Mental Maths Mayhem at Midway Mark! A Europa Probability Test

I have been scratching my head since our amazing win away in Bruges, and in advance of this Thursday’s fixture, to try to predict how likely it is we’ll qualify for the Knockout Stage of the competition.  See if you can follow my various possibilities.  If someone can show me how to set it up “properly” so every eventuality is included, feel free….

 

GROUP H

Current Table               Pl            W            D            L            F            A            Pts

Birmingham City FC            3            2            0            1            5            5            6

Club Brugge KV      3            2            0            1            5            3            6

SC Braga                     3            1            1            1            5            4            4

NK Maribor                 3            0            1            2            2            5            1

 

Remaining Fixtures

Braga v Maribor

Birmingham v Brugge

Maribor v Brugge

Braga v Birmingham

Brugge v Braga

Birmingham v Maribor

 

Here are some of my ponderings.  I think there are a potential three to the power of six (729) outcomes, so apologies if it’s not complete, I have tried the most ‘obvious’ outcomes…

 

All group wins are home wins would mean

Birmingham 6 points = 12

Brugge 3 points = 9

Braga 6 points = 10

Maribor 3 points = 4

Birmingham and Braga qualify

 

All group wins are away wins would mean

Birmingham 3 points = 9

Brugge 6 points = 12

Braga 3 points = 7

Maribor 6 points = 7

Birmingham and Brugge qualify

 

All draws would mean

Birmingham 3 points= 9

Brugge 3 points = 9

Braga 3 points = 7

Maribor 3 points = 4

Birmingham and Brugge qualify

 

Clubs replicate results so far

Birmingham 6 points = 12

Brugge 6 points = 12

Braga 4 points = 8

Maribor 1 point = 2

Birmingham and Brugge qualify

 

Maribor and Braga win their matches (but draw against each other)

Birmingham 1 point = 7 points

Brugge 1 point = 7 points

Braga 7 points = 11 points

Maribor 7 points = 8 points

Maribor and Braga qualify

 

Maribor win all their matches, Braga win the other two

Birmingham 1 point = 7 points

Brugge 1 point = 7 points

Braga 6 points = 10 points

Maribor 9 points = 10 points

Maribor and Braga qualify

 

Maribor win one (Braga), draw two.  Others draw.

Birmingham 3 points = 9

Brugge 3 points = 9

Braga 2 points = 6

Maribor 5 points = 6

Birmingham and Brugge qualify

 

Maribor win one (Birmingham) draw two.  Others draw

Birmingham 2 points = 8

Brugge 3 points = 9

Braga 3 points = 7

Maribor 5 points = 6

Birmingham and Brugge qualify

 

Maribor win one (Brugge), draw two.  Others draw

Birmingham 3 points = 9

Brugge 2 points = 8

Braga 3 points = 7

Maribor 5 points = 6

Birmingham and Brugge qualify

 

If Birmingham win all games, and Maribor win the other two

Birmingham 9 points = 15

Brugge 1 point = 7

Braga 1 point = 5

Maribor 6 points = 7

Birmingham and Brugge* qualify

*Brugge away win against Maribor*

 

If Birmingham win two games, (including Brugge) lose one.

Birmingham 6 points = 12

Brugge 6 points = 12

Braga 9 points max = 13

Maribor 9 points max = 10

Braga and Birmingham* qualify

*Birmingham beat Brugge in head-to-head*

 

If Birmingham win only one more game (Braga), and draw one (Brugge) can we still qualify?

Birmingham 4 points = 10

Brugge 7 points max = 13

Braga 6 points max = 10

Maribor 9 points max = 10

Brugge and Birmingham* qualify

*assuming Birmingham beat Maribor on goal difference and Braga on head-to-head*

 

Some conclusions:

Blues qualify in 10 of the outlined outcomes

Brugge qualify in 8 of the outlined outcomes

Braga qualify in 4 of the outlined outcomes

Maribor qualify in 2 of the outlined outcomes

This would suggest Blues are favourites to go through to the Knockout Stage, mainly because,

a) We’re top.

b) They’re MY predictions so there.

c) We have ‘home matches to go’ advantage – Brugge don’t.

d) We progress if nobody wins their home matches (including us!)

e) We progress if nobody wins their away matches (including us!)

f) We progress if nobody wins (i.e. all six matches end in draws!)

Even if Maribor win their first two games, Blues need just a point against them, to finish above them.  Not likely to finish bottom, then.

If Blues beat Braga, remaining unbeaten away, Braga must win their two other games whilst Blues lose both home fixtures, to finish above Birmingham.  Not bad considering they beat us at home!

If Brugge beat Blues, Birmingham would still progress, as long as all other games go to the away team.

Maribor must be unbeaten in all of their remaining games to qualify, winning at least 2.

If Blues beat Brugge – and with them being a manager short, it shouldn’t be an impossible task! – one more win guarantees them qualification.

 

If this isn’t enough to bring warmth to every Bluenose, I don’t know what is!!

 

Keep Right On!

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10 Comments on Mental Maths Mayhem at Midway Mark! A Europa Probability Test

  1. Keep it simple, Blues have to win two of the remaining three fixtures to be sure of qualifying… Even footballers can understand that level of maths, surely?

  2. There is a danger 10 points might not be enough. If Blues and Brugge draw their match and Braga win theirs (quite possible) then Blues, Braga and Brugge will all have 7 points. If the results are then:

    Blues & Brugge both beat Maribor
    Braga beat Blues
    Braga and Brugge draw or Brugge wins

    I think(!) that means we go out.

  3. In a season in which Man Utd were beaten 1-6 at Old Trafford by Man City,Arsenal beaten 8-2 by Man Utd & Chelsea 3 Arsenal 5 im not gonna make any predictions other than we will be “there or thereabouts !”

  4. Great prediction Gerald. Though I do wonder why you think we won’t also be in the bottom four?

    Skareggae, I’d be rather more concerned at our lack of home form in this round, and pleased with our away form. That’s the unpredictable part for me.

    The Hedge – Smack on.

    Spotlight Kid – You’re right. Can’t wait to see your ‘If we win every Championship match we’ll be promoted’ blog 😉

  5. Russ@6 – In fact it’s just about the same formula as this. To ensure automatic promotion you need to win two out of every three games or permutations thereof – ie 2 points per game return overall. Looking at past Championships 1.9 or even 1.8 should do it for runners up spot. Hughton at NUFC kept them on a charge that ended up well over 2pts per game at the end, but dropped to 1.7 pts per game at one stage during a sticky patch. I never look at the team’s position in the league, only the games/points ratio ’cause that’s where the truth lies. There, your wait is now over!

  6. You haven’t mentioned the nightmare senario, blues draw with bruges braga beat maribor we drop to third as goal difference will need to decide placings. We then lose in Braga bruges beat maribor. last match bruges and braga play the most boring 0-0 draw since west germany v austria in 82 world cup. We beat maribor to no avail.
    Hope you got all that!!!!
    Ah well at least we haven’t got Mcleish!!!!!! 🙂

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