International breaks usually seem eternal, but with AFCON, World Cup Qualifiers, and even some Copa Del Rey in this break, I think I made it through better than usual. In our last week before this one our model got 5/10 correct. I’m really curious to see how our model does over the next few weeks as it adjusts to the high volume of transfers during January. The teams battling relegation in particular really worked to improve their lot, and that might lead to some upsets that our model can’t see coming until the data in the algorithm is up to speed sometime in March.
One example where a team seems too heavily favored is Valencia only being given a 15% chance to beat Real Sociedad. With Ilaix Moriba and Bryan Gil now present in the side, they’ll present a very different picture going forward than they did before. Granada is only given a 6% chance against Real Madrid, but with Karim Benzema being out and Granada having several new pieces that may not be as assured either. Mallorca is heavily favored against Cadiz, but both those teams have added a lot of pieces and for my money Cadiz had a far better window so who knows.
The headliner match this week will be Atletico against Barcelona. Barca worked on their attack a lot during the window while Atleti improved their defense, and I think Atleti will be the more balanced side and should be favored. All told, this will be a rough week for either our prediction model or for Zach’s way of thinking of how this week should go.