How to predict goals in a football match

How to predict goals in a football match

So there’s a lot of interest in previous videos that have done around football matches and how to work out the mechanics of all match and historical data and the like like that so I think it’s worth doing a few videos on football and giving you some of the knowledge that you’ll need to participate effectively in football matches but we’re going to start right at the beginning which is we need to talk about goals that’s what we’re going to talk about in this video please like or dislike the video or leave a comment below that will allow me to produce better videos and more of them in the future so yeah the basics of football okay the first thing you learn about football is its highly variable why is that the case and that is because you’ve got a fixed time limit you’ve got the possibility of a match ending in a draw and also you don’t tend to have that many goals during a match on average the number of goals is relatively small and because of that football tends to be variable but also it can throw up unexpected results you know there’s an incentive not to concede a goal because you can get a draw but also if you look at at ninety three minutes or you know 9600 depending upon the extra time that’s added on to a football match and it’s quite possible that a goal could go in accidentally or by a complete fluke and actually win the match so the first thing to point out is it’s really hard to you know nail a prediction you can you know push something in the right direction you can say that something is likely to happen or less likely to happen but if people say – you all are united gonna win it the weekend the only thing you can really say is well they’ve got an X percent chance of winning and there’s a standard deviation of Y which will mean that that doesn’t occur but of course nobody wants to hear that and I remember going to a football match not so long ago and people saying what do you think of the first half and I gave them this statistical analysis of what happened in the first half and they just laughed and said no actually you know did you enjoy it well the problem is once you get into that mindset it’s difficult to throw it away so you know you’re looking at a team you want them to win but you know in reality that because there are only a few goals again that luck could have a part of it and they could play really well but not win and that’s the nature of football now when you’re looking at League competitions there’s an incentive to draw and in knockouts European competition there’s an incentive to get an away goal but when you’re looking at outright Cup competitions you know it’s winner-takes-all so you’re like you can play a much bigger part in a Cup competition than it does within the league so the first thing you need to do is you need to separate out each of these into their component areas to analyze them properly and and that’s why when people ask me about the ratings I often say to people I’m great at domestic football they’re not so great at Cup or European competition because all the adjustments required to adapt for that make that a little bit harder whereas on European European on domestic leagues I’ve actually got loads and loads of data so for English football I’ve actually updated going back to 1888 more 1889 because there’s not that many matches I got in 1888 but for every single match I’ve got yeah for as many matches as I can get I’ve got all of the data surrounding it in terms of what happened in the match how it happened how many goals were scored when they were scored and so on and so forth and the advantage of having a database like that is you can cross compare situations so you can actually look at scenarios that was similar and and compare them with scenarios that are coming up over the next weekend and so on and so forth and that’s part of how I form my judgment is going back through that database to cross compare similar looking sets of matches so for example I can look at a match this weekend highlight the key characteristics behind it and then I can map it against that database to look at all of the information that came spinning out of it and that’s a way of looking at some of the data but you know that’s probably more appropriate for another video is what we want to talk about here is goals and as you mentioned otherwise I mentioned a little bit earlier I was saying that football is very variable and the reason for that is you generally get small number of goals in a match so over 93 96 minutes or so you’re going to get less than three goals on average in a match and therefore you know you could get to three goals really quickly and then none for the rest of the match or you may get none for the entire match and so on and so forth so typically what you do is you start when you’re looking at assessing a match and what chance there is of there being absolutely no goals at all and how would you do that well again you go back to historic because what we’re trying to do is we’re not trying to predict what’s going to happen in the actual match itself and then what we’re trying to do in this video is understand how many goals are likely to be scored and how that influences all of the other elements within the match so if you actually do a plot of all of those matches from 1889 and plot it forward you get this lovely graph that occurs which I should shall magically appear in front of you I have it down here I’m going to read it to you so you don’t have to look at me looking down when the graph appears but if you look at this graph this is an analysis of English football all the goals scored in every match for over 100 years and what you notice first of all if you look at the blue line the blue line Peaks around two to three goals per game and this is where you get the average number of goals in a match so the average number of goals over many decades now for a long period of time averages out at about two point six goals per game and so you can tell that you know whenever you based your decision on how many goals that you’re going to likely to have an again that’s where you’d start you’d start right down the middle and you’d say I think they’re going to be two point six goals again now you can see that if you go to the left on that blue line their chance of having no goals at all in a game is about 7% so on average about 7% of games will end up with no goals at all and that could be for any number of reasons maybe both teams aren’t very good at scoring goals and therefore they get no goals or maybe it’s just luck that you know that hits the post to goal is disallowed it’s offside somehow the goalkeeper close it away from the line and it wasn’t awarded a goal and various things thereon I actually think that nil nil is quite hard to predict because they sort of come out of the blue and it can be a really competitive match an uncompetitive match it sort of comes out of the blue so I find that the hardest to predict is if a match is going to be you know you know it occurs that regular sort of raid it’s going to be sort of depending upon the structure of match seven or eight percent so odds at eight would be twelve and a half and decimal odds and you can say that that’s going to occur with a certain amount of regularity by predicting it as a little bit harder however if I you can see therefore you know the graph rises rapidly from one to two goals and then it tells off a little bit but it’s a slightly shallower on the right-hand side so that’s the curve that’s the distribution of goals that you tends to look at you will pitch it at two point six probably favor a few more goals for uncompetitive matches but if you’re trying to predict less than that it’s you can see the the graph falls away a little bit steeper on the left-hand side but when I look at a match and when I come up with football ratings I’m looking at the profile of the match and I’m sort of saying well on average there’s going to be two point six goals and I’m going to nudge it in one direction or the other depending upon what I expect to see in the match and you when we do another video we’ll talk about the draw because you tends to look at how many goals are on match then you actually price up the draw and then you go forward and do all of the other things in the match but yeah you know my center point is two point six and then I’ll move up or down according to how many goals I think it going to be scored if you look at a historical data set like you know this team haven’t scored in six games that doesn’t mean that they’re more likely not to score in the next game so there was a match last night with Derby who was struggling to score and they won to nil away and it’s a common trap to fall into it’s a classic gamblers fallacy trap where you see a sequence of you know results occurring and therefore you you suddenly imply more importance on the next match when in fact you can’t do that it doesn’t work like that the ability you know there may be some evidence within there but unless if you can describe what’s going on it could be that they were just really unlucky and you know like I said they hit the post goal was disallowed you know some dodgy offside decisions and so on and that’s why the Golden go in but they’re probably creating the chances they just haven’t taken them or it could be that they were up against a team that had very good defensive record and you may not even know that yet take you know a third of the season to go before you realize that it’s the structure of the team that stopped them during that little period of winning or not scoring or something they’re in they’re off so anyway sent to point two point six and then you’re saying you know are we going to go above a brother I know it sounds weird talk in terms of of a goal or or but what you’re doing is you’re saying if this mattress played a hundred times on average how many goals would be scored in this type of match and that’s where you’re getting your average figure form and it’s an important to work like that but also that explains to you why it’s so hard to get a result correct if you’re trying to tip a tipping is is sort of suicide on football because you know the team may have had enough shots and action on the pitch to have scored two or three goals and actually end up scoring none just through you know blind bad luck so it’s very hard to get it right and I suffer from this when people I go to Fort Hodge people say what’s the score going to be Peter then and I can’t tell them and yet they always forced me to make a decision on it so I just give them the most common score that’s likely to occur and hey presto very often a notice and I look like genius all I’ve done is just picked the most common score based upon the bias that I see within the match but if you look at this graph again one of the things that you’ll notice is I’ve plotted the home and the away team so you can see if you look at the home team they tend to sort of peak here one or two goals per game and then it tells off significantly but you can see that the chance of them getting no goals in a game is a several of just under 20% but then you flip to the weighting and you can see the chance of them not scoring is much much higher so what you’re looking at there is home advantage and if you look at the number of goals that are likely to be scored in a game then I pretty much automatically twist the model to be of a goal favorable to the home team because point four of a goal is what you see with home advantage home advantage is worth point four of a goal which when there is only an average of two point six goals per game is pretty significant that’s you know is very significant you can see as we go to the right-hand side of the graph it just tails off and then the chance screen four five six or so angles tails off fairly dramatically and typically from a coaching perspective if you’re in a two nil lead and you’re only expecting two point six goals in a game and there are thirty minutes left what do you do would you go on the attack and try and win it three or four nil or do you just sit back thinking well they’re not going to score two goals in 30 minutes or it’s very unlikely and that is what tends to happen so that explains that you know really thin tail when you’re looking at games with many more girls and I tweeted the other week where I said I can’t remember which match was I think this man United went for nil up a half time and I said you know teams that race to a significant lead at halftime tends to sit back and the match ended up for one and that’s a common characteristic because from a coaching perspective and from a player perspective why risk much more when you can just sit back defend deep knowing that if the average number of goals is quite small over a match that if you defend and don’t make any stupid mistakes don’t get injured and don’t do any of those things don’t get booked red carded etc etc and then you’re probably quite likely to win a game without a fuss and just why bother risking it so you tend to finance a characteristic a lot of matches teams tend to defend a lead rather than attempt to add to it which can be frustrating from a fan’s perspective because you want them to absolutely stuff the away team but you can’t think like that in in those sort of terms tactically that’s an inept attitude so especially from a coaching perspective you tend to do the thing that gets you the result which very typically is defending and the you know that’s the way the football works and it can be a little bit boring that way but if we merge all of those statistics together and stick them into a matrix we can put the away team at the top and the home team down the side and then we can actually look at how those two things begin to interact and it’s quite funny really because if you want to be clever and you want to be assured of getting the right result most of the time the best results to pick for a particular matches one all because actually one all occurs much more frequently than any other type of result in fact it occurs about just under twelve percent of the time so actually came close to winning a tipping competition once and all that I did was going every week and just enter 1 or 1 or 1 or 1 or 1 or 1 or which was absolutely hilarious I beat I came over how and it was about 80,000 people or nearly 80,000 because I didn’t win the competition there were people above me just by predicting the most common score so people were inserting their knowledge and bias into the market and successfully getting completely the wrong school so the next graph I’m going to throw up actually shows you all of the potential results so across the top you have the away team and the amount of goals they score and then down the left you have the home team and how many goals they’re going to score and I’ve shaded it so that you can actually see where the most common occurrence of scores are and you can see actually from that perspective that merges the data that we saw in the previous graph quite well and focuses you in on what the most common score lines are within football and you can see it’s biased towards the home team but if you look at the home team you can see that they tend to score a goal or two girls quite frequently and the away team is more likely to score one goal less likely to score two and may actually not score any at all so from that you can begin to cluster together the most common occurrences now along the bottom what I’ve done is I’ve added up all of those totals as well so you can see that for the home team I’ve circled away team nil-nil sorry add no goals let’s do that properly for the away team no goals adds up to nearly 34% of the time and one goal adds up to 36% of the time two goals is only 19 percent of time then you can see scoring three goals away from home it tails off quite significantly apart from if you’re playing West Ham at the moment it seems sorry if your West Ham supporter eye everybody has to go through that Marron again and it’s not pleasant I’m sure their form will return soon but if you look on the other side of the graph this is the number of goals on average to the home team I likely to score so you can see scoring and no goals it goes 18 percent of the time and scoring one goal 30 percent of the time to girls 24 percent and then again it tails off a little but not as steep as the away team and if you wanted to work out the chance of like a 2-1 all you do is add up both those columns if you sort of said you know I want my team to win by two one you can actually multiply those two end numbers and then that will give you their likelihood of the result it should I haven’t checked that but that’s what it should do so yeah the number of goals within football gives you a clue as to how the match is going to play out and there’s a bias towards the home team so when you look at that bias towards the home team is worth generally about of a goal and that’s generally reflected in all of the stats that you can see and if you want to look at the average number of goals in an actual try and work out how many goals are going to occur in a match then you would tend to use that total goals graph that we saw before you put yourself in the middle and you say well based upon the defensive record based upon the attacking records I think they’re going to be less goals so we start to push it down a level and based upon you know a good attack or a weak defense you’d start to push it up a level and you know this team’s at the top of league versus team at the bottom you tend to push the model towards three goals in the match and if it’s a very competitive match and it’s between two teams they’re very close to each other in the league and there’s not much to separate them it could be at the bottom it could be a top or whatever then you tend to push it down towards two goals but generally you won’t find me forecasting outside the range of two to three goals it will fall somewhere in that range because you can’t forecast an eel nail you can’t forecast no goals at all all you can say is that there is a chance that that could occur but you wouldn’t actively forecast it because what you’re doing is you’re saying there’s a standard deviation here’s your forecast of you know two point four goals and in fact there could be an extra goal on top of that or there could be one less you know you plot your standard deviation around that center point so you pick your center point being two point seven or maybe two point two and then you accept that there could be goals going for on goals not going in on that particular match and that would affect the outcome but it’s you’re looking at that center point it’s the most important thing because if you do that accurate over a long period of time then you tend to produce pretty consistent and good results but yeah in terms of average number of goals two point six in terms of the specifics of those two point six goals have a look at the because this tells you the total number of girls and average that occur within a match and the frequency which they occur how they’re distributed to the home when you’re waiting and if you’re looking at a three one or two nil or a tool or something like that have a look at the second graph and that actually plots that out beautifully for you and shows you what are the most common occurrence within a match once you’ve got your head round that and we can start to move on to specific topics so I’ll follow up on other videos with detail about certain things and logically you tend to start with the draw when you’re looking at a football match I know that may sound unusual to some of you but we’ll cover that in the next video once you’ve digested what I’ve said about total goals in a football match anyway I hope that’s been helpful for you please comment and like if you do if you do comment and like more frequently and ask me questions I read all of them and I’ll take that forward to the next video so I hope that’s been helpful for you and look forward to giving you the next video on this subject click here to subscribe to our You Tube channel you’ll get instant notification of new videos as they’re released

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