Prediction

Prediction

Based on scores over the period 08/2012-12/2013, which teams are likely to win at the World Cup?

Dr Nicolas Scelles

Posted: June 11, 2014

In my previous posting, I described a regression on games including at least one team qualified for the World CupTM over the period 08/2012-12/2013 (514 games). This regression looked at explaining goal differences between teams by home advantage and dummies for teams. It allowed to provide a hierarchy among teams taking part in the World CupTM. It also allowed to specify what should be the goal differences during the World CupTM games if teams are at the same level than over the period 08/2012-12/2013. I tried another regression to explain not only goal differences but also goals scored by and against a team. This regression was less convincing with in particular team coefficients difficult to associate with a precise number of goals scored by and against. Nevertheless, I tried to correct these coefficients on the basis of the best teams over the period 08/2012-12/2013 in my model both for goals scored by (Brazil) and against (Argentina), and the average number of goals per match during the last two World CupsTM (2.27 in 2006, 2.30 in 2010, 2.28 here). I have to recognise that this method is not sufficiently rigorous in scientific terms so perhaps focus more on the differences between teams than on precise scores. Here are my predictions:

 

Match Teams Score
A1 Brazil-Croatia 3-0 (+2.52)
A2 Mexico-Cameroon 0-0
A3 Brazil-Mexico 3-0
A4 Cameroon-Croatia 1-2
A5 Cameroon-Brazil 0-3
A6 Croatia-Mexico 1-1
A: 1. Brazil 9 (+9), 2. Croatia 4 (-2), 3. Mexico 2 (-3), 4. Cameroon 1 (-4)
B1 Spain-Netherlands 1-0
B2 Chile-Australia 3-1
B3 Australia-Netherlands 0-2
B4 Spain-Chile 2-1
B5 Australia-Spain 0-3
B6 Netherlands-Chile 1-1 (-0.23)
B: 1. Spain 9 (+5), 2. Chile 4 (+1, 5-4), 3. Netherlands 4 (+1, 3-2), 4. Australia 0 (-7)
C1 Colombia-Greece 2-0
C2 Côte d’Ivoire-Japan 2-1
C3 Colombia-Côte d’Ivoire 3-1
C4 Japan-Greece 0-1 (-0.51)
C5 Japan-Colombia 0-2
C6 Greece-Côte d’Ivoire 1-1 (-0.18)
C: 1. Colombia 9 (+6), 2. Côte d’Ivoire 4 (-1, 4-5), 3. Greece 4 (-1, 2-3), 4. Japan 0 (-4)
D1 Uruguay-Costa Rica 1-0
D2 England-Italy 1-1 (-0.08)
D3 Uruguay-England 1-1 (+0.36)
D4 Italy-Costa Rica 1-0
D5 Italy-Uruguay 1-1 (-0.28)
D6 Costa Rica-England 0-1
D: 1. Uruguay 5 (+1, 3-2), 2. Italy 5 (+1, 3-2), 3. England 5 (+1, 3-2), 4. Costa Rica 0 (-3)
E1 Switzerland-Ecuador 1-2
E2 France-Honduras 2-1
E3 Switzerland-France 1-2 (-0.51)
E4 Honduras-Ecuador 0-2
E5 Honduras-Switzerland 1-2
E6 Ecuador-France 1-1
E: 1. Ecuador 7 (+3), 2. France 7 (+2), 3. Switzerland 3 (-1), 4. Honduras 0 (-4)
F1 Argentina-Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-1
F2 Iran-Nigeria 0-1
F3 Argentina-Iran 3-0
F4 Nigeria-Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-2
F5 Nigeria-Argentina 0-2
F6 Bosnia and Herzegovina-Iran 2-0
F: 1. Argentina 9 (+6), 2. Bosnia and Herzegovina 6 (+2), 3. Nigeria 3 (-2), 4. Iran 0 (-6)
G1 Germany-Portugal 2-1
G2 Ghana-USA 1-2
G3 Germany-Ghana 3-1
G4 USA-Portugal 1-1 (-0.37)
G5 USA-Germany 1-2
G6 Portugal-Ghana 2-1
G: 1. Germany 9 (+4), 2. Portugal 4 (0, 4-4), 3. USA 4 (0, 4-4), 4. Ghana 0 (-4)
H1 Belgium-Algeria 1-0
H2 Russia-South Korea 2-0
H3 Belgium-Russia 1-1 (-0.40)
H4 South Korea-Algeria 0-1 (-0.52)
H5 South Korea-Belgium 0-2
H6 Algeria-Russia 0-1
H: 1. Russia 7 (+3, 4-1), 2. Belgium 7 (+3, 4-1), 3. Algeria 3 (-1), 4. South Korea 0 (-5)
M49 Brazil-Chile 3-1
M50 Colombia-Italy 2-1
M51 Spain-Croatia 2-0
M52 Uruguay-Côte d’Ivoire 2-1
M53 Ecuador-Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-1 (+0.18)
M54 Germany-Belgium 2-1
M55 Argentina-France 2-1
M56 Russia-Portugal 1-1 (+0.23)
M57 Ecuador-Germany 1-1 (-0.09)
M58 Brazil-Colombia 2-1
M59 Argentina-Russia 1-0
M60 Spain-Uruguay 1-0
M61 Brazil-Germany 2-1
M62 Spain-Argentina 1-1 (-0.22)
M63 Spain-Germany 1-1 (+0.40)
M64 Brazil-Argentina 2-1

 

According to my predictions, Netherlands and England should be eliminated at the end of the first round even if they are very close respectively to Chile, and Uruguay and Italy. Switzerland should also be eliminated at the end of the first round in spite of its position 6 in FIFA ranking (against 17 for France and 26 for Ecuador). Portugal (4 in FIFA ranking) should struggle to qualify against United States (13 in FIFA ranking). Greece (12 in FIFA ranking) should be eliminated by Ivory Coast (23 in FIFA ranking) whereas Russia (19 in FIFA ranking) should be first in Group H behind Belgium (11 in FIFA ranking). Russia but also Ecuador should be qualified for the quarter finals in spite of their FIFA rankings largely beyond the first eight positions. Brazil should win its World CupTM against Argentina.

At the end, be aware that my previous research showed that football games are the most uncertain with 85 to 90% of percentage of game-time with a difference between teams of no more than one goal[1]. Consequently, I could not advise you to bet on the basis of my previous predictions!

[1] See for example: Scelles, N., Durand, C., Bah S. T., & Rioult, F. (2011). Intra-match competitive intensity in French football Ligue 1 and rugby Top 14. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 9(3/4), 154-169.

About About Dr Nicolas Scelles

Nicolas Scelles is lecturer at the School of Sport, Stirling University, Scotland. He holds a PhD in sports economics from the University of Caen Basse-Normandie, France. He has articles in international journals including Applied Economics, Economics Bulletin, International Journal of Sport Finance and International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing.