Germany most likely to win the World Cup, says UBS number crunches

WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN—27 days

Number-crunchers at Swiss bank UBS have tipped Germany to win the World Cup in Russia.

Investment banks like to try their hand at predicting who will lift football’s most-coveted trophy, using data modelling normally used for picking stocks. But they have an iffy record.

Last time round both UBS and rival US bank Goldman Sachs predicted Brazil would triumph, only for the host nation to be humiliated 7-1 in the semifinal by eventual winner Germany.

UBS last got the winner right in 2006, when it correctly predicted Italy would win.

The Swiss bank gives Germany a 24 pc chance of winning this year’s tournament, with Brazil second most likely at 19.8 pc, closely followed by Spain at 16.1 pc.

Perhaps the most surprising outcome is England’s ranking as the fourth most probable winner - at 8.5pc.

Highly fancied European teams France and Belgium come in fifth and sixth.

In a research note UBS explained that a team of 18 analysts and editors ran a simulation of the tournament 10,000 times to reach the predictions.

The World Cup begins on June 14, with hosts Russia taking on Saudi Arabia in Moscow. The home team is judged to be an outsider, put in twelfth place by UBS, with a 1.6 pc chance of winning, while Saudi Arabia is joint last at 0 pc.

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