Supercomputer predicts ‘surprise’ promotion chance for Southampton

A SUPERCOMPUTER has given Saints a 0.6% chance of regaining automatic promotion to the Premier League this season.

According to the model, Saints have underperformed at the start of the season, with their odds of automatic promotion dropping from 24.6 percent.

The Saints are still given a 25% probability of finishing in the top six of the Championship and qualifying for the playoffs.

This, however, has been cut in half from 50% before the campaign began. Saints are presently tenth in the league with 17 points from their first 11 games.

The supercomputer employs the Monte Carlo approach, with a Python-based match simulator that predicts the amount of goals each team could score in a match by using two Poisson distributions – one for the home team and one for the away team.



A Poisson distribution is a mathematical concept used to forecast the likelihood of a specific number of events (in this case, goals) occurring within a fixed time interval, which also serves as an indicator of the average event rate.

In the simulation process, both expected goals (xG) and actual goals are employed to evaluate the fundamental and real performance of teams. Additionally, a factor is computed, considering the strength of the opposing defense, to determine the specific rating for each matchup.

Subsequently, a high-performance computer utilizes the match simulator to make projections for the outcomes of the remaining fixtures. This simulation is executed 10,000 times, and the final standings and probabilities are computed by aggregating these results with the present league standings.

The supercomputer, operated by BetVictor, foresees Leicester City and Ipswich Town, the current top two teams, maintaining their automatic promotion positions.

Leeds United, who lost to Saints at St Mary’s recently, along with Middlesbrough, Sunderland, and Coventry City, are anticipated to secure places within the top six, while Saints are predicted to finish in eighth position.

The computer model estimates that Saints will accumulate 68 points, falling just three points short of the top six, and they are projected to have a positive goal difference of only one.

Birmingham City stands out as a team that continues to exceed the supercomputer’s forecasts. The algorithm suggests that they are overperforming despite their current sixth-place position, predicting a 17th place finish with only a 3.4 percent chance of making it to the play-offs.

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