Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Who is the world cheering for? | UEFA EURO 2016 PREDICTION using Twitter Sentiment Analysis (in R)

    Football, full of emotions is a game driven by passion. Fans are claimed to be the 12th man in the team and very rightfully so. If the fans are behind their teams, their chances of winning are enhanced significantly.


    The effect of fans on a team's performance is easily visible in the difference between their home and away form of almost every team. A big misconception is that the fans on the pitch only counts. 

    The players are also human beings, they also feel excitement and pressure. They also goes through a different sets of emotions before any match, much of it coming from the reaction of fans largely from social media.

     The resent google searches for these four National Football teams who have made it to Last 4 have taken a big hike clearly visible in the graph below with the occasional bumps reflecting the international friendlies. Here's a look of the trends in Google searches of the four semifinalists :

      In this article we will make a prediction using a simplistic algorithm on the winner of UEFA EURO 2016. This prediction will be based on the emotions expressed by people on Twitter. 



    The reigning World Champions and favorites in the books of most odd makers to win the UEFA EURO this time around. Their trademark German efficiency was visible from the word go. Lets see what comes to fans's mind when they think about #GER.

     Here is what the sentiment analysis of the German Football team looks like :

     On a scale of -5 to +5, the tweets can be classified as :


    This could very well be the last EURO for Ronaldo. Strangely they are yet to win a single game in normal time, but here they find themselves just two steps away from the big trophy. First up will be the Bale and co. in their way who will surely pose a tough challenge. Here's the word cloud for #POR :  

     Here is what the sentiment analysis of the Portuguese Football team looks like :

     On a scale of -5 to +5, the tweets can be classified as :

    FRANCE :

    The hosts are turning on the style. Their big win against Iceland showed their intentions to win EURO on their home soil. The French will surely need some stopping but Germany can also not be taken for granted too. Lets see what comes to fans's mind when they think about #FRA.

     Here is what the sentiment analysis of the French Football team looks like :

     On a scale of -5 to +5, the tweets can be classified as :

    WALES :

    Wales has been the surprise package of this tournament. They must not be taken lightly after their convincing win over Belgium, arguably the strongest side in the tournament on paper atleast. Lets see what comes to fans's mind when they think about #WAL.

     Here is what the sentiment analysis of the German Football team looks like :

     On a scale of -5 to +5, the tweets can be classified as :


          #Tweets with a +ve/-ve score for each team 

          %Tweets with a +ve/-ve score for each team

     Final Summary

I have considered following to rank order teams :
Criterion 1 :  %positive tweet – %negative tweets
Criterion 2 :  weighted score
Criterion 3 :  Fixture of matches


     As clearly evident from the above analysis, Wales might just have enough to secure a win over France in the UEFA EURO 2016 Final. 

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Premier League 2015-16 Shooting Vs Scoring | Insights

     2015-16 season has been the season which witnessed arguably the best underdog fairy tail story. These are the moments we watch football for. The dared to dream it and acheived the unthinkable. This is why we just love this beautiful game.

     On the other hand, this has been a disappointing season for most of the top guns. The title favorites didn't even played a meaningful part in the tile race. The likes of Arsenal, Manchester Clubs, Chelsea can not let this season happen to them again.

     This so far has been all what you know, lets shift our focus to what you don't.

     Five Insights to take away from the above plot are :

1. Tottenham Hotspurs averages the maximum shots-a-game on average : 17.33 a game. They also have impressive scoring records with 1.86 goals-a-game, second to City only. 
     This season Spurs have shown positive signs, mostly inspired by their youth. Good times might just be around the corner for Spurs fans if they can manage to keep hold of the present lot of players and their manager.

2. Manchester City is not in the position expected of them this season, but scoring goals is not to be blamed for their failure in pushing for the Premier League title. City's strike force managed to score 1.88 goals-a-game, more than any other side in the division with third highest shooting average in the League. 
     The problems for the Cityzens has been on the other side of the field with their skipper struggling to maintain full fitness. 

3. Leicester City, well its hard to talk about 2015-16 Premier League season without mentioning Leicester City. They are the third top scores in the League just behind Spurs and City, even though they rank at far 8th spot in average shots-a-game, just above the League average. Some Accuracy !
     It will be really interesting to see what fate Leicester's fortunes take next season. Champions League maybe !

4. Manchester United have struggled this season for both goals and shots. They find themselves in the mix of mid- table teams in the shooting and scoring charts, 14th and 10th respectively in the division.
     Apparently, the reason for such a 'good' League position for the Reds despite such poor performance infront of the opposition goals is their tight defense which managed highest clean sheets this season. "Philosophy" I guess.

5. Aston Villa has had a season to forget, scoring the least no. of goals-a-game in the League this season. Surprisingly, one thing they can take proud in is the fact that they have outshot West Brom which is the shiest attack in the League.
     Its Championship for them next season, lowering the Difficulty level always helps may that be FIFA or in real life !

     Thats all for this Premier League season. Euros next !

Friday, 6 May 2016

Manchester City Vs Arsenal | Top Stats & Predictions

     Manchester City

  • Manchester City has not drawn a single game in their last 7 Premier League encounters at Etihad Stadium.
  • Manchester City has scored atleast a goal in previous 6 matches.
  • Manchester City has scored the highest no. of goals in Premier League this season.
  • Manchester City has lost 23 Premier League games against Arsenal, more than against any other side.
  • Kelechi Iheanacho's 86.9 minutes per goal is the best in Premier League history for any player to score 3 or more goals.
  • Sergio Aguero is just 2 goals shy of the Premier League Top Scorer crown, not a big gap to close with 2 Premier League games still left. 

     Arsenal :    

  • Arsenal is unbeaten in their last 8 games.
  • Arsenal haven't lost to City in previous 4 Premier League meetings winning 2 and drawing 2.
  • Mesut Ozil provided his 14th and 15th assist of the season at Emirates against Manchester City in December. Since then he has just 3 assists in 18 Premier League Games.
  • The Gunners have managed three consecutive clean sheets in Premier League, last time they managed 4 was in May 2014. 
  • Ozil has 18 assists this season, just 2 short of Premier League all time record of 20 by Thierry Henry in 2002-03
  • Arsenal's Top scorer Olivier Giroud has not scored in last 15 Premier League games, last time he scored was against Liverpool in Jan 2016.

     Predictions :

     This is promised to be a close encounter with plenty of goals. Both sides can edge this one but Arsenal are slight favorites.

Top Picks :

  • Corner Match - Man City.
  • Total Cornors : 10 or more.
  • Half Time Goals : One or more.
  • Full Time Goals : Two or more.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Liverpool Vs Everton | Preview & Predictions.

     Liverpool is flourishing under Kloop to say the least. He has revived the belief of fans and players alike. Quite simply, they are in the best shape in recent history. They have just lost once in last seven League games and not to mention their astonishing run in Europa League. Qualification for Champions league next season is not a distant dream anymore. This might well be the start of new Liverpool era with the old Liverpool success under "The Normal One".

     Everton has had a scrappy season so far, reaching nowhere near their desired targets. Currently sitting in 11th spot, they havn't won a single League game in their last six attempts. The likes of Lukaku, Barkley, Deulofeu and Stones has shown glimpses of their talent but consistently still lacks. However, a derby atmosphere can sometimes provide that much needed spark, especially at Anfield against Liverpool in an Everton shirt.


     The merseyside derby is one of the most tense rivalries in Premier League. Six of the last seven encounters has ended in a draw, with plenty of injury time levelers over the years. This fixture always guarantees pulsating action, one you definitely can't miss !      

     Over the years, there has been a no. of draws, but the momentum is with Liverpool in this one. They are favorites to win this this one but its definitely not going to be an easy game for them.

Top Picks :

  • Corner Match - Liverpool.
  • Half Time Goals : One or more.
  • Full Time Goals : Two or more.
  • Full Time Result : Liverpool.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

La Liga 2015-16 Shooting Vs Scoring | Insights

     It has been a tremendous season for Barcelona both on their Domestic as well as European Fonts, but not now. The ultimate dream of repeating a treble is gone following their defeat to Athletico Madrid over two legs of the Quarter-final in Champions League.

     For Real Madrid, when you thought the season couldn't have gone any worse especially after that Wolfsburg defeat in Germany, fate takes a strange turn. Into the Semis of Champions League and closing the gap on League leaders Barcelona and ofcourse lets admit it, they added joy of Barcelona being eliminated from Champions League.

     Truth to be told, both of them are in a league of their own domestically with Athletico Madrid appearing on the fringes every now and them. There is no doubt about the goal scoring expertise of these two great clubs, but how they perform put against the rest of clubs and ofcourse against each other.


     Real Madrid and Barcelona are in a league of their own, with Real Madrid hitting more shots and more goals per game than any other side in Spanish top division.

     Five Insights to take away from the above plot are :

1. Real Madrid undoubtedly is the most attacking side in La Liga, significantly outscoring and outshooting any other side to find themselves in the extreme top-right of the plot. They have registered 18.87 shots and 2.90 goals per game over the course of season so far. That indeed is massive but when Ronaldo is leading the attack, nothing is impossible.  

2. Barcelona compared to Madrid, looks a bit dull but when you compare them with the rest of teams in the division, difference is clearly evident. They have an impressive 2.71 goals per game showing just what MSN is capable of. They however have a better defensive record than Real Madrid conceding just 0.8 goals a game, justifying their position at the top. 

3. Athletico Madrid. Now coming back to the teams in Spain which haven't got either of the superhumans. Athletico Madrid has done exceptionally well to find themselves in the mix of teams bidding for the title. They can't be ruled out of the race as yet, not because of how many they score but because of how many they concede, just 0.5 goals a game conceded makes them the tightest defense in the League. Such fine balance between scoring and defending is the main reason for their impressive position in the league standings challenging Barcelona & Real Madrid despite just 1.68 goals per game, which is actually third best but significantly less that that of Real & Barca.

4. Villarreal is a surprise package this season. They have the second lowest no. of shots per game in the league at just 9.18, yet they find themselves at 4th position. This is down to the fact that they have third best Goals-to-Shots ratio in the league, complemented by an impressive Goal conceding rate of just 0.8 goals a game with as many as 13 clean sheets so far.

5. Espanol is the shyest team in the league in terms of shooting with just 5 shots a game. Interestingly, their Shooting accuracy is second to none with a Goals-to-Shots ratio better than that of Barcelona or either of Madrids,  or anyone in the league in that case. Apparently, if they shoot, they are quite simply more likely to score that even Barcelona or Real Madrid. Take a Bow.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Chelsea Vs Manchester City | Predictions.

          Chelsea will host a pumped up Manchester City side this Saturday on their home turf. It's ironic that Manchester City has recently knocked out the PSG side which ended Chelsea's European dreams, thanks to ex-Chelsea playmaker, Kevin de Bruyne. He is the one Chelsea's defense has got to keep an eye on, and Aguero, and Silva, and probably Toure as well...little too much to handle for a Chelsea defense with significant absentees.  

         Last Season, Chelsea was at top of the pile at this time, now they find themselves at 10th, quite a turnaround. City also has had a frustrating season so far, out of the title race, but motivation can be drawn from their current run in Champions League and and the fear of not securing a top 4 finish this season.

          Chelsea are bookmaker's favorites to edge this tie. However, I don't see this happening at Stamford Bridge this Saturday. With several key defenders and willian unavailable for Chelsea, a draw might be as good as it gets for them. However, a City win seems to be the most realistic outcome.

         Even though City are into the Semi-Finals of Champions League, securing a top 4 finish is their most realistic chance of European qualification next season. After all, there is a massive chance of them facing their future manager in the Semis or the final itself.

Top Picks :

  • Full Time Result - Man City.
  • Two or more Full Time Goal.
  • Corner Battle - Man City.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Tottenham Hotspurs Vs Manchester United | Predictions.

          Tottenham Hotspurs will host Manchester United at White Hart Lane on sunday. Both teams are playing for what the other used to play for. Manchester United are looking to squeeze into Top Four while Tottenham are looking to submit an improved fresh bid to make their Title hopes come alive.

         This will be a tough game for both sides to try and win, chances of a draw are high since these two sides are very well matched. However, Tottenham are slightly more favorite than United.

Top Picks :

  • Under 6 Cards.
  • One or more Half Time Goal.
  • Under 12 Corners.