Mediawatch mini-special: The Daily Star and their ‘super computer’

Date published: Friday 6th October 2017 6:43

Regular Mediawatch readers may recall the Daily Express’ predicted league tables last season. They were outrageous, predicting teams to score ten goals all season and collect one point. They were almost a deliberate joke, but only almost.

Now the Daily Star have got involved, and they’ve basically fallen for the same spiel.

‘The stats buffs [what a term that is] over at Football Web Pages have created a super computer which uses an algorithm based on previous goals and results compared to upcoming fixtures,’ the Star say. We really like the idea of a super computer that is used solely to predict the results of football results, badly. It isn’t 1983, guys.

Highlights include:

– Crystal Palace will collect only nine points all season, taking Derby County’s record as the worst ever Premier League team. Palace will also be cut adrift at the bottom by 21 points.

– Everton will take only 31 points all season, and yet somehow still survive relegation. Which is just bloody ludicrous on two counts.

– Burnley will finish seventh, with 54 points. Wow.

– And Sean Dyche will be happy, because Burnley are going to finish above Arsenal, don’t you know. Sorry guys, but Arsenal are only going to take 38 points from their remaining 31 league games. Is this super computer made by Alan Sugar? Is it an Amstrad?

– Watford make the top six, but this super computer algorithm definitely doesn’t place too much weight on current form.

– Tottenham make the top four, but only with 70 points. That’s 56 from their remaining 31 games. Still 18 more than Arsenal, mind.

– Chelsea are in third, and there is then a 26-point gap to second and first. The two Manchester clubs are level on points with each other. With 103.

– For both United and City to take 103 points, it would require both of them to smash the record points total for a Premier League season. Both of them. And one not win.

– It would also require some wonderful runs of form. Assuming that the two clubs both win one match against the other, City and United would have to take 81 points from their remaining 29 games. That would take them winning 26 and drawing the other three. I mean it seems unlikely.

– There is a winner, however. United will only have a goal difference of +93, 22 above the current all-time Premier League record. Manchester City, meanwhile, will have a goal difference of +101 and win the title. Course they will.

Still it’s nice that some things never change. Tenth and eleventh? Southampton and Stoke, obviously.

‘Their predicted table is starting to take shape, although it has made some massive calls,’ is the Daily Star’s final flourish. Pretty sure an algorithm should be mathematically calculated, rather than ‘making massive calls’. It isn’t Garth Crooks.

Come back Lawro, all is forgiven…


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