28th May 2023 – and so, after a year-long, nail biting finish, the Premier League title has yet again gone down to the wire. On a glorious Sunday, bathed in the beauty of the British Summer Sun, the trophy was finally won by Manchester City (…or Liverpool).
The year also sees the end of Everton’s reign, as one of the most long-standing Premier League clubs, at the top level of English football. It was a sorry sight to see them go down, but the warning signs from last season were clear. They were just not good enough. They will be joined by Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest, both newly promoted, and both saying goodbye. A little too soon for most.
These are of course, just our predictions, based on our own data crunching and machine learning algorithms. Using match data dating back to the early 2000s, we have extracted the key features to measure team performance and used this as a baseline for forecasting future results. This includes statistics like goals scored, goals conceded, shots on target, and our in-house team ratings.
Unfortunately, we have not yet taken into account individual players on each team as this is not finalised with the Transfer Market only just getting into full swing. Undoubtedly there will be some big moves in the months ahead that could dramatically alter the course of the season.
Ah yes, these two again. Manchester City and Liverpool. Potentially the two greatest teams to ever grace the league, and potentially the world.
For years Messi and Ronaldo dominated footballing headlines. The two greatest ever. Generational players playing at the same time and in the same league. Some thought that was over, that we had moved on. But no. Instead, they have been merely recast. Rather than two individuals, they have transformed into two footballing juggernauts and last year’s thrilling race will only continue.
When running the simulations, it is difficult to get across just how close these two teams were. In 10,000 simulated seasons, Manchester City won 4,856 while Liverpool won 4,814. In other words, you might as well just flip a coin.
Last year, Man City won 29, drew 6, and lost 3. Liverpool won 28, drew 8, and lost 2. Man City scored 99 and conceded 26, Liverpool scored 94 and conceded 26. Man City scored 93 points, and Liverpool scored 92. There are more differences in most identical twins than between these two teams. Let’s look deeper.
We can calculate a rough attack and defence strength for both teams by looking at the number of goals scored and conceded compared to the league average. We can then split this by home and away to get tailored scores for each. Using the whole of the past season, we get the following:
From this we can see that Man City have a slightly better attack at home, but a worse defence compared to Liverpool. However, away from home, the opposite is true. Why? It’s difficult to say, but what is clear is just how far above these two teams are compared to everyone else.
Going deeper into each team’s attack and defence show just how inseparable these teams are. While this is not ideal from a predictions stand point, it should provide for a thrilling season to come, especially when these teams clash on 15th October and 1st April (stay tuned for an analysis of just how important these two matches are for the outcome of the entire season).
Despite having Man City at the top of our prediction table, it really is anyone’s guess. We might as well just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Conclusion: Under the Blue Moon, You’ll Never Walk Alone.