Early season sports predictions are pretty difficult – just ask New England Patriots fans. At the start of a situation when making picks on the outcomes of games, a forecaster is working with a lot of imperfect data. A prognosticator can consider last year’s results, but that’s old information. Pre-season exhibition and friendly games can offer some insight, but that’s usually flawed by the nature of the (lack of) competition in those meaningless contests. There are other intangibles to consider as well. Players age from one season to another. The locker room chemistry of a team can change for the better (or worse) with the acquisition of new players in the offseason too.
In European soccer leagues such as the English Premier League, there’s one other huge variable factor that never comes into play in most other sports: relegation and promotion. In the Premier League this year, there’s been a churn of six teams – three teams sent down, and three new teams up. Those variables help frame the difficult task our Premier League Swarm will face in the season’s early stages.
It isn’t surprising that at this point, the swarm is tending to favor teams from Premiership nobility in the Big Six. For Arsenal, Saturday’s match is a test of simple survival. Can they really be as inconsistent on the pitch as they’ve looked through three weeks of league play? Bournemouth have lost their first three but are surely better than they’ve shown. As you can see below, the swarm put a 2-goal margin expectation on the Gunners in the match, and a hefty wager expectation. Should they not get a result, manager Arsene Wenger’s tenuous job security may be settled.
Our pick of the week this week shouldn’t be any surprise for fans who’ve been paying attention through the first three weeks of the EPL schedule. Man United appear to be in fine form after a down season last year. They sit atop the Premier League table in the early going, and have played well. As strong as their early season form has been, they expect soon to get star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic back from his knee injury. The swarm put in for multiple layers of confidence on Man United on the road at Stoke — by both goal margin and hypothetical wager amount — before anointing the Red Devils as their pick of the weekend.
Every week, researchers at Unanimous AI gather a Swarm of EPL fans to predict all of the weekend’s action. Want to join the Swarm, or just have the picks delivered to your inbox? Click the button below…
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