Having flippantly suggested I could write 500 words on tossing a coin to predict this weekendís Topklasse results, I find my bluff called and having to do a serious job. Please do not expect this to be a serious prediction, to my shame I canít claim to have enough knowledge of the Dutch game.

With coin tosses being a hot topic across the North Sea, with the introduction of the so-called "uncontested toss", there has been some attention to techniques, statistics and decisions. Did you know, for instance, that if heads was showing when the coin is tossed up into the air, it is more likely to land with heads facing up (and vice versa)? I therefore shortly considered performing a blind toss to eliminate any bias caused by seeing the coin in my hand, as I would be both calling and tossing.

Also, the weight of some coins is not distributed evenly. The heads side tends to be slightly heavier and although I donít know the effect of this on tossing, if you were to spin it, for instance on the bar at your local club, it would end up heads down in 51% of cases.

Suddenly it hits me I have only 300 words left to describe a double-header Whitsun weekend and I havenít even started yet. A quick look at the program tells us that six of the eight sides have a home- and an away match, with only VOC staying at home both times and Quick travelling to VOC and HCC respectively.

To eliminate any possibility of bias, I have decided to use an electronic coin toss: with the help of the RANDBETWEEN function, I asked Excel to pick a number between 1 and 2, with a home win being assigned to the former and an away win if Excel picked the latter.

Based on these results, we can safely say weíll be congratulating VOC and Dosti on their double victories this long weekend, with commiserations to Hermes and HCC, who will unfortunately leave empty-handed. ACC, Quick, Excelsior and VRA will each have to be content with a win and a defeat.

Dosti, by the way, are the source of the only piece of relevant cricket info I have in relation to the Topklasse, namely that Stiaan van Zyl has been called up for a Mumbai-based spin- camp by South Africa, starting on May 14th. To borrow an observation from Bertus: This may have been the shortest Topklasse career on record.

Ed's note: some further gleanings; Leon Turmaine and Jeroen Mulder are expected to be back in action for VRA, as is Bart Schilperoord for Hermes. Excelsior's Matt-Kai McGillivray has arrived in the Netherlands, no word yet on VOC's Jeandre Jumat. How this might affect Marjolein's analysis is not immediately clear.

 

Topklasse Rounds 3 & 4 predictions

ACC v Hermes DVS : ACC
VOC v Quick Haag : VOC
Excelsior '20 v HCC : Excelsior
Dosti-United v VRA : Dosti

Hermes DVS v Dosti-United : Dosti
VRA v Excelsior '20 : VRA
VOC v ACC : VOC
HCC v Quick Haag : Quick