Do you consider yourself to be a lucky or unlucky person?
Very few people are born with the skill needed to be a footballer or professional sportsmen. From that point of view, we're probably all in the 'unlucky camp'.
We weren't born gifted enough! We're we born with above average, average, or lower than average intelligence levels? I'd guess we fall in the first two categories. We were probably born 'lucky' in this instance.
Do we suffer regularly from illnesses, aches and pains, and general bad health? I definitely feel lucky here. I cannot remember the last time I felt unwell.
Our lives, or lifestyles, can influence all of the above to some degree but for the most part we're either 'born lucky' or 'born unlucky'. Just imagine, we could have easily been born in a country riddled with civil war, or in a very poor country with little food to eat, and have none of the luxuries we take for granted. Luck was definitely smiling on us all there!
Without doubt, luck also plays a significant part in the outcome of sporting events. After six matches in a season the team at the top of the table may be there due to having had more good luck than the mid-table sides, but by the end of the season, good and bad luck will have had more chance to have averaged out. Not that it necessarily will have done, mind, it will have had more chance of doing so.
In a darts match, for example, the shorter the length of the match, the more the outcome will be influenced by luck. The longer the darts match, the more likely the better player's skill will prevail. A snooker match over one frame will also be decided more by luck that a match over 9 frames. The better player is more likely still to win over 35 frames.
Most of the time, predicting the winner of a rugby match is easier than predicting the winner of a football match. The reason for this is that in low scoring games, luck plays a bigger role. If a rugby games ends 40-20, the winning side would still win if one of their tries had been chalked off for a forward pass, whereas in football, where 1-0 is the most popular scoreline, having a goal chalked off for offside will change the final outcome.
Do football teams always get the result their deserve?
First of all, we'll take a close look at the English Championship from last season. The table below shows the number of goals scored and conceded by the top teams plus bottom side Ipswich. It also shows the shots at goal both for and against, and the ratio of shots to goals scored and conceded. I'll take you through it shortly.