Argentina with and without Messi

I am not busting myths by saying that Argentina is not the same team with and without Lionel Messi. The Albiceleste are currently experiencing a rather difficult qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup and lot of the blame goes to the absence of La Pulga. Argentina won three out of three games when the man from Barcelona was playing (Bolivia, Chile and Uruguay) and only one of the seven in which he was not present (Colombia, 4 draws and 2 defeats). Argentina have only scored 11 goals and besides Messi (2), defender Gabriel Mercado (2) is the only player to have scored more than one goal.

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Mapas de goles esperados (Primera División Argentina 2016)

Mapas de goles esperados (explicación aquí) de los partidos de la fecha 7 en la Primera A 2016 (Argentina):

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Expected results Primera División Argentina (Fecha 13)

In this blog I give probabilities for games in the Argentine Primera División, show a predicted league table based on those probabilities and give a list of bets that corresponds to the given probabilities (note: you are free to use the ‘tips’, but I am not using them myself!).

I have replicated an existing prediction model and I am optimizing it for the Argentine league. The model is the so-called pi-ratings model by Constantinou and Fenton (2013). In this article they describe a system in which they assign probabilities to match outcomes (home win, draw or away win) based on historic results.

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Primera División Argentina: betting tips and results (Fecha 11)

Based on the prediction model described here, you can find betting tips and results in this blog:

(Note: you are free to use the ‘tips’, but I am not using them myself!).

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Primera División league analysis and predictions based on expected goals (Fecha 5)

Using this expected goals model and corresponding game maps I made a quick analysis of the games that have been played so far in the Argentine league. Expected goals are generally seen as a more reliable measure of a team’s quality than goals or shots. As there are relatively few few goals in a match there is a high variability in the conversion over a short period. Shots on the other do not tell us much either as a shot from 35 meters out is different than a tap-in.

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Expected goals maps

In this previous post I described my expected goals model for the Primera División (Argentina). Here I will quickly show some first examples of the resulting game maps:

Rosario Central – Newell’s Old boys

This is an example of the xG map and corresponding information on the clásico of Rosario of last February 14th. As you can see on the pitch Rosario Central trashed their local rivales: they took a lot of shots, and the majority from very good locations.

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Expected goals model Argentina

For the last couple of months I have been (slowly) working on an expected goals model for the Argentine league and I am very happy to finally present a first version here. I will explain the basics of the model here and I will also try to show some of the underlying numbers, something I haven’t seen so much in posts from others.

For the ones that want to skip this blog and just see the results: click here.

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