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How to Predict Football Match Results?

How To Start Prediction Of Football Matches?

Ever since the introduction of betting in sports, it has become common for bettors and punters to try making football predictions for the results of matches, goals, scorer, winning teams, etc.

Predicting the exact results of an ongoing football match is not possible, however, you can come up with an almost accurate prediction system that you will help you predict football scores, draws and team ratings. In this article, you will learn to create such a system or model.

How to start?

If you are looking forward to creating a perfect football prediction system to help you identify profitable bets, you are at the right place. You have already made a start. Here, we are trying to build a system that does the following two things:

  • Identifies value bets
  • Identifies value bets for most games

Identifying profitable betting opportunities is what you need to learn to be able to create a system that makes correct football predictions. You have to find a methodology to beat that of your bookmaker’s.

Apart from that, you also need to make sure that your football betting prediction system generates enough bets, if not for all the games you are targeting. It would be of no use if you can only predict one or two value bets in an entire series/season.

Things to consider

Let’s take a look at the factors that can affect your predictions.


The variables and data that might affect the team performance and match results. It may include shots on goal, goal differential, shots on target, possession, and location of goal shots. Other important questions to ask yourself are – how are you going to collect this data and how will you check its accuracy.

Data requirement

In this stage, you need to figure out exactly how much sample data you will need to be able to create a prediction system based on the assessment of a team’s performance. The data size you choose should be enough to provide you with some consistent value bets.

Technical skills

If you are a technical guy and know how to update your prediction system automatically with new data feeds, you can actually create a system that will make predictions for multiple football bets in a single season.

Collecting data

This is a rather easy step. All you need to do is find some reliable sites on the internet that offer free and/or affordable data on football matches.

Goal Expectancy and Poisson Distribution

Goal expectancy can be roughly defined as the number of goals a particular team is expected to score in an ongoing match, based on their history, personal predictions, potential, and the opponent teams. Creating a perfect football prediction system to find value bets is all about learning to calculate accurate goal expectancy.

Poisson Distribution is a related term. It involves making use of the goal expectancy (of each participating team) to calculate the probability of possible scorelines in a football match.

The Poisson formula according to MS Excel is:

=POISSON(x, mean, cumulative)

Where ‘mean’ represents your goal expectancy for a given team. When you set cumulative to FALSE, the x is what represents the number of goals, and the formula will give you the probability of that team scoring that many goals in that match.

For example, if you want to calculate the probability that a particular team will score only one goal in a match for which your calculated goal expectancy is 2.111, then your Poisson formula is:


The output will show the probability of the team scoring just 1 goal in the match.

Data for Football match predictions

Even though it is impossible to perfectly predict the result of a football match, we can still try to come up with a close figure based on the various statistical data that determines a match result.

Home Ground Advantage

It is one of the most crucial factors in determining the winning probability of a team in a match, especially in a football match. Home ground advantage is a very real thing, and it is widely believed that a team playing in the home ground has a clear advantage over the away team. However, it is not easy to predict the extent to which a home team benefits from this.

Goal difference

It is another important factor to consider when calculating the prediction of a team’s performance. Goal difference is the clear indicator of a team’s strength and its probability of making goals in a match. If you manage to gather enough data sample size, you can better calculate the goal expectancy for the team.

Possession data

The details of the time for which the ball remains in the possession of a team is also an important factor to consider to calculate goal expectancy. However, it is important to focus on the quality of possession as the possession on its own is usually of no use.

Shots on Goals

Many bettors/punters also consider shots as a parameter for determining the scoring probability. However, shots are not actually very reliable statistics to calculate such things. Then again, not all shots are equal. After a period of time, you may even become able to predict the goal probability based on shots.

Prediction of Football Results based on Shot location

Calculating goal probability based on shot location is also a common practice for many bettors. This is, however, a rather difficult process which involves analyzing a lot of data. In this method, we consider the following three location parameters to determine the probability of a goal (or any other outcome).

  • The perpendicular distance between the goal line and the ball (in yards)
  • The horizontal distance from a vertical center
  • Whether the ball is headed or kicked.

To be able to determine the chances of a goal at a time, you need to prepare the shot location based on the above parameters.

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