This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
By the time this season ends, Leeds United will have been in the Championship for 16 years.
To say that they were Champions League semi-finalists around the turn of the millennium that is a shocking stat, and there’s nothing that Leeds fans will want more than to finally reach the promised land of the Premier League.
While Leeds may sit in third in the Championship this season, the SPI rankings make for great reading as they show that promotion this season is highly likely.
Of course, many of you will be scratching your heads wondering what SPI rankings are, but luckily we can explain what on earth we’re referring to when we talk about those.
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For starters, SPI stands for Soccer Power Index, and while it may sound convoluted, it’s actually quite a simple prediction model that uses xG, Transfermarkt valuations and the Poisson process to simulate football matches throughout a season.
Interesting isn’t it? Of course, these will never be 100% accurate, but the exciting thing for Leeds fans is that this model reckons that the Whites have a 69% chance of being promoted this term.
Of course, Leeds historically have a reputation for ‘falling apart again’, but if they can avoid that phenomena this season it seems as if they’ve got a great chance of going up.
This graph shows that Leeds must be doing something right on the pitch as the Transfermarkt valuation part of the process has Leeds as the fourth most valuable squad in the division, yet they’re the clear favourites for promotion.
This shows that Leeds shouldn’t change anything they’re doing on the pitch. Realistically they should be winning games and scoring goals as they create plenty of chances while being able to keep the ball out of their own net.