World Cup 2018 Win Probabilities

You want to know which country will win the 2018 World Cup in Russia. In addition, you’re smarter than the average fan and know that analytics can help make predictions.

The list below shows the win probability for each team based on The Power Rank’s analytics. This method takes game results from more than 4 years to rank each country on offense and defense. These numbers feed a simulation that plays the tournament 50,000 times.

1. Brazil, 14.4%
2. Germany, 12.7%
3. France, 11.7%
4. Argentina, 7.7%
5. Spain, 6.5%
6. Belgium, 5.8%
7. Portugal, 4.9%
8. England, 4.2%
9. Colombia, 4.2%
10. Uruguay, 3.6%
11. Russia, 3.2%
12. Mexico, 3.1%
13. Poland, 3.1%
14. Croatia, 1.9%
15. Denmark, 1.8%
16. Peru, 1.6%
17. Sweden, 1.5%
18. Switzerland, 1.2%
19. Iceland, 1.2%
20. Morocco, 1.1%
21. Costa Rica, 0.9%
22. Senegal, 0.8%
23. Serbia, 0.5%
24. Japan, 0.5%
25. Egypt, 0.5%
26. Nigeria, 0.3%
27. Australia, 0.3%
28. Tunisia, 0.2%
29. Iran, 0.2%
30. South Korea, 0.1%
31. Panama, 0.1%
32. Saudi Arabia, 0.0%

While Brazil and Germany are the favorites, their total win probability is less than 28%. This suggest a competitive World Cup that could result in a surprise winner.

I’d love to tell you that my numbers are all you need to know in predicting the World Cup. However, one method for predicting win probabilities is not enough. Let me explain.

Ensemble predictions for the World Cup

A 2014 study by Lasek and coworkers looked at which international football/soccer rankings best predicted the outcome of future matches. They found that the FIFA rankings were awful at prediction.

In addition, they found that the most accurate rankings were a combination of the 4 best rankings (one of which was The Power Rank). This ensemble prediction had a root mean square error 4.3% less than any of the other methods in the study.

In The Power Rank 2018 World Cup Analytics, I go one step further and combine 4 computational methods with the implied win probabilities from the markets. I expect this ensemble prediction to be the best at assigning each team their chance to win the World Cup.

In addition, The Power Rank 2018 World Cup Analytics also includes the following:

  • Ensemble probability for each team to advance to the knockout stage
  • Expected team total goals
  • A breakdown on offense and defense based on The Power Rank’s analytics
  • The win, loss, tie probability for each group stage match
  • Notes on injuries and situations that suggest adjustments to the numbers

The analytics package also comes with a data file that gives The Power Rank’s probability to advance to the knockout stage, win each round of the knockout stage and win the tournament. You can upload this file into a spreadsheet and perform your own calculations.

Members of The Power Rank get access to this analytics package. To learn more, click here.

To get The Power Rank 2018 World Cup Analytics as a stand alone package, click on “I want this!”