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  • September 10, 2013

    StatsBomb Predictive Models – Week 5 in Eredivisie, English Champ and Bundesliga.2

    By Ted Knutson
  • I work for a very large internet bookie. Because of this, I’m heavily restricted in what I’m allowed to write about.  So despite the fact that I’m a subject matter expert in English Premier League betting, I ain’t writin’ about it, no way, no how. You’ll see me occasionally discuss my opinions on Champions’ League matches or College Football on Twitter, but that’s about it. (I don’t actually work on the Champions’ League product and used to bet College Football professionally before working at Pinny.)

    Anyway, I do other stuff at work too, including dabbling in predictive models. I can’t produce weekly picks for you, but one of the things I can do is discuss some point-in-time power rankings. Most of the models I’ve looked at become active after week 5, including the latest iteration of my own. For fun, I’ll post the initial rankings on StatsBomb for most of the European leagues as they come online, and you guys can argue about them until your heart is content or filled with hatred. Either way.

    Why Should I Care?
    You probably shouldn’t. This model is just stuff I play with during my spare time, and I’m certain it doesn’t have the brainpower or man hours put into it as something like the European Club Index from Infostrada. On the other hand, the most recent version of this model has been in play since June, and has done a good job picking out the good and bad teams in Brazil and MLS very quickly.

    Simpler versions of this model also predicted Augsburg would pick themselves up off the bottom of the Bundesliga and escape relegation last season, which they did. Sadly, it also thought Deportivo would save themselves from doom in Spain, but missed that one due to three losses in their last four matches. Ya win some long shots…

    A quick note on methodology: These rankings know nothing about the league table. They don’t care what team is in first and what team is in last, and operate on an entirely separate statistical methodology. They are highly predictive of future league places in the table, but variance exists. I would not post them if I didn’t believe they were pretty good.

    Additionally, these are very early rankings. Things tend to settle down a lot after week 10, so expect some volatility between now and when we next check back on them.

    Eredivisie Rankings After Week 5

    1

    Twente

    2

    Groningen

    3

    PSV Eindhoven

    4

    Feyenoord

    5

    Vitesse

    6

    PEC Zwolle

    7

    Heracles

    8

    Heerenveen

    9

    Ajax

    10

    Go Ahead Eagles

    11

    Cambuur

    12

    AZ Alkmaar

    13

    NAC Breda

    14

    Utrecht

    15

    NEC Nijmegen

    16

    ADO Den Haag

    17

    Roda

    18

    Waalwijk

    Predicted League Champ: Twente
    Fighting for CL slots: Groningen, PSV, Feyenoord, Vitesse, Zwolle, Heracles
    Relegation candidates: Roda, Waalwijk

    Through the first 5 matches, Twente are far and away the best team. Their coefficient likely won’t stay so far ahead of the other teams for the rest of the season, but they have been massively impressive across the first five. Ajax are dead middle of the pack and will probably suffer without Christian Eriksen.

    Waalwijk are so bad at doing certain things that they broke the model.

    English Championship After Week 5

    1

    Watford

    2

    Ipswich

    3

    Queens Park Rangers

    4

    Burnley

    5

    Wigan

    6

    Huddersfield

    7

    Brighton

    8

    Middlesbrough

    9

    Derby

    10

    Blackpool

    11

    Leicester

    12

    Blackburn

    13

    Bournemouth

    14

    Reading

    15

    Doncaster

    16

    Nottingham Forest

    17

    Sheffield Wednesday

    18

    Millwall

    19

    Bolton

    20

    Charlton

    21

    Barnsley

    22

    Leeds

    23

    Yeovil

    24

    Birmingham

    Predicted League Champ: Watford
    Fighting for Playoff slots: Ipswich, QPR, Burnley, Wigan, Huddersfield, Brighton
    Relegation candidates: Birmingham, Yeovil

    Personally, I don’t think anyone except QPR are going to win this league. Part of that is based on the additional players they brought in before the deadline, and part is based on the absolutely massive gulf in quality and pay they have from the rest of the league. That said, Watford are again very good.

    Given their position in the league table, I am as shocked by the Ipswich position in predictions as anyone. I think their coefficient will likely drop before the next update, but their results will improve, if that makes any sense.

    Birmingham are in fairly serious trouble unless something changes. Reading are also on the edge of the troubled zone, something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.

    Bundesliga 2 After Week 6

    1

    Karlsruher SC

    2

    Fortuna Düsseldorf

    3

    Köln

    4

    Energie Cottbus

    5

    FSV Frankfurt

    6

    Sandhausen

    7

    Dynamo Dresden

    8

    Arminia Bielefeld

    9

    Union Berlin

    10

    Greuther Fürth

    11

    Kaiserslautern

    12

    Ingolstadt

    13

    St. Pauli

    14

    Aalen

    15

    Bochum

    16

    Paderborn

    17

    1860 München

    18

    Erzgebirge Aue

    Predicted League Champ: Too Close to Call
    Fighting for Playoff slots: Any of the Top 6
    Relegation candidates: Erzgebirge, 1860, Paderborn

    Thanks to Colin Trainor for hooking me up with stats.

    Bundesliga.2 is much more tightly packed than the Championship, indicating great parity. They still have some pretty bad teams, but nothing close to how awful Birmingham is. Somehow I expected a higher Pace in this league (noted by total shots for and against per game), but it’s about 25 a match versus Championship’s 26.4 or so. They also don’t show the same ability to put shots on target as the big German league does, looking much more like England in that respect, something I didn’t really expect.

    Recap
    Right, so there’s a quick look at what my personal model suggests to be the best and worst teams in each of those leagues. We’ll check back on them after week 10 and see what has changed as the coefficients solidify.

    The model becomes active on Bundesliga.1 and Ligue 1 after this weekend, so expect me to take a quick look at both of those in the middle of next week.

    –TK

    Article by Ted Knutson