Supercomputer predicts whether Celtic or Rangers will win the Scottish Premiership
A supercomputer has predicted whether Celtic or Rangers will win the Scottish Premiership this season.
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This season’s fight for the league title is most important than most - as well as having the bragging rights in Glasgow, the winner should also secure an automatic spot in the Champions League group stages in the 2022/23 season.
Given Rangers and Celtic have both failed to progress through the qualification stages in previous seasons - giving them the chance to face some of Europe’s best teams and get their hands on the cash that is given to teams in the group stage - that is a big deal.
But which team will be lifting the title at the end of the season?
What has the supercomputer predicted?
We visited fivethirtyeight.com to see who their prediction system thought would be celebrating a Scottish Premiership title win.
With just eight games to go, Celtic have a three point advantage over their Old Firm rivals and sit at the top of the table with 73 points.
Rangers, despite losing fewer games (just two), have stuttered in recent weeks, dropping points against Dundee United and Motherwell, and have fallen a bit behind Celtic.
But with another two Old Firm clashes still to take place - the next on April 3, the other after the split - both teams have control over where the title ends up.
And, according to the fivethirtyeight predictor... it will be Celtic celebrating a Scottish Premiership win at the end of the season.
They give the Hoops a 72 per cent chance of regaining the league title and the Gers a 32 per cent chance of making it two-in-a-row.
What else does it predict will happen?
Hearts are in a bit on a no man’s land at the moment, with too few points to catch the Old Firm pair, but with too many to compete with the teams below them.
The predictor gives them a 97 per cent chance of finishing third.
Things are a bit less predictable in the middle of the table. Livingston are given a 29 per cent chance of finishing fourth - a place currently held by Hibernian, who are expected to end the season in fifth place.
Dundee United are also expected to pip Ross County to the sixth spot. The Dingwall club, Motherwell, St Mirren and Aberdeen are predicted to finish inside the bottom six and remain in the league next season.
With just one point separating St Johnstone and Dundee at the bottom of the Premiership table, it is a close one to call. But the supercomputer thinks that the Perth side will hold on to 11th and face a play-off battle for survival, while Dundee will drop back down to the Championship.
How does the supercomputer work?
The fivethirtyeight predictor brings together information from various sources - including in-depth game data from Opta and historic information from the ESPN database.
Each team is given an SPI rating, which determines the club’s strength in attack and defence. These figures are then used to determine who will win when two sides face each other.
Ratings are adjusted after every match to reflect how teams fared.
For more information about how the system works, check out the fivethirtyeight explainer.