Everton will finish in seventh place in this season’s Premier League table, according to a new data model prediction.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side started the season in fine fashion, and were the early table-toppers after winning their first four games.
However, a draw against Liverpool and then three successive defeats to Southampton, Newcastle United and Manchester United saw the Blues drop down the league table.
In recent weeks, though, Everton have rekindled their early season form and have won three consecutive matches – against Chelsea, Leicester City and Arsenal.
Ancelotti‘s team now sit in fourth place, level on points with Man United in third.
However, according to FiveThirtyEight, Everton will not finish in this season’s top four – but they could be making a European return.
FiveThirtyEight is the brain child of analyst Nate Silver, who gained fame for correctly predicting the outcome of US elections using a data modelling system.
In their model for the Premier League, the predictor claims the Toffees have a 12% chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
It has predicted Everton to finish the season on 58 points – which would be four behind Leicester City in sixth and seven adrift of Tottenham in fifth-place.
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If this does turn out to be true, then Ancelotti and his men would have a chance of qualifying for the Europa League next season and their Thursday evenings would once again be busy.
The team that finishes fifth qualifies for the competition. As well as this, if the FA Cup and League Cup winners are from the top five teams, then sixth and seventh place would qualify for the Europa League, as it often the case.
Of course, Everton supporters will be hoping their new-look team can aim higher than that – and will be hoping to defy the prediction and climb even further up the table.
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How it works
FiveThirtyEight predict the outcome for the season using SPI ratings, which the website says are their best estimate of a team’s overall strength.
Each team is given an attacking rating that represents the number of goals it is expected to score against an average team, and a defensive rating to represent the number of goals it would concede.
Those ratings produce an overall SPI rating, which represents the percentage of points it would be expected to take on average from a game. Those ratings are then compared to an opponent’s rating to simulate the outcome of a match.
From that, it is possible to simulate the outcome of a whole season.