I’ve been a bit busy lately so apologies for not offering up any research on Possession with Purpose; lots going on with it at the moment while all five competitions I measure are still going at full speed.
To catch up, using a picture first, here’s a look at how PWP compares to Total Shots Ratio as well as Goal Differential when viewing the UEFA Champions League:
As an added Index I’ve also included the PWP Predictability Index (an Index that EXCLUDES goals scored (for or against) in the overall calculations. A reminder that from a pure predictability standpoint the Predictability Index remains the only Index that excludes goals scored when developing a prediction as to whether a team might earn points.
For the benefit of all I’ve also included how things take shape when teams play at home versus away from home; there are differences.
So what does this mean?
PWP, even in a format different than general league play shows better than TSR as it is known today (i.e not modernized).
While Goal Differential shows well with respect to the overall correlation coefficient (r) to average points earned it doesn’t show best when racking and stacking it as an Index compared to PWP —> when viewing how it ranks teams versus how well they have progressed into the final stages.
What I found intriguing was that the PWP Predictability Index (which excludes goals scored) actually racked and stacked the top 4 teams in the UEFA Champions League better than Goal Differential.
If you’re someone who likes to bet on games early indications show PWP Predictability (excluding goals scored) has FC Bayern ahead of Barcelona and Real Madrid ahead of Juventus.
Of course Arjen Robben has been injured, and given his considerable influence with FC Bayern Munich that predictability model pretty much goes out the door – or does it?
I’d say yes, because when adding goals scored (the PWP Index) Barcelona leap-frogs past FC Bayern; meaning it is highly likely we see Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Finals…. but you decide.
Awhile ago I wrote that FIFA needed to change how they rank teams across the World.
I remain stubbornly steadfast and steadfastly stubborn that the outputs from both the UEFA Champions League and World Cup PWP Indices lend credibility to the suggestion that FIFA revisit protocols on how they seed teams in their various competitions.