Sport

Football & Society: Super computer has Arsenal as winner of the Premier League

By Ismail Lagardien 27 January 2016

A fancy new algorithm has worked out that Arsenal will emerge the winners of the English premier league in May this year. We have to believe that the supercomputer and the algorithm know what they’re talking about. Some of us will feel a lot better after the January transfer window closes on 2 February. If Arsenal are to be contenders for the league this year, they may want to invest in one or two high-class strikers. By ISMAIL LAGARDIEN.

A global sports technology and data company, STATS, with offices around the world, including South Africa, has used a complex algorithm to determine who will win the 2015 – 2016 English Premier League. Before you get too excited, remember that football is played on the pitch, and not on a hard-drive, and we are in the January transfer month – which means it’s anything-can-happen month… But it all makes for interesting reading, thanks to Talk Sport.

The algorithm run by STATS, determined that Arsenal will win the league, followed by Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester. Aston Villa will finish at the bottom with Sunderland and Norwich joining them in commiserations down the pub. The following breakdown, with bits of commentary, was provided by Talk Sport.

  1. Right now Arsenal are predicted to win the Premier League with 75 points. The Arsenal are calculated to have a 45.3% chance of becoming champions.
  2. Manchester City are predicted to finish second with 74 points. (Citeh are calculated to have a 42.3 % chance of winning the league)
  3. Spurs are predicted to end the season on 68 points, and are calculated to have a 71.4 % chance of finishing in the Premier League top four, and a 5.6% chance of winning the title
  4. Leicester are top right now (27 January) but are predicted to end the season with 67 points; they are calculated to have a 61.3 % chance of finishing in the top four and just a 4.4 % chance of being champions)
  5. Man United are predicted to end the season on 65 points. They are calculated to have a 48% chance of finishing in the top four and 2.3 % chance of winning the Premier League.
  6. Liverpool are predicted to end the season on 61 points. They are calculated to have a 16.9 % chance of finishing in the top four of the Premier League.
  7. Chelsea are predicted to end the season on 57 points. They are calculated to have a 3.3 % chance of finishing in the top four places in the Premier League.
  8. West Ham are predicted to end the season on 56 points: They are calculated to have a 2.1 % chance of finishing in the Premier League top four.
  9. Southampton are predicted to end the 2015/16 season with 53 points.
  10. Stoke are predicted to finish on 52 points.
  11. It is predicted Everton will end the season with 51 points.
  12. Crystal Palace are predicted to finish the season with 50 points.
  13. Watford are predicted to finish the season with 47 points.
  14. West Brom are predicted to end the season on 44 points. They are calculated to have a 7.2 % chance of being relegated.
  15. Swansea are predicted to finish with 42 points. They are calculated to have a 10.6 % chance of being relegated.
  16. Bournemouth are predicted to finish with 39 points. They are calculated to have a 29.2 % chance of being relegated.
  17. Newcastle are predicted to finish with 38 points. They are calculated to have a 37 % chance of being relegated.
  18. Norwich are predicted to finish with 38 points. They are calculated to have a 41.3 % chance of being relegated.
  19. Sunderland are predicted to end the season with 33 points. They are calculated to have a 74.7 % chance of being relegated.
  20. Aston Villa are predicted to finish bottom with 28 points. They are calculated to have a 99 % chance of relegation.

The two big surprises in the top four, if we believe the outcome of the algorithm, are Spurs and Leicester. Although, Lecister City have already surprised us all by staying in first place for more days than Spurs – ever. James Richardson (@acjimbo) is my source on this, in the Guardian Football Weekly – the best football podcast availabile.

The last time Spurs finished in the top four were in the 2009 – 2010 season and again in 2011-2012. Leicester’s highest finish in the top flight was in 1928-1929, when they finished in Second Place.

Arsenal fans will be especially pleased that they may have a chance to celebrate St Totteringham’s Day again, this year. This is the day on which Spurs cannot, mathematically, finish above the Gunners. The last time Spurs finished higher than the Arsenal was in 1995, when the Gunners manager, George Graham was sacked. Spurs finished in seventh place, and Arsenal in 12th.

The company that ran the super computer, STATS, was founded in 1981 and has grown to become the world’s leading sports technology, data and content company with operations and sports coverage on every continent. We have to believe they know what they’re talking about. It is early doors, though. Some of us will feel a lot better after the January transfer window closes on 2 February. If Arsenal are to be contenders for the league this year, they may want to invest in one or two high-class strikers. We will have to wait and see. DM

Photo: Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger checks his watch as he walks to his seat before their English Premier League soccer match against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, central England, August 26, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Staples.

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