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Professor explains sports supercomputer on CBBC

Friday 21 October 2016

STATISTICS expert Professor Ian Hale has been predicting the future again – at least on the football pitch!

The creator of the Salford University Sports Analytics Machine (SAM) assesses the likely outcome of Premier League Fixtures each week in conjunction with BBC Sport.

Appearing on Match of the Day spinoff ‘Kickabout’ on CBBC, Prof Hale, from the Centre for Sports Business, explained: We take all the data on recent results and also the ability and form of players and feed it into the supercomputer, which uses algorithms to give us what we might call match predictions.”

These boil down to a set of probabilities of Home Win, Away Win and Draw plus of course, the match result.

Doubly deflated!

The Salford statistics are source data for a host of sports related organisations and companies but, of course, come with no guarantees.

Monday’s big match, for example failed to produce the Liverpool 2, Manchester United 1 score the data indicated, leaving Ian – a Liverpool fan – doubly deflated!

Unlike a string of England managers, current form is something the supercomputer takes very seriously indeed. “One of the keys to the power of SAM is the form guide,” Ian explains.

“In fact, the Premier League had Europe’s most in form, most effective player, at the moment in Tottenham’s Son Heung Min.”

So what does Ian reckon for this weekend? So far, he’s predicting:

-       Bournemouth 1 Tottenham 1

-       Arsenal 2 Middlesborough 0

-       Burnley 0 Everton 1

-       Hull 1 Stoke 1

-       Swansea 1 Watford 1

-       Liverpool 1 West Brom 0

Check out Ian’s first appearance on MOTD Kickabout.