As part of Squawka’s ongoing commitment to bringing fans the most interesting and in-depth football analysis on the web, we’ve invited the InsideFPL team to explain their S.O.A.R model to football and fantasy football fans. The guys have also kindly provided us with a top 5 at the bottom featuring Chelsea, Liverpool, Wigan, Arsenal and Spurs (but in which order?)
Rating a Team’s True Attacking Form
Anything can and does happen inside the 90 minutes of a football match and this is why football is considered the greatest game on earth. Sports like rugby, tennis and cricket and US sports like NFL and baseball too, allow numerous scoring opportunities and incremental point scoring or for territory and possession to be turned into a score much readily. In football, goals are quite often scored ‘out of nothing’, victories coming against all odds and the flow of game. This is why we love it. The Beautiful Game.
This is really just over 90 minutes though. Over time good and bad luck will mostly even out, inevitably the best team’ will win. The worst lose. The unpredictable and sometimes outright fortuitous nature of goals and indeed the full-time result means using these solely as indicators of a team’s performance is unreliable and won’t tell the whole story, particularly with an unbalanced fixture list muddying the waters.
Introducing S.O.A.R. (Statistical Opponent Adjusted Rating)
At InsideFPL we have developed a statistical model based on underlying match data, predominantly shots on target for and against, and adjusted relative to the strength of opponent.
Season Rating – each team has a season average for Shots on Target (SoT) per game. This is adjusted based on the opponents played and their average defence rating. The percentage above or below league average is also given.
6 Wk SOAR – the results from each team’s last six fixtures and how many SoT they were above or below their opponent’s average is aggregated into a single value providing a measure of current performance. The ▲ / ▼ arrow is an indicator to whether the team’s 6Wk form is up or down on their season form.
X-Factor Shots on target is not the only measure of a team’s performance but is the most closely correlated with goals. The conversion rate of shots on target to goals too, approx. 3:1, has been steady in football for decades. Check out Jonathon Wilson’s award-winning ‘Inverting the Pyramid’ for more. Some teams make a habit of scoring more goals than the straight-up data would suggest though, and some teams less so. Manchester United this season are a prime example of that, but overall the more shots a team has, and the more of those that are on target, the more goals you can expect.
The Top 5 In-Form Teams Right Now