*“United are in a much better situation but we know if we take nine points from our last three games and United lose six points then we’ll be okay. It’s not easy to lose six points but anything is possible in football.”*

Not easy to say the least, two out of Chelsea’s remaining three games are against Arsenal and Manchester United (Everton being their third and final game of the season).

With the Gunners game being played at Emirates Stadium coming away with three points will not be an easy task. Granted last time these to sides played, for the Carling Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium, Chelsea walked off with the trophy.

However, their last Premiership encounter at Stamford Bridge required *“Michael Essien’s best goal of his **Chelsea** career on 84 minutes* (to rescue) *a point for Jose Mourinho’s side”* (Quote from chelseafc.com Match Report).

Moreover, Wenger’s men have had a four game winning streak, while Mourinho’s are limping off their draw to Bolton.

Still, come match day we could be looking at two completely different sides, The Blues could be reinvigorated from a win over Liverpool in the Champion’s League Semi-Final and because one has to wonder when all the takeover talk will take its toll on the Gunners.

Next, Chelsea will have to take three points from the clutches of Man Utd. Now if you were to ask my opinion as a Man Utd Fan-Attic, I would say, “Dream On!!!” But since this is my first crack at whipping out a Soccerlens article, I keep a minimum of objectivity.

Till now, these sides have met only once this season. Man Utd dominated that first-half at Old Trafford and Chelsea dominated the second with Ricardo Carvalho equalizing (68^{th} minute) Saha’s goal (28^{th} minute).

This game will be a preview or a dressed rehearsal if you will, for the FA Cup Final and even possibly the Champions League final. There is so much at stake for both teams that I honestly find it very hard to see a clear victor. A Draw is, in my opinion, likely to be the most probable of situations.

So, if we consider that Chelsea’s odds at beating Arsenal are at 11 to 8 (Draw 9/4, Arsenal 13/8), which equate to a probability of 42.1% and that their odds of beating Man Utd is at 7 to 4 (Draw 2/1 and Man Utd 7/4) , which equates to a probability of 36.36%. Odds for their game against Everton have not been issued yet, but lets consider them to be equal to Man Utd’s game against Everton, that’s 8 to 11 which boils down to 57.89%.

*(Odds from oddschecker.com , conversion were done by myself, if you care to second guess me on them check out Converting Fractional Odds to Probability)*

So if we were to consider a simple statistical model Chelsea chances of winning all three games are: 42.1% x 36.36% x 57.86% = ** 8.85%. **Chelsea has a 8.85% chance of winning all three games and walking away with nine points.

If we were to take into consideration the fact that Man Utd has to lose yet another game for Chelsea to come out on top that would lower the probability even more. But since were at it, let’s get cracking and find that final number.

Let’s say Manchester United loses against Man City (it’s more probable than West Ham). The Odds of that happening are at 9 to 2 (Draw 5/4 Man Utd 11/10), so that’s 18.18%, making Chelsea’s chances of finishing on top of league table 1.60%.

“*Anything is possible in football*“? Maybe, but the odds of that anything are 1.60%.

(P.S: For those of you who will be tempted to challenge my mathematics, don’t bother, I’m an Economics major, I do this for a living)

**Update: ***Updated for corrections based on a discussion in the comments*

Jade,

actually, considering that Everton was an away game for United, you’d probably want to consider the bolton-chelsea game odds as being more equal to the everton-chelsea odds (which is a home game for chelsea)

Also, an improvement to the model would be to calculate United’s chances of getting less than 4 points, and then use them to get a more accurate probability.

I know Azar and Hasan will love this article.

Jade, any chance you can incorporate my suggestions and add your thoughts in the comments here?

You may be an economics major but your maths reasoning IS flawed. You assume that man utd can only lose to city whereas in truth they can lose to EITHER city or the hammers. Lets say the probability they lose to west ham equals the probability they lose to city (for argument sake), then the prob. that they lose to either is 2×18.18% = 36.36%.

Therefore, chelsea’s prob of winning the league = 36.36% x 9.35% = 3.40%.

My conclusion, chelsea are twice as likely as winning to win the league!

Hiya Jade. I kinda figured you were an economis major without your saying so. wonder how? Looking at all those figures actually made e feel dyslexic!

Jokes apart, I think you over-rated Chelsea’s chances.

Alright fine i’m still joking…

Ahmed, that final number of 1.70% does include United getting less than four points, since we assumed that Man Utd will lose against Chelsea (36.36%) and lose to Man City as well (18.18%)

@ Shaheen Seedat: If I were top include the West Ham game that would lower the probability my friend not raise it!!!!! Cuz it wouldnt be 2 x 18.18% it would be 18.18% x 18.18%!!!!

“So, if we consider that Chelsea’s odds at beating Arsenal are at 11 to 8 (Draw 9/4, Arsenal 13/8), which equate to a probability of 44.4%”

Shouldnt that be 42.1%.

Just being picky because of your certainty that your calculations were correct.

Anyway, good read and interesting first article. Welcome to SoccerLens.

Jade – would Chelsea’s chances improve (and by how much) if you used better odds for the Everton game?

Not much, I would imagine đŸ™‚

“@ Shaheen Seedat: If I were top include the West Ham game that would lower the probability my friend not raise it!!!!! Cuz it wouldnt be 2 x 18.18% it would be 18.18% x 18.18%!!!!”

Jade… I said include the probability that EITHER west ham or city beats utd not BOTH as you state in your response because they only need to lose ONE of those 2 games in addition to losing to chelsea to lose the league (assuming chelsea win all their games).

Hence the probability is an “OR” not an “AND” and equates to 18.18% + 18.18% or equivalently 2 x 18.18%

Woooopsss!!!! My bad!!! It should be 42.1!!!! Damn!!!! I’ll try to fix it!!! Thanks Shaheen, BTW i wasn’t saying that to be an asshole or anything just to limit the number of people who will try to challenge the numbers without proof

@ Shaheen Seedat: If u state that the probability of Losing to west ham is equal to that of man city, u needn’t to x2 since united need only 2 losses, one of which is chelsea, what u need to do is the average of both probabilities (18.18%x2)/2, if 1 of em were 10% and the other 18.18% it would be 18.18%+10%/2

Update: So with 42.1% instead of 44.4%. Chelsea’s chances of winning all three games becomes 8.85% and their chances of finishing on top would be 1.6%

Jade – this is going tom be my last response to try and explain what I mean.

When i did the x2 thing, it doesn’t mean that they LOSE BOTH games – for that to be true it would be 18.18×18.18. The 18.18% x 2 is the probability that they lose 1 other game (chelsea apart) REGARDLESS of who it is. Hence that probability is the probability of losing another game full stop. And no, you don’t need to average the 2 probabilities because that gives you the probability of losing half a match not a whole match.

Shaheen – 3.4 vs 1.7

Hehe, I guess Mourinho would fight for that much, he should đŸ™‚

“And no, you don’t need to average the 2 probabilities because that gives you the probability of losing half a match not a whole match.”

That makes no sence bro!!

The model stipulates 3 wins for chelsea, and 2 losses for man u, meaning u should have, we assumed it would be man city + chelsea, it makes no sence adding west ham, u can replace man city with west ham, average out the probablity of the losses, or stipulate a third loss for united, but u cant just x2 just cuz there’s the west ham game, makes no sense

… meaning u should have a total of 5 odds

… meaning u should have a total of 5 odds*

Ahmed, please if you can fix the numbers i would be most grateful,

Update: So with 42.1% instead of 44.4%. Chelsea’s chances of winning all three games becomes 8.85% (instead of 9.35%) and their chances of finishing on top would be 1.6%( Instead of 1.7%)

And shaheen, i admit i made a calculus error but i stand firm on the statistical model

i dont like math with my football !

Thats fine.

It doesnt really make a huge difference.

Made the changes Jade.

The only flaw I see here is the odds system, which may or may not be accurate đŸ™‚

wahahaha shaheen you do our stats class proud. well done.

Abdalla…

Damn straight…lol….

At least I learnt something heh?

Ha ha ha. Brilliant article. XDXD

Dear Economist,

Theoretically, your method is absolutely bogus. A simple example to refute your method:

There is a fair die. Has 6 sides. You claim the probability of a side showing up is 1/6. The “probability” itself is derived from the structure of the die i.e. all 6 sides “in-relation-to-each-other” give rise to a “probability” of getting a number every time to roll the die. Mathetmatically speaking, the space is closed.

The odds-converted probabilities you’re using DO NOT arise within a closed space comprising Chelsea and ManU only. That is to say, the “impact” of externals (Arsenal or Man City) will give rise to such “probabilities” that are NOT exclusively “in-relation-Chelsea-and-ManU” but incorporate possibilities for other clubs as well. The English meaning of what I’m saying is if Liverpool, currently third, after 38 matches can score a maximum of 73 points and Chelsea and ManU are already ahead of 73 then that leaves the possibility of winning the Premiership ONLY to Manchester United and Chelsea, right? However, from your method if the probabilities of Chelsea and ManU winning are separately calculated they SIMPLY do not add to 1. Like I said, is there a third club in contention? No.

Anyhow, the wrong method that you have used, is wrongly used itself. Following is the right way of doing what you were doing.

Three constraints dramatically strip down the possibility space otherwise it would be quite complex:

1) Chelsea and ManU are the only ones left to possibly lay hands on the trophy.

2) Chelsea and ManU are yet to play each other.

3) Only 3 matches are left and the gap between Chelsea and ManU right now is large. (~56% of gettable points)

Winning equation:

For Chelsea to win, Chelsea – ManU scores from next three matches should be > 5.

The probabilities matrix used is listed below:

(probabilities weighted-average adjusted for over-round as of this moment – the odds keep changing so…)

Chelsea

3 1 0

36th 38% 28% 34%

37th 34% 32% 34%

38th 60% 30% 10% (Based on Chelsea’s home record)

ManU

3 1 0

36th 62% 24% 14%

37th 34% 32% 34%

38th 60% 30% 10% (Equated with Chelsea’s 38th game for simplicity as no odds are currently available)

The following score sets result in Chelsea taking the EPL. Within each score set are permutations of outcomes.

ScoreSetA(Chelsea, ManU) =

C: 3 3 3 = 7.75%

M: 0 0 0 = 0.48%

= 0.037%

ScoreSetB(Chelsea, ManU) =

C: 3 3 3 = 7.75%

M: 1 0 0 = 0.82%

= 0.063%

C: 3 3 3 = 7.75%

M: 0 0 1 = 1.43%

= 0.111%

ScoreSetC(Chelsea, ManU) =

C: 3 3 3 = 7.75%

M: 1 0 1 = 2.45%

= 0.190%

ScoreSetD(Chelsea, ManU) =

C: 3 3 3 = 7.75%

M: 0 0 3 = 2.85%

= 0.221%

C: 3 3 3 = 7.75%

M: 3 0 0 = 2.11%

= 0.163%

ScoreSetE(Chelsea, ManU) =

C: 3 3 1 = 3.88%

M: 0 0 1 = 1.43%

= 0.055%

C: 3 3 1 = 3.88%

M: 1 0 0 = 0.82%

= 0.032%

C: 1 3 3 = 5.71%

M: 1 0 0 = 0.82%

= 0.047%

C: 1 3 3 = 5.71%

M: 0 0 1 = 1.43%

= 0.082%

ScoreSetF(Chelsea, ManU) =

C: 3 3 0 = 1.29%

M: 0 0 0 = 0.48%

= 0.006%

C: 0 3 3 = 6.94%

M: 0 0 0 = 0.48%

= 0.033%

Combined probability of all possible sets of outcomes = 1.04%

P.S. Ahmed, this is pretty long. You might want to post it đŸ˜›

In case anyone didn’t understand Azar’s post, it basically says that Chelsea’s chances of winning the Premiership are 1.04%.

Pretty good chances considering the rest of the Premiership has 0% chance.

Azar…

Now that makes much more sense… you’ve taken into consideration ALL possible results.

btw… how long did that take you?

Knowing Azar – 5 minutes? đŸ™‚

99% chances for Manchester United winning the title – I’m not going to celebrate till Chelsea have a 0% chance.

even if chelsea had a 0.001 % they’d take it. thats what makes man united and chelsea the best teams in england, with arsenal and liverpool not coming close

who cares about facts and figures, man-u for the title!!!

(i’m not a manu fan by the way, but i dnt chelses to 2 win)

These are all mathematics. In reality, Chelsea’s chances are 0%. Better luck next year!

Whats the point of all this % crap?? Wot a load of poop.

Jade your chance of becoming a writer is 1.6% you are talking shizzel.

At the end of the day man u lose 2 games chelsea win all 3, chelsea win the prem. Chelsea lose one man u win, man u win the title. why break it down into geek terms??

lol Richard… you love simplicity dont you hehe….

football isn’t based on percentages and probability, its a very unpredictable game where anything can happen in a 90 min timeframe. many things can affect the final result and possible outcome of a teams fortunes, thats why we all love the beautiful game in the first place.

all the mathematical stuff seems to be based on assumptions which makes it inconclusive in the first place, i reckon.

Manu all they way

So do not talk about any other team

it is clean

All i’m Going to say is SUPPORT MANCHESTER UNITED!!!!

OR

SAy MAN-U WILL WIN

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