After a two-week break, the National Football League is back again this weekend. For the last round of fixtures I decided to use a statistical method to predict the match results. It was a disaster, with only one team in seven winning! But that’s sport and the danger of making predictions.
The statistical method does have 73 per cent accuracy at predicting wins over a season so it’s worth having a look at what it predicts this weekend.
For an in-depth description of the methodology see here.
Mayo v Roscommon – 94% in favour of Mayo
Mayo were one of the teams that caused a surprise in the last round of fixtures with a win away to Kerry. A win over neighbours Roscommon would pretty much assure their Division 1 status this year. Mayo will have to do without midfielders Danny Kirby and Tom Parsons due to suspension.
Roscommon are yet to pick up a point in Division 1 this year and face a real struggle to retain their top tier status. A late defeat at home to Donegal would have been a hard one to take. This game will be tight but I fancy Mayo to prevail.
Donegal v Dublin – 86% in favour of Dublin
Kerry v Monaghan – 90% in favour of Kerry
Tyrone v Cavan – 90% in favour of Tyrone
Down v Meath – 74% in favour of Meath
Down’s negative spiral continued in round two against Clare, with a six-point loss. That makes it 13 defeats in a row in competitive games for the Ulstermen. It goes without saying that this is a must-win game for Down, they can’t afford to drop two divisions in two years.
I was in Navan two weeks ago to see Meath defeat Derry by 15 points. The scoreline was very flattering for Meath, who only managed to score four points in the first half. In the opening period they were slow with the ball and they made stupid decisions, but luckily enough Derry weren’t much better.
Their second half performance gave me a bit of hope as a Meath man, scoring three goals and eleven points in the process. Captain Graham Reilly returns to the side for Saturday night’s match, which should take some of the attacking burden away from Cillian O’Sullivan. If Meath approach this game as they did in the second half against Derry, they should win with a few points to spare.
Cork v Fermanagh – 77% in favour of Cork
Antrim v Sligo – 70% in favour of Sligo
Antrim are finding life tough in Division 3 after two defeats from two. They never would have been expected to beat Tipperary but a 13-point defeat to Offaly will have hurt them. This is their first home game in the league however, so perhaps they can use that to their advantage this weekend.
Sligo surprised everyone by beating Tipperary in round two. They currently sit second in Division 3 and a win here would give them huge confidence as they push for promotion.
Longford v Armagh – 70% in favour of Longford
Westmeath v Leitrim – 95% in favour of Westmeath
I still find it hard to believe that Westmeath are competing in the bottom tier. They had a very convincing win last time out however, beating Limerick by nine points. Ger Egan and John Heslin combined to score 1-9 against Limerick and will be hoping for more of the same on Sunday.
Leitrim were unlucky last time out after putting in a good performance against Wexford. They have been handed a further boost this week with former captain Paddy Maguire rejoining the panel. Westmeath should win this one but Leitrim won’t make it easy.
Wexford v Waterford – 72% in favour of Wexford
Shane Mangan, Pundit Arena