Honestly, as the goals flew in at the weekend at an unprecedented rate, I felt like declaring the weekly exercise of formulating predictions suspended until further notice. Until GW17 perhaps when I’d have sufficient new season data to trust in them more. The astonishingly high conversion rates achieved by goalscorers this season so far is making a mockery of xG based models, and I was all for binning mine off in a fit of pique!
Then yesterday, I reminded myself of 2 things: a) regression to the mean is unlikely to be a redundant concept; and, b) my spreadsheet’s score predictions weren’t as bad as those given the highest probability of occurring by the bookmakers, who remain the undisputed benchmark for such things. My sheet may have underestimated the volume of goals that would be scored, but by nowhere near as much as the bookies did (see below).
Those who read my blog last week will recall my making a strong case for why my spreadsheet’s predicted CHE vs LIV scoreline should be changed from 2 – 0 to 1 -1, and the match was still poised at 0-0 at the halfway point before Christensen‘s sending off changed the course of that game.
The most pleasing results for me were in the ARS vs WHU and LEI vs BUR games, both predicted by my spreadsheet to finish 2 – 2. I am sure most people expected an easy win for The Gunners, which is why Aubameyang wasthe most captained player, and a tight low scoring affair in the other game. Anyone who watched the former will agree that WHU can consider themselves hard done by to have lost that game, and to have not scored at least 2 goals themselves.
Looking at the tables above now, the only result the bookies were nearer to was the WOL vs MCI one, but even there I did flag up last week that my spreadsheets actually gave a higher probability to a one nil win for City.
So, chin up, let us trust in the process (even though we can’t fully until around GW17), and move onto GW3.
The first thing to notice with these scores is the absence of any clean sheets, which if GW1 was anything to go by, will no doubt mean a glut of them. As with last week, we have an unusually high number of scorelines here (7), that are deemed paradoxically to have a higher probability than the ones shown above. Namely, BHA 0 MUN 1; CRY 1 EVE 0; WBA 1 CHE 1; BUR 2 SOU 1; TOT 1 NEW 1; MCI 2 LEI 0; and, LIV 1 ARS 0.
There’s a very surprising name at the top of this week’s predicted expected goals table. One of the things my Season Review blog highlighted was the strong attacking numbers BUR posted towards the end of last season, and with their defence in bad shape through key injuries to Mee (and Tarkowski?) at the moment, there’s cause for optimism that they’ll need goals in their upcoming fixture vs SOU. I am personally toying with the idea of bringing in Wood for a one week punt, prior to switching him to Calvert-Lewin.
Having said, there are no clear cut clean sheets chances this week, there are four teams (MUN, LIV, MCI and CRY) for whom conceding 0 goals has a higher probability than conceding 1. These are highlighted in green in the table below.
Now, I appreciate most of you are stanning for EVE assets right now, so please don’t @ me. There’s no denying Palace have been impressive so far, and they did totally nullify the MUN attack you have also been drooling over the prospect of doubling up on beforehand. That said, half of the data used to calculate EVE’s expected goals comes from their very poor post-lockdown form, and before the arrival of Rodriguez, Doucoure and Allan, who have had an immediate positive impact, so I wouldn’t judge you for not heeding my spreadsheet’s warning here.
And finally, the only players deemed likely to average at least 5 FPL points in GW3, not including bonus points, based on their share of their team’s respective xG+xA in the last 8 home or away games, whichever is relevant, are shown in the table below.
Please feel free to ask any questions about the data presented in any of the tables above.
May your arrows be green!
Coley a.k.a. FPL P0ker PlAyer (@barCOLEYna)