World Cup 2018: These are the most likely winners according to UBS bank

Business

UBS is the first of the banks to reveal its predictions for the outcome of this year’s World Cup, which are calculated using econometric tools normally used to assess investment opportunities.

England came in fourth-most likely to lift the cup, while Germany took the top spot. Brazil and Spain were in second and third place respectively.

The calculations show Germany, the current trophy-holder, has a 24 per cent likelihood of winning, while Brazil has a 19.8 per cent chance and Spain has a 16.1 per cent chance. The likelihood of one of these three teams winning is 60 per cent, according to UBS’s calculations.

Among the factors that indicate Germany, Brazil and Spain are the favourites, are the teams’ Elo ratings, their successful qualification rounds – Germany won each match, Spain didn’t lose, and Brazil lost only its first game back in 2015 – and they have all won the tournament before.

England has just an 8.5 per cent likelihood of taking the trophy home, but a 35.1 per cent change of reaching the semi-finals in Russia.

However, UBS said its simulations indicate that England, France, Belgium and Argentina “still have a realistic chance of lifting the trophy”.

“Following the unveiling of the 23-man England squad yesterday, excitement levels have ramped up. Our calculations suggest there is reason to be optimistic. We see a two-thirds chance of England reaching the quarter final stage, but their way to the semi-final could lead through a tricky tie with Brazil,” said Dean Turner, economist at UBS Wealth Management.

“England has a balanced team, an attribute that complements teamwork and can transform a successful team into a future champion. It is also an attribute that offers important lessons for investors to learn from successful football teams. When it comes to investments, holding a diversified portfolio of assets is incredibly important.”

UBS also highlighted five games it believes will be “exciting to watch”.

“We’ve screened the known encounters in the group stage for possible nail-biters and tidbits, and added a few less well known teams to our selection. The five games listed … might be worth watching, independent of your team affiliation,” researchers said.

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