FC Barcelona Vs Chelsea Champions League 2012 Semifinal. Measuring Team Passion With Local Predictions in Twitter

We present in this post a new analysis about sports events using information from Twitter content analysis.

***** New Champions League PostStars of FC Chelsea Vs Bayern Munich 2012 Grand Final UEFA Champions League. Media Analysis Before and After Game

Structure of Bayern vs Chelsea Champions Final post

Part 1. Expected stars of the final. Media Coverage analysis

Part 2. Champions league Economic Impact: media coverage, media and brand value, commercial power.

Appendix 1: Football tactics analysis, by Zonal Marking

Appendix 2. The big game for sponsors

Part 3. And the winner is Chelsea FC. Photo Gallery


FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC from London are about to play the decissive second leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals 2012 in a couple of hours. FC Barcelona, current title holder was considered the favorite team to go to the final in Munich. Chelsea won the first game in London, 1-0. This advantage for the English team ceates a lot of incertitude about the team that will finally classify for the Champions League final.

We use a very similar approach than the one applied in our previous FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid game analysis in Twitter to provide some insights about measuring team passion in sports. We showed in previous post that it is possible to capture the sentiment about the expected outome of a scheduled event, for instance a football game by monitoring what Twitter users say and publish about their personal predictions.

Now we apply this Twitter content analysis approach to provide a complementary information. This time we do not want to seize global perception in Twitter about the expected result of the match Barcelona Vs Chelsea. Here we split the analysis, and we look only into Twitter message published by people  directly affected by the outcome of the game: cities of London and Barcelona.

We have identified tweets about explicit predictions about the result of the game Barcelona Vs Chelsea coming both from Barcelona and London. We wanted to identify the sentiment about the sport success as publicly manifested in each city. This will provide a measure of optimism and faith about the probablilities of qualification for the Champions League Final  by supporters from each team.

Measures and results are of course not completely reliable, as there are people located in those cities that are not supporters for local team Barcelona or Chelsea. This effect would eventually be more pronounced in London, a city counting with top clubs with a substantiall amount of supporters, like Arsenal or Tottenham. If those supporters considers themselves as arch-rivals of Chelsea, thay will be happy to manifest their rivalry by forecasting an elimination of Chelsea, even is both are English supporters.

We present first match pronostics made by Twitter users in London.

According our results, 33% expect that Chelsea will be able to win away. Of course, this sport performance would imply that the club from London goes to the Final. There are some 17% of pronostics that expect that Chelsea with get a draw match. This qualifies again Chelsea for the Final, thanks to its victory in the fist leg.

50% of Twitter users from London bet that Chelsea will lose the match against FC Barcelona. Not all these bets come from hater rivals from other English teams or by Chelsea supporters with no faith in their team chances of success. Half of them, 25% feel that Barcelona will score one goal more than Chelsea. Goals away by Chelsea take a double value when aggregate result is balanced. This means that these Chelsea supporters fear that their team will suffer a lot in Barcelona, but they hope that they will reach the final in Munich.

This means that only 24% of all pronostics made in London by Twitter users (during the last 24 hours) fear or expect that Barcelona will beat Chelsea for more that one goal of difference, which implies that Barcelona goes to the final.

All in all, 76% of pronoestics in London call for Chelsea going to UEFA Champions League final 2012, against Bayern Munich or Real Madrid.

How are views in Barcelona? Which is local sentiment about qualifying chances of FC Barcelona?

As you may expects, the picture is quite the opposite in Barcelona. There is no one predicting Barcelona losing its game at home, not even from Twitter users based in Barcelona but being aficionados of rival clubs like Real Madrid or Espanyol.  There is a mere 3% of people predicting a draw match that implies the elimination of local team Barcelona.

Like in the London case, not all predicted at home victories have the same sense. If Chelse scores in Barcelona, a winning game for FC Barcelona by one goal margin supposes the qualification of Chelsea. There are some 8% people forecasting such scenario.

This means that 89% of Twitter users based in Barcelona predict a win with more than one goal of difference and FC Barcelona playing the grand final against Bayern Munich or Real Madrid. In London only 24% had this perception.

Showing that views are different in Barcelona than in London is not a surprising result. At all. Surprising would but if we did not find this kind of result. The interesting thing of this exercise is not to show an fully expected and evident result. The utility of this analysis may emerge by the fact that we measure its extent and intensity. The difference of sentiment about the result of the game in the directly affected cities is 89%/11% Vs 24%/76%. And we did not have this result prior to the analysis.

Now we know, based in the data gathered, that people in Barcelona are more confident in the sport success of local team than people in London. Both are strongly biased, but thanks to Twitter content analysis we can provide some insights about the strenght of this bias. Twitter offers a relative easy way to measure bias in event judging.

We have shown in this blog some other cases where we measure media bias in sensitive political or social issues, like death penalty (You can click on category ‘Death Penalty’ to access the blog entry), nuclear energy (category New York Times) or how Bin Laden killing was covered by media from different countries. All of these analysis require a sophisticated study desing and access to news articles to many newspapers.

Here, in this post analysis, we identify in a different way the presence of bias, by using an almost direct access to people’s individual oppinion, thanks to the existence of Twitter as open public forum.

Which supporters are more biased and too over optimistic and unrealistic?

We could gather global Twitter perception about the outcome of the game. We use this time the direct approach consisting in estimating the qualifying probabilities assigned by professional gambling firms. We have chosen as basis the odds offered by on-line betting firm Bwin.com, as it is the leading one. According to this source, and as shown in the figure below, market estimations are favorable to Barcelona, by a margin 65%-35%, roughly 2/3 for FC Barcelona.

With these numbers, we get that the supporting-my-team bias in prediction is of 24 points for FC Barcelona aficionados, and of 41 points for Chelsea supporters.

Football game results are almost the essence of uncertainty, which is one of the mechanisms underlying the global attractiveness of this sport. In spite the expected winning probablilities for each team, everything can happen. One thing that we know for sure that the eliminated team will create a lot of frustration among its supporters, not only because of the elimination, but also because we know now that almost all of them on both camps expected a marvellous sport success.

Update: Chelsea FC got a 2-2 result in Barcelona, giving them an aggregate 3-2 result. This means UEFA Champions League final place for the English club.

About Media Impact and Sport:

See our studies about measuring media impact and media value in football and other sports in our site, Economics, Sport and Intangibles, Universidad de Navarra

Also, other posts about sport and media analysis in this blog:

Stars of FC Chelsea Vs Bayern Munich 2012 Grand Final UEFA Champions League. Media Analysis Before and After Game

Will Football Coach Pep Guardiola Quit FC Barcelona? Yes, Twitter Sentiment Analysis Say

El Clasico FC Barcelona Vs Real Madrid April 2012 in Twitter

What Coentrao at Bayern Munich Vs Real Madrid Football Champions League Is Telling About Your Social Media Reputation

Mourinho Reputation. The Impact of UEFA Disciplinary Case in Real Madrid Image

FIFA Bribery Case: Media Reputation Analysis

Sport Scandals and Sponsorship. The Audacious Move by Saxo Bank Supporting Suspended Alberto Contador

Appendix : Gallery

Source: El País, 24 April 2012

Coach Di Matteo greeting Pep Guardiola. Source: Javier Soriano, El País

Gerard Piqué KO after clash with Valdés, Drogba. Source: Felice Calabro, El País

Carles Puyol giving assistance to Gerard Piqué. Source: Felice Calabro, El País

Sergio Busquets scoring 1-0. Source: Pierre-Philippe Marcou, El País

Sergio Busquets after scoring first goal vs Chelsea. Source: Manu Fernández, El País.

Iniesta scoring 2-0 Vs Chelsea. Source: Stefan Wermuth, El País

Terry after receiving a red card for aggression to Alexis Sánchez. Source: Shaun Botterill, El País

Ramires scoring 2-1 Vs Barcelona. Source Felice Calabro, El País

Penalty by Messi against Chelsea. Source: Shaun Botterill, El Mundo

Messi missing the penalty vs Chelsea. Source: Javier Soriano, El País.

Pep Guardiola, during the game Barcelona Vs Chelsea. Source: Shaun Botterill, El País.

Fernando Torres scoring the 2-2 goal vs Valdés FC Barcelona. Source: Javier Soriano, El País.

Defeated FC Barcelona players. Source: David Ramos, El País

Appendix 3. Tactics analysis

You can chek the detailed tactics analysis provided by ZonalMarking.net

Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea: Chelsea do an Inter 2010