The University of Southampton

The optimised 2016/17 fantasy football squad selected by computer science

Published: 12 August 2016
Dr Gopal Ramchurn

Dr Sarvapali (Gopal) Ramchurn is an Associate Professor in Electronics and Computer Science (ECS). He is an expert in artificial intelligence and member of the Agents, Interaction and Complexity research group. And a seasoned Fantasy Football competitor. This year he thinks he's got the ultimate dream team for the 2016 Premier League Season:

"There’s hardly a moment to catch a breath in this exciting summer of sport," he says. "With Euro 2016 already a distant (and dismal) memory and Olympic fever now sweeping the nation, it’s already time for fans to turn their minds back to dramatic twists and turns of the Premier League.

"And what a season it promises to be. The Manchester clubs look rejuvenated under two of the most sought-after managers in world football, Chelsea are tipped to bounce back after an astonishing fall from grace last season and Leicester are ready to defend their title while entering a historic first Champions League campaign. Will this be Arsene Wenger’s final season at Arsenal? Could Liverpool or Tottenham be the dark horses in an unexpected a title charge?

"Millions of players are readying their fantasy football squads ahead of the big kick-off this weekend, and I’m tapping into a (not-so) secret weapon that will optimise my chances of topping my leagues next May. Together with ECS postgraduate Tim Matthews, I’ve created a predictive system that uses Bayesian Machine Learning techniques and a combinatorial optimisation algorithm to bolster my team and transfer selection.

"The tool has been tested on player data in previous seasons and produced teams that would have consistently ranked in the top one per cent of the Fantasy Premier League.

"The system’s continuously crunching through the numbers and new signings from the summer transfer window, and I’ve got a treat for all the fantasy football players out there this week."

To discover the 15-man squad that Gopal's system recommends for a storming season, visit his blog post for the University's Future Worlds team.

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