# poisson distribution

What's the chance that something happens?

On May 22nd 2009 the English Premier league had one more match day ahead, with West Bromwich Albion at the bottom of the league and Manchester United at the top, sure to remain there. Taking up a challenge from a BBC radio programme, David Spiegelhalterand Yin-Lam Ng used their statistical finesse to predict the outcome of the last matches — and they were 90% correct. Find out how they did it.

What tactics should a soccer player use when taking a penalty kick? And what can the goalkeeper do to foil his plans? John Haigh uses Game Theory to find the answers, and looks at his World Cup predictions from last issue.
If your team scores first in a football match, how likely is it to win? And when is it worth committing a professional foul? John Haigh shows us how to use probability to answer these and other questions, and explains the implications for the rules of the game.
• Want facts and want them fast? Our Maths in a minute series explores key mathematical concepts in just a few words.