Goldman Sachs tips Brazil for World Cup using statistical model


Goldman Sachs, a global investment banking firm says Brazil is poised to win the 2018 world cup after a final match against Germany, in what will be the country’s sixth world cup finals victory.

The New York-based investment bank used 200,000 statistical models, from data on individual players and recent teams’ performance to one million simulations of the tournament.
“While selecting the best starting eleven requires human judgment and experience, choosing the best variables to predict the outcome of a game is better left to a statistical model,” Goldman Sachs said in a report released yesterday, by their global macro research team.
This year’s prediction by Goldman Sachs is coming after its last World Cup forecast, which also predicted Brazil to emerge champion, after a 3-1 win against Argentina in the final game.
The company’s predictions however fell short of accuracy, as the last World Cup was won by Germany, after a 1-0 victory against Argentina while Brazil lost to the same Germany in a 7-1win.
According to other economists and market analysts, the 2018 winner will be Brazil or France or Spain or Germany.
Brazil and Germany are, in fact, the teams that appear most often in the forecast models produced by economists. The South American country was indicated by Danske Bank, while Germany will triumph in Commerzbank prediction.
Nigeria, the largest economy in the Africa continent is however left out of the various predictions by economist, thereby leaving the country to decide its fate in what will be its sixth World Cup qualifiers out of eight World Cup games it has participated in.
According to Goldman Sachs’, Nigeria is Sub-Saharan Africa’s pre-eminent team. Although, the Super Eagles team could not make the list predicted to reach round 16, quarter finals, semi-finals and the finals of the forth coming World Cup.
“For this tournament, Nigeria has recently had a strong run, but it nonetheless finds itself in a group that is difficult and perhaps also one of the tournament’s most exciting, along with Argentina, Croatia and Iceland,” Andrew Matheny, Economist at Goldman said.
After remaining in the 47th position in the last ranking, the Super Eagles team dropped to 48th in the 2018 FIFA World Football ranking released Thursday, 11 June 2018.
A multinational team of analysts at Nomura, the Japanese bank, however concluded, using portfolio theory and the efficient-markets hypothesis as well as data on the value, form and historical performance of players, that France will beat Spain in the final, with Brazil in third place.
Analysts at UBS, the Swiss bank, disagree saying that using (unspecified) econometric tools that the chief investment officer at its wealth-management arm uses to pick stocks, it has Germany most likely to win.
The bankers give the current holders a 24 per cent chance of lifting the trophy again.
England has the fourth-highest probability at 8.5 per cent.
Dean Turner, an economist at UBS Wealth Management, also reckons that England should do better than last time — with a “two-thirds chance of reaching the quarter-final stage”.
Commerzbank, also predicts that Germany will win, however, Dutch bank ING has its money on Spain. ING researchers found that the value of Spain’s squad exceeds that of all other participating countries.
That led Ian Wright — its senior economist— to say: “Money doesn’t necessarily buy success, but it probably helps.”
A team from the Toulouse School of Economics, however, has studied the pictures of more than 4,000 players from the Panini World Cup sticker albums of every tournament since 1970. Their conclusion, from using automated face-reading software, is: “Teams whose players looked angrier or happier performed better in the group stage of the World Cup compared to more inexpressive teams.” Happy teams in the Panini stickers have the confidence to score, said Astrid Hopfensitz, lead author of the research. Angry teams are more competitive and concede fewer goals.

The Nigerian senior team played three games before the 2018 ranking, although it is not known how much impact the results of the three games had in this latest ranking.

The Super Eagles have also dropped one place among the top African teams in the latest FIFA Ranking from sixth to seventh. They are behind Tunisia (21), Senegal (27), Congo DR (38), Morocco (41), Egypt (45), Ghana (47). Cameroon (49), Burkina Faso (52) and Mali (64) make up the top 10.

A breakdown of the prediction in the 2018 World Cup report by Goldman saw teams like France, Iceland, Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico, Belgium, and Poland playing against Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Germany, Switzerland, Colombia and England in the round 16 stage.

France, Spain, Brazil and Belgium are forecasted to play Portugal, Argentina, Germany and England in the quarter finals, while France, Brazil, Portugal and Germany are predicted to make it to the semi-finals.

Brazil and Germany were the two countries projected by Goldman Sachs to meet at the finals for who will eventually take home the 2018 World Cup trophy.

The analysis by the investment bank led to the conclusion of its prediction which placed Brazil as the winner of the cup. If this happens, the second place occupier of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) world ranking after Germany will be a six time record winner of the World Cup. Day /VMI


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