Here's why Macquarie's quant team predicts Spain will win the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Jamie McDonald/Getty ImagesVamos, Espana.
  • Macquarie Bank’s quant analyst team predicts that Spain will win the 2018 football World Cup.
  • It sees Brazil finishing as runners up with current holders Germany set to play-off for third spot.
  • The Socceroos are predicted to struggle.
  • Macquarie’s model correctly predicted Germany as the winner of the 2014 World Cup.
  • SPOILER ALERT: This article contains the score of game one between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The FIFA World Cup kicked off overnight with host nation Russia thumping Saudi Arabia 5-0, a comprehensive victory in anyone’s language.

However, despite the bright start for the hosts, they’re not going to be the team holding up the cup at the end of the tournament.

Spain will, according to Macquarie Bank’s quant analyst team.

In coming to that conclusion, Macquarie has looked at a variety of metrics to evaluate how each team will fare, using the inputs to model who will win the tournament.

“Factors and Styles are the building blocks of any Quantitative process. We use factors relating to the World Cup players and teams that we believe will determine the likely outcome. We group the factors in to the five ‘Football Styles,'” it says.

Here are the inputs they’ve used to determine the likely winner:

    1. Rankings – Directly captures how the team has performed in the past.
    2. Rankings Momentum – Captures trends in the teams’ performance.
    3. Squad – The characteristics of the teams’ squad going to the World Cup.
    4. Sentiment – Perception of how the team will perform.
    5. Innovative Data – Non-traditional metrics.

And, based on those metric, here’s how Macquarie ranks each individual team.

Macquarie Bank

“After crunching the numbers, Spain ends up on top of our model,” the bank says.

“Recent news around the resignation of their coach has raised concern, analogous to a surprise CEO departure for a stock, but this has so far not moved betting markets sufficiently to warrant a rerating.

“Some even see this event as a positive, galvanising the team and will in fact boost their performance.”

Its model suggests Brazil will finish runners up with current holders Germany set to play-off for third.

For those Socceroos fans out there, Macquarie says the “Australian fighting spirit will need to be on show for the team to progress and we are happy to be proven wrong here”.

Wouldn’t we all.

While Macquarie says its model is primarily for fun, it does some form on the board. When the last World Cup was held in Brazil four years ago, it correctly predicted that Germany would win.

Whether that turns out to be the case on this occasion is yet to be determined.

In the interim, it looks set to be a great month’s entertainment for football fans around the world.

C’arn the Socceroos!

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