Will Iceland or Panama lift the trophy this year or perhaps hosts Russia? This question is what has been on people’s minds recently. Many football fans have been speculating about the country that will emerge as the victor of soccer’s biggest event but analysts at Swiss bank UBS on Thursday came up with a more well predictable choice; Germany!
According to reports, analysts at the Swiss banking giant UBS see a 24 per cent probability that Germany, the winner of the last world cup held in 2014 will win again this time around. Analysts for the Swiss bank are of the view that the July 15 final will be won by Germany, but failing that it is tipping either Brazil or Spain as the next most likely teams to win with a 19.8 per cent and 16.1 per cent chance respectively.
According to a report by the bank’s head of emerging markets Michael Bolliger, Germany and Brazil are set for an easy and simple start while Spain will have to hit the ground if they are to beat current European champions Portugal in their opening game.
Bolliger added that opening games will get tougher for Spain and Brazil, who are likely to face teams like Argentina and England in their quarter final matches. Host country Russia is also tipped to make it to the round of 16 before losing to either Portugal or Spain. As for Iceland and Panama, their chances of lifting the iconic trophy stand at 0.2 per cent and 0.0 per cent respectively.
The UBS predictions are based on a statistical model using results from the previous five tournaments and other controlling for factors such as the strength of teams and their success in the qualification phase. The analysts believe that countries like England, France, Belgium and Argentina could still offer some surprises in the World Cup Championship.
Bolliger’s report also intimated that France should be able to advance to the semi-final but could face Brazil after the elimination of Portugal. The report also indicated that England, just like Portugal, has a balanced team but for the team to reach the semi-finals, it has to defeat Brazil first.
An interesting world cup championship lies ahead.