Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Where and When of the Title Race.

A journey is much more relaxing if you know the route you're likely to take. So with the Premier League now past the half way stage I thought I'd look not only at the range of possible finishing positions for the title aspirants, but also the likely highs and lows of their 16 game trip.

Teams have arrived at their current positions through a combination of talent and luck, either good or bad. The former should give a better prediction going forward, so I've used a shot based model to create team ratings and then simulated the remainder of the season over 10,000 iterations and plotted the league position, along with its likelihood of occurring at mainly 5 game intervals up to the end of the 38th game.

The range of points predicted to be won over the last 16 or whatever games are added to the actual points already won after 22 matches. It has been assumed that all games will take place as scheduled, although inevitably cup matches will disrupt the schedule.

Figures are the percentage chance of that position being attained in simulations.

                                               Arsenal's Likely Position by Week. 

Arsenal are title favourites at the moment based on my team ratings, but it is just slightly more likely that someone other than the Gunners will be crowned champions. A tricky trio of away trips eats into their chances of retaining their current top spot, before the fixture schedule relents just prior to their possibly season defining trip to the Etihad.

                                            Manchester City's Likely Position by Week.            

Second favourites for the title, City can likely put pressure on Arsenal until they face a tricky trip to Southampton immediately prior to their penultimate weekend hosting of Arsenal.

                                                Leicester's Likely Position by Week.

Leicester's green is trending downwards, but still remains within the top four and Champions League qualification. A finish outside the top four is more likely than the Foxes lifting the title, but a non title winning CL berth is odds on.

                                               Tottenham's Likely Position by Week.   

A hint of green edges upwards from Spurs' current fourth spot, but they remain the least likely of the current top four to lift the crown.

                                            Manchester United's Likely Position by Week.

United seemingly going nowhere with decreasing certainty.

                                                   Liverpool's Likely Position by Week.

Possibly onwards and upwards for Klopp's Liverpool, but probabilities fall away sharply and the important finishing spots of 4th or higher should be out of reach. Even more pessimistically, a not insignificant chance that they could finish outside the top ten.

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