Opta Predicts Aston Villa’s Most Likely League Finish
After three wins within a week, Aston Villa are now in the thick of the race to European places where they’ll do battle with the likes of Liverpool, Spurs, Brighton and Brentford, having seemingly already burnt Chelsea off.
MOMS recently published an article on the toughness of Villa’s remaining fixtures and who their rivals are, plus, they’ll be a My Old Man Said members podcast with a detailed assessment of where they’re most likely to finish, after analysing all their contenders run-in’s. But what do the stats gurus Opta think about Aston Villa’s most likely final placing?
Well, they only give Villa a 6.8% chance of remaining in their current 6th place. Apparently, Liverpool are the team most likely for that final position to the extent of having a 34.6% chance.
To be fair, it’s acknowledged as the most likely scenario from where we stand now – statistically (they have a much easier closing fixture list) and knowing Liverpool, if they can recapture the form they are capable of, they may have an extra gear or two to rely on too.
OK, surely Villa are bang on for seventh then?
According to Opta apparently not. There’s only a 17.6% chance of that happening, with Brighton tipped as the favourites to finish there, with a 38.1% chance.
According to Opta, they are adamant Villa are finishing eighth, with the highest percentage placement for them of 46.8%.
What Opta Has Missed Out On
Statistics are all well and good, but Opta clearly can’t compute the reasons that MOMS reasoned would compromise Brighton’s finish to the season, namely their congested fixture list. They have to play three more games than Villa (including an FA Cup semi-final) within what is essentially a six-week period, and that includes league games against all of the top four.
While, we’re not ruling Brighton out, if Villa can take care of their own business to a decent enough degree, they have a real opportunity to capitalise on Brighton’s difficult task.
Outside of Europa League business, according to Opta, Villa have a 0.1% chance of finishing 4th, the highest position Opta allows for them to finish. If there’s any crumbs of comfort, it’s the same percentage chance of Villa finishing 12th.
Villa supporters should be wary though, because there is apparently a 1.6% chance of Villa returning to 11th, where they’ve spent a good couple of months already this year.
Luckily, the phrase “that would be typically Villa” is fast fading under Emery, so that’s not going to happen. As for Opta’s forecast on the whole? Never tell Emery the odds!