Attendance in the Premier League

Is poor performance by a team punished by low attendance by fans? Attendance figures have just been released by the BBC from the past season, prompting us to look into whether or not football supporters are emotional consumers or rational ones who chose to go to games based upon the quality of football available? At a first glance it would appear to be so with Stoke, Man City and Chelsea all down on the previous season’s average attendance and all three teams having been perceived to have had weak seasons.

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Is Fergie time over for United?

As we wave goodbye to one of the most successful managers in British football it’s also a time to focus on the ways that he has changed the football lexicon, whether it be through terms he coined himself (squeaky bum time) or phrases that were used about him (the hairdryer treatment). Probably the most statistically interesting is “Fergie time” the idea that Alex Ferguson through sheer force of personality gets more added time than other managers would when Man United are down.

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A new German dawn for European Football?

After the thrashing of Barcelona and Real Madrid there’s been a lot of discussion about the ascendancy of German football and the decline of Spanish football. But how surprising were these results and is there any chance the Spanish teams will be able to strike back?

Likelihood of First Leg Result

The first question relates to the unlikeliness of the result. Before the match was played the probability of Bayern Munich having a goal difference from the first leg greater than or equal to +3 was 8.9%. When we look at the probability of a +4 goal difference the probability is reduced to 2.7% but this is partly due to the generally low scoring nature of football. The chances of Dortmund finishing the first leg with a +3 goal difference was 8.3%. These results were not quite so unlikely as commentators have made out although the most likely result for both semi-finals would have been a 1-1 draw.

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World Cup Qualification

After yet another round of international games, what do we now know about how Brazil 2014 is shaping up?

Below is a bar graph showing European teams chances’ of automatic progression (coming top in their group). Teams that have a chance of less than 5% have not been included.

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Six Pointers

This blog is in part a response to a tweet we received asking what the chances of the Man Utd/Man City match being a title decider are. The race for the title would appear to be pretty much wrapped up (97% chance of Manchester United winning) but the race for Champions League football appears to be wide open.

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A match of two legs?

It feels like it’s been a long two months without European football. With the Spanish, English and German title competitions looking pretty much wrapped up at the moment and a disappointing Africa Cup of Nations, it’s exciting to welcome back the Champions league and Europa league.  So after the first round of of first legs for the Champions league and the first legs of the Europa league we wanted to see how things stood.

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Africa Cup of Nations: Update

We’re now half way through the Africa Cup of Nations and it has gone relatively to plan so far. The big 4, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa are all through to the quarter -finals with only Nigeria unable to top their group. The North African teams have been something of a disappointment with Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria all knocked out.

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Preview: Africa Cup of Nations 2013

It may feel like the Africa Cup of Nations has just finished but due to the rescheduling of the tournament it is yet again that time of year. Below is a brief preview of what’s to come.

Group A

The hosts, South Africa, should have a relatively straight forward group and are the team most likely to top it. They have a 22% chance of being knocked out at this early stage. The second team to qualify from Group A is slightly more up for grabs with Morocco on a 56% chance, ACN debutantes Cape Verde on 37% and Angola on 29%.

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Europa: The other competition

The Champions League knockout stage might have the glamour of Manchester United v Real Madrid, but what of its little brother (whatever AVB might say), the Europa League? We decided to look at our predictions for the Europa League knockout draw.

There are four English teams in the Europa league, Premier League position in brackets: Chelsea (4), Liverpool (8), Newcastle(15) and Tottenham (3).  This is double the amount that have made it to this stage in the previous two years. But how much further can they go?

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The Olympic Glow

With the end of the year approaching we decided to look at a non-football sporting story; London 2012. The games were full of interesting numerical issues; how unusual was it for Ye Shiwen to swim faster than Ryan Lochte, what does the medal table look like when adjusted for various factors like GDP and population size. British commentators enjoyed gloating over Australia’s poor performance at the games, but none paused to ask, was this in fact predictable? It is well known that host nations do better when hosting the games and that this glow remains afterwards for an undetermined amount of time. Was Australia’s poor performance in fact a return to their pre-Sydney 2000 level?

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