down to Man U.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Manchester City 14 12 2 0 43 6 37 38
2 Liverpool 14 11 3 0 27 5 22 36
3 Chelsea 14 9 4 1 30 11 19 31
4 Arsenal 14 9 3 2 32 18 14 30
5 Tottenham Hotspur 14 10 0 4 25 15 10 30
6 Everton 14 6 4 4 20 16 4 22
7 Manchester United 14 6 4 4 22 23 -1 22

In their last seven games overall Manchester United have four wins, one defeat and two draws, which shows an improvement in form.   Arsenal has four wins and three draws, with no defeats – obviously since we are still on the unbeaten run.

The talk about Arsenal’s inability to deal with other teams who were in the top six last season has now largely been removed from the discussions, because it is harder to make a case for Arsenal’s awfulness and the desperate need to sign players – which is what all the blogs and their newspapers are based on.

Against the other members of the top six from last season’s league table Arsenal have won one, drawn one and lost two.  Not perfect but not that bad.

Manchester United have lost to Tottenham (home), drawn with Chelsea (away) and lost to Manchester City (away).  Again it is interesting how many people were saying before the Tottenham game that Arsenal had “only” played three teams from the top six, forgetting perhaps that Man U had played fewer such games.  Always remember, if the statistic only mentions Arsenal, it is probably fake.

Based on Arsenal’s away form, Manchester United’s home form, and each team’s games against other clubs from last season’s top six, the indications are that Arsenal will either win by a single goal or it will be a draw.

The home and away strategy

By Tony Attwood

Through 2017 and 2018 we experimented with the notion that by simply looking at the home and away form of the two teams involved in a Premier League game it was possible to get closer to accurate predictions than through other methods we have looked at.

The approach is very straightforward.  For example if one is looking at predicting the result of Arsenal v Tottenham one looks at how well Arsenal are doing at home, and how well Tottenham are doing at home.

Then to refine the prediction a little further one looks at recent results to see if the trend seen in the overall table is holding up in recent matches, or whether there has been a blip of late.

Of course the refinement can go on and on, looking at injuries for example, and in the end before you know it the match is upon us, played and the result is in.  So we are bearing in mind that this type of prediction is a hobby.

Let’s look at the data for the forthcoming Arsenal v Tottenham game…

Last season’s home and away results looked like this

2017/8 home

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Manchester City 19 16 2 1 61 14 47 50
2 Arsenal 19 15 2 2 54 20 34 47
3 Manchester United 19 15 2 2 38 9 29 47
4 Liverpool 19 12 7 0 45 10 35 43
5 Tottenham Hotspur 19 13 4 2 40 16 24 43
6 Chelsea 19 11 4 4 30 16 14 37
7 Everton 19 10 4 5 28 22 6 34
8 Brighton and Hove Albion 19 7 8 4 24 25 -1 29
9 Newcastle United 19 8 4 7 21 17 4 28
10 Leicester City 19 7 6 6 25 22 3 27
11 West Ham United 19 7 6 6 24 26 -2 27
12 Watford 19 7 6 6 27 31 -4 27
13 Crystal Palace 19 7 5 7 29 27 2 26
14 Burnley 19 7 5 7 16 17 -1 26
15 AFC Bournemouth 19 7 5 7 26 30 -4 26
16 Huddersfield Town 19 6 5 8 16 25 -9 23
17 Swansea City 19 6 3 10 17 24 -7 21
18 Stoke City 19 5 5 9 20 30 -10 20
19 Southampton 19 4 7 8 20 26 -6 19
20 West Bromwich Albion 19 3 9 7 21 29 -8 18

And now 2017/18 away

 

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Manchester City 19 16 2 1 45 13 32 50
2 Tottenham Hotspur 19 10 4 5 34 20 14 34
3 Manchester United 19 10 4 5 30 19 11 34
4 Chelsea 19 10 3 6 32 22 10 33
5 Liverpool 19 9 5 5 39 28 11 32
6 Burnley 19 7 7 5 20 22 -2 28
7 Leicester City 19 5 5 9 31 38 -7 20
8 AFC Bournemouth 19 4 6 9 19 31 -12 18
9 Crystal Palace 19 4 6 9 16 28 -12 18
10 Southampton 19 3 8 8 17 30 -13 17
11 Arsenal 19 4 4 11 20 31 -11 16
12 Newcastle United 19 4 4 11 18 30 -12 16
13 West Ham United 19 3 6 10 24 42 -18 15
14 Everton 19 3 6 10 16 36 -20 15
15 Watford 19 4 2 13 17 33 -16 14
16 Huddersfield Town 19 3 5 11 12 33 -21 14
17 West Bromwich Albion 19 3 4 12 10 27 -17 13
18 Stoke City 19 2 7 10 15 38 -23 13
19 Swansea City 19 2 6 11 11 32 -21 12
20 Brighton and Hove Albion 19 2 5 12 10 29 -19 11

 

Welcome to Predictions.org.uk

The aim of Predictions is to develop a method of predicting the results of Premier League football matches.

Of course we are not looking to make these predictions 100% accurate, that would be completely impossible.  Instead we are simply trying to find a method that will take us closer to the ultimate result of each game, than we find with most tipsters at the moment.

We are certainly not saying that anyone should gamble on football matches as a result of reading our predictions.  Whether you gamble or not is entirely a matter for you, as is how and where you place your bets.

For information on the site please email TonyAttwoodofLondon@gmail.com

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