If you fancy a flutter on the World Cup, you may want to put your money on Brazil.
According to more than a million simulations of the tournament, the five-time winners are the favourites to lift the coveted trophy on July 15th.
The study, from experts at Goldman Sachs, also predicts England will make it to the quarterfinal stage where they will be knocked out by Germany.
The financial firm made the predictions after feeding an AI data on team strategy, the strengths and weaknesses of individual players, and recent team results.
It ran 200,000 models to forecast specific match scores, totalling more than one million simulations to predict who would progress through each round.
The AI forecast that France, Portugal, Germany and Brazil will reach the semi-finals of the tournament, which kicks off in Russia on Thursday.
Germany will advance to the final by beating Portugal while Brazil will overcome France to face the holders in Moscow during the final.
But it is the South Americans who are predicted to lift the trophy, beating the 2014 winners by a score of 1.70-1.41, which rounds to 2-1.
England will beat Colombia in the round of 16 and go on to face Germany in the quarterfinals, according to the simulations.
However, the Germans are forecast to ultimately triumph, knocking the three lions out 2-1.
The models claim that host nation Russia will not make it out of the group stages, while Saudi Arabia will be a surprise entrant to the knockout rounds.
WHO DOES GOLDMAN SACHS THINK IS MOST LIKELY TO WIN THE 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP?
Financial firm Goldman Sachs ran one million simulations of the 2018 Fifa World Cup in a new study.
Their predictions were based on data on recent team and player performances as well as team results from the past three years.
Below are the ten teams with the highest chance of lifting the trophy, with the likelihood they are crowned winners shown as a percentage.
1) Brazil – 18.5 per cent
2) France – 11.3 per cent
3) Germany – 10.7 per cent
4) Portugal – 9.4 per cent
5) Belgium – 8.2 per cent
6) England – 7.8 per cent
7) Argentina – 6.5 per cent
8) Spain – 5.7 per cent
9) Colombia – 3.7 per cent
10) Uruguay – 3.2 per cent
Argentina and Spain are expected to underperform, both crashing out in the quarterfinals.
The researchers, based at Goldman Sachs’ London offices, stressed that football’s unpredictable nature means their results should be taken with a pinch of salt.
‘We capture the stochastic nature of the tournament carefully using state-of-the-art statistical methods and we consider a lot of information in doing so,’ Goldman Sachs wrote its 2018 prediction report.
‘But the forecasts remain highly uncertain, even with the fanciest statistical techniques, simply because football is quite an unpredictable game.
‘This is, of course, precisely why the World Cup will be so exciting to watch.’
The team is not the first to use statistical models to forecast a triumph for Brazil at this year’s tournament.
Austrian mathematicians revealed in May that Germany and Brazil are neck-and-neck favourites to lift the trophy.
Experts said while Brazil have a 16.6 per cent probability of winning the title, defending world champions Germany are close behind with a 15.8 per cent chance.
Researchers at the University of Innsbruck in Austria combined the odds of 26 online bookmakers and betting exchanges with a complex set of statistical models.
Using these calculations to simulate all possible games and results, Brazil and Germany came out on top more than all other teams.
‘The most likely final with a probability of 5.5 per cent is also a match between these two teams, giving Brazil the chance to make up for the dramatic semi-final of 2014,’ study coauthor Professor Achim Zeileis said.
WHICH TEAMS ARE MOST AND LEAST LIKELY TO WIN THE 2018 WORLD CUP?
Researchers in Austria combined bookmakers’ odds with complex statistical modelling to predict who will win the 2018 World Cup.
The model simulated the tournament millions of times to forecast the outcome of every possible game that could be played.
Below are the probabilities that each team will win.
1) Brazil – 16.6%
2) Germany – 15.8%
3) Spain – 12.5%
4) France – 12.1%
5) Argentina – 8.4%
6) Belgium – 7.3%
7) England – 4.9%
8) Portugal – 3.4%
9) Uruguay – 2.7%
10) Croatia – 2.5%
11) Colombia – 2.2%
12) Russia – 2.1%
13) Poland – 1.5%
14) Denmark – 0.9%
15) Mexico – 0.8%
16) Switzerland – 0.8%
17) Sweden – 0.6%
18) Egypt – 0.5%
19) Serbia – 0.5%
20) Senegal – 0.5%
21) Peru – 0.4%
22) Nigeria – 0.4%
23) Iceland – 0.4%
24) Japan – 0.3%
25) Australia – 0.2%
26) Morocco – 0.2%
27) Costa Rica – 0.2%
28) South Korea – 0.2%
29) Iran – 0.2%
30) Tunisia – 0.1%
31) Saudi Arabia – 0.1%
32) Panama – 0.1%