If league leaders Leicester City FC are able to beat Manchester City FC in today’s fixture at the Etihad stadium, they will go on to win the English Premier League for the first time in the club’s history.
This verdict has been made by a state-of-the-art Sports Analytics Machine (SAM), a super-computer designed by Ian McHale, professor of sports analytics at the University of Salford and Tarak Kharrat. SAM’s prediction of the remaining Premier League games suggests that the game at Manchester City FC’s home ground is a crucial title-decider.
Anyone who has doubts about the machine’s credibility should know that the machine beat BBC’s football expert Mark Lawrenson at his own game in Lawro’s predictions on Boxing Day’s Premier League fixtures.
The Sports Analytics Machine suggests that Leicester will only lose one more game this season.
SAM has predicted that the Foxes will remain an impregnable force for the remainder of the season, except for a single defeat which will be against Manchester United at Old Trafford on 30th April. SAM puts Manchester City FC at the top of the table with 71.13 points and Leicester City coming less than half-a-point behind at 70.7 at the end of the season.
The small margin shows for itself how crucial Saturday’s game is for Leicester City FC if they’re to land their first Premier League title. If Manchester City wins, it will be their third title in five seasons, and the Foxes will be second-time runners-up in top-tier English football. The last time this happened was in the 1928-29 season.
Going By SAM’s Predictions, Manchester City FC might win the league
SAM has predicted today’s clash between both the teams as a draw, which will let Leicester City FC lead the league table and strengthen their position with a majority of wins in their next five matches. A similar prediction has been made for Manchester City FC, who might end up winning the league title after a series of consistent performances with either a win or a draw in matches for the rest of the season. The prediction machine expects City to overtake the Foxes via a home win against Stoke City FC on 23rd April. The same day Leicester City FC are predicted to draw against Swansea at King Powers Stadium.
“We are in the era of big data, and since the Moneyball revolution kick-started the use of analytics in baseball, progress in football has gathered pace rapidly,” McHale told the BBC.
Leicester City FC currently sit on top of the table with a 3-point lead over the Citizens, and a win for Manchester City FC could transform the shape of the table as they’ll emerge as new league leaders on goal difference.
It is to be noted that SAM cannot work around variable factors such as injuries, and its predictions are based on players continuing to perform at the level they have been in the recent past and remain fit. Hence, its predictions might not turn out to be accurate in case key players like Jamie Vardy or Sergio Aguero are injured and sidelined.