Newcastle face off with the only Premier League team to take all three points off them so far this season when Liverpool come to town on Saturday evening and the FiveThirtyEight supercomputer has predicted the likely outcome.
It is time for payback
Newcastle fans are still reeling from the defeat at Anfield in August when Liverpool snatched all three points with a goal in the eighth minute of five added on – hopefully the FiveThirtyEight supercomputer is better at maths than referee, Andre Marriner was on that day.
The supercomputer uses an insane amount of statistics and mathematical genius to offer up its predictions of the upcoming Premier League fixtures as well as keeping an up-to-date prediction of how the rest of the season is likely to pan out.
It might sound like sheer witchcraft, but FiveThirtyEight has given Newcastle a 41% chance of a win on Saturday compared to a 35% chance of defeat and 24% that the match will finish all-square.
Whether it’s wizardry or not, it has us winning so we’ll go along with that. (Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number).
It’s unclear as to whether the computer factors in the “big six” bias that footballing conspiracy theorists are so keen to bring up at the drop of a hat. The theory being that officials are more likely to award contentious decisions to those clubs deemed as the “big six” by the likes of Sky Sports.
Isak could be the key once again
While the Toon Army, and indeed the players themselves certainly have plenty of incentives to win the game, one man will be looking to right a wrong: The reverse fixture was mired in controversy beyond the extra-extra time with debutant, Alexander Isak having a goal chalked off for offside which, through black and white tinted glasses at least, looked to be onside.
So while the computer gives us a 6% advantage over the Reds when it comes to an outright winner, I’m going to award us a bonus 2% for the revenge factor – if officials can make their own numbers up, we can too. Not that I’m bitter.