Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easter Saturday's matches...

Who's going to do what on this important footballing weekend? Today, 11 matches take place in League One, after Scunthorpe effectively sealed their promotion last night winning 1-0 over Yeovil Town.

Below are the predictions for this afternoon's matches:

Home Draw Away
Blackpool v Tranmere 46.6% 29.4% 24.0%
Bournemouth v Bradford 44.6% 29.2% 26.1%
Brentford v Cheltenham 33.8% 30.1% 36.1%
Brighton v Doncaster 36.7% 31.6% 31.8%
Bristol C v Swansea 12.3% 21.0% 5.8%
Chesterfield v Crewe 40.7% 26.3% 33.0%
Leyton Orient v Northampton 41.8% 26.6% 31.7%
Millwall v Nottm Forest 28.2% 26.6% 45.1%
Oldham v Huddersfield 66.5% 19.3% 14.2%
Port Vale v Carlisle 46.5% 26.3% 27.2%
Rotherham v Gillingham 52.0% 22.1% 25.9%

Disturbingly, for the biggest match of the day, the model appears to have been hit by a glitch; the probabilities don't sum to unity. This will be looked into.

For the remaining matches, the one I'm interested in is Oldham v Huddersfield. Oldham have never beaten Huddersfield twice in one season before, but today they appear to have a 66.5% chance of doing just that, having won 3-0 at Huddersfield earlier in the campaign. Oldham are indeed strong favourites for this match, which reflects that fact Oldham are considerably higher in the league table. Huddersfield are not in relegation trouble, but are firmly in mid-table. Fink Tank put Oldham at 59.7%, also rating Oldham as overwhelming favourites.

But will they prevail in this local derby? With it being a local derby, a large attendance can be expected. Attendances have been increasing gradually over the season, and a gate of around 10,000 ought to be expected this afternoon. Huddersfield may not bring as many fans over the Pennines as they would if they were challenging nearer the top of the division, but nonetheless, my forecasting model suggests an attendance of 9,479. Let's see if the Latics can send this bumper crowd home happy as they further cement their play-off place.

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