Commentary

Arsenal's increasing EPL title chances

The team has a tough schedule left, but sim shows it could overtake Man U

Updated: March 10, 2011, 8:33 PM ET
By Albert Larcada | ESPN Stats and Information
Cesc FabregasShaun Botterill/Getty ImagesCesc Fabregas and Arsenal have the talent to win the EPL. Will they finish the job?

In preparation for the World Cup last summer, ESPN introduced a predictive rating system known as the Soccer Power Index (SPI) that was developed by Nate Silver. The system performed very well during the 2010 World Cup, correctly predicting 13 of the 16 matches that reached the knockout stage.

Following the World Cup, we at ESPN Stats & Information decided to take SPI's logic on the international side and use it for predictions on the club level, and will now be bringing that analysis to you regularly on Insider. SPI analyzes matches from the previous four league seasons to find offensive (OFF) and defensive (DEF) ratings for every EPL, La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga club. (After four years a match is no longer considered in the ratings.) Goal differential has been found to be a much better predictor of future success than wins/losses/draws, so SPI uses it exclusively to compute the ratings. And as we get closer to the end of the season, we can get a strong estimate of every team's chances of winning the league.


To read more about how Arsenal could win the EPL title, plus simulations for the other big four leagues, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Albert Larcada is an Analytics Specialist in ESPN's Stats & Information group. Among other analytics projects, he maintains, advances and writes about ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI) algorithm.