- Goldman Sachs has used machine learning to simulate how it thinks the World Cup will play out.
- Before the tournament started the bank forecast a Brazil-Germany final, but it has updated its model to reflect recent results and now expects Brazil to play England in the final.
- The bad news for England fans is Goldman still expects Brazil to win.
Goldman Sachs is now forecasting a World Cup final between Brazil and England on July 15 after updating its predictive model.
Goldman used machine learning to simulate 1 million variations and pick a winner ahead of the tournament. It initially forecast a final between Brazil and Germany, with Brazil expected to ultimately triumph.
But, as the first round of the World Cup draws to a close, Goldman has updated its model to reflect results so far. The investment bank is now forecasting that England will reach the final ahead of Germany.
“For England fans who might find themselves daring to dream, our updated model predictions might constitute a beacon of hope,” analyst Jan Hatzius and his team wrote in a note on Monday.
“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).”
Brazil, who beat Costa Rica 2-0 on Friday, is still forecast to win the overall competition.
Germany, meanwhile, is forecast to exit the World Cup in the Round of 16 as Goldman predicts they will play Brazil and be bested by the Latin American country. If Germany do go out, it will be the country’s worst World Cup performance since 1978.
While Goldman expects a Brazil-England final, it 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.”
If England do reach the final it will be their best performance since 1966, when it won the World Cup. England beat Panama 6-1 on Sunday, recording their biggest ever World Cup victory.
Here’s Goldman’s updated forecast for how it expects the rest of the tournament to pan out:
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