Serie A is back: Lazio fall short, Milan scrape Europe - Stats Perform AI completes the season
Serie A will be the last of the best leagues in Europe to continue its 2019-20 season on Saturday.
Italy's top game has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus crisis and will return with a double header from Turin against Parma and Hellas Verona against Cagliari on the day of its resumption.
There has been debate over the past three months about whether to resume or end the season prematurely, as happened in France, but the Stats Perform AI team cracked the numbers behind the scenes during the break.
Since all 20 teams still had 12 or 13 league games to play, their goal was to simulate how the rest of the season would develop if the games were played now to create a predicted table for 2019-20.
In our model, Juventus won the ninth consecutive title in Serie A.
The statistical model estimates the likelihood of any game outcome - either a win, a draw, or a loss - based on the attack and defense quality of each team.
These ratings are given based on extensive historical data and four-year results, with recent games weighted more to reflect improvements or declines in shape and performance trends.
The AI simulation takes into account the quality of the opponent against whom a team scores or concedes goals and rewards them accordingly.
All of this data is used to simulate upcoming matches using Poisson Distribution, a detailed mathematical model, using the two teams' attack and defense scores as inputs.
The result of the season is then simulated on 10,000 different occasions to generate the most accurate percentage chance that each team will end up in their final league position.
Let's easily take a closer look at the results of the simulation with the predicted final table.
The Stats Perform AI team predicted the rest of the Serie A season - that's the result.
JUVENTUS ARE MASTERS ... AGAIN
The results in our model show that Juventus keeps the Scudetto and collects 87 points.
The history of the season in Italy was undoubtedly the rise of Lazio, who had a real title challenge and entered the forced break just one point behind the summit.
With the goals from Ciro Immobile and the creativity of Luis Alberto in the middle of the field, the men of Simone Inzaghi have awarded the neutrals with their entertaining football and enthused them.
In our model, however, Juventus sees her in the title race. Maurizio Sarri picks up where Massimiliano Allegri left off last season and leads her to the ninth consecutive title in Serie A.
However, her points are the worst since reaching the same amount in 2014-15.
INTER SETTLE FOR THIRD PARTIES
For much of the first half of the season, Inter seemed set to take Juve to the top in the title race.
Under Antonio Conte and with Romelu Lukaku, who led the attack after his move from Manchester United, Inter appeared stronger.
But their shape deteriorated after the turn of the year and they remained nine points from the top when the season was stopped, despite having a game in hand.
In the simulation, they did not recover and did not overtake either of the top two places. They took third place with 79 points.
Still, this would still be an improvement over last season when they only scored 69 points and finished fourth.
Inter striker Romelu Lukaku has had a good first season in Serie A
MILAN SCRAPE EUROPE LEAGUE PLACE
It's been a difficult few years for Milan and this season hasn't been much better.
They have improved somewhat with the appointment of Stefano Pioli as coach at the end of last year, and the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has also given the team a first boost.
With the Rossoneri, however, there is still a lot to do because the squad lacks quality and the hierarchy contradicts each other.
The simulation has Milan in seventh place and that would be enough to get a place in the Europa League.
The winners of the Roma and Coppa Italia, Napoli, are fifth and sixth. Atalanta rounds out the Champions League places in our model thanks to a five-point advantage over the Giallorossi.
SAMPDORIA AVOID THE DROP, RIVALS GENOA NOT SO HAPPY
Only one of the bottom three currently escapes the decline in simulation, with Lecce maintaining its top status at the expense of Genoa.
Il Grifone and bitter rival Sampdoria are in reality just above the drop zone, but in our forecast table Genoa falls into Serie B for the first time since 2006/07 - last season they only survived on the last day guaranteed.
The model finally scored 36 points in Genoa, but Samp and Lecce manage to climb to 41, giving both a healthy five-point pillow.
Not surprisingly, Brescia supports the predicted table as they are nine points away from safety in real terms. Our AI team gives Brescia a 1.8 percent chance of avoiding relegation.
In our predicted table, SPAL also goes under, whose 29 points - one more than Brescia in this experiment - leave them far behind in terms of safety.
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