Thursday, 29 July 2010

Europa Contenders

As some of my longer-term readers may remember, last season I divided the 20 Premier League teams up into two groups of 4 teams, and two of 6 teams. My theory was that intra-group games would be more likely to be closely contested, with a higher frequency of draws, and possibly under 2.5 goals.

Rather surprisingly, the top group (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United) had not a single draw in the 12 matches between them, and only six matches finished under. A major reason why Chelsea won the league was that in their six games, they conceded just one goal while winning every game.

The second group of four (Aston Villa, Everton, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur) was much more profitable, with half of the games drawn and 7 under. Manchester City will not be in this group next season, (swapped with Liverpool), and if their results are excluded, 5 of 6 games finished as draws.

Overall, the draws in all intra-group games hit at 31%, so clearly no edge for the overall strategy, but is the problem with the strategy or in selecting teams at the start of the season and being stuck with them?

The lower twelve teams are clearly harder to predict final places for. Last season for example, Birmingham City and Stoke City did better than expected, while Wigan Athletic and West Ham United did worse.

This strategy worked well for the Europa League contenders last season, but only Aston Villa v Everton is on the schedule before October. Another angle I'll be keeping an eye on anyway.

1 comment:

RichP said...

Based on the actual finishing positions of the teams if you re-grouped as to those finishing positionings would your draws/under betting prove to be fruitful?