In the two weeks following an All-Ireland final containing 2 own goals and a draw that nobody predicted, a trend seems to be forming among GAA supporters; Dublin underperformed and Mayo may have missed their chance. The consensus being that for the replay, Dublin will ‘click into gear’ and play ‘their’ game and come out on top.
But is this really the case?
Most seemed to think the 2016 title belonged to Dublin before they even stepped into Croke Park on that rainy Sunday afternoon, but by looking at the numbers, we found that the pundits’ confidence was unfounded.
If you read our last article, you’ll have seen that Dublin were not the predicted winners of the final, we had Mayo to win by one point. And although we admit predicting the exact score of a game isn’t really possible, we ended up being pretty close.
We had set ourselves the challenge of working out a model to predict who would be the 2016 champions (and get an edge on the bookmakers). We did this by looking at the information available to us on both the Dublin and Mayo teams’ performances over time. With key areas being goal difference between Mayo/Dublin, point differences between them, regular differences in finals, average goals and points that season, differences between average goals/points that season and the finals etc.
We came up with the prediction of Mayo to win by just one point.
Now, even if we were to analyse every single data point and statistic since the GAA was formed in 1884, we still wouldn’t have been able to predict two own goals in an All-Ireland final. But the fact that our prediction seemed to go against the general opinion of Dublin being favourites and the game ending up being so close, we thought it might be worth trying again.
The difference, this time, is that we now have more data to work with. Not only have both teams played another game that we can factor into our original predictive model, but we now have more data on how each team performs against each other.
Over the past four years, Dublin and Mayo have now played each other four times. The particular details of those matches play a key role in predicting the outcome of this Saturday’s match, with a higher weighting on the most recent games as they are the most relevant to each team’s current form.
With these extra details in mind, we were able to refine our original prediction and develop a new one.
The Idiro Analytics official prediction for the All-Ireland final replay
Mayo 1:13 – 1:12 Dublin
Mayo to win by just one point
Now there’s no doubt that the weather did have a major effect on the performance of both teams on that error-filled Sunday two weeks ago. But with the weather forecasted to be a lot milder this weekend, we should see a much-improved display by both teams. Although looking at the numbers, we still stand by our original analysis that these two teams are more evenly matched than people seem to think.
Based in Dublin, Ireland, Idiro Analytics is an award-winning provider of analytics to businesses around the world.
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