Opta's Premier League Prediction: Liverpool record breakers, Bournemouth go down
The boffins at Opta have simulated a conclusion to the Premier League season and Dan Fitch is on hand to compare their predicted results with the betting markets...
With the Premier League on hold, the statistical wizards at Opta have crunched the numbers to simulate how the rest of the campaign would pan out.
Opta's StatsPerform AI team created a simulation that estimated the probability of the outcome of all of the remaining Premier League matches, based on each team's attacking and defensive prowess.
The rating of each club's attacking and defensive qualities was based on their last four years of results, with more weighting given to recent results. This model also took into account the quality of the opposition, so a team that would normally score lots of goals would not necessarily be expected to do so against a defensively strong side like Liverpool.
Opta simulated the outcome of the Premier League season 10,000 times, in order to properly estimate the chances of each club finishing in each position. Based on their research, here's how Opta predict the season will go, should the campaign be concluded.
Each club are placed in their predicted finishing position, with the number of points that Opta think that they will finish with. The red boxes displayes the percentage chance of the team finishing in their position, so Liverpool are rated as 99.9% certs to win the Premier League and the percentage likelihood of Norwich finishing bottom is 67.7%.
Liverpool are finally Premier League champs
Opta predicts that Liverpool will not only win the Premier League title, but do so with a mammoth points haul of 101. That would be an all-time English record. The only side to have ever scored more points in Europe's top five leagues were Juventus, with 102 in the 2013-14 Serie A season.
Liverpool are 1.02 to win the Premier League, ahead of Manchester City at 42.00. Pep Guardiola's City side are expected to claim 80 points, which would be enough to have won the Premier League in six previous seasons.
Leicester and Chelsea make top four
Third placed Leicester and Chelsea in fourth are thought likely to remain in their positions. Leicester are 1.28 to finish third, while Chelsea look a decent bet at 1.70 to finish in the top four.
Just missing out on a place in the top four by two points are Manchester United. If Manchester City's European ban is upheld that would be good enough to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team qualify for the Champions League. United are 3.40 to do better than the simulation suggests and finish in the top four, which Opta calculates as a 20.6% chance of occurring.
Spurs in the Europa League
Currently eighth in the Premier League, with Sheffield United and Wolves above them, Opta nevertheless expects Tottenham to leapfrog both teams and finish sixth. This makes the available odds of 2.86 for Spurs to finish in the top six look pretty generous.
Another bet worth having in the top half of the table, is for Everton to finish in the top ten. Opta are predicting that Everton will move up from twelfth place and finish tenth and a top half finish can be backed at 1.74.
Watford and West Ham survive, but bad news for Cherry pickers
Opta are backing the current bottom three to remain the same, with Norwich bottom, Aston Villa in nineteenth and Bournemouth becoming the third team to be relegated. Bournemouth are 1.90 to go down, with Norwich at 1.40 to finish rock bottom.
Watford are 3.10 to be relegated. That might be worth backing, as Opta are only expecting them to survive on goal difference, having claimed the same points as Bournemouth.