David Kirkpatrick

July 9, 2010

World Cup 2010 prediction — here comes the science

Filed under: Science, Sports — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:43 pm

(drumroll …)

And sophisticated analysis of Netherlands’ and Spain’s tactics predict a Spanish win this Sunday at Soccer City Stadium.

From the link:

Mathematicians and football supporters Dr Javier López Peña and Dr Hugo Touchette from Queen Mary, University of London have collected ball passing data from all of the FIFA  games and analysed it to reveal the nations’ different styles of play.

Using the mathematical technique called Graph Theory, they have revealed the gaping holes in England’s tactics against Germany game and made predictions about the Netherlands-Spain final that could rival the psychic octopus.

For each national side, Drs López Peña and Touchette have drawn up a ‘network’ of passes between players throughout the tournament and analysed how these networks compare between teams. Dr Touchette explains: “Each player in the network is given a score called centrality which measures how vital they are to the network. The higher the centrality score, the bigger the impact if that player wasn’t there. This method is most commonly used to make  more robust, but it can also be used to plan football strategy.”

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