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The Daily Bee (September 22, 2020): 538 Power Rankings

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Looking at BVB’s title chances.

“On The Fault Lines: Decision 2018” Midterm Election Panel Photo by Krista Kennell/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Good Morning, Fear the Wall.

538’s Power Rankings and Trophy Probabilities

This is something that I like to do at the beginning of each season. Fivethirtyeight.com is a very interesting source for soccer power rankings, because they index clubs across many different leagues using a single datapoint called “SPI”, or “Soccer Power Index.” You can read in-depth about their methodology here, but the gist of it is that they mostly rely on goals, expected goals, and non-shot expected goals along with Transfermarkt market values to determine the strength of a particular club. Although I’m a bit skeptical about using transfer values because they tend to be impacted by non-present factors like a player’s age and potential, I don’t think this is enough to make the entire rating useless.

As you can see, 538 has Bayern Munich heavily favored to win the Bundesliga again with a whopping 84% chance to repeat their Bundesliga season. Borussia Dortmund are the next highest favorites with only a 7% chance to win the Bundesliga, with an SPI rating of 84.7 compared to 95.3 for Bayern.

The fact that they have Bayern Munich so highly rated is unsurprising. 538’s ratings carry over from the previous season, so these ratings are heavily factoring in Bayern’s torrid second half of the season in the Bundesliga, not to mention beating Barcelona and PSG in the Champions League.

So how do BVB compare across Europe? Surprisingly well. They have a higher ranking than every club in Serie A and every club in Ligue 1 save for PSG. In the Premier League, only Man City, Liverpool, and Chelsea are ranked higher, while the big three in Spain are all ranked higher as well.

538 will probably release Champions League predictions once the draw takes place on October 1st.

The Daily Buzz

Do you think 538’s ratings are fair to BVB?