Bayesian Analysis of Football Matches Played and Goals Scored

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A Case Study of 2014 Fifa World Cup

The book was aimed at determining the average performance of teams that participated at the 2014 World Cup in terms of goals scored.

A total of 171 goals were scored by all the teams that participated at the tournament with an average goals of 1.3359 by each team.

The team that scored the highest number of goals, the best attacking team (Germany) had 109.1% more goals than the average goals (100% ), while the team that conceded the least number of goals, the best defensive team (Costa-Rica) conceded 72.7% less goals than the average goals (100% ).Chi-square was used to show that goals scored at the tournament follows a Poisson distribution.

Using a positive uniform prior (which is non-informative), the posterior distribution follows a Poisson distribution.

The posterior mean (Bayes estimate) of goals scored per team at the tournament is 1.3249, while the posterior standard deviation is 0.120926.

Using Bayesian approach based on conjugate families, the conjugate prior of a Poisson likelihood is a Gamma distribution with shape and rate parameter.

The average goals scored per team was 1.3354 and a posterior standard deviation of 0.1018.

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