Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Championship Playoff Preview

With Cardiff City and Hull City already locking up their spots in the next Premier League season, the Championship Playoff for the final spot is set to begin.

Using the Poisson goals model, I ran 5,000 simulations of the two-legged first round and the resulting final. The four contenders to grab the final lucrative spot in the top division are profiled here, along with their odds of winning (ranks include clubs currently in the Premier League):

Table position: 3
Goal difference: 27
Attack rating: 2.11 (Rank: 13)
Defense rating: 0.95 (Rank: 31)
Overall: 1.161 (Rank: 22)
Advances over Leicester City at a rate of 51.69% to reach the final.
Wins promotion in 28.34% of simulations.
Likely to be the flavor of the neutrals after scoring 85 goals this season, these numbers say that Watford's offense is worthy of a mid-table team at the top level.

Brighton & Hove Albion
Table position: 4
Goal difference: 26
Attack rating: 1.81 (Rank: 26)
Defense rating: 0.65 (Rank: 16)
Overall: 1.162 (Rank: 21)
Advances over Crystal Palace at a rate of 60.55% to reach the final.
Wins promotion in 30.30% of simulations.
A shade better than Watford overall in our rankings. Thanks mostly to a draw against the weakest first round opponent, Brighton are favorites to secure a spot in the Premier League.

Crystal Palace
Table position: 5
Goal difference: 11
Attack rating: 1.78 (Rank: 28)
Defense rating: 0.96 (Rank: 34)
Overall: 0.83 (Rank: 29)
Advances over Brighton at a rate of 39.45% to reach the final.
Wins promotion in 15.98% of simulations.
The longest shot to gain promotion according to our numbers and the bookmakers, but in a four team knockout, the odds are never all that long.

Leicester City
Table position: 6
Goal difference: 23
Attack rating: 1.90 (Rank: 21)
Defense rating: 0.76 (Rank: 20)
Overall: 1.14 (Rank: 23)
Advances over Watford at a rate of 48.31% to reach the final.
Wins promotion in 25.38% of simulations.Crept into the picture on the final day with a huge win over Nottingham Forest. You know, like a fox. Okay, I'm done, I'll be back soon to post weekend match odds for the Premier League, FA Cup Final, and give an update on the top four race. Enjoy the games.

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