This post is designed to dovetail somewhat with a piece I linked yesterday – ‘How often does the best team win’ by JLikens (link). If you haven’t done so already I’d strongly recommend reading it before this.
Before the Euro group stages I threw up some numbers that suggested that a) the Premiership champions would be eliminated from a three game group stage about one time in six and b) we should expect at least one of the teams to be knocked out of the Euro group stage due solely to luck (link).
This time I’ll again look at how these teams performed in a three game span, but in this case to simulate the knockout stages. Obviously to advance a team needs to remain unbeaten over a three game stretch. So how often does this (remaining unbeaten) happen?
If we assume that the Premiership Champions would go on to win all of the games they drew, either in extra time or on penalties, then they’d win the competition about 70% of the time – I’d take those odds. This is, however, an unrealistic assumption. Let’s look only at the stretches where the champions either win every game or there’s at least one defeat:
Not such a rosy picture this time but in this case the numbers are probably a bit disingenuous to the Champions. The likelihood of them pushing for (and getting) a win in a single knockout game is probably higher than their opponents.
This suggests that the odds probably lie somewhere between 55 and 70% but I imagine they’re significantly lower than that (their opponents in the knockout stages would be better, on average, than the average Premiership opposition). Regardless I’m not really interested in the numbers themselves, there are a couple of good reasons, I’m simply trying to illustrate that whilst being the best team gives you the best chance of winning a competition, there are no guarantees.