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Season's Prediction

By Mike Oates :  18/06/2009 :  Comments (24) :

Little bit of fun again, just to get the juices flowing now that we know the new fixtures.

I wrote various articles last year (Unkind Fixtures and Latest Prediction) trying to predict Everton?s final points and approximate league position, based on some mathematical modelling, using team coefficients based on league positions, our history with them and incorporating a factor based on our last 3 fixtures ? ie we don?t do well in the 4th game if we?ve just played and probably lost or drawn to Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea. I update the model weekly based on that week?s result.

For the 2007-08 season, I forecasted 63 points and we got 65 points.

For the 2008-09 season, I originally forecasted 62 points, recalculated to 56 points after our disastrous start but we finally ended with 63 points after non-forecasted draws at Liverpool, Chelsea, Aston Villa, and the Fulham away win. It was an excellent 2nd half to the season.

So, all-in-all, it's not bad a forecasting tool.

Well, after flogging myself over the last few hours, I can now confidently predict that our final league points for the 2009-10 season will be 70 ? YES, 70 points! We once again have some unkind group fixtures, particularly during November and February. The real points come from the season?s September/October spell, when we should get 21 out of 27 points (Wigan to West Ham), and the end of season, when the model predicts 26 points from the last 10 fixtures ? I find this a wee bit difficult to accept but that's what the model predicts!

The model predicts 0 points in all games with the Top 4, and only 2 points in total from the first 3 games. The African Cup of Nations, January 10 ? 31, will potentially rob us of Yobo, Yakubu, and Pienaar and maybe more if we sign other African players. The forecast for this period at the moment is 9 points from 12 available.

The 70 points, if reached, will not gain us 4th place based on last season's league placings, and we do really need to get wins from some of the Top 4 games; do that and we could just sneak into 4th place.

It's not rocket science but, as stated above, a little bit of fun in what is a quiet period for us fans.

Arsenal		H	0
Man C		A	1
Burnley		A	1
Wigan		H	3
Fulham		A	1
Blackburn	H	3
Portsmouth	A	3
Stoke		H	3
Wolves		H	3
Bolton		A	3
Aston Villa	H	1
West Ham	A	1
Man U		A	0
Liverpool	H	0
Spurs		H	0
Chelsea		A	0
Hull		A	3
Birmingham	H	3
Sunderland	A	3
Burnley		H	3
Arsenal		A	0
Man C		H	3
Sunderland	H	3
Wigan		A	3
Liverpool	A	0
Chelsea		H	0
Man U		H	0
Spurs		A	0
Hull		H	3
Birmingham	A	3
Bolton		H	3
Wolves		A	3
West Ham	H	3
Aston Villa	A	1
Blackburn	A	1
Fulham		H	3
Stoke		A	3
Portsmouth	H	3

Reader Comments

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Prabhat Mukherjea
1   Posted 19/06/2009 at 05:35:24

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I am quite interested as to how this model works, because to my untrained mind it seems like the model takes the most likely result and implements that 100% of the time, the only explanation I can see for the unrealistically low number of draws.

Secondly, I wonder if you could explain why in addition to the top 4 the model predicts the Spurs doing the double against us. That seems somwehat unlikely to me.

Finally, I would observe that some of the factors seem a little unscientific to me. While I am not sure how far back the "history with teams" feature goes, it seems to me illogical to say that the performances of Duncan Ferguson etc against Manchester City four years ago are likely to have an impact on the probability of our current squad beating their current squad.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
2   Posted 19/06/2009 at 05:44:20

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An interesting endeavour, Mike. But mathematical models... bit questionable at best. LIke Prabhat, I think you have too few draws. Interesting when people are making predictions how they are generally averse to predicting draws.

Also, one thing Moyes has achieved is preventing the team succumbing to back-to-back losses (how long has it been now?).... and you?ve got four in a row! Not once but twice!
Kevin Sparke
3   Posted 19/06/2009 at 06:18:51

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Did the model predict three knee ligament injuries and an early season strop by the manager?

And what about shit refereeing decisions? Clattenburg ?A? times by hostile crowd ?B? minus FA incompetence in getting rid of the twat.

Kevin Sparke
4   Posted 19/06/2009 at 06:24:30

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Using my traditional method of looking into the bottom of a pint class and counting the pigeons on the roof of the gasworks

I predict we?ll get 69 points next season ? and Finland will win the Eurovision Song Contest!
Erik Dols
5   Posted 19/06/2009 at 08:20:56

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As far as I know South Africa didn’t qualify for the AfCoN so Peanuts will be available in January.
Liam Reilly
6   Posted 19/06/2009 at 09:28:28

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Its just a bit of fun, but the Model suggests that we will lose all games to the sky 4, draw or get beat by the most likely teams competing for 5th spot and pretty much put the rest to the sword.

Unfortunately we are Everton and we are always capable of getting a result against the odds and screwing up at wigan on a cold Monday evening.

70 points woudln’t be far off 4th though.
Matthew Lovekin
7   Posted 19/06/2009 at 10:44:32

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Mike, were you off work that day?
Terry Maddock
8   Posted 19/06/2009 at 11:10:49

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I know its all ifs and buts... but I tend to do the same... except I just look at the fixtures and mark down how I think we will do.

My "what I think will happen" method has us gaining 71 points... (Yes, I'm an optimtist)... but, as mentioned above... not enough for CL...

Giles Larkman
9   Posted 19/06/2009 at 11:26:17

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Great article, crap maths. Interesting points raised. First, a realistic notion that is, with a three or four more wins in a season, and we could really be up. Now if our start of the season last year isn’t a good enough example then I don’t know what is! Secondly, I wasn’t aware of the back to back losses statistic (Thank you Micheal). When I thought of that, it brought all the old memories of really celebrating every three points and aiming for over 30 points. (I’m 31 so you know what I grew up with).

My point is this, as a club now, we have a good core (this is about the team, not a club staff/owner question). With at least one BIG signings and the usual 1 year (prove your worth is you want a contract) loans. We could really make a crack at the top 4 more than ever. Next season no team with big money (City, Pompey... who gives a fuck) won’t have enough time to properly bed their major signings in, so for them,their eye will be on building next season and really looking for silverware the following term. Our nearest realistic rivals are Villa. Ok they’ve got a lot more money, but they have to replace Laursen and Barry this summer. Next season will be massive for us, the thing we need to moves us on, is a huge signing. It doesn’t even have to be financialy massive (If van nistelrooy was available for1.2m?) We need that extra presence in centre/right mid-field.

Sso who is available? Of course I don’t know everyone but Wesley Schneider, Rafael Van der Vaart, JOAO MOUTINHO, Miguel Veloso.... fuckit, I would even take a punt on that RS Ryan Babel.... ok I might regret that one...

Conclusion: Buy Moutinho and lets move this club on to the next level. We can do this and next season may possibly be our greatest opporunity to do it

Michael Evans
10   Posted 19/06/2009 at 12:14:07

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I too once had a crystal ball but I replaced it for one made out of hardened plastic ... much more durable.
Robert Treacy
11   Posted 19/06/2009 at 12:34:07

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Kevin, you sound like a true maths genius. I am sure there is a job for you at the FA in the WE MAKE CRAP DECISIONS ABOUT REFS department.
Mike Hazard
12   Posted 19/06/2009 at 15:15:04

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Good work, young man! Are you living in a crystal ball?
Robert Workman
13   Posted 19/06/2009 at 15:34:40

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I started forecasting our Premiership scores two seasons ago, making the predictions during the week prior to each game. For what its worth in Season 2007-08 I had 19 correct and 19 incorrect scores. My predictions gave us 66 points, whereas we actiually ended up with 65 points. Last season was very similar with 20 correct and 18 incorrect. Points total was identical. 4 correct scores both seasons.

Not sure what that proves - the human element? - but it is better than it looks as I can only be right once per game but can be wrong twice.

Kevin Sparke
14   Posted 19/06/2009 at 18:26:39

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You predicted 19 correct scores Robert?

Can I give you a bell when I’m filling in my fixed odds coupon?

With those sort of results we’ll own William Hills in a fortnight...
Stephen Kenny
15   Posted 19/06/2009 at 20:29:40

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I think there is some merit in this but before any players are signed and injuries and suspensions are taken into account, after that its not much good.

Also if you have us down to lose both home and away against the shit 4 then I assume you have applied the same to every other team in the league. Of course this then means that you consider them pretty much unbeatable.

My only prediction for this season is that we will either take fourth place or get to the final of the UEFA cup or whatever it’s called these days.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
16   Posted 19/06/2009 at 21:40:21

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Robert needs to confirm this [before I go in and edit his post] but by "19 correct scores", I believe he means 19 correct results (ie, wins, draws, losses). It?s given away by the more believable claim of "4 correct scores both seasons".

Robert, please confirm.
Jamie Crowley
17   Posted 20/06/2009 at 05:09:13

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Ahhh, the cynicism....

Mike’s probably not that far off. I would think most agree we’re on the up.
As I see it, the reason 70 won’t be enough is the Sky 4 are going to just run away with it next season. The EPL is as "weak" as it’s ever been, and the gulf between the top 4 and the rest is growing by leaps and bounds.
I do think we are the only team that has a snowball’s chance in Hell of busting in.
Man City has money and no direction.
Villa’s shown their true colors second half and has no depth.
Spurs.... please. They are perenial (sp?) pretty picks, but are always short...

We’re it for busting the Top 4, and with some health and fortune I for one am keeping Hope alive.
Robert Workman
18   Posted 20/06/2009 at 16:35:37

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Apologies for confusion. It should have been results not actual scores. I only managed 4 of them! The human element again?
Joe Kelly
19   Posted 20/06/2009 at 20:41:13

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Well definitely more realistic then my prediction of 85 points anyway. Thats what we should really get if we played at our best all season. Personally, I think we will break 60 again but this is all conjecture.
Tony Williams
20   Posted 21/06/2009 at 11:14:53

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I predict that we will have a poor spell and I will get in trouble with Michael and put in pre-mod for my sarcastic replies to Tony Marsh, at least 3 times next season ;-)
Steve Edwards
21   Posted 21/06/2009 at 12:55:14

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I find this predicting stuff good fun. Nice article, Mike. I tend to look at what the other teams that came close to us are doing in the transfer market.

I also think Man City are going to be the unpredictable factor in the league this year. People seem to be dismissing them out of hand but I?m not so sure. I?ll be surprised if all that money doesn?t get them into the top six and again I think they have the best chance (if they get it right) of shaking up the top four.

It's going to be interesting regards Man Utd and Liverpool. It's difficult to see who Man Utd can bring in as a replacement for Ronaldo and Tevez will be a big loss. As for Liverpool, they may need to replace most of their midfield. It's all very interesting at the moment.

As for the mighty Blues, I think a lot will depend on our ability to hang onto Roger. If City come up with £20M for him, I think Moyes will cash in. It may not be such a bad thing. I think we could find something decent for £5 or 6M, maybe that Russian we seem to sniffing around. He?s not old at 29 for a centre-back and he?s got lots of experience. He?d be good for 3 or 4 years.

We may then have money to strengthen other parts of the team. I haven?t got a formula but being an Evertonian I have two fingers firmly crossed.

Paul Daly
22   Posted 24/06/2009 at 04:13:22

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So looking at my tarot cards, Everton being obviously the King of Cups and double checking against the 1878 birthdate in the Everton astrological chart, I can predict that the Toffees (numerologically significant occult fans!!!) will definitely, DEFINITELY, beat Burnley in one of our two games next season. Cross my palm with silver if you want more.....
Alasdair Mackay
23   Posted 24/06/2009 at 10:52:30

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I get 65 points, with the inevitable disappointing results such as 1 point from the RS and Birmingam, away losses to Hull and Portsmouth and draws at Stoke and at home to Spurs. I have thrown in a league double over Aston Villa, a home win on the opening day against the Arse and a strong finish to the season at home. I think that 65 is a minimum acheivable amount.

It is all conjecture as noone has any idea who will be playing for who next season, with Manure, City, Sunderland, Villa and Spurs (again) having to make major changes this summer. Add this to the three new clubs and new managers at Wigan, Portsmouth and Chelsea and you have over half of our opponents who are currently difficult to predict against.
Barry Sherlock
24   Posted 25/06/2009 at 10:57:26

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Good post.

I got 72pts. I expect us to get a few more draws.

Even for the sake of honesty I could NEVER allow myself to predict we get NOTHING against the shite.

I just couldn’t bring myself to do it....


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