Can sentiment analysis be used to predict the outcome of sports events?

Can the sentiment score be used to predict the outcome of a sports event? We have taken a look at the result of the 100 first football matches that we determined the sentiment score for.


We employed a sentiment analysis tool written in Python. The analysis compares. the percentage of posts that the algorithm regarded as positive, negative or neutral. Minimum requirement 500 social media posts. All teams were analyzed either on the day of the match or the evening before. A +10% difference in sentiment score was used as a base line to compare teams with stronger scores against weaker.

May update ( until 9th of june)


Out of the 100 matches studied 53 had a team that had a sentiment score that was more than 10% units stronger than its opponent. The average points scored by those teams were 1.70.

We can compare that value to a completely random event. If the outcome of a match was completely random a team would win one match, draw one match and lose one if they only played three matches.

That would result in 3+1+0= 4 points, since a win gives 3 points and a draw 1 point.

Divided by 3 we get an average of 1.33.

In comparison last year according to the home team won 41% of their matches in Premier League and 27% were a draw. That represents an average score of 1.50 for the home team.


While the sample size is too small to make any certain conclusion, there seems to be a fairly strong correlation between team performance, and their sentiment score. A 10 points better sentiment score is a bigger advantage than having the home field advantage.

Match nr.Home/AwayTeamSentimentPointsPoints for +10% teams
1Home   Brentford28,80%33
2Home   Crystal Palace2,80%3 
3Home   AS Roma6,20%3 
4Home   Cadiz-7,40%1 
5Home   Hammarby31,00%33
6Home   Norwich17,60%0 
 AwayAston Villa29,80%33
7Home   Manchster City50,20%33
8Home   Brighton & Hove Albion29,00%0 
 AwayWolverhampton Wanderers26,20%30
9Home   Barcelona22,00%0 
10Home   Celta Vigo-7,40%3 
11Home   Lazio1,60%3 
12Home   Atletico Madrid20,00%1 
 AwayFC Porto20,00%1 
13Home   Real Madrid23,40%3 
14Home   Leicester11,70%1 
15Home   Barcelona-23,00%3 
16Home   Real Madrid4,20%1 
17Home   Norwich3,60%0 
18Home   Mallorca-13,00%0 
 AwayOsasuna -9,60%3 
19Home   Milan29,80%0 
 AwayAtletico Madrid20,00%3 
20Home   Zaragoza9,50%11
21Home   Hoffenheim25,00%33
22Home   Club Brugge4,40%0 
 AwayManchster City62,00%33
23Home   Helsinki0,00%0 
 AwayMaccabi Tel Aviv12,00%33
24Home   05 Mainz-17,50%3 
25Home   Häcken16,50%00
26Home   Köln-3,50%1 
 AwayBayer Leverkusen2,00%1 
27Home   Mjällby5,00%0 
 AwayIFK Göteborg9,00%3 
28Home   Levante-11,60%0 
29Home   Villareal-23,60%3 
 AwayDeportivo Alaves3,60%00
30Home   Sevilla-1,20%1 
 AwayFC Barcelona3,40%1 
31Home   Örebro0,50%0 
32Home   Arsenal 20,50%3 
33Home   Rayo Vallecano-4,00%3 
 AwayFC Barcelona-0,50%0 
34Home   Celta Vigo-2,50%0 
 AwayReal Sociedad-1,50%3 
35Home   Leicester67,70%00
 AwayArsenal 36,70%3 
36Home   Norwich9,70%0 
37Home   Malmö FF67,70%00
38Home   Milan19,70%11
39Home   Southampton33,70%33
 AwayAston Villa13,00%0 
40Home   Bilbao-6,00%0 
41Home   Manchester United88,20%00
 AwayManchester City 43,80%3 
42Home   Celta Vigo-0,80%1 
 AwayFC Barcelona17,80%11
43Home   Brighton & Hove Albion45,20%1 
44Home   Everton 23,80%1 
45Home   West Ham52,60%33
46Home   Real Betis-40,00%0 
47Home   Oldham42,00%0 
48Home   Liverpool27,30%3 
 AwayArsenal 31,60%0 
49Home   Rayo Vallecano0,60%33
50Home   Villareal-1,10%0 
 AwayManchester United84,80%33
51Home   FC Barcelona-2,20%0 
52Home   Atletico Madrid4,80%0 
53Home   Club Brugge7,00%0 
54Home   Bayer Leverkusen-5,80%3 
55Home   Villareal9,50%0 
 AwayFC Barcelona4,80%3 
56Home   Chelsea51,60%1 
 AwayManchester United77,20%11
57Home   Elfsborg-6,20%0 
 AwayAIK 6,60%33
58Home   Southampton35,80%11
59Home   Tottenham45,80%33
60Home   Granada3,20%3 
61Home   Celta Vigo-10,40%0 
62Home   Leipzig-7,60%3 
 AwayManchester City 31,00%00
63Home   PSG3,00%3 
 AwayClub Brugge4,40%0 
64Home   Milan33,40%0 
65Home   Atalanta 24,20%00
66Home   Manchester City 16,60%3 
67Home   Norwich10,60%0 
 AwayArsenal 39,00%33
68Home   Newcastle93,40%11
 AwayManchester United53,00%1 
69Home   Watford27,00%0 
 AwayWest Ham34,20%3 
70Home   Southampton22,20%1 
71Home   Crystal Palace24,20%3 
72Home   Chelsea32,60%1 
 AwayBrighton & Hove Albion40,40%1 
73Home   Brentford20,00%0 
 AwayMancheter City 89,40%33
74Home   Valencia-5,00%0 
75Home   Manchester United76,20%33
76Home   Arsenal 25,00%0 
 AwayManchester City 41,60%33
77Home   Watford8,20%0 
78Home   Crystal Palace35,40%0 
 AwayWest Ham34,00%3 
79Home   Getafe-3,40%3 
 AwayReal Madrid-11,40%0 
80Home   Atlético de Madrid-19,60%3 
 AwayRayo Vallecano1,80%00
81Home   Chelsea21,80%1 
82Home   Deportivo Alaves2,80%11
 AwayReal Sociedad-14,20%1 
83Home   Real Betis-2,40%0 
 AwayCelta Vigo-1,80%3 
84Home   Villarreal-8,80%33
85Home   Osasuna -9,40%00
 AwayAthletic Bilbao-49,60%3 
86Home   Cadiz-5,40%00
87Home   Manchester United78,20%00
 AwayWolverhampton Wanderers53,20%3 
88Home   RCD Mallorca-11,20%0 
89Home   Valladolid-3,20%0 
90Home   Chelsea11,60%3 
91Home   Lazio5,40%1 
92Home   Juventus6,20%1 
93Home   Milan12,40%3 
94Home   Bayern Munchen-11,40%0 
95Home   Bordeaux-4,60%0 
 AwayOlympique Marseille20,40%33
96Home   Levante-16,40%3 
97Home   Leicester54,20%33
98Home   Real Sociedad-3,20%3 
 AwayCelta Vigo-3,60%0 
99Home   Granada-0,60%1 
 AwayFC Barcelona3,40%1 
100Home   Real Madrid-10,60%3 

Sport News and Analyses: