When it comes to picking most FIFA World Cup winners, typically most pundits have relied on some hungry zoo animal snapping at its lunch as the premier betting guide.
However, in these wholly more augmented times, powerful algorithms and data is being employed to predict the team that will triumph in the final come the 16th of August in Moscow.
US investment bank Goldman Sachs has used powerful machine learning typically used to predict share fluctuations and turned it on the World Cup. Its prediction? Brazil to beat England in the final.
And in worse news for the Socceroos, the super computer has predicted that Australia won’t make it out of the group stage, regardless of the result against Peru kicking-off midnight tonight.
Goldman Sachs’ predictions for the final 16
That said, prior to the start of the tournament, the very same algorithm simulated over a million different World Cup scenarios and predicted Brazil would triumph over Germany in the final.
But it now looks like Germany will meet Brazil in the semis, with Goldman Sachs predicting a win for the South Americans.
Commenting on the findings, Goldman Sachs analyst Jan Hatzius said: “For England fans who might find themselves daring to dream, our updated model predictions might constitute a beacon of hope.
“We continue to predict that Belgium will top Group G, ahead of England, using the unrounded goal difference as the tie-breaker on points. After a projected victory over Colombia in the Round of 16, we now expect England to meet Mexico in the quarter-finals, rather than meeting Germany.
“This tips the outcome in England’s favour, as they are projected to defeat Mexico, before overcoming Spain-just-in the semi-finals. In turn, this would set up a Brazil-England final on 15 July (though those hoping for an England victory should look away now).”
While the super computer predicts a Brazil-England final, it also cautions: “As the tournament heats up, the winning margins are becoming wafer thin, especially for England. This is reflected in the winning probabilities, which capture a sense of how easy the path to the final will be for each country.
“On this score, France still commands the greatest chance of winning, given that we expect more decisive results in the knockout stages… The four most probable winners are (in descending order) France, Brazil, Belgium and England.”