Here’s the quick rundown on the relegation six-pointer between Aston Villa and Watford. Aston Villa is a favorite in this match at home over fellow relegation contenders Watford, and with their performance so far this game is taking on “must-win” status early in the season.
Three points would help Villa pick up about 1.4 points on expectations, which is especially important given they are underperforming by about 6 points so far. How much would this help in the relegation battle though?
According to my model, a loss puts Aston Villa in the relegation zone about 86% of the time, which is a big hole to dig out of so early in the season. A draw keeps their odds about the same, but makes them about 10% less likely to finish in last place, which gives them some room to maneuver but still isn’t ideal. A win however drops their relegation chances to about 70%, and drops their likelihood of finishing in last place by 20%. Still not ideal, but definitely would give them some hope. You can see in the above figure how much lighter the 20th place box gets with a win for Villa.
Meanwhile, a loss doesn’t hurt Watford too much, putting them at about 28% for relegation. A draw puts them at 20% chance for relegation, but a win drops that to 10%. Villa needs this win to get some hope and to have something to build on, Watford can significantly reduce their chances of relegation with a win of their own. A draw doesn’t really work for either of these teams, so I’d expect both of them to come out swinging.