Hibs 'remain on course for third-place finish' despite Motherwell setback

Hibs are still on course to finish third in the Scottish Premiership and quite comfortably, according to the latest prediction data.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 4:45 pm
Hibs are on track to finish third, according to the latest projections

Motherwell brought the Capital club's four-game winning run to an end on Saturday with a 2-0 victory at Easter Road but with Aberdeen losing at Celtic, nothing changed in terms of the race for third place.

Projections made by US-based statistical analysts FiveThirtyEight suggest Hibs currently on 52 points, will pick up 11 points from their last eight matches to finish on 63, suggesting that Jack Ross’ side could win three and draw two of their remaining eight games and still secure third.

Nearest rivals Aberdeen are predicted to finish fourth and seven points behind Hibs, taking just eight points from their remaining seven games.

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Rangers are projected to finish the league on 99 points, taking 17 points from their remaining eight games, with Celtic some way behind in second on 80 points, with a predicted 13 points from their remaining seven matches.

Livingston and St Mirren are projected to be the other top-six sides, finishing fifth and sixth respectively.

The projection also has Kilmarnock finishing bottom on 34 points, with Hamilton’s superior goal difference seeing them avoid the relegation play-off at the expense of Ross County.

That being said, the unknown fixtures post-split mean that the projections are likely to change again depending on how the two halves of the table are divvied up.

How this works

Using data from a variety of sources, FiveThirtyEight maps out teams’ final positions based on a “Soccer Power Index”, or overall estimate of a team’s strength.

Every team has an offensive rating based on the number of goals it would be expected to score against an average opponent at a neutral venue, and a defensive rating based on the number of goals it would be expected to concede in the same scenario.

These two ratings are then used to produce an overall SPI rating which represents the percentage of available points, with a win being worth three points, a draw one, and a loss zero.

FiveThirtyEight can project the result of a match between two teams in various circumstances including a league game or cup tie, and can also simulate the outcome of an entire season. More information on the exact metrics can be found here.

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