There’s nothing quite as exciting as making predictions ahead of the new football season – but it also represents quite the challenge at the beginning of every new campaign!
With new players, new managers and full pre-seasons taking place over the summer as teams look to refine their approach, you never quite know what to expect on that first weekend as everyone returns afresh.
In the last two seasons alone, we’ve seen Brighton & Hove Albion shock Manchester United in Erik ten Hag’s first Premier League game in charge, while Brentford announced their return to the top flight after 74 years away with a 2-0 victory over Arsenal in 2021 – throwing many first game predictions out the window!
With the English Premier League starting again in August, here are 5 ways you can improve your predictions ahead of the 2023/24 season.
- Study the form guides!
Team form plays a crucial role in predicting match events. Evaluate a team’s recent performances, both home and away, and assess their level of confidence and momentum. Consider factors such as goals scored, goals conceded, and the quality of opposition faced. This analysis provides valuable insights into a team’s current form and their potential for upcoming matches.
- Check out Head-to-Head Records
Studying head-to-head records between two teams can offer valuable insight. Analyse factors such as win-loss ratios, goals scored, and any recurring results or themes (there’s always that banker 0-0 draw between two teams every year!). Certain teams may also have a consistent advantage over others due to their style of play or tactical approach – remember those Stoke versus Arsenal matches?!
- Brush up on team news and injuries!
Stay up to date with team news and injury updates before making your predictions. Injuries to key players or suspensions can have a big say in a team’s performance. Consider how the absence or return of influential individuals may affect the team’s dynamics, tactics, and overall chances.
- Home and Away!
Home advantage is an obvious influence on match outcomes. Evaluate a team’s home and away performances and form separately, as their form may differ depending on where they’re playing. Some teams excel in their home stadiums, benefiting from crowd support and those familiar surroundings. Others may struggle on the road due to the hostile environment or those colder conditions up North!
- Overlay your human intuition!
Football matches can be swung by various external factors that may not be evident on the surface. Weather conditions, travel distances between teams, fixture congestion and the importance of the match (such as relegation six-pointers) can all impact performance. Take these sub-plots into account when predicting match events, as they could be the difference between what the form book says and an upset!
Can’t wait for the EPL? Kickoff by Zuju now has Women’s World Cup and a host of other leagues integrated into its platform – with the major football leagues on the way in August. Place your predictions, earn points and win rewards today!
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