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Prediction

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  • 14 Jun 2018

    How to forecast the World Cup

    Predicting the outcome of the World Cup is difficult. There aren’t that many international matches, and the squads are constantly changing anyway. At 21st Club, we have two different approaches for forecasting international competitions.

    Our League of Nations model incorporates results from national team matches, including tournaments, qualifiers and friendlies, to estimate how good every national […]

  • 31 May 2018

    From prediction to decision

    Back in August, like fans and pundits across the world our UK football department sat down and made predictions for the Premier League season. We each wrote down how many points we thought each team would get, giving an overall predicted league table.

    It would be easy to forget about these and say that we knew […]

  • 04 Jan 2018

    Predictions for 2018

    After reviewing the year that has been, we’ve made some predictions for 2018:

    Don’t expect miracles, Liverpool

    The world’s most expensive defender, Virgil van Dijk, will have a limited impact on Liverpool’s defensive output. Our Player Contribution model expects the Reds to concede 2 fewer goals per season with the Dutchman as a regular starter. In truth, […]

  • 24 Aug 2017

    Got, expected, deserved, need

    During the early stages of the season, when the league table often lies, it can be easy to over- or underreact to results. As such, it helps to have some objective information on how the season has and might progress.

    We recommend focusing on four key metrics:

    How many points have we got? (Points per game)
    […]

  • 16 Feb 2017

    Superforecasters

    If I asked you how likely your new January signing was to be a success, what would you say?

    Assuming you acquired an established player your natural instinct is that you really want your new signing to play every match between now and the end of the season – to boost your chances of survival or […]

  • 13 Oct 2016

    Confidently wrong

    One of the challenges in prediction – or indeed estimating anything where there are a number of unknowns – is that we all suffer from overconfidence. It’s the reason why 93% of drivers think they’re better than average or that project planning often underestimates the real completion time.

    Equally, imagine a poll asking the CEOs of […]

  • 01 Sep 2016

    An avoidable distraction

    September always brings a certain tranquility to the world of football when juxtaposed against the annual melee of deadline day.  As the clock runs down on August, buying clubs rush to bolster their squad while selling clubs look to offload their expensive, unproductive assets.  Indeed, since 2010 a remarkable 18% of business in the Premier […]

  • 11 Aug 2016

    The grey swans

    Consider each of the following events:

    The creation of a European Super League, leading to the collapse of domestic television rights
    A severe and sudden decline in attendances owing to demographic changes and the rise of other forms of live entertainment
    The removal of transfer fees through legal challenges from FIFPro
    The Chinese Super League attracting dozens of top […]

  • 04 Aug 2016

    The next 10 months

    Grab a pen and write down, in order, your predicted end-of-season table. Do it again next week, after one round of results, and again the following week, and so on until May.

    August is the obvious time to be setting targets, but it needn’t stop on day one. Take the example of Watford last season.

    Before […]