Archive for month: August, 2012

Premier League : Early Season Goal Statistics

31 Aug
August 31, 2012

Data Analysis

Importance of Overall Average of Goals Scored

At some point during this current season analysts will be looking to compare player and team statistics with those derived from last season’s data and to investigate new trends. The question is, at what stage will there be enough data collected to enable meaningful comparisons to be made? It seems that the last two seasons have generated particularly analysis friendly data. By considering a very fundamental data set, the number of goals scored in each game, the argument for the validity of the statistics generated by the analysis of data from recent seasons is substantive.

It was an amazing occurrence that there was only a difference of 3 goals in the totals scored in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 Premier League seasons. What are more remarkable are the distributions of these goals per game throughout the two seasons. The distributions are very similar and both in turn bear a very close resemblence to the Poisson distribution expected for a data set with an average of 2.8 goals per game. In reality fewer games with 1 goal scored took place than seemed probable but the fact that a greater number of games finished with 3 goals than expected does little to skew the data seeing as these games were virtually ‘average’.

Premier League Goals Distributions

It is not unreasonable to imagine that a mean of around 2.8 goals per game will be scored in the 2012/13 season. It would importantly indicate that the underlying macro trends associated with the Premier League have remained largely the same and see that the influence of confounding variables also remains constant. It is crucial, however, that the distribution of games with each particular goal total resembles those from the last two completed seasons. For analysts to have confidence in the data being generated the relationship between the overall mean number of goals scored in each game and the distribution of those goals throughout the fixtures must remain meaningful.

2012/2013 Premier League Goals Distributions (Expected after 8 rounds)

To address the original question of when in the season is there likely to be enough game data for confidence to be sufficient in any visible trends, an arbitary number of gameweeks probably has to pass. With 8 to 10 rounds of fixtures completed, the relationship between the distribution of the goals scored and the overall mean can be studied. A data set with a particular mean with the ‘right’ distribution can enable analysts to extrapolate from the results of the early part of the season. With a little patience the full value of the game data available will be realised and we will update concerning the timing of when we are confident that real trends have been established.

Premier League betting : Liverpool vs. Manchester City

26 Aug
August 26, 2012

Game Markets

Back 2nd half as half with most goals @Evens

Manchester City will have to play in a different formation against Liverpool than they did against Southampton if they are to see enough of the ball to have a chance of winning the game. Jack Rodwell made his City debut in a holding midfield role, a position that he is, at top level, largely unfamiliar with. Everton employed him in a very different capacity last season where his passes per ninety minutes average was 34. He clocked up a staggering 93 last Sunday. It was no wonder that through fatigue he gave possession away leading up to a Southampton goal. De Jong is likely to make a reappearance and City will probably go with Tevez upfront to start with. It was clear from watching Liverpool at West Brom that they are adopting the Brendan Rodgers’ possession game and we are likely to see more of this this afternoon. Liverpool will set up with a central midfield three hence the likelihood that City will counter this move. As a result the game, to start with, will see a rather cagey opening. It would be interesting to see if Rodgers fancies taking on City from the off in an open game but the chances are he’ll look to consolidate in the early going. The second half is where the action is most likely to be and that is where the goals are predicted to come. The other side to the bet on more goals in the second half is that a 0-0 halftime score allows for trading out on the over/under 0.5 goals market. A goalless second half would be available to back at 11-4.

Premier League betting : Manchester United vs. Fulham

25 Aug
August 25, 2012

Player Markets

Back Kagawa to provide an assist anytime @7-2

While their defence is likely to come under some pressure this afternoon, Manchester United are unlikely to suffer due to a lack of attacking options. Kagawa made a solid if not spectacular debut against Everton on Monday night. He is noticeably two footed, an asset which will aid him in his quest to nail down the playmaker position for United. He is likely to settle into the rhythm of the Premier League rapidly enough having starred in the fast moving Bundesliga. Today’s bet makes the assumption that he is good enough to provide 10 assists throughout the course of the season. With this production rate in mind he is likely to add to his assist tally on 9 occasions before the fixture list is completed. Against mid-table opposition he would be an 11-4 shot at the worst to have the penultimate touch on a scoring ball.

Premier League betting : Manchester City vs. Southampton

19 Aug
August 19, 2012

Player Markets

Back Sergio Aguero first goalscorer (EW) @3-1

Back Carlos Tevez first goalscorer (EW) @7-2

It is most probable that Manchester City will create a plethora of opportunities to score this afternoon against Southampton. City have a variety of methods of attack and possess the quality in the forward line to make their chances count. These are hardly startling revelations about a team that scored 93 times in the league last season but an update appraisal suggests that both City frontman are in excellent condition to open the league campaign. The betting angle under consideration involves a comparison of the anytime scorer and the first goalscorer markets. Aguero and Tevez are odds on across the board to score during the ninety minutes, with Aguero as low as 4-7 in places. Yet the place portion of the first goalscorer bet has them at evens and around 6/5 respectively. Half of each bet provides the best value available in terms of the two strikers scoring and is it very probable that one of them will find the target first in the match.

Premier League Racing Post Season Handicap 2012/13 analysis

17 Aug
August 17, 2012

Outright Markets

Back Manchester United (+2) in the Premier League Racing Post Season H’cap (EW) @16-1

Back Manchester City (0) in the Premier League Racing Post Season H’cap (EW) @16-1

Analysis of this market has to start with the assumption that 87 points will be the total accrued by the league winners. This is an arbitrary number but allows for a bias against the author’s original feelings about how the season will pan out. There is a very close correlation between the goals a team scores and the number of points they finish the season with. As a result, in some cases, the degree to which a team needs to improve to cover their handicap is considered in terms of both points and goals scored.

West Ham (+42) need to win 45 points in their first campaign back in the top flight, 2 more than Southampton (+44) and 2 less than Reading (+40). The Hammers are 2-1 to be relegated and are probably slightly odds against to finish in 14th place which is where the lowest placed team with 45 points finished last term. Southampton will have to prove themselves as good a team as Wigan were last season, a feat which could well stretch them. Reading look overrated seeing as a team with 47 points last season was good enough to finish 10th in the division.

Wigan (+42) need to improve by 2 points and or around 3 goals to feature. Victor Moses is a very likely near term departure from the club. For all his activity his output last season was not efficient and the new signings will not have to over perform to fill the goal deficit. Norwich (+42) and Swansea (+42) are both reckoned to be regressive this coming term following the departure of their respective managers. Both teams will only need to gain 2 less points to become unlikely winners of this handicap race. Their goal scoring profiles contrast in the manner that Norwich can allow themselves to score less goals this time around and still have the expectation of finishing in the same spot in the table. Swansea probably need to find a goal to maintain their position in the standings.

Stoke (+37) got away with one last season had goals directly equated to points. They only scored 36 times yet somehow managed to gain 45 points. It isn’t evident that their goal scoring problems are likely to be remedied and they probably need another 10 goals this time around not to be involved in a relegation battle. West Brom (+38) were another outfit to lose their manager at the end of last season and to compound the situation it looks as if they will have to find a few goals and points in order not to take a step backwards. QPR (+37) are another side that will have to improve on all fronts if they are to live up to expectations. A 13 point improvement in a season would test any team greatly let alone a side that barely finished outside of the relegation zone.

Fulham (+34) on the face of it have been fairly treated in this market but it is clear that Dempsey is likely to be playing elsewhere before long. The American contributed 17 goals to Fulham’s total of 48. A handful less goals this time around could see the club tumble down the standings. Aston Villa (+30) patently didn’t reach expectations last season and they suffered badly due to the absences of the likes of Darren Bent and Richard Dunne. Paul Lambert will have to extract the better part of an extra 20 points from his side to see them finish in the top half. Bent still managed to score 9 goals in his 22 appearances so it was only ever likely that he would have found the net another 10 times. Other players will have to step up. It is clear why Martin O’Neill and Sunderland (+32) are so keen to sign Steven Fletcher. An additional 7 goals this term would give the North East outfit real prospects of finishing in the top 10. Bendtner’s contribution of 8 goals will also need to be compensated for but 15 goals from a principle striker isn’t asking too much.

Everton (+24) have received a fair mark to start the season with and an improvement of 7 points will see them competitive. It was in front of goal where they fell short last season but a settled-in Jelavic could go to some lengths to solving that problem. He managed to score an impressive 9 goals in only 13 appearances. Another half a dozen scores would virtually ensure that Everton finish in the top 7. Newcastle (+20) have a team at the peak of their powers with a good proportion of the side in their mid-twenties. While they secured a very useful 65 points, it was a great feat to manage this total while scoring 56 goals. If Ba and Cisse can hit the ground running a top five finish again is not impossible.

Liverpool (+17) have again embarked on a rebuilding plan and despite being finalists in 2 cup competitions, last season was a disappointment as a total of only 47 league goals testifies. They probably need close to a 20 goal improvement to be viable top 6 contenders. A greater contribution from the midfield could be forthcoming but another striker needs to be introduced to share the burden with Suarez. Liverpool don’t have the semblance of a top 3 team and they would have to win 70 points in order to make the frame in this market. In contrast, Tottenham (+15) will probably look to consolidate the progress they made last season. Modric’s departure is a set back and it is hard to see how Van der Vaart and Sigurdsson are going to fit into the same unit. The two later named will assist in the quest for goals but the failure to secure Adebayor’s signature on a permanent basis could prove costly. It is very probable that under Villas-Boas Spurs will continue with a very attacking style. The defence is likely to be under increased pressure so the attack simply has to function if the side is to make headway.

Arsenal (+12) have again been at the centre of a high profile case involving a departure from their ranks. On the face of it Wenger has bought well in trying to replace Van Persie, in the aggregate. The 3 replacements are all internationals at the peak of their powers. More concerning would be the loss of Song but we will see how much faith there is in Diaby to hold the middle. This still leaves the Gunners looking for improvement if they are to defy their mark. Chelsea (+5) will look to build on their european exploits of last season but the reality was that over the whole season they were some way adrift of where they wanted to be. They still have the look of a team in transition where there are a good proportion of players in their 30′s and those in their early 20′s. On their day they will be a match for anyone, but over a season it has to be doubtful whether they can show the consistency required in order to challenge for the title. A resurgence Torres delivering a 20 goal season would probably see them into the top 4.

In truth there are only 2 sides equipped to win the championship. Manchester City (0) and Manchester United (+2) finished well clear of the rest in their epic struggle last season. It is more likely that these sides will improve rather than take a step back. Both teams need to score around 90 goals in order to maintain their stranglehold on the division. Going forward United look stronger than ever and Van Persie is an excellent fit, particularly in games against stronger opposition. Ferguson has held to the belief that playing a 5 man midfield has represented his best chance in the big games. Rooney has looked uncomfortable in the lone striker role but it is a position that Van Persie relishes. Playing in combination they could prove a potent force. City looked sharp in their Community Shield fixture and Tevez back in train gives them further options in the forward line. Only Gareth Barry of the regular starters is in his 30′s and as a team, with the belief of having won the league, they could be ready to break records.

From a betting prospective both sides are available to back at 16-1 on this handicap market and it makes sense to back them each way. The place return, minus the win stake, on City equates to the price that they are to win the league outright and of course there is the distinct possibility of them covering the handicap. The positive surrounding United is the 2 points that they receive from the off at a time when their price is as low as 2-1 in the outright market.

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