FPL Poker Tables GW3

Honestly, as the goals flew in at the weekend at an unprecedented rate, I felt like declaring the weekly exercise of formulating predictions suspended until further notice. Until GW17 perhaps when I’d have sufficient new season data to trust in them more. The astonishingly high conversion rates achieved by goalscorers this season so far is making a mockery of xG based models, and I was all for binning mine off in a fit of pique!

Then yesterday, I reminded myself of 2 things: a) regression to the mean is unlikely to be a redundant concept; and, b) my spreadsheet’s score predictions weren’t as bad as those given the highest probability of occurring by the bookmakers, who remain the undisputed benchmark for such things. My sheet may have underestimated the volume of goals that would be scored, but by nowhere near as much as the bookies did (see below).

Those who read my blog last week will recall my making a strong case for why my spreadsheet’s predicted CHE vs LIV scoreline should be changed from 2 – 0 to 1 -1, and the match was still poised at 0-0 at the halfway point before Christensen‘s sending off changed the course of that game.

The most pleasing results for me were in the ARS vs WHU and LEI vs BUR games, both predicted by my spreadsheet to finish 2 – 2.  I am sure most people expected an easy win for The Gunners, which is why Aubameyang was the most captained player, and a tight low scoring affair in the other game.  Anyone who watched the former will agree that WHU can consider themselves hard done by to have lost that game, and to have not scored at least 2 goals themselves.

Looking at the tables above now, the only result the bookies were nearer to was the WOL vs MCI one, but even there I did flag up last week that my spreadsheets actually gave a higher probability to a one nil win for City.

So, chin up, let us trust in the process (even though we can’t fully until around GW17), and move onto GW3.

The first thing to notice with these scores is the absence of any clean sheets, which if GW1 was anything to go by, will no doubt mean a glut of them. As with last week, we have an unusually high number of scorelines here (7), that are deemed paradoxically to have a higher probability than the ones shown above. Namely, BHA 0 MUN 1; CRY 1 EVE 0; WBA 1 CHE 1; BUR 2 SOU 1; TOT 1 NEW 1; MCI 2 LEI 0; and, LIV 1 ARS 0.

There’s a very surprising name at the top of this week’s predicted expected goals table. One of the things my Season Review blog highlighted was the strong attacking numbers BUR posted towards the end of last season, and with their defence in bad shape through key injuries to Mee (and Tarkowski?) at the moment, there’s cause for optimism that they’ll need goals in their upcoming fixture vs SOU. I am personally toying with the idea of bringing in Wood for a one week punt, prior to switching him to Calvert-Lewin.

Having said, there are no clear cut clean sheets chances this week, there are four teams (MUN, LIV, MCI and CRY) for whom conceding 0 goals has a higher probability than conceding 1. These are highlighted in green in the table below.

Now, I appreciate most of you are stanning for EVE assets right now, so please don’t @ me. There’s no denying Palace have been impressive so far, and they did totally nullify the MUN attack you have also been drooling over the prospect of doubling up on beforehand. That said, half of the data used to calculate EVE’s expected goals comes from their very poor post-lockdown form, and before the arrival of Rodriguez, Doucoure and Allan, who have had an immediate positive impact, so I wouldn’t judge you for not heeding my spreadsheet’s warning here.

And finally, the only players deemed likely to average at least 5 FPL points in GW3, not including bonus points, based on their share of their team’s respective xG+xA in the last 8 home or away games, whichever is relevant, are shown in the table below.

Please feel free to ask any questions about the data presented in any of the tables above.

May your arrows be green!

Coley (a.k.a. FPL P0ker PlAyer @barCOLEYna)

Published by FPL Poker Player

Poker player applying transferable concepts such as expected value and probability to FPL. FPL is like poker; in the end, you have to go all-in! Newly signed up member of the Scout Network.

2 thoughts on “FPL Poker Tables GW3

  1. Hi Coley,

    Interesting writeup on what has been a exceptional game week in terms of goals scored. Would like to ask if you think it’s a good bet that this coming game week will feature a lack of goals.

    From the expected goal count, the month of September so far seems to be an outlier, xG = 2.94, actual goals = 3.72 (Source: Understat). The difference is about 0.8 which is abnormal. Just by eyeballing the data on Understat, the greatest disagreement between xG and actual goals (in a game month) is at most 0.5 over the past ~4 years.

    My thinking is similar to yours, regression to the mean will take over eventually and we should expect to see the gap narrow significantly. Hence my hypothesis is that there will be a lack of goals this week and that bets on low scoring events (under 2.5 goals etc.) might be a good idea. Also worth considering that a number of teams were involved in the midweek Carabao cup games which might lead to fatigue. Would be interested to hear your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nat. Thank you for your very informative and insightful comments. My hot take, gutfeel answer to your question would be it isn’t inevitable that any correction has to take place immediately. As I have learned the hard way about variance playing poker, the long run is often much longer than most players realise. I do think your instincts are generally correct though, but I’d be wary about assuming a high degree of certainty about the outcome of GW3. When the roulette wheel lands on red ten times in a row, it doesn’t make the probability of black on the eleventh spin any higher than before.


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