For updated win probabilities for Euro 2012, click here to view our interactive bracket.
Group of Death
Germany marches on while the Netherlands lingers on the brink of Euro death. Since the Germans are almost certain to make the knock out stage (92%), they now have the highest chance of winning Euro 2012 at 24%. This is higher than Spain’s odds at 20%. The Netherlands now need Denmark to lose to Germany and then beat Portugal by a bunch of goals. It’s still possible. 9.7% possible.
Croatia is ranked 8th in the FIFA rankings?
When we mentioned that Croatia was the worst team in Euro 2012, Morgan kindly pointed out their lofty status in those other rankings. A big reason why Croatia lands at 35th in our rankings are two World Cup qualifying games with England. Croatia lost 9-2 on aggregate in this home and home series. In rankings without those two games, Croatia jumps up to 22nd. (England drops from 9th to 17th.) Moreover, Croatia didn’t astound anyone in a Euro qualifying group with Latvia (85), Georgia (95), and Malta (114). They even lost to Georgia.
Croatia faces a serious test in Italy tomorrow morning.
Home field advantage.
We use a home field advantage of 0.41 goals for Poland and Ukraine, since this was the average advantage over all qualifying matches for Euro 2012. Greg asked why we used all qualifying games instead of only games with teams that qualified.
Great question. First, there are only 248 games in qualifying. Eliminating any of those games reduces our sample size, which reduces the accuracy with which we can calculate home advantage.
Second, the objective is to determine the advantage of playing at home, no matter what the strength of the teams. We’re interested in Luxembourg just as much as Germany. Fortunately, the home and home structure of fixtures between any two teams in qualifying really helps. If Germany only played San Marino at home, they would, on average, win by more than 6 goals. This would seriously skew the estimate for home advantage. But since Germany plays a home and home with San Marino, they might win by 7 goals at home but only 5 goals on the road. In our calculation of home advantage, the large positive goal differential at home for Germany is negated by the large negative goal differential for San Marino at home. This leaves a clean estimate for home advantage when one European country travels to another.
What do you think?
Do the Dutch have a chance? Does Croatia’s play on the pitch seem like that of a top 10 team? Please leave us a comment.
Thanks for reading.
I threw together a sum-squared-error best fit rating for the Euro qualifying games and the tournament through June 13. Croatia comes out 7th, after Germany, Portugal, Denmark, Italy, Spain, and Russia. Home advantage is about 0.42, given to all home teams in quals and Ukraine/Poland in the Cup. Sure, Croatia didn’t face a great challenge in qualification but they did well, and they beat Ireland recently, who had themselves played well against Russia. I still expect Italy to win today; their rating is 0.46 goals above Croatia.
Ed Feng says
Excellent!! And thanks for double checking our home advantage calculation. Would you be willing to share your numbers with everyone? You can leave a comment or email me at thepowerrank at gmail.